Category — A Bride Asks
This week we sat down with makeup artist Kristen Therese to get the scoop on what to expect from your makeup artist for your wedding! Should you wear traditional foundation or airbrushed? False lashes or real? Kristen has the tips to make sure you look your best on the big day!
What should the bride expect at your first meeting?
Your first meeting with your makeup artist should be where you not only test to see if you like what they do for your makeup, but it is also when you get to know each other and make sure that personalities jive. Remember, this person will be responsible for how you look on your most important day. You need to be comfortable voicing your opinion but also feel as though you are in good hands.
The first meeting is usually what makeup artists call the trial. At the trial, you should get a full makeup application, just as how you would on the day of your wedding. Your trial is, after all, a “TRY ALL” so if you are thinking about trying airbrush or false lashes, try it at the trial. This meeting is supposed to be where you both discuss and create your look together. If the eyeliner needs to be a little thicker or you want to try a different lip color, this is the opportunity to try these options. A bride should not expect two complete applications though. If you ask your makeup artist to do one look then take it off completely and do another look, know that you may have to pay a bit more. Most trials are for one application, with tweaks.
Helpful Tip: If you are interested in airbrush vs. traditional foundation you can ask your makeup artist to do one side airbrush and one side traditional so you can see the difference.
What information is it helpful for the bride to provide?
Details like the colors in the wedding, what your dress looks like, what you are thinking about doing with your hair, and where the wedding is located are very helpful. Your makeup is part of the whole look and you want to make sure it goes. So if you’re having a sunset wedding on the beach and wearing a flowing Grecian gown, hopefully your makeup artist isn’t giving you and old Hollywood glam look. It just wouldn’t go.
Pictures of makeup looks are always helpful but you must understand that they are for inspiration. It is hard for a makeup artist to completely copy a makeup look because everyone’s face is different and it will of course, look different on you vs. the picture of the model you brought in.
What is the most difficult request to fill?
The most difficult question I get is “can you cover my wrinkles?” There are so many products on the market that promise budge proof this and wrinkle erasing that, making it sometimes hard to explain to a bride that unless you don’t smile or make any facial expression at all, your makeup will move with you throughout the day and if you have a wrinkle, your skin will wrinkle. The right makeup will absolutely diffuse the look of any lines you have, making your photos appear more flawless, but making wrinkles disappear completely is impossible to do.
We see so many Red Carpet images that are a good 20-30 feet away from these celebrities and we think they are completely flawless, so when you hold a mirror 2 inches from your face and still see some fine lines, you think the makeup isn’t done well, but in all reality, if you got up close to all those celebrities (the ones without Botox) you’d see all their fine lines as well. Makeup needs to move with you throughout the day and be able to still stay on throughout all your smiling and laughing, so the real test of good makeup is if you still have it on at the end of the night!
How many times should she expect to meet with you?
At least once before the Wedding but if you do your trial 5 months or more before the Wedding, you probably want to do a second trial a month before. I find that my brides that book me early (which is always best to do… by April, most bookings are set for the rest of the year) sometimes discover things during their planning and have a different idea of what they might want just before the big day. Also, I find that it is a feeling of security having another trial run closer to the Wedding. It puts a lot of brides at ease.
What is the best advice you have for her on her big day?
Don’t expect to stay completely on schedule no matter how well you plan ahead. There will most likely be at least one thing that throws your timeline off. I always work with my brides to create a timeline for hair and makeup on their wedding day and I pad the timeline because I know it will get thrown off by a late bridesmaid or a last minute craft project that needs to be completed. Even on my own Wedding day, we didn’t stick to the timeline but we all got to the ceremony on time so that’s all that matters! So just keep the end goal in mind and you’ll have a much more pleasant morning!
What do you need the bride to do the day of?
