Hen Parties: Guest Blog from Natalie at Boudoir Girls

Continuing our guest blog season, this week we meet Natalie Greer from Boudoir Girls, a boutique hen party company specialising in glamorous themed photoshoots. Natalie gives us her top tips for organising hen parties!

5 Tips for Bridesmaids Planning a Hen Party

I see it every week…the highs the lows and the stress that can come with being  the chief bridesmaid organizing a hen. It’s no mean feat and I have walked in those shoes myself so I know how it feels! However it is also one of the best weekends you may ever have so it will all be worth it ladies. Hang in there! Here’s a few tips to get you started on the journey:

Book in advance

“Duh!”, I hear you say… well  this is the most common mistake I see as girls are scrambling last minute to get activities and hotels booked. As hens are so popular now, hotels and hen activity companies are booked well in advance so it pays to get on it early and just get a deposit in so you are not left with a less desirable hotel/hen party activity or added costs and stress.

Hen party planning ireland boudoir girls themed photoshoot


Another no brainer but we forget that not everyone has the same budget – some girls love the thoughts of sipping on ‘cristal’ champagne after a spa day but this may not be in everyone’s budget realistically.  You have to cost in the hotel, travel to location, food, drinks, activities and shopping of course so choose wisely. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount for larger groups as many companies and hotels do this.


As there are so many details involved in planning a hen party, it’s ok to ask for a little help! Why not get a reliable friend to help make a playlist, get the moms to organize the photos of the hen and her hubby from ‘back in the day’. Make a checklist and then proceed to give a few jobs to the ‘reliable friend’!

Hen party planning ireland boudoir girls themed photoshoot


Leading on from my last point, I have seen a lot of hen parties over the last few years and I have to say sometimes I am so moved by how much detail the girls go to for their friends. From custom cupcakes, photo boards/posters with hilarious pictures of her teens  and childhood moments, her favourite ‘dress up’ theme, her favourite movie or music playlist…  so much can be done to go the extra mile and it certainly makes her feel ultra special! It’s the little things that count.

Hen party planning ireland boudoir girls themed photoshoot

Choose wisely

It should go without saying that dragging a bride-to-be to a strip club when she would prefer a vintage tea party is dangerous territory.. you need to feel out the group of ladies and choose an activity or two based on what the hen is interested in. Does she like baking, or is she a badass with a love for car racing? If the moms are coming, spare a thought for them or make sure they are cosied up in the hotel while you pursue any wild endeavours (unless they are well on for it!) There are plenty of activities including our own photoshoots that will cater for ladies of all ages and sizes.

Hen party planning ireland boudoir girls themed photoshoot

Finally, a checklist of important items to bring: Hairpins, makeup, wipes, safety pins, ear plugs, hairspray (sets hair and even makeup on occasion! ) sudocream ( fixes everything!), travel iron, google maps, credit card and of course headache tablets or motilium for the morning after!  Last but not least pack a good sense of humour! It’s a fun weekend after all!

Thank you so much to Natalie at Boudoir Girls for contributing such invaluable advice – make sure to check out their website for booking information, and on Facebook and Pinterest for inspiration!

All images courtesy of Boudoir Girls

Wedding Day Makeup: Guest post from Marion Smyth

While I take some time off, I hope you’ll enjoy reading some great guest blogs from wonderful wedding suppliers around Ireland! This week we have makeup artist Marion Smyth, who gives us her top tips for wedding day makeup.

What should the bride expect at the makeup trial

At the bridal makeup trial I believe that this is a vital part of planning a wedding. From this we both can gather a real sense of personalities, wedding theme, the flow and order of the wedding day. Any bride should be comfortable in voicing their opinion but also feel comfortable with the makeup artist. At the trial you should get a full makeup application and this would include false eyelashes – if you don’t normally wear false eyelashes then this is the place to try it out. My motto is try it now rather than on your wedding day as it will give time to tweak your look. A good Bridal Makeup Artist will listen, bring face charts, consultation forms and take notes of products that work well on the bride and extended bridal party for their skin types. My top tip would be to have your makeup trial during the day as this gives the truest reflection on how the makeup will look.

