Married a Month!

A Girl, A Style _ We're Married

We did it!

As those of you who follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook will know, we were married a month ago today in the most beautiful ceremony at Kings College in Cambridge. So many of sent lovely messages of congratulations and wanted to know more about the details, so whilst we wait for the photos to come back, I thought I’d share some reflections on the day.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should preface this by saying I never really pictured myself as the ‘marrying’ kind. I didn’t ever dream of a big white wedding as a young girl,  probably at least in part down to the fact I didn’t have the best example set by my own parents (who divorced spectacularly after 10 years). Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against the institution of marriage per se, but it was never a life goal of mine upon which I pinned my future happiness.

None of which is to detract from my relationship – which has been a great source of happiness in my life for more than a decade. I met Mark 12.5 years ago (on New Year’s Eve), and from our very first date, we both knew we would be together for the long haul. But between two overseas moves (him to Japan, and then both of us to England), a PhD, first jobs, and buying our first place, having a wedding wasn’t the top priority until our 10th anniversary when he proposed. We had originally planned on getting married last summer (a year and a half seemed about right to plan a wedding whilst working full time without sending ourselves crazy), but when we were told by King’s College that the Chapel was to be restored for much of the summer, we postponed until this summer (because scaffolding isn’t my vibe; not because we had cold feet!)

As the wedding loomed, we started to get a bit overwhelmed by the stress of how much there was to do, how much of our savings we were spending (we were planning and paying for most things on our own), and by a few of the people we considered closest to us who couldn’t bring themselves to share in our joy. I confess that at one point, we both wished we had saved ourselves the stress and eloped (and if people hadn’t already booked their flights a year in advance, we might have!)

But as the day finally rolled around, it was the most wonderful experience to throw a big Cambridge party and get to declare our love for each other in front of so many people we love. I couldn’t stop smiling from the moment I laid eyes on everyone in the Chapel to the moment we said our farewells.

I’m still not a fully-fledged member of the ‘smug married’ club (in the words of Bridget Jones) just yet – I haven’t changed my name, the title ‘wife’ still makes me cringe a little, and there were so many wedding traditions I chose to eschew on the day* – but we couldn’t be happier. Whilst we’ve been together so long that it doesn’t really feel any different to be married, there are moments where we feel like more of an official ‘team’, and that’s a pretty great feeling.

Thank you all so much again for all your sweet messages. I read every single one with a big smile on my face! If there’s anything in particular you want to see or know about our wedding, then please let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to share everything on here in the weeks to come.

Love, Miss B xx

* perhaps that is a subject deserving of its own post. There are so many wedding traditions that I love, but so many I couldn’t bring myself to partake in. And when I asked on Twitter whether those of you who were married had chosen to keep their own names, take their partner’s name, or hyphenate the two, I was so fascinated by all the responses on each side of the debate. 

 

A New Year’s Love Story

A Girl, A Style _ Ringing in the Year.JPG

Hello darlings, and a very belated happy new year to you all! Apologies for the inadvertent blogging hiatus this year; my day job has been rather frenetic of late, and I confess I’m not always excellent at balancing these two worlds of mine. Busy though it has been, I have to say: 2015 has been rather wonderful thus far!

For now, I’ll start with the most significant news: as those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen, I got engaged on New Year’s Eve! The Clever Boyfriend and I met on that same night 10 years ago; by a series of coincidences we had ended up at the same cheesy bar and, as the cliche goes, our eyes met across the room. One chance encounter and a midnight New Year’s Eve kiss later, we started dating; frequenting tiny Italian cafes and galleries across the city as we fell head over heels for each other. Since then we spent years separated by oceans (he studying a Masters in Tokyo, me in Australia), moved half way across the world together, and made a home together in Cambridge. And then on New Year’s Eve, while celebrating at home (with our own tiny, but fabulously sparkly soiree with just a few of our favourite people), he asked that question. It was the perfect way to celebrate a decade of love and togetherness.

A Girl, A Style _ New Year's EngagementA Girl, A Style _ A New Year's Engagement

Being the Clever Boyfriend that he is, he knows me well enough to know that I would want to choose my own ring (he knows how much jewellery means to me, but also how particular I am about what I like). So he proposed with a candy lollipop ring (truly!) with the intention that we would choose one together and, in the meantime, I’ve been wearing a rather spectacular Lulu Frost stand-in.

This weekend, we at last started the hunt for the ring. As any good engagement ring searches go, we started at Tiffany & Co. on Old Bond Street where I fell in love with the sparkliest diamonds of them all (with the price tags to match…) and had my Audrey moment, and then it was on to Cartier, De Beers and the jewellers along Hatton Gardens (with a stop at Laduree on the way to refuel on tea and French sugar). As we haven’t quite found ‘the one’, I think we’ll opt for a bespoke ring that is uniquely ours (I’ll just have to be patient for a few more months). Stay tuned!

