The Chedi Oman

The Chedi Oman


By Gayle Dickson

This has to be one of the most spectacularly romantic properties I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. You’ll be swept into Arabian luxury from the moment your chauffeured limousine pulls up at reception. Once inside, it’s as though you’ve stepped into a Bedouin tent – a very luxurious one, granted.

Lush, sweeping lawns dotted with lines of majestic palms lay sprawled between the low-rise whitewashed buildings that are home to the various restaurants and bars. No matter where you wander on the spacious grounds, water is a key element – babbling fountains regally guard the courtyard ponds, large urns softly spout, and vast swimming pools abound. In fact, the hotel boasts what is considered to be the longest pool in the entire region – and it’s only one of three!

At first glimpse, you might be forgiven for thinking you’re in Bali. White walls, dark stained timber, shutters – there’s a definite similarity of other hotels within the GHM group. Omanic influences are everywhere though, from the artwork that liberally dots itself around in the shape of sculptures and historical pieces to the soaring Islamic arches that are a standout feature.

The accommodation is sublime, with nothing lacking, and everything on hand. Enormous beds are bedecked in ultra fine linens, TV’s and entertainment systems are the latest designs, and the bathrooms are graced with thick white towels and pampering amenities. My Club Suite had a private balcony and a very spacious lounge area, and the ensuite boasted an oversized sunken tub.

The Chedi OmanYes, they do host weddings, but to me, this property saluted romantic honeymoons like few I’ve come across before. While there are various restaurants to choose from, most couples were spotted dining privately in a multitude of mini courtyards, poolside under the palms, beachside or even in a quiet corner of the verdant lawns. The nightly torches and candles softly illuminated their faces, failing miserably to hide their obvious love for one another and their pleasure at being in such incredible surroundings.

While there are 158 guestrooms and villas, space and privacy abound. It never once felt crowded. From the doormen and porters to the wait staff and housekeeping, service was exemplary!

This is definitely one for the bucket list, especially with the range of activities and adventures right on your doorstep. Muscat City offers divine shopping and world-class dining, there’s the Gulf of Oman to explore on a range of boats and, if you’re up for a little more adventure, head to the desert and visit Bedouins, make for the mountains and hike to your heart’s content, swim in a wadi, visit a market – the list goes on!

The Chedi Oman

Clear Skin Tips for Brides

Clear Skin Tips for Brides


Drs Rod Claycomb and Judy Bragger are two of New Zealand’s leading authorities on the bacteria that cause acne and ways to avoid the condition. PhD scientists from Hamilton, together they developed epiology: the world’s first anti-acne cream with an active ingredient derived from New Zealand cow’s milk. The bioactive enzymes and proteins in epiology work to fight acne, reduce redness and provide a clearer, brighter complexion.

Here are their top-tips to help every ‘bride-to-be’ avoid major breakout catastrophes before the big day.

1. Watch your diet: Reduce the intake of foods rich in trans and saturated fats. Sugary, spicy and fried foods are difficult to digest and can flare-up skin breakouts. For the healthiest skin, consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. Clean your face regularly: It’s important to wash your face twice daily to remove dead skin cells and extra oil from your skin’s surface. Use warm water and a mild facial cleanser that’s soft on your skin. Apply an anti-acne cream, preferably one without harsh chemicals, for added protection against breakouts.

3. Avoid harsh treatments: Many acne treatments are very harsh on the skin. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, common in acne treatments, can be unforgiving on sensitive skin types. Use a product without them to reduce the risk of scaling, redness, burning, stinging and dryness.

4. Replace your linen: Your pillowcase absorbs the dirt and oils from your skin and reapplies them when you lay down again. Keep your sheets and pillowcases clean.

5. Protect with sunblock: A little sun has been known to reduce breakouts by drying the skin out, but too much can damage your skin and prompt a breakout. Be sure to load-up on sunblock – the best is a broad-spectrum one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for one that contains moisturiser and has an SPF of 30 or higher; this way, your skin will be hydrated and protected from the sun, resulting in fewer summer breakouts.