Well hopefully the bride has gotten a facial a few weeks before the Wedding or has been taking really good care of her skin so that I don’t have to use any exfoliant on her that morning. I just want my brides to have a fresh, clean face. Also, if there is any way that the bride can separate herself from her group while she is having hair and makeup done, it is best for everyone. The bride really should have some time to be pampered and if there are people all around asking questions it not only will throw you off your schedule but it also stresses the bride and makes it difficult for the hair and makeup artist to do the best job they can. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to redo the glue on lashes because it dried up as the bride jumped out of the chair to go tend to someone.
Anything else you would like to add?
The morning of your Wedding really sets the tone for the rest of the day so make sure that you are relaxed, are surrounded by people that you know and trust (bridal party and vendors), and have a good time. Oh and make sure there is music playing!
Kristen also provided us with an amazing checklist covering almost anything you could need to prepare for the beauty portion of your day!
- RESEARCH First, do some research on the range of pricing for a makeup artist in your area so there are no big surprises. Generally, the more in demand an artist becomes, the higher the fee, however, there are still plenty of up and coming talented artists that fall into the average price range for your area. If you can’t afford the most experienced, make sure to prioritize what is important to you when speaking to your potential makeup artist.
- NUMBERS Know who is having makeup done on your wedding day. You may want decide if you will pay for your bridal party or not and have a discussion with your bridesmaids about this before your research. Knowing the number of people helps the makeup artist properly quote you and block out time for your day, plus can sometimes give you some bargaining power if you have a large group. Hello bundle pricing!
- LIST Make a list. What are you most concerned about for that day? Is it problematic skin? Do you have a limited timeframe yet have 12 bridesmaids? Writing out all of your questions and concerns ahead of time will only help the research process and will easily weed out the artists that cannot accommodate your requests. Also, collecting images for inspiration will help give you direction in your research and give you a better eye on what to look for in an artist’s portfolio.
- REFERRALS Ask for referrals from friends and vendors. A lot of this business is based on referrals. Check out these artists’ website or blog. If you cannot find a web presence, be cautious as their level of professionalism may not be on the level you are looking for. Browse their portfolios and read through their sites. Does anyone stand out to you? Sometimes the look and feel along with the tone of voice of someone’s web presence can give you a nice look into their personality. Make sure you like that person. Check for pricing and make sure they are in your range and then reach out to two to three artists.
- TRIALS Bring lots of questions to your trials. I cannot stress enough how important it is to like the person who will be responsible for how you look on your Wedding day. Ask them how they got into the business and how long have they been doing this. Ask for advice on skin prep leading up to the Wedding. Also ask for fun or crazy stories from past Weddings. I always love to tell my clients about my “black eyed bride” and the random products I used to cover itJ Throughout your trial, make sure your artist is listening to you while giving his/her opinion. You want the look to be your vision with the guidance and execution of the artist.
Note: if you bring pictures to your trial, try to have an open mind about what you will look like in comparison to the picture. Keep in mind that images we see in magazines are highly retouched. Also, if you are blonde with blue eyes, chances are the look on a brown eyed, black haired model will not look the same.
A big thanks to Kristen for sharing her knowledge!
Photos via Ashley Therese and kristentherese.com
This week we interviewed a pair of our favorite photographers, Tim and Merrill of Sweet Little Photographs. They’re giving us the scoop on what to know before you meet with your photographers from knowing if a photographer is right for you, to a head’s up you might want to give your guests! How could you not be smiling from ear to ear with this darling couple behind the camera? Their experience in the industry is invaluable, so study this post intently brides to be!
What should the couple expect at their first meeting?
The first time we meet with our couples, we like to start the conversation by asking to hear their story. This gives us the opportunity to learn how they met, swoon at their fabulous proposal, and feel connected with the history behind it all. It’s a great way for us to get a general vibe of how they interact with one another. We also ask about the wedding and what they envision for their special day, including venue, color scheme, decor inspiration, and anything that gives us a glimpse into their vision. From there we let the couple take direction of the conversation by answering any questions that they have for us, whether that’s regarding logistics of how we work, payment, timeline, or any other particulars. We think the meeting is the perfect way to see if you and your photographers click, because you need to keep in mind that these are the people who will be following you around for the entire night so you should feel comfortable and at ease with whomever you chose.