Marion Smyth makeup artist wedding day makeup tips

Finding the right look for your day: Information the bride should provide

For any bride one of the most important thing is to enhance your natural beauty and create a beautifully flawless look. The bride should provide details on the wedding theme like colours in the wedding, what your wedding dress looks like, how are you having your hair and where is the wedding location. Most brides do have a picture of how their makeup will look and if you do then you should present it to the makeup artist as it will help them to achieve your look; but remember no two faces are the same and it could look completely different on you so again this is why a trial is so important!

Marion Smyth makeup artist wedding day makeup tips

What the Bride should do prior to and on the day of the wedding

At the bridal trial I always advise a bride to have facials in the lead up to the wedding (at least 2/3 weeks prior to the wedding day) The bride should take good care of her skin as this will help the makeup stay on for longer creating a flawless finish. If you can, separate yourself from the rest of bridal party to have your makeup and hair done as it’s still a time for pampering even if there is chaos going on around you!

Best advice for your wedding day

In my experience, as much as we want everything to run to schedule this does not always happen (sorry ladies!). I always work to a timeline but sometimes things can be thrown off slightly due to someone arriving late or a last minute altering session. Don’t worry ladies, just keep focused on the end goal and it will make your morning a pleasant one.

The morning of your wedding day sets the tone for the rest of your special day. Make sure you are surrounded by family, champagne and have some music on in the background and enjoy every moment.

Marion Smyth makeup artist wedding day makeup tips

Quick Checklist…

Research and Referrals

First of all, it is wise to do your research as there will be a varied range of makeup artists in your area and this will also include researching the price of bridal makeup. Naturally makeup artists that are in demand will command a higher fee but there are still plenty of up and coming makeup artists who are talented that may fall into your price range. Take the time to look at their work and maybe even have a telephone conversation with them. You can also ask friends and family who may have gotten married recently for referrals.

Make a List

Write out your concerns and questions on paper: this will help you with the research and eliminate makeup artists and other suppliers who cannot accommodate your requests.

How Many

Help the makeup artist by knowing how many are having their makeup done at the trial and on the wedding day’ this helps manage time, expectation and most importantly to properly quote for your bridal party makeup needs – remember, some makeup artist will offer a discount if you have a large group!

Thanks again to Marion for the great advice this week – make sure you check out Marion’s website and blog for more great tips and booking info!

Polka Dot Perfection

Apologies to my regular readers who will have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet of late; I’m due my first baby very soon and trying to get as much relaxation in as possible – baby brain makes it a little bit harder to concentrate on blogging! But I’m back today with some pretty polka dot wedding inspiration. Polka dots are probably my favourite pattern, and it’s amazing to see how what is generally considered quite a childish pattern can look so amazing and glamorous as part of a wedding theme. Hope you like this collection of polka dot perfection that I’ve gathered!

You can find all of these ideas and more on my Pinterest boards!

Pearl Wedding Inspiration

Pearls are a beautifully elegant and luxurious touch that you can style your wedding with, and is a fabulous alternative to diamonds and bling. They are perfect for an old-world style wedding, and pearl details can be added to pretty much any aspect of your big day, from the dress to your hair, decor to flowers. Today, we’ve collected some of our favourite pearl wedding inspiration for your enjoyment!

Pearl Wedding Inspiration from True Romance Weddings

Images via Lovemydress, Style Me Pretty, Frosted Petticoat, ModWedding, Botanical Brouhaha, Emmaline Bride, Buzzfeed, Music Box Invites

Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

In certain parts of the world, hiring a wedding planner to help you organise your wedding is second nature. Here in Ireland though, it’s still a relatively new concept. Movies and TV shows have led to a misconception that wedding planners are for celebrities, and only when a truly lavish and unique wedding is in the making with a massive budget to boot. We’d like to dispel that myth today and talk to you about how a wedding planner works and why you might need one. There are also different types of planners out there, and many that provide a variety of services (like us here at True Romance Weddings) that will suit you, your needs and your pocket.

