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Hello everyone, as usual we are starting this month off by travelling, and this time let me transport you to the Andalusian warmth, to be more precise: Seville. Seville is a gorgeous city that has such a rich history. From its world famous Giralda (the bell tower of the cathedral) to its Arabian style palaces it’s a must to visit! So here is my list of places to visit, have lunch and have a beer, as well as go shopping!

Travel Diaries: Seville

Ok, so it’s the most visited monument of the city as well as one of the largest and most impressive cathedrals in the world. The Giralda was built in the 15th century on the the site of a 12th century mosque. The most famous sights in the cathedral are the dazzling gilded altarpiece and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. More tombs can be found in the crypt under the altar, where Castilian kings and queens from the 13th and 14 century were buried. Make sure that you also visit the bell tower of the Cathedral, the Giralda. It is the most famous landmark in Seville. The tower was originally built at the end of the 12th century as the minaret of a large mosque built by the Moors.

Travel Diaries: Seville

Just next to the Cathedral is the Palacio del Real Alcazar, which is an absolute gem, this is a must-see!It is the Royal Palace of Seville, a magnificent complex of patios and halls in different architectural styles, from Mudéjar to Gothic. Over the years, various monarchs kept expanding the palace, resulting in a diverse complex with different architectural styles. The top floor of the palace is still actively used by the Royal Family.

Travel Diaries: Seville

The magnificent Casa de Pilatos, is one of the most intriguing buildings in Seville. It was built in the early 16th century in an amalgam of Renaissance, Gothic and Mudejar styles. Intriguingly, the royal palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli is commonly known as the House of Pilate. The name can be traced back to the first Marquis of Tarifa, who, on his trip to Jerusalem discovered that the distance from his house to a small temple at Cruz del Campo was the same as the distance between the former house of Pontius Pilate and the Golgotha (the biblical name of the place where Jesus was crucified). Back at home, the Marquis created a Way of the Cross with twelve stops along the path to the temple. Hence people started to identify the palace with the House of Pilate and over time it became referred to as such.

Travel Diaries: Seville

The Maria Luisa Park is the largest park in Seville and one of the most beautiful in Europe. The Plaza de España is one of the park’s most popular attractions and was the centerpiece of the expo. The architect was Anibal Gonzalez, from Seville, and it is a mixture of Art Deco and Mudejar. There is a moat that has four bridges across it. The palace has two large towers and there are sections with benches with beautiful tile work (azulejos) that represent each of the provinces of Spain. In the center of the plaza is a very large and beautiful fountain.

Travel Diaries: Seville

When it comes to food, everywhere is delicious, but make sure to stop off at the Rinconcillo, Founded in 1670, needless to say that this is a MUST to visit and eat! Take in the decor, the smells, the sounds and the history (Cervantes used to eat here)!

Travel Diaries: Seville

Shopping is the best in the Tetaun and Sierpes streets with international and local brands. Basically, make sure that when you go to Seville you explore every corner, every street and every church, as each one hides wonders.

This month, the theme for my mood-board blog was particularly easy as I have just spent four days at the Feria de Sevilla. As you know from my blog a couple of weeks ago, I go there quite often because it’s where Antonio, aka Fiancé, is from. The thing is that I was even going to the feria religiously every year even before I knew Antonio. So I am, what they call a true ‘feriante’ (someone who counts down every year to the feria, a bit like Christmas!).

Wedding Inspiration: Feria de Sevilla Mood-board

The feria is an explosion of colours, sounds and smells. It runs for a full week in April, sometimes May, and is a non-stop party. Obviously, this can be a great theme for just one evening too, you don’t need to keep it going for a week at home!

Wedding Inspiration: Feria de Sevilla Mood-board

The streets are covered in a yellow sort of sand, which is called albero that already sets the scene for the vibrant colours that are repeated on and inside the tent houses where people meet to eat, drink and dance. Sometimes when it’s too hot or too full, people will move out into the street and dance there, mixing with the horse drawn carriages painted with touches of red, green and gold. The sky is dotted by lines of ‘farolillos’ which are paper small lanterns that decorate the streets of the feria and light up at night.

Wedding Inspiration: Feria de Sevilla Mood-board

A very important part of the feria is the gitana dresses that women of all ages wear. The more colourful, the better! These are topped off with more or less ruffles, fringing, patterns, etc. The list is endless and every single one is unique.

Wedding Inspiration: Feria de Sevilla Mood-board

In order to though a good party reminiscent of the feria, you should not forget the jamon, the rebujito (which is a mix of manzanilla wine and seven up), the tapas, some good music and of course sevillanas songs. Mix all of this, add some flowers in the girls hair and you have yourself an amazing party!

Some of you may or may not know, but I am engaged to be married to my amazing fiancé Antonio. We are set to be married in a lavish celebration in Seville in March 2018, followed by another smaller celebration on the Atlantic coast of France in August 2018. So, we are in full wedding prep mode! And as all you brides may know, one of the biggies to get done sooner rather than later is the wedding rings.