What information is it helpful for the couple to provide?
Before any meeting is set up, we always ask in the initial email for the date of the event and the venue location. That way we can immediately let you know if we are available and if there are any additional travel fees involved. It is also helpful to know if there is a separate location for getting ready or for the reception, that way we can look at the timeline and really assess how many hours would be efficient. After getting those initial details and booking the date, we usually get a bulk of the important information a few weeks before the big day. We send out a questionnaire asking for important phone numbers (it’s always helpful to have a bridesmaid or planner’s number on there since we know how busy you are the morning of your wedding), the timeline, family photo shot list, specific shots wanted (are you wearing a necklace passed down from your grandmother? Let us know! Does your groom have your wedding date stitched into his jacket? We want a photo of it!). No need to tell us you want a photo of your dad walking you down the aisle, your first kiss as husband and wife, or a shot of the cake. We have all the standards down to a science, but we do want to know if there is anything really special that we may otherwise overlook.
What is the most difficult request to fill?
As much as all of us photographers adore Pinterest, we have found that it has created some unrealistic expectations in regards to photography. It is absolutely wonderful to bring some ideas to the plate for your wedding or engagement session, but please do not expect your photographer to be able to recreate that exact shot. There are so many variables to consider: the weather, the location, the position of the sun, the couple. Instead, think about what it is you love about that photo. Is it the way the couple is posed? Is it the composition of the photo? Are there fun props? Take that as inspiration, but leave it up to the artistic professional to create your very own Pinterest-worthy shot.
How many times should the couple expect to meet with their photographer?
We generally only have one meeting with a couple before the big day to determine whether or not we are a good fit for them. In addition to hiring us for their wedding, a couple may also choose to book us for an engagement shoot, which we definitely recommend for a few different reasons. First, it gives you a chance to see how we work together as a team. You can pretty much guarantee that we will operate the same on your wedding day as we do during your engagement session. Second, after an hour-long engagement shoot you will be old pros at posing for your portraits by the time the wedding comes along. You can rid yourself of all the nerves and anxiety about being photographed and will be so much more comfortable with us at the wedding. And lastly, we get to use that time to learn more about each other! We love getting to know our couples better and developing a friendship with them. This is our favorite part of the job and we love walking away feeling like we just gained some amazing friends.
What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?
As cliche as it sounds, don’t sweat the small stuff! The big day has come, your friends and family are all around you, you are marrying the love of your life! Who cares if the peonies are baby pink instead of fuchsia, if your three year old flower girl gets scared and doesn’t want to walk down the aisle, or if the DJ plays the wrong song for your first dance. Breathe…take a sip of champagne…and remember what this day is really about.
What do you need the couple to do the day of?
This is absolutely optional but we love it when the couple has asked the guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony. Whether it’s a sign in the entrance or a brief mention from the officiant, letting them know that you have hired professional photographers for this very occasion can actually give you better photos from us. We’ve experienced a lot of people getting up out of their seats holding up giant iPads hoping to get that perfect shot, not realizing that they have just stepped in front of our cameras. We know how exciting this is for all of your friends and family, but we promise that we are capturing everything (and with much better cameras!). The guests should enjoy the ceremony in real-time and then relive it through the photos we capture. Having a little note allows your guests to experience your incredible ceremony without being distracted by which Instagram filter to use.
Anything else?: Here are some random thoughts from us!
As photographers, we want to capture the moments as they unfold on your big day. We do our best to be flies on the wall, getting the shot of your mom crying as she zips up your dress or your best friend getting emotional watching your first dance. We don’t like staging anything because we don’t want you to feel like anything is forced. We want to photograph the day as it is happening…the nerves, the excitement, the happiness, the love! Some photographers work differently, so make sure you let them know what makes you feel comfortable.