Full Service Wedding Planner

This is a wedding planner who will guide you from your engagement right through to the big day and beyond. This is most useful for couples who have very little free time on their hands, or who may not be the most adept at organising things. It can also be ideal for couples who are living abroad and planning a destination wedding. A full service wedding planner will help you decide on the concept for your wedding (time of year, style, size, must-haves), source suppliers from the venue to the cake, maintain communication with you and your suppliers throughout the planning process and be your right-hand man or woman on the big day itself. The full service wedding planner will guide you through every step of your wedding and ensure that your vision is achieved.Wedding planning Ireland wedding planner

Partial Wedding Planner

Some wedding planners, including True Romance Weddings, offer partial planning services for supplier sourcing. This can be very useful when you need to make the big decisions such as the wedding venue and the music. They will help you to determine the style or type of supplier you are looking for and then source a choice of vendors which are available for your chosen date and within your allocated budget. They can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you are achieving all of your requests, such as exclusivity, song choice, menu types and so on. Again, this particular service is ideal for couples planning a destination wedding who need a little help to get the ball rolling.

Wedding Day Co-ordinator

This type of wedding planner is for the wedding day itself, and generally doesn’t have much involvement before the wedding aside from meeting with you to discuss the schedule for the day and obtaining contacts for all of your suppliers. They will be on hand from the morning of the wedding to assist you in getting ready, ensuring your ceremony space is prepared, liaising with suppliers to reconfirm times and addresses, can distribute supplier payments on your behalf, and work with the reception venue to ensure everything runs smoothly. A day co-ordinator will be well versed in how a wedding ceremony should run, so can assist you and your guests in ensuring that timings are adhered to, guests are seated, rings are ready and photographer in place. This type of planner is most useful for couples who have no problem organising the wedding itself, but want someone to take the pressure off on the day and take care of certain duties that might otherwise fall to relatives or friends.

Wedding planning Ireland wedding planner

Budget-wise, you may be surprised to find that a wedding planner will work within yours, and when involved in sourcing suppliers can often end up saving you a lot of money through negotiation skills and an endless supply of contacts in the industry. A recent wedding planned by True Romance Weddings, which had a very average budget, came in a whopping 15% below what they had originally planned to spend – and that was including our fee! Contact us today to see how we can help you.

We’ve Made the Shortlist! Blog Awards Ireland 2015

Last night I got an email from Blog Awards Ireland to say that True Romance Weddings has been shortlisted for ‘Best Lifestyle Blog – Company’ for this year’s awards. I am absolutely thrilled to say the least, as the blog won the Lifestyle category last year. It was one of the best nights of life – a total surprise as I was up against some seriously stiff competition! This year, they are doing things a little differently, with a percentage of the results coming from a public vote which opens on the 7th September, so make sure to follow us on Facebook for the voting link!

Blog Awards Ireland Shortlist True Romance Weddings

Groom Style Trends for Autumn/Winter

With autumn fast approaching, and summer having been a near-total write-off in Ireland, we are looking ahead to some opulent and masculine style trends for grooms for the coming months. The Fall/Winter 2015/16 menswear shows featured lots of dark, muted tones, luxe fabrics and classic fits, leading away from the super-skinny pants and ties of seasons past. Today we explore some of our favourite groom trends – let us know your favourites!


Want to stick to the classic dark coloured suit, but break from tradition in another way? Pattern is key here. Dolce & Gabana did it so well, with a sophisticated jacquard pattern adorning full suits, or just the lapels for those who want only a hint of detail. Roberto Cavalli went in a similiar vein with the muted, velvety jackets, but in a more modern pattern.

The New Traditional 

Rustic and vintage wedding trends were reflected by tweed, and a masculine, old-world style graced the runways in the form of sharp tailoring that screamed gentleman. Ralph Lauren and Dior did best, with enviable waistcoats, pocketwatches and bowties.

Shine On

For dull winter days, add some depth to your look with powersuits that shine, like these styles from Versace.