WEDDING PLANNING UPDATE: Shopping for our wedding rings

We decided ages ago, even before we were engaged, that we wanted his brother and my sister to buy the wedding rings for us as a present for our wedding. We feel that this is one of the most intimate presents that we could receive on this special day and even more special coming from them.

WEDDING PLANNING UPDATE: Shopping for our wedding rings

So with a budget in mind and quite specific measurements (I would like a very skinny band, plain, no larger than 1mm, and he would like a rounded plain band, but his ring size is a Z! Both in Platinum) we started the search. Our first port of call was the Burlington Arcade of London, home to historical jewellers and watchmakers, it is THE place to go for vintage heirloom style jewellery. We approached the shop where Antonio had commissioned my engagement ring and made an appointment to see what they had for us. We looked at all of the platinum bands on offer and although beautiful, decided that because of the postcode, they were too expensive and that we would prefer to search for other options. This is something important for all of you getting married, remember that you are always entitled to research and compare prices, qualities and services, this is your right and never let anyone bully you into choosing something. Especially when it comes to a ring that you will be wearing forever!

WEDDING PLANNING UPDATE: Shopping for our wedding rings

We continued our research and found out that one of Antonio’s friends has a jewellery shop in Seville. So on our trip out there in April for the Feria de Sevilla (stay tuned for the next moodboard post where I will tell you all about this amazing event), we made a pit stop to his shop. To our greatest delight, he showed us some gorgeous pieces hand made in their atelier in the shop, in all sorts of metals and finishes. Once we had selected which model we each preferred, he started to calculate the price and after applying a friend discount, we were thrilled to order our bands! They are now being custom made for us, with our engraving etc. And I cannot wait to wear it for the rest of my life!

WEDDING PLANNING UPDATE: Shopping for our wedding rings

All this to say that make sure that you take the time to research and compare. Many talented jewellers that aren’t in historically prominent streets are just as good, if not better, and can get your orders made in shorter times and for cheaper. I always prefer to go the artisanal way as much as possible, it’s always unique and extra special, knowing that someone has used their artistic expression to create an object for you.

Some of you may have already seen in the Perfect Weddings issue of May a styled shoot called Bohemian Rainbow (if you haven’t then check out my Press page). Well I am very proud to say that I styled and coordinated it back in October 2016 in Ibiza. It was my first styled shoot ever, and after months of secrecy, I can finally share it with and showcase the gorgeous images and video, as well as tell you a bit more about the inspiration, the details and the backstage stories!

Bohemian Rainbow Styled Shoot

The whole concept of shooting in Ibiza came about, when I discovered that I have an indirect cousin living in Ibiza who is not just a brilliant photographer but also a graphic designer! I actually owe her my fabulous logo. So, Milena and I decided, after months of working on the logo, to try and do a shoot together in Ibiza; not only because she lives there and that there are gorgeous locations, but also because, I want to showcase venues and suppliers from all the geographical areas where I work. Once the dates were pencilled in, I started to put together a mood-board and set the theme. I had already been to Ibiza, and recalled how amazingly Bohemian and colourful the island had seemed to me. I also remembered how diverse and how accepting of one another the Ibicencos are. Therefore I wanted to play on diversity, boho, and of course playing on the gorgeous natural landscapes that the island has to offer. Bohemian Rainbow was born.

Bohemian Rainbow Styled Shoot

I didn’t want Bohemian Rainbow to be just another boho chic wedding styled shoot, I wanted it to be different and empowering, yet still soft and intimate. Milena and Marina (photographer & videographer) were the masters in portraying this vision that I had; picking up on the simplicity of the table, where the detail was in the tones of colour and golds; and showcasing the Rainbow of colours that was constant throughout the chill out area right through to the balloon and confetti. Gabriella, one of my closest friends from when we were at boarding school together, was our model. Embodying an ethereal Ibicenco bride, she absolutely loved having her hair and makeup done by lovely Jessie May Young, an expat Brit based out in Ibiza. All rental décor and furniture was supplied by Esther and her team from Remedio sin Receta, and set the tone for the feel of the shoot. The flower crown and bouquet were created the night before by the local florist and myself, and I must admit that although we were exhausted we had a lovely time doing so! The gorgeous cake and cupcakes were created by Sharon, also a Brit expat living on the island, and I must admit that we ate everything that we possibly could!

Bohemian Rainbow Styled Shoot

Having an amazing team in place, Gabriella and I set off on a 6am flight from London to Ibiza with two luggages full of props, candles, bridal dresses, and anything else that you can possibly imagine! We arrived on the island, settled into our accommodation and started to whizz around finalising any outstanding details for the shoot the next day. Come D-day, whilst I was busy packing up the car and driving to the location with Milena and Marina, Gabriella was having her hair and makeup done by Jessie. As we waited for them, we started to setup all of the furniture and props in the middle of this forest that had these gorgeous openings onto fields and hills. It was 3pm by time we were ready to start shooting and so we got started. Running around arranging details, shadowing the photographers, throwing confetti, I was in my element. Just as we were about to take a mini break, the sweetest little pony came through the woods with his owners in a little chariot, and bingo! We got the sweetest shots. As the evening came, we were able to capture the gorgeous last few hours of daylight, which in the middle of woods in October in Ibiza means: mosquitoes! None of us had thought of this, yet all of us will remember it! We were so badly bitten that some of us even had scars until months after! The glamorous side of styled shoots eh?!