The best time for your photographers to eat is during the dinner service at the same time that the rest of the guests are eating. After dinner the timeline is usually jam packed with speeches, the first dance, father-daughter dance, cake cutting, etc, so we need to be finished eating and ready to hit the dance floor to capture all of those incredible moments. A simple note to the caterer or planner before the event is very much appreciated!
A big thank you to Tim and Merrill for sharing all of these helpful tips with us!
Check out more about Sweet Little Photographs here!
This week we interviewed one of our favorite Floral Designers who we have had the privilege of working with since Lovely’s creation in New York, Rebecca Shepherd! She gave us all the information you could need before going in and meeting with a florist for the big day!
What should the couple expect at your first meeting?
The first in person meeting to discuss flowers follows after a few connections back and forth via email or phone calls. It’s important for the florist to get all the information about your needs including how many tables you have, your bridal party, what you need for your ceremony, the location of your wedding venue, and your floral budget. This will give a mutual understanding about general pricing and expectations. Once those preliminaries are out of the way, we’re free to set a date to meet! I like to have my clients start putting together a collection of images that inspire them. Pinterest is an awesome resource for this hunting and gathering process. The Pinterest album can have all kinds of images that will convey your overall style and desired look. I encourage putting images of invitations, dresses, jewelry, shoes, and of course flowers that tickle your fancy. This gives me a solid understanding of what you are looking for on your big day. From there we will go over your options for the table scape’s, centerpieces, ceremony, etc. I’ll be able to suggest blooms that fit your style and that will be in season on your wedding day. At my design studio, you will be able to thumb through my collection of containers, props, and look book for inspiration.
What information is helpful for the couple to provide?
It’s very helpful to know how many tables there will be, including if they will be round or long. It’s hard to put together a detailed proposal if you haven’t yet decided on round, verses long tables. Decorating long tables is more expensive than round tables because they tend to need more elements to trickle down. It’s helpful to have a good source of images to show me, whether it be a Pinterest album, tear sheets, or images that have been sent to me via email. Pictures do say a thousand words, but it’s also good to be able to describe what you like. For instance, brides say they are looking for “Art deco style, romantic, bohemian, modern, rustic, Victorian, whimsical, etc.”
It’s also good to make a list of what you need. So many brides overlook all the add ons! Do you need a card table arrangement/prop set up? What about an entry way piece, a guest book table, the bar, cocktail tables, aisle decor, hair flowers, bathroom arrangements, or your cake decorated? These are all important pieces of the puzzle that can creep up right when you thought the decor was under control!
Also, it’s really good to have an idea of your timeline. Do you need a few different drop offs? Some brides want their personals delivered to their hotel early for photos. This is important for scheduling on my end. Is your party not happening until 4pm? Also very important for me to know so I can plan the wedding breakdown, deconstruction, packing, and cleaning up party.
What is the most difficult request to fill?
Flowers are created by mother nature. She doesn’t always make your favorite peonies the same time of year as your wedding date. Remain open minded to flowers that can act like that big fluffy peony that is not in season. We’ll come up with alternatives! Flower colors are also made by mother nature. Let’s not dye those precious beauties. Remember, blues and purples can often be seen as one or the other at the exact same time! Flexibility is key with flowers because it allows the designer to shop the market for what looks amazing the week of your wedding. When you stick to your guns about a lot of specific flowers, you end up limiting yourself to alternatives that show up at the market without warning that may be perfect for your ensemble. This doesn’t mean your flowers should be a mystery, it just means it’s good to show that you have flexibility with some ingredients.
How many times should they expect to meet with you?
I have had clients that I have met only once. I have had clients that have needed to meet 3 times due to extensive planning, or ordered mock up’s, and I have have had clients that I have never had the pleasure to meet! A handful actually! This has been the case with brides that live out of state or the county. We work a great deal via sharing images and being very specific, so, you really will have a good handle on what to expect.
What is the best advice you have for the couple on their big day?
