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Your ultimate pre-wedding skincare guide for healthy glowing skin

There is never a bad time to take care of your skin, but in preparing for your wedding, you’ve probably taken your skincare routine into overdrive. However, in the pursuit of healthy, glowing skin for your wedding day, there’s a risk of going overboard with product, or taking last-minute drastic action. The best pre-wedding skincare is going to be a routine you start a few months out from the wedding, ideally with the helpful hands of a facialist guiding you, but even if you’re going it alone, you’re in the right place for advice.

the importance of healthy skin under wedding day make-up

Wedding day make-up differs to that of most-people’s everyday. To be able to withstand hours and hours, often in the hot sun, hugging, kissing and dancing, and to be able to look flawless even in flash-photography, you are likely to wear more make up than ever before. Here’s what every wedding make-up artist wishes you knew…

the ultimate goal of pre-bridal skin care is to get your makeup artist to feel like you need no foundation on your wedding day.

Moisturiser, primer, foundation, contour, blush, setting powder/spray and more, though, when your make-up artist has the additional challenge of covering dry or very blemished skin, it can look a bit ‘cakey’, or not wear as well throughout the day. The truth is that even the best artists will have a more difficult time turning dry or blemished skin flawless. To achieve the best wedding day make-up finish, work on your skincare routine well in advance

when to start your pre-wedding skincare routine?

Of course I’m going to say as early as possible, but with at least 3-4 months pre-wedding, you have a good amount of time to see a facialist a couple of times (if possible) and/or at least invest in some really excellent skincare – and be diligent about applying it.

I have been an ambassador for Dermalogica since before my wedding in 2015, and I always, absolutely notice the difference in my skin feel, texture and pigmentation when I am using it religiously. You can use ‘MEG10’ to save on your own skincare investment, but let me first help you choose what to use.

If possible, the best thing you can do for your skin is see a professional. I love that Dermalogica offer a 10 minute ‘face mapping’ service They can measure the moisture levels in your skin to see if your skin is dry and/or dehydrated, prescribe a skincare routine to suit, and touch base with you a couple of weeks before the wedding. Whatever you do, do not do anything new to your skin in the last month before your wedding – you never really know how it’s going to react.

good skin starts from within

I know you’ve heard this before, but now’s the time to drink even more water (and less alcohol) than usual. Staying hydrated is a non-negotiable for healthy skin. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so as soon as your body is thirsty, your skin shows it. While water fills your body with what it needs to create healthy skin, too much alcohol dehydrates your entire body. When you are drinking alcohol, it’s even more important to consumer plenty of water, and try not to be tempted by salty foods which also dehydrate. You are what you eat too – quite literally: your skin cells (and every other cell) is made up of what you put into your body, so with every nourishing meal you know you’re doing your skin (and hair) a favour. Pay special attention to what foods or habits get your skin to look better and which ones trigger skin trouble. 

If only it was as easy to do as say, but getting your beauty sleep is an absolute must.  I make sure my bed is a place I feel calm and relaxed, with comfortable linen I want to slide into, a couple of books to look through if I can’t sleep, and a bedroom that smells divine (thank you Glasshouse candles!)

As much as you possibly can, it’s also important to manage stress, especially if you have any eczema or psoriasis. Inflammatory conditions may be at least partially caused by stress, and as stress weakens the immune system, it also disrupts your skin’s natural turnover and collagen production, necessary for your ‘glow.

exfoliate and brighen

Exfoliation encourages natural skin cell turnover and collagen production, leading to bright, glowing skin. Start by exfoliating once a week, working up to 2-3 times per week. This will clear away dead skin cells which can give your skin a sallow, dull appearance. Exfoliation with the right products can really improve the skin’s texture and quality which in turn helps makeup to go on better and last better. I personally like an exfoliating mask (two birds with one stone) but a new planet-friendly lightweight option is the powder daily microfoliant for which you can buy refills! Their words:

Achieve brighter, smoother skin every day with this iconic exfoliating powder. Rice-based powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain,Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to polish skin to perfection. 

You can also use a product like Skin Sonic at home to exfoliate with your everyday cleanser.

is retinol skincare for you?