Bohemian Rainbow Styled Shoot

Well, there you have it: first styled shoot, first double page spread. All in all an amazing experience, memory and portfolio that I got to share with some amazing professionals. Make sure to check out their websites below, I cannot recommend them highly enough if you are planning something in Ibiza.

Bohemian Rainbow Styled Shoot

See the full video of the shoot here!

Styled Shoot Credits:

Photography: Milena at The Galaxy’s Edge
Videography: Marina at AMS in Love
Hair & Makeup: Jessie May Young at Bohemian Bond
Furniture & Rental Décor: Esther at Receta sin Remedio

If you follow my blog, you will know by now that the first post of the month is always dedicated to travel, one of my favourite things to do. This month, I am going to tell you about my trips to South Africa, and in particular my last one which was just over a year ago with my fiancé Antonio.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Having been to South Africa twice already with my family (once as a child, and another time as a teenager), I was tied to organise something different for this trip. With ten days ahead of us, we left Heathrow in London direct to Johannesburg. Fresh off the plane, we picked up our luggage (which was still quite light) and headed over to the terminal for the smaller aircrafts to catch the plane that would take us to the Safari reserve in the north of the country called Sabi Sabi. This private reserve is not far from Kruger Park, and only has a select few hotels in order to limit the human impact and also guarantee more animal sightings.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Our three days at the Safari Lodge were magical and sprinkled with unforgettable moments from the swarm of baboons on our roof waking us up (thank god we had locked all the windows!), to our one on one interaction with Tambo, a five year old African elephant that was left an orphan, passing by our romantic dinner in the bush. Needless to say that we never wanted to leave! But, as our holiday ticked on, we took our flight back to Johannesburg and enjoyed a couple of days discovering the bohemian area of Maboneng, the local museums and of course the cuisine!

Travel Diaries: South Africa

As we left Johannesburg we headed to the south, to a city called Oudtshoorn, where we enjoyed some full on animal interaction. We spent some time with Ostrichs and Emus, where I even got to ride an Ostrich (yes that is a thing and very different from horse riding!); and then were fortunate to spend a whole morning with the amazing team at the Oudtshoorn animal conservation centre meeting and playing with their adult and baby cheetahs, lemurs and snakes. It was such an amazing experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone going out there. From Oudtshoorn, we flew to Cape Town, where we enjoyed the Victoria & Albert pier, Boulders beach and a drive around the coastline. We also were very lucky to fly in a helicopter around the Cape of Good Hope and see some whales from up above.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

A few hours after our helicopter flight we were in the airplane back towards London, our heads full of memories, our hearts full of love for this country, our cameras full of amazing photos and our luggage full of souvenirs, art and even two stools from a local tribe that now sit our lounge! South Africa is a country with an incredible and sometimes painful history but it a beautiful and strong country that is full of treasures to discover.

Travel Diaries: South Africa

Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of my blog posts here!

Fresh out of the Glamour Beauty Festival 2017, I was inspired by the red lips that were everywhere at the event. When researching images for this month’s mood board, I came across this striking pair of red and gold-tainted lips, I decided to add an element of gold to the mood board, making just that little bit more sophisticated and sexy.

Wedding Colour Scheme Inspiration: Red Lips Mood Board

Red is a classic way of using colours in events, but it can be done in many different ways. I believe that if you do want to go down the route of red for your event, a crucial and determining element is the actual shade of red that you go for. A darker tone of Bordeaux can very easily make your venue look very dark, whereas a light nearly orange red can very easily clash with other colour tones. In my opinion, the perfect red, is the lipstick red shade. With very slight variations amongst them, this can be a leading colour throughout your event.

Obviously you can’t just have everything in red, so make sure to mix it in with colours that compliment it without clashing. A lovely shade of pink can be a nice idea to accentuate your reds in certain places. This can especially be nice when it comes to sweets or desserts, where pink is also an expected colour so won’t drive your focus onto it. Other shades that compliment red are white, cream, grey and gold. Gold should only be used as touches here and there as it quickly catches your eye due to its metallic nature.

Gold is always a nice pairing with red, as they both play on sophistication and sexiness. Depending on the actual elements of décor that you use, you can sway it one way or the other. Be mindful of this and the sort of event that you are planning, so that it turns out as you planned.

All in all, red is one of the classics that everyone dares to play with, however be sure of how you want to use it and how you want it to be perceived before going further into your planning.

Photography Credits:

Red & gold lips – www.goodreads.com
Badge –www.bando.com-
Invitations – www.deerpearlflowers.com
Cherry lips – www.hepsylone.tumblr.com
Hands and lips – Guy Bourdin
Cookies –www.sugarblisscookies.blogspot.com
Macaroons –www.redvelvetlady.blogspot.com
Table setting –www.nicesoul101.tumblr.com
Strawberry lips – www.wallpaperpanda.com
Cake –www.catchmyparty.com-
Teacup –www.cakestandheaven.com