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The official blog for Harlow Garland Weddings and Events. To search for posts or view all posts, head over to our library which is searchable and categorised! 

Honeymoon Venue: White Desert Antarctica

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

If you are wanting a honeymoon that is far from the ordinary, look no further than White Desert Antarctica – the most luxurious way to discover the worlds most southern continent.

With previous guests including Prince Harry, Bear Grylls and the Saudi royal family, it is no question that you will be provided with ultimate luxury and adventure at White Desert. To get there, take off from Cape Town on the five and a half hour flight journey to the White Desert camp. As you fly, experience the Antarctic Circle and pass through the 24 hours of continuous sunshine. White Desert offers three different types of adventure for you to choose from including 'Emperor’s and South Pole', 'Mountain and Emperor’s' and 'The Greatest Day'. Whichever adventure you may choose, it is best to get in early, they are often booked out years in advance!

On arrival at White Desert, you will be shown to the camp, which has six state-of-the-art ‘sleeping pods’. Each sleeping pod sleeps two people and offers peace and quiet from the windy Antarctic days. At six metres, they are expansive in size and provide you with a double bed, desk and en-suite. The pods have been designed in a way that exudes comfort. Enjoy fur throws, Saarinen chairs and antique wooden skis decorating the walls. The camp also comprises a kitchen pod and two custom-made tents which house the lounge and dining room. Here, guests are invited to relax and enjoy three course meals that have been prepared by White Desert’s award winning chef.

While at White Desert, each day the experienced field guides will propose an array of activities and excursions for you do choose from. This can include easy walks to different ice tunnels, or you can head further towards the coast where you can experience large ice waves. For something more relaxed, opt for a picnic or visit a local science base. If you are more adventurous, you can learn the art of rock climbing, abseiling or kite skiing.

As previously mentioned, White Desert offers three types of adventures. If you have chosen to visit the penguins, you will take a short flight to the astonishing Emperor Penguin colony. As they are unafraid of humans, you will have the chance to get within metres of the penguins and their chicks.

If your adventure includes a visit to the South Pole, you will be lucky enough to be one of the few people in the world to visit Earth’s lowest point. You will be able to explore the vast area for a true experience of Antarctica. The mountain adventure is an eight day journey which takes you into the incredibly picturesque mountains that surround camp. The Greatest Day adventure allows you to experience Antarctica in just a single day. During your 12 hours on Antarctic land, you will be given the option to choose from a number of activities including treks over cliffs which offer astonishing views and visiting beautiful ice grottos. In the afternoon you will return back to the Guesthouse to enjoy an outstanding champagne lunch to celebrate your astounding day.

White Desert is an extraordinary honeymoon destination and a once in a lifetime opportunity for any adventurous newlyweds.

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Your wedding invitations are an important element in your planning process as they provide guests with vital information about your day. While creating your invitations there are some basics guidelines you should follow to ensure you meet wedding invitation etiquette. Keep reading for our top tips on everything wedding invite related to ensure you have the correct etiquette.

Save The Date

First of all, it is completely optional for whether or not you want to send out save the date cards to your guests although, it is a good idea to send them if you will be inviting guests from far and wide. Typically, save the dates are sent out anywhere between six and twelve months prior to the wedding – the more notice you give your guests the happier they will be, especially if you are having a destination wedding.

How To Address The Invitations

When it comes to addressing your wedding invitations, there are many different ways to do so depending on a range of different things, ranging from whether your wedding is formal or informal to whether your parents are divorced or remarried. For everything related to addressing your invitations head to our blog post which solely focuses on this for you.

RSVP Deadlines

Set your RSVP deadline for three to four weeks prior to your wedding so that you can give your caterer and any other vendors a final guest number. Keep in mind that you may want to set your RSVP date on your invitation to be a week prior to the date that you need them by to allow for any that you may receive late.

Registry Information

Some couples choose not to include their registry information on their wedding invitation or save the date because they feel as though is can come across like they are asking for gifts. Instead, many couples opt to tell their wedding party, parents and close friends where they are registered and then they can then inform other guests of the registry by word of mouth.

When To Send

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent out to guests between six and eight weeks prior to the wedding day. This ensures that your guests have enough time to rearrange their schedule as well as make any travel and accommodation arrangements if they are coming to your wedding from out of town. If you are not going to be sending out save the date cards, you may want to send out your invitations at least three months in advance.

Thank You Notes

Many couples decide to send out thank you notes to their guest to show their appreciation for attending their wedding and for any gifts they received. Any thank you notes should be sent out with a sense of urgency, ideally within two to three weeks after the wedding.

Honeymoon Venue: Casa Madrona Hotel And Spa, Sausalito

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This week's honeymoon destination is Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa, situated in the beautiful city of Sausalito – California’s very own Mediterranean Riviera. Perched upon the hillside and overlooking the picturesque seaside, Casa Madrona is a tranquil retreat with many places to explore nearby to help celebrate your honeymoon.

Awarded second place in the 2016 Boutique Hotel of the Year by the Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association, Casa Madrona combines modern day hospitality with its storied heritage to make for the ultimate stay. The hotel offers rooms in three different lavish styles, The Mansion, Hillside Cottage or Bayside. The Mansion is Casa Madrona’s signature luxury residence, which offers its respected guests grand style and a unique experience. The renovated 1885 Victorian estate provides guests with a private chef, an exclusive yacht and the utmost in comfort and service. The Hillside Cottages are designed in an apartment styles with breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline. The nautical décor and modern design combines impeccably with its historic touches. Should you opt for a Bayside room, enjoy a modern, expansive room with a four-poster bed, beautiful French doors that open onto your private balcony and a range of amenities for your personal comfort.