I’ve long been a fan of using retinol. Derived from vitamin A, retinol increases skin cell turnover, boosts collagen, and helps with hyperpigmentation. The prescription version, aka retinoid, is even more powerful Retinol has been conclusively shown to help repair aged skin, and is the most sought after ingredient in the anti-aging skin treatments.  However, it’s also quite strong, and can be irritating to skin as a first-time user, and especially when it comes to your delicate facial skin, you need to be careful, starting at least a few months out to see if you have a reaction. Dermalogica have a customisable retinol solution with both a repair (retinol) product and a buffer (dilution) cream, so that you can combine the two at a ratio that suits your individual skin (starting with 1/4 serum to 3/4 cream, for example). It’s a bit of an investment, but you can use MEG10 to save sitewide.

massage your moisturiser in

Moisturiser and targeted serums are key to staying hydrated, but incorporating a 1-2 minute massage twice a day as you use them will also improve blood circulation, and skin-cell turnover, as well as making your skin feel great and giving you an instant glow. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of facial massage videos on youtube, or try a Gua sha stone and massage.

I love using Phyto Replenish Oil and Skin Smoothing Cream. See the benefits of facial massage.

treat spots

If you’re unlucky enough to get a spot a few days out from your wedding, avoid the temptation to deal with it yourself. See your regular facialist or a targeted product such as breakout clearing booster with fast-acting Salicylic Acid, or newcomer product sweet spots hydrocolloid patches. If you know you’re prone to getting acne breakouts, dermalogica do an adult acne range which includes a fantastic retinol clearing oil, so I would recommend using that regularly.

make up free days

If possible, and if you feel comfortable, it’s great for your skin to have make-up free days. Wear moisturiser and sunscreen, but leaving your skin clear ensures your pores can breathe and heal if necessary. Often a barrier of makeup increases oil production, so not wearing makeup can decrease oiliness, clogged pores and pimples.

de-stress, don’t panic

If you are having skin issues close to your wedding day, you may be feeling panicked about how your skin will look. To help put your mind at ease, consider getting in touch with your make-up artist and booking in a trial a few weeks out so that you can see exactly how your make-up will sit and look on the day. Hopefully this will help you relax – the last thing you want is to be losing sleep over your skin. xx

Breathtaking Coromandel Wedding Inspiration That Will Inspire Your Love Story

The Coromandel wedding inspiration below is a beautiful tale of two halves. Part one is a romantic fusion of free-spirited elegance featuring gorgeous fresh floral styling and a unique greenery arch that is seriously steal worthy. Part two showcases the coastal beauty of the Coromandel, with wild yet whimsical landscapes creating a colour palette to die for. Breathtaking, ridiculously beautiful and featuring a line up of local talent (including four P+L Superstars!), these creatives will wow the socks off local brides to be (read: book them quick!). Enjoy xox

“What we find in a soul mate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with.” – Robert Brault


Photography Wild Spirit Wedding Photography by Christina Schmidt
Drone Photography Wedding Wings / Steven Arendt
Styling Dooley Street Styling
Hair + Makeup The Makeup Girl – Krystal Hayward
Flowers Wildflowers Coromandel
Cake Sweet Bites Cakes
Stationery Paper Rose
Venue Orua Beach House, Hahei, Coromandel
Dress The Bridal Haven / Sally Eagle

Why the “average” Cost of a Wedding is so misleading!

Whether you’re planning your wedding in New Zealand or around the globe, a figure that’s likely to creep into your mind is the one thrown about as the “average” cost of a wedding. In NZ, that’s around $35,000. To put that figure in perspective, the average household (that’s both of you!) income from wages and salaries is $64,000.

In America, the “average” cost of a wedding is $35,329 US dollars, the New Zealand equivalent of a staggering $48,454 – according to The Knot, and UK’s Brides Magazine reports that £30,111 (or NZ $55,807.73).
So, why is this important?

Why do we care what the “average” cost of a wedding is?