A Girl, A Style _ Ringing in the Year 2.JPG Details (top): Lulu Frost ring + star necklace (sold out, but similar styles available at Net-a-Porter + J.Crew + Shopbop) // BaubleBar double pearl earrings // Lulu Guinness glitter clutch c/- // gold fortune cookie // vintage bracelet (similar style at Shopbop), headband (from my friend Nicolette) and champagne saucers (similar style at BHLDN). Engagement rings (bottom), all Tiffany & Co.

I’d love to hear your love stories! Did you choose your own engagement ring, or do you have any advice for finding the perfect ring? Please do share in the comments below!

Love, Miss B xx

Beauty Wednesday: Date Night Beauty

Whether you should find yourself single, in a relationship or just taking a look at the menu, there should always be room for the kind of dates that give you butterflies in your stomach and make you want to put on the most wonderful dress in your wardrobe. Even though I’ve been with the Clever Boyfriend for over seven years (!), every Friday evening we completely clear our schedules, get dressed up and have a weekly date night.

When you’re dabbling in a little flirtation, you want to look your best (of course); as though you’ve gone to a little effort (it’s only polite, after all), but like you didn’t really have to try very hard (because you’re just naturally that pretty and radiant). Here’s how to master date night pretty via a few of my favourite beauty tricks:

1. Perfect: Keep skin fresh and clean. I like a BB cream (I’m currently obsessed with Estee Lauder’s excellent version) or a tinted moisturiser with concealer just where it’s needed. Avoid heavy foundation (you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a mask) and too far from your own skin tone.

2. Glow: For a little extra glow, I use a subtle tan such as Institut Esthederm Self-Tanning Face Cream (applied the day before so there is no telltale smell) which means you need less makeup, and an illuminator blended invisibly around the cheekbones, brow bone, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow (to highlight the lips). Avoid anything glittery; you want to look naturally radiant. Benefit’s High Beam or Moon Beam of Clarins Instant Light Skin Perfector give the best natural glow.

3. Colour: Add a pop of colour to your cheeks and lips for a pretty flush. Avoid obvious bronzer or lipstick and stick to tinted lipbalms (bright lipstick can seem scary to the gents) and a pink, peachy or rosy blush or cheekstain (as a guide, a shade close to the colour you naturally blush will always be flattering).

4. Eyes: Make sure your eyes are worthy of longing gazes and emphasise your lashes. Apply a wash of neautral shadow in a pale champagne or taupe to subtly draw attention to the eyes (I like Mac paint pot in Bare Study followed by shadow in Koi for contouring the socket line). Follow with a flirty flick of liquid liner (Stila’s Stay All Day felt tip marker is the easiest to apply and will literally last all night) and a coat of lengthening mascara and finish by grooming your brows to frame the face (I like Suqqu’s brow palette or Benefit’s waxy brow pencil for filling in any gaps).

5. Finish. Finish with a mist of setting face spray to keep everything flawless and budge proof (you don’t want a smudge of makeup all over his collar when you kiss goodnight, after all). I love Jurlique Rosewater Mist (which makes your face smell like rose petals) or Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. Paint your nails a pretty nude colour for sweet hand holding. Squirt a favourite perfume (Marc Jacobs Daisy is always a man-pleaser) wherever you want to be kissed.

Just add a gorgeous outfit and a flirty smile and you’re ready to hit the town on the arm of your dashing date.And because I treasure you all, I’ve pulled together a date night beauty kit filled with all my favourites (pictured above) thanks to the nice people at eHarmony for one of you to win. The prize (worth £135) contains: Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume (to smell gorgeous), Benefit Bad Gal mascara (for fluttery lashes), Mac blush in a pretty petal pink (for a flirty flush), Essie pastel pink polish in Muchi Muchi (for the prettiest hand-holding manicure), Benefit Moon Beam highlighter (for a radiant glow) and Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector (for kissable lips).

To win, leave me a comment telling me why you want to win (and if you have any special dating or beauty tips I should know about). For bonus brownie points, follow A Girl, A Style on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram (@agirlastyle) or Bloglovin‘ (make sure you let me know which of these you’ve done in your comments).

Fine print: I’ll select the winner on September 10th, so please be sure to include your email address so that I can contact you to post your prize. Entry is open to UK residents.

Do you still make time for date night? I’d love to hear your favourite flirty beauty tips!

Love, Miss B xx

* Edit: This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Becky on winning!