Choosing a hairstyle

Choosing a hairstyle

Choosing a hairstyleCHOOSING A HAIRSTYLE


Cascading curls can be very romantic and the longer and thicker the hair, the better, especially if you want a few curls to cascade over your shoulders to the front. Those with longer hair might also want to consider a side swept updo which can drape over one shoulder, revealing a sexy neck and allowing the back of the gown to be seen.

Sleek updos can be pinned centre back, low on the nape or slightly to one side. This style is best suited to those with very shiny hair, or you might like to consider a good product to prevent any stray hairs escaping. For a touch of vintage, you could add a few waves at the sides.

A twisted chignon is very elegant and sophisticated, while a braided updo is slightly more relaxed. Another trend is the curly updo, a soft look achieved by creating airy curls and pinning them into place.

It’s generally a good idea to have a thorough nosey through hair styling images on the net and in magazines. Clip or save the ones that catch your eye and create your own mood board. Then begin to narrow it down – will it suit your face, will it suit your dress, will it suit the location? These are all questions that will help you narrow down your choices, ensuring that you end up with a handful of options.

Your gown designer can often be a great source of advice on what style will suit the gown, but you do also need to take into consideration the venue – you don’t want to be eating those tendrils all day if you’re on a blustery beach! Gown and venue sorted, it’s then time to chat to your hair stylist … and do a practice run!

Whichever style you choose, ensure your hair is in optimal condition – have it trimmed, coloured and styled to perfection so that it really does become your crowning glory.


Cellulite Therapy

Cellulite Therapy



Firstly, let’s look at what cellulite is. More often than not, it results from both a build up of fat in the fat cells under the skin with water retention around those cells. As the fat cells enlarge, the little envelopes containing them change shape, pulling on their anchor points where they attach to the skin. In a perpetuating cycle, the blood circulation is then slowed down, causing stagnation of metabolic waste.

Sadly, the fat cells of men and women react to fat increases differently, which is why men don’t often get cellulite! Our skin is partitioned vertically by the fibrous connective tissue and the fat is pushed upwards into bulges. A man’s skin is thicker (yes, it’s true!) and is structured into cross-hatched compartments, thus there’s no deformation with any fat increase.

Enter Lipomassage™ … a complete non-invasive and painless treatment plan that treats cellulite, contours and firms. Think of it as a very specialised massage.

Sure, proper nutrition and a good exercise program are important, but there are always areas of the body that are resistant, like cellulite! Lipomassage will also help with unsightly saddlebags, that tummy roll that just won’t go away and large thighs.

You can target whichever area of your body bugs you the most. If you want results that come quickly, and last, you really need to check out Lipomassage!


Real Wedding: Miky & Ben

Real Wedding: Miky & Ben

Real Wedding: Miky & BenReal Wedding

M I K Y   &   B E N

Vineyard Dreams

Bride: Miky Miranda

Groom: Ben Ryken

Reside: NZ

Photographer: Kate Wark

Ceremony: Villa Maria Estate, Auckland,

Reception: Sudima Hotel, Airport Oaks,

Officiant: Ps Jan Farrugia

BRIDE’S GOWN – Bridal Brilliance,

BRIDE’S SHOES – Hannahs –

GROOM & GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE – Suits – Hallensteins / Ties, Pocket squares – Munns



HAIR & MAKEUP – Face Me –

Real Wedding: Miky & BenThe couple opted for a modern and retro blend for the theme of their wedding, tying in pastel colours. Fairy lights behind the bridal table and crystal candelabras added warmth and a soft glow. They invited 150 to the ceremony and 80 to the reception.

“The weather for the outdoor ceremony was perfect allowing everyone a sunny and gorgeous view of the vines in full blossom. We had beautiful white lanterns hanging from a large tree near the back of the aisle which added the extra perfect detail to go with the bride’s arrival.”


“After the ceremony, everyone had a glass of bubbles and it was awesome mixing and mingling with friends and family who we were so happy we could share the day with. We wanted the afternoon of fun and laughter to last forever.”