Whether we mean to or not, when we hear what the “average” wedding costs, we use it as a benchmark for our own. It becomes an unwritten (or perhaps, written) point of reference against which to judge our own wedding budget. It’s easy to convince yourselves you’re saving money on your wedding, if you’re only spending $29,000 and the “average” tally is 20% more than that.
However… the “average” cost of a wedding is only half the story. Hopefully you’ll read on to find out why, but if your eyes are watering, feel free to skip straight to planning your own wedding. The little white book (our best-selling wedding planner book) has excellent budgeting pages, so whether you’re spending a lot or a little, you can stay on track.

The “average” cost is not the “average” wedding….

Bear with me here, I’m not about to get all scientific…
Let’s note that those figures are an average, i.e., the mean. The mean is notoriously (ha) meaningless when it comes to stuff like this.
There is a raft of other statistics that would be more informative. What is the the most common (mode) price tag hung on weddings – or what is the range of wedding costs?
Will Oremus, writing for, wrote:

In 2012, when the average wedding cost was $27,427, the median was $18,086. In 2011, when the average was $27,021, the median was $16,886.

This may seem like semantics, but “average” holds quite a different meaning in statistics (which the “average cost of a wedding” is) compared to real-life (where “average” is akin to “ordinary”, “standard”, “regular” or “typical”.

Further, the average is probably not the amount most people are looking for when they search for the “average cost of a wedding.” What you really want to know is what most people spend on their big day. And that is not the same – not even close – to the average cost.
What you’re looking for is the median cost of a wedding.

Headlines are deceiving – the “ordinary” or “typical” expense is much lower than the “average” cost of a wedding

A better statistic to work out the average/ordinary/standard cost is the “median” statistic – likely to be around $20,000 NZ dollars – which means that half of weddings cost less than $20,000 and half cost more.
Dramatic headlines which report the “average” are driven up (hugely) by the BIG spenders, the million-dollar weddings, and often (due to selection bias – below) the below average weddings are not even included in the survey.
The median of wedding expenses is between 54 and 70% of the “average” cost of a wedding, which in NZ would make it somewhere between $18,900 and $24,500, far short of the oft-cited average cost of $35,000.

How it’s affected by “Selection bias”… “Not exactly Low-Key, Backyard affairs”

Furthermore, statistics like these are usually drawn from wedding magazine surveys. Now, if you’re filling in wedding magazine surveys, you are likely to have purchased a wedding magazine (duh) and will probably be using it to seek beautiful (eye-wateringly expensive) inspiration.

Oremus also draws attention to this self-selecting nature of the survey — ”not only brides and grooms with Internet access, but those who are reading and responding to Wedding Magazine surveys, e.g. The Knot, not exactly the first stop for low-key, backyard affairs.”
Not everyone plans a wedding like the couples who read and respond to The Knot, or other wedding magazines. Most of the lower-end spenders will not be spending money on wedding magazines or their contents. So those who are spending at the lower end of the wedding-planning spectrum are not filling in the survey. You’ve instantly excluded the poorer/economical and low-key weddings – thereby overlooking many “below average” weddings. Results = skewed.

Why is the “Average” Cost of a wedding constantly published in headlines, causing us great confusion and outrage?

Two words come to mind – Click Bait – though they’re not the whole story either. Of course, it also benefits the entire wedding industry if you, the reader, believe that the average cost of a wedding is higher. You wouldn’t want to plan a “below average” wedding, would you…? If the industry can convince you to spend more money, and justify it with citing the “average” cost, it’s in their interest to do so. You can’t really blame them… that is the nature of their business. I do wish the media would help us all out by publishing more accurate figures, but as part of the ‘new media’ I hope that this article has helped with that a little anyway.

Once you realise that the typical cost of a wedding is actually much lower, hopefully you’ll feel less pressure to spend quite so much, or not be so quick embrace all the expenses that are open to you. If you do want to spend a little money on the best ever wedding planner to make your dream day a reality with ease, pick up the little white book.

Whether you’ve just got started with wedding planning, or you haven’t got long to go, please don’t feel pressured when it comes to your wedding day or wedding budget. Your day, your way, Try not to get swept up in all the things you could spend money on, but rather focus on what’s really personal and important to you. Your future self (and honeymoon budget) will thank you for it. xx

Read more: Lies, Damned Lies, And Wedding Cost Statistics

How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost — SuperMoney Guide to Wedding Costs

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explore the little white book​

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