This is my favorite question! I feel like I tell my brides on the day of to enjoy every moment; that it goes by SO VERY FAST! Be specific leading up to, and planning your wedding. Now is the time to get sorted about your expectations. This is your wedding. Remain true to what you want on your big day. There will always be compromise. Pick and choose what you can’t live without and give in to what your mom/in-law can’t live without. This is first and foremost a celebration of the two of you, but look at it like it’s also a great way to exercise your ability to compromise, negotiate, and let some things fall to the wayside. At the end of the day, all you need is love (:
What do you need them to do the day of?
Get a good night’s sleep the night before, be surrounded by family or friends that calm and support you, have healthy snacks around you all day. Breath! Enjoy! Try not to let all those stress bugs steal your big day from you. The one you’ve likely spent 8 months to a year planning. It’s so easy for all of us to take ourselves too seriously. Focus on your soon to be partner in crime. Focus on the fact that it’s the beginning of a brand new chapter in your lives. The professionals you hired will handle the rest.
Thank you so much to Rebecca for answering all of our burning questions! To see more of her gorgeous work check out her site here.
Even as a bridal stylist, girls ask me all the time what exactly goes into a hair trial. “How far in advance should I do it?” “Should I schedule both a hair trial and for the actual day at the same time?” “Do I show up just as is?” “Do I need to bring anything?”
Well ladies, I will be completely honest with you. I had no idea myself. But being in the wedding world, I have met and made connections with quite a few within the bridal industry and one of them is now my dear friend Aubrey of Aubrey Marie Beauty.
Aubrey and I decided to do our own mock hair trial to help you lovelies know the 411 on what to expect. It can be a little intimidating meeting someone you don’t know to help you look amazing for your special day. But no worries, I’m going to take you step by step on how Aubrey works and how easy it all is.
I met up with Aubrey at her super cute home, and with a cup of coffee, we sat down, and I showed her my Pinterest board. Aubrey also said that clients could send her any inspirations they have ahead of time to give her an idea of what the vision for the entire wedding is. And upon viewing my own “Special Day” board we saw that I myself am not quite traditional but not eclectic either. Bohemian wasn’t really my style, and I don’t think I’d go very 1920s. We looked at hairstyles that I loved, and makeup inspiration photos I adored. I wanted my look to be very classic and natural but possibly a little hint of glam in there. Not too done, a little messy and somehow make it look effortless. Aubrey was all ears and helped me really zone in on what I wanted.
So now I’m sitting in her beauty chair and we are chatting away. Now, I know that Aubrey is a friend of mine, but when I first met her, I immediately felt comfortable. She definitely has that affect on people and I think that’s incredibly important. This is a big day, and every part of the journey to the altar should be a wonderful experience.
But back to sitting in the chair, chatting away, Aubrey starts with curling my hair and pinning them to my head to hold the curl. Once my whole head is covered in pin curls, she starts on my makeup. Now, it was brought to my attention how sanitary Aubrey is. She never put a used sponge on my face, and always sprayed brushes down with alcohol to disinfect any germs. She also never put any foundation on her hands, only on a freshly cleaned palette. I believe this to be very important as well when looking at who is doing your makeup. Germs and breakouts are not fun, and if we can avoid this, that would be awesome. I mean I would want to be clean and clear on my honeymoon, wouldn’t you?
During the makeup portion of my trial, Aubrey asked me questions all along the way just to make sure I was getting what I wanted. Be sure to pay attention and don’t be afraid to ask questions or have them use a different lip color. Did I want a smokier eye? Did I want more color on my lips, or more of a subdued natural color? I really appreciated this, and in the end, got exactly what I was thinking for my makeup and felt like a million bucks! Now to finish my hair…
Because my imaginary dress is a backless gown, I would want my hair up. And with my inspiration pictures, Aubrey twisted and curled, and pinned my hair up into the perfect up-do. It was done in a flash, and I loved it. My look was complete! But since this is a hair trial, we tried a different “do” to make sure it was the one I would go with on the actual day.