For a chance to relax, take advantage of Casa Madrona’s spa. Inspired by the hotels seaside location, their treatments include natural elements to help refresh and revitalise your mind, body and soul. Get pampered from the extensive spa menu of treatments. During your stay, Casa Madrona recommends that you visit Poggio Trattoria, a classic Italian restaurant adjacent to the hotel. They use the finest of local, organic ingredients in their menu which changes daily, to help you experience the soulful and classic tastes of Northern Italy.

When in Sausalito there is a range essential activities to do and sights to see. First and foremost is the infamous Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic landmark can provide you with a spectacular background to your honeymoon photos. In the evening, take a stroll through Sausalito’s waterfront and cobbled sidewalks. Enjoy the sea air, ambiance and a collection of unique shops and restaurants. If either you or your partner are an Otis Redding fan, take a trip to the cities main dock where you can find the very bench that he wrote “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” from. If you are after a ferry ride, a trip to the notorious Alcatraz or even some delectable seafood, head to Fisherman’s Wharf where you can find all this and more.

On the hillside of Sausalito, Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa is an elegant accommodation choice surrounded by exciting activities and sight seeing opportunities to make for a memorable honeymoon.

Creating Your Wedding Registry

When it comes to your wedding day, your friends and families will want to give you congratulatory gifts. This is why many couples opt for a wedding registry – to ensure those gifts will be items that you actually need. But where do you start and what do you do if you and your partner already have everything you need?

Today, there is a type of registry to suit every type of couple, traditional as well as non-traditional. To help you get started and discover what type of registry is best for you and your partner, we have listed five types of registries for you to explore.

Traditional

Firstly is the traditional wedding registry. Websites such as The Lovely Registry allow you to pick and choose gifts from anywhere online to create a registry that is personal to you and then share the registry with your friends and family via a personal URL and password. When creating your traditional registry be sure to choose carefully, you want items you know you will use in the years to come. It is also important to remember to choose items that vary in price to ensure there is a budget to suit each of your friends and family. Some couples like to combine a traditional registry with another registry, such as a charity, so give their guests an option.

The House Fund

If you and your partner wish to opt for a cash registry it is a good idea to have one with a designated purpose. That’s why, in today’s day and age many couples opt for a house fund. You can ask your guests, if they wish, to help with a deposit on a house, or even renovating the home you already have.

Charity

If you and your partner already have everything you could wish for, let your guests make a donation to a charity that is close to your heart in lieu of a gift. Having a charity registry is the perfect way for you, your friends and family to give back on your special day. When deciding on a charity, it is often good to select a few so that your guests have different options to choose from.

The Honeymoon Fund

The honeymoon registry is fast becoming one of the most popular wedding registry options. A honeymoon registry allows your guests to help with a donation towards your honeymoon – wherever that may be. Websites such as Travel Registry even allow your friends and family to choose which part of the trip they want to help fund. Whether this is the airfares, a romantic dinner or an outdoor adventure.

Make It Personal

For a wedding registry more personal, ask your guests to gift you with something that is meaningful to them. This may be their favourite movie or a framed picture of you together. This way, you will end up with an array of gifts that are more thoughtful than your traditional blender.

Bridal Beauty And Makeup Tips For Your Wedding Day

Photo by Kate Little Photography for Harlow Garland

Photo by Kate Little Photography for Harlow Garland

Every bride deserves to look and feel their best on their wedding day. Whether you opt to get your makeup done professionally or wish to do it yourself, we have put together our top bridal beauty and makeup tips to help you create a flawless and timeless wedding look with ease.

Having A Make-up Artist

Brides often decide to get their make-up professionally done by a make-up artist on their wedding day to ensure a beautiful result and to eliminate any unneeded stress from themselves. If you do opt for a make-up artist make sure you have a trial prior to your wedding day to give you and your make-up artist a better understanding of what you want. It is also helpful to bring images of makeup that you love to your trial for reference.

DIY

If you feel confident enough, choosing to do your own makeup for your wedding day is a great option – and a good way to cut costs! Like having a make-up artist, remember to practise your makeup on multiple occasions so you know exactly what you are doing when the day comes. On the day, ensure you give yourself extra time for applying your makeup in case of any mishaps and to avoid stress.

Know Your Skin

Having good skin texture helps you to have the best base to apply your makeup onto. Is your skin oily, dry, combination or normal? Once you have an understanding of this you can then purchase products that best suit your skin type. When it comes to moisturisers, be aware of any SPF in your moisturiser as it can often ‘flashback’ and make your skin appear lighter in flash photography.

Make It Last All Day

You want your make-up to last the whole of your wedding day and there are multiple products to help you achieve this. Firstly, primer is a must. Not only will it makeup your makeup last longer, it will smooth over any pores and fine lines. After foundation, apply a light layer of your favourite loose powder to set in your foundation. Lastly, we recommend using a setting spray. Setting sprays will lock all your makeup and hard work in place, as well as giving you a beautiful natural dewy look.

False Eyelashes

Brides often opt for false eyelashes to add volume to their eyelashes and to help make their eyes appear larger. We recommend using individual eyelashes as they look lovely and natural and are more comfortable to wear all day.

Make It Waterproof

False lashes are optional, but waterproof mascara is a must. There is likely to be many happy tears on your wedding day, so waterproof mascara will withstand any tears and will also last longer than regular mascara.

Avoid Glitter Products

It is best to stay clear of any glittery or sparkly makeup products as they can sink into any fine lines you may have. Instead, if you are after the gorgeous glowing bridal look, use products that have a slight shimmer or a cream blush, bronzer and highlight.

Keep in mind that you may want to start your beauty prep several months prior to your wedding day to ensure you look and feel your best. Click here for our Six Month Beauty Plan.

If you are after a make-up artist, click here for our favourites!