Miky and Ben spent a week in Rarotonga, adventuring around the island, trying new foods and learning a lot about the culture. They also flew over to Aitutaki where they undertook a cruise, did some snorkelling and enjoyed a fresh fish lunch onboard. “We felt like we were in a dream spending the entire day in the sun, we couldn’t get enough of it.”


Real Wedding: Miky & Ben Real Wedding: Miky & Ben Real Wedding: Miky & Ben

Real Wedding: Tania & Mark

Real Wedding: Tania & Mark

Real Wedding: Tania & MarkReal Wedding

T A N I A  &  M A R K

Bride: Tania Walker

Groom: Mark Sequeira

Reside: London

Venues: St Bartholomew’s Church / Addington Palace


Officiant: Father Deo



GROOM’S ATTIRE – Paul Smith suit, cufflinks from Tiffanys

GROOMSMAN’S ATTIRE – Paul Smith suit and bespoke cufflinks

FLOWERS – www.emmafloraldesignscom

HAIR & MAKEUP – MUA and Toni Creative





The whole day was amazing but one of the most memorable moments was our first dance. We chose Flight Of The Conchords’ The Most…..Beautiful Girl (in the room). We wanted to make everyone laugh as well as keep the Kiwiana alive as I was so far from home. We are a very chilled out couple and our whole day was like a line up of a Lucille Ball Show with lots of laughter.

Real Wedding: Tania & MarkSPECIAL MENTIONS

My Matron Of Honour Claire Williams was amazeballs – she singlehandedly organised my Mad Men inspired Hen’s Afternoon Tea, and managed to keep me sane with all other wedding arrangements! Our friend Mickey Lam, an Illustrator, who drew an amazing picture of us that summed us up as a couple. Another friend Kristy Woodruffe drew the maps to the venue that were given to each guest with their invitation.

Real Wedding: Tania & Mark

Real Wedding: Stacey & Daniel

Real Wedding: Stacey & DanielReal Wedding

S T A C E Y   &   D A N I E L

Softly Rustic

Reside: NZ

Ceremony & Reception: Kumeu Valley Estate,

Photographer: Belinda Bradley,

Celebrant: Adrienne Dallimore,

BRIDE’S GOWN – Jeannie by Brides of Mancini,

GROOM’S ATTIRE – Ellen Taylors,

FLOWERS – Leaf & Honey,

CAKE – Kath’s Devine Cakes,

BAND – Off The Wall,

CARS – A ’39 Chev Sedan and ’28 Dodge borrowed from friends

The couple made their own invites and thank-you cards, as well as the table numbers and tree stump centrepieces. The cake had three tiers of lemon, caramel and chocolate. The fairy lights, organza curtain, tea lights, linen and seat covers were provided by the venue. The wedding favours were personalised chocolates which doubled as place settings.


“Too hard to pick one moment. It’s corny, but we both enjoyed the whole day.”


Stacey’s grandfather played the bagpipes as the girls walked up the aisle, and again was the couple walked down the aisle again after the ceremony.

Real Wedding: Stacey & Daniel



Real Wedding: Stacey & Daniel

Real Wedding: Stacey & Daniel

Real Wedding: Julia & Leon

Real Wedding: Julia & Leon

Real Wedding: Julia & LeonReal Wedding

J U L I A   &   L E O N

A Fairytale Romance

Bride: Julia Jonggowisastro

Groom: Leon Vasquez

Reside: NZ

Ceremony: St Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland

Reception: The Langham Auckland

Minister: Father Raymond Soriano

Photographer: Amanda Wignell,

BRIDE’S GOWN – Juliette by Maggie Sottero from Rafaella Cuica, Melbourne

GROOM’S ATTIRE – Man to Man, Wellington

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES – purchased in Jakarta


FLOWERS – at Church: David Bell-Booth Florist / at reception: Hana Floral Design / other flowers: Lucy Florist, Sydney

HAIR & MAKEUP – Arlene Make Up Artist

CAKE – Daisy Lumantarna

DÉCOR – A Touch of Class, The Langham


TRANSPORTATION – First Class Limousine

CATERING – The Langham


The Holy Matrimony – to feel our God’s unfailing blessings for us, no words can describe how we felt at that moment.