The second time, Aubrey put my hair lower and added this awesome braid down the center. See, now I was in a dilemma because I really liked this look too!
Then, Aubrey surprised me again with pretty much reading my mind. I had the thought that I would wear my hair up for the ceremony and then take it down or half down for the reception. Aubrey already started showing me that I could do this, and what I found really awesome, was that she kept the braided part still intact. She showed me how easy it is, and that I could definitely do it myself or have a bridesmaid help me for when I would chose to make this change.
I truly was very impressed with how Aubrey worked. She asked questions that I would not have even known to ask, and definitely followed through with my answers on how I wanted things to be. If there was any advice I would give, which of course is the whole point of this blog post, I would for sure take part in the following:
1. Come prepared with pictures of what you are imagining for your special day. Or send them to your hair and makeup artist before hand.
2. Come with a clean face and dry hair (sometimes day old hair works great too), and be prepared to stay for a couple hours.
3. After the hair trial is all said and done and you have decided on your “look” for the special day, go ahead and schedule your time with your artist for the wedding day. That’s one more check off your list.
4. On the wedding day, before your artist comes to get you all ready, and any bridesmaids or Mother of the Bride, have them pay you for the services before hand or with a designated person. Of course letting your artist know all the specs at your hair trial about how many girls and if it’s both the hair and makeup for them all, or just hair, etc.
5. On the day of, have an area for your artist to work. It’s so nice and considerate to have a table set up with a chair and mirror for them so all they have to do is set up and do what they do best.
Now I hope this little mock trial helped you understand what to expect for your own hair trial. And if you need any more questions answered or are interested in the fab Aubrey of Aubrey Marie Beauty, check out her blog and website. Aubrey is always more than willing to assist and she’s a pretty cool chick anyway. BIG thanks to Merrill Melideo from Sweet Little Photographs for helping us document this lovely mock hair trial, and allowing you lovelies to see all of this in action.
Aubrey will also be doing a mini consultation during the Sarah Seven Trunk Show to provide a little up-do to go with a dress you pick during your appointment. That way you can see the whole image coming together for your special day!
You can also meet Aubrey at her Braid Bar at this year’s Christmas Party at Lovely Los Angeles on Dec. 13th from 6-9pm! This year’s theme celebrates the new GOLD LABEL from Sarah Seven, so make sure to wear GOLD!
I’ve been to a few weddings in my lifetime and I have to say, for me the hardest part is always finding a gift! I’ve found that a lot of couples don’t really register anymore. And that’s totally okay with me (I didn’t register either!) but it does make it a tad difficult to find the perfect gift, especially if you’re not uber close with the couple. However, I kinda have found a full-proof go-to gift: art! No one can really ever say no to a really awesome original piece of artwork to adorn their walls. In my search to find the perfect photograph or painting for each of my friends, I’ve found 20 x 200 and Etsy to be most helpful.
For my friends who fell in love while living in Tuscany, I found this print on Etsy by Irene Suchocki to be absolutely perfect. I purchased it, had it framed and gave it to them as their gift. They love it and now have it hanging on their wall in their bedroom. I hope that when they look at it, their reminded of their time in the beautiful hilltop town in which they spent their early days. I’m glad that I got to contribute to that in some way.
And while I haven’t yet purchased a peace of artwork from 20 x 200 for a friend, I have purchased an original photograph from them for myself. The minute I saw this baby camel photographed by Sharon Montrose, I knew I had to have him. He now has a permanent spot in my entryway. And the great thing about 20 x 200 is that you actually have the option to purchase the print already framed which is super helpful because framing can get expensive! 20 x 200 offers so many different kinds of art that you’re sure to find something for just about any couple.
Another great idea? Commission someone to draw a cute little portrait of the couple. Many artists on Etsy will do this for an affordable price. You’d be surprised at the quality some of these lesser-known artists produce. I hope this has inspired you step out of the wedding-gift-giving box a bit and shower your friends with some great artwork. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love a lovely painting or photograph hanging on their walls!