Real Wedding: Julia & LeonSPECIAL MENTION

Thank you for all our families, friends and priest who helped make our wedding memorable and incomparable. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you also to everyone who travelled from near and far to share their time with us. And not forgetting our loved ones who couldn’t be there – we know you were there in spirit.

Real Wedding: Julia & Leon

Real Wedding: Jillian & Scott

Real Wedding: Jillian & Scott

Real Wedding: Jillian & ScottReal Wedding

J I L L I A N   &   S C O T T

Just Brilliant

Photographer: Chris Dillon,

Venue: Ascension Wine Estate,

Celebrant: Dave Parker, T: 027 484 9935

Bride’s & Bridesmaid gowns: Bridal Brilliance,

Groom’s & Groomsmen Attire: Dorset Suit Hire,

FLOWERS – Lynley Store, Pukekohe

HAIR & MAKEUP – Mobile Beauty,

CAKE – Paula Jane Cakes,

DÉCOR – Insphire, /Ascension

INVITES – Ascension


CATERING – Ascension

CLASSIC CARS – Devon Buckingham & Kevin Storr


A special meeting on the beach at Omaha, a meeting before the wedding, with nobody around, just the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their big day.

Real Wedding: Jillian & Scott“On such a beautiful day, a slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky and Little Barrier in the background … the emotions were incredibly powerful. This was our time to reflect on things and to appreciate each other with no one looking, or nobody else to please … just us … just brilliant.”

Every speech was so special – not too long, not too short – but really powerful. The Groom’s daughter Jessica, aged 9, telling everybody why her stepmother was so special and why she wanted her Daddy to marry Jillian. She brought tears to the eyes of grown men, and it was all spoken straight from the heart.

The couple wrote their own vows which will always be special to them.

Real Wedding: Jillian & Scott

Real Wedding: Elise & Frankie

Real Wedding: Elise & Frankie

Real Wedding: Elise & FrankieReal Wedding

E L I S E   &  F R A N K I E

Piha Perfection

Bride: Elise Von Keisenberg

Groom: Frankie Walker

Reside: NZ

Celebrant: Adrienne Dallimore

Photographer: Bayly & Moore

Videographer: Indigo Moon

Venue: The Bowler (Piha Bowls Club), Piha


BRIDE’S SHOES – Trousseau Bridal & Evening Shoes,

GROOM’S ATTIRE – Burberry suit, Paul Smith cufflinks



ENTERTAINMENT – Band – CVE / DJ – Mike Corry / After match band – Logger Boys


Wanting a laid back but classy wedding, the couple chose a colour palette of light blue and natural hues, with many of the décor items, the stationery, flower arrangements, draping, screens, bunting and favours being a labour of love by family and close friends. The cake was made by the bride’s mum and iced by Carmen’s Cakes.

The couple’s love of good food and drink, and given the groom’s line of work, saw three of NZ’s best cocktail bartenders preparing delicious mixed drinks for the guests. They matched their Mediterranean style food with Sangria Rosso on the dinner tables, then= opened up the bar with rum and tequila punches after the first dance.

Real Wedding: Elise & FrankieSPECIAL TOUCHES

The groom’s best friend, Sarah, was in the groom’s party, dubbed the “Groomsbabe”.


Bringing together two families and many friends from all over NZ and the UK for a week of festivities and a day of magic.


Make sure there’s a powerful reason for doing everything on your day. Be the author of what you include in your day, rather than just following what everyone usually does, or what you think you have to do. If you understand why these things are incorporated into a wedding day, you then get to choose to have it or not, or include it in a way that suits you.


Real Wedding: Elise & Frankie Real Wedding: Elise & Frankie Real Wedding: Elise & Frankie