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Experts share best advice for flawless wedding day skin

On your wedding day, you will be a blushing bride. There’s something about the day that just makes you glow and beam. But there is a way to make that glow even better, and that is by skin treatments. No, I’m not talking expensive invasive treatments; I’m talking about treatments that can be done at a salon.

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

You know the importance of having professional makeup done for your wedding, and you know why wedding makeup is slightly different than what you wear every day. Treating and prepping your skin prior to your wedding, though, not only helps your radiant glow, but, like makeup, it also makes the photos look better and most importantly, it helps your makeup last longer and look better.

 

RELATED: This is The One Mistake That Can Ruin Your Wedding Photos 

 

However, before you start any sort of skin treatment, there are things you need to know. First, what is mentioned here is just for informational purposes. If you have any reservation about skin treatments or have a skin condition, I encourage you to seek medical advice before trying any of the treatments listed below. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

That being said, we asked local experts for their advice, and here are some things they’d like you to know to get your skin beautified for your wedding day.

 

Make sure you nourish your skin year-round

 

A wedding is a great excuse to get motivated to get in shape, lose some extra pounds you’ve always been wanting to get rid of, or start a skin routine. However, taking care of your skin is something you should be doing every day, regardless of whether or not you have a wedding to plan.

 

Ada Seymore, Owner of Salon Lucere in Chester, says the best way to do this is “hydration, hydration, hydration.” We all know how important drinking water is on a daily basis, but it has a dramatic effect on your skin as well. Seymore says to “make sure your skin is clean, that you are eating well, and that you are drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water), and that you are generally just taking care of yourself.”

 

I’d also add, using a daily SPF lotion is good not just for your wedding day, but is a good health practice all together as it prevents sun damage or worse, melanoma.

 

Why should you take extra care of your skin before your wedding?

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

Skin treatments not only hydrate your skin and clean your pores, but they also reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots, giving you an all-around even tone.

 

Stephanie Jones, owner of The Blushery in Beacon, says, “You should always prep your skin, because, first of all, if your skin is dry or dehydrated, the makeup won’t look very nice. It’ll either look a little flaky, it could settle into some lines, and it may not wear as well or as long throughout the day.”

 

How far in advance should you start facial treatments?

 

All our experts agree: NEVER start a skin treatment you haven’t tried before anytime close to your wedding day. You need to give yourself time … sometimes a lot of time.

 

Seymore recommends “not anywhere before the two-week mark.” Rebecca Lee, owner of Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, says, “You don’t want to do too much with your skin for the first time close to your wedding…to do a series of facials three months before your wedding day, your skin will be prepped and smooth and healthy before the wedding.”

 

“I always say when you get engaged…it’s never too soon,” says Jones. “If you want to start coming in and treating your skin at that point, you’ll have beautiful skin for your wedding day. You don’t want to come in a week before your wedding and get a facial because you don’t know how your skin is going to react. So start early on – that could be a year, that could be six months – it doesn’t have to be so, so far in advance; but give it a few months, at least, and start doing monthly facials.”

 

What kind of treatment is best for you?

 

The list is endless and it really depends on your goal, your skin type, what the condition of your skin is now and the time you have to devote to treatments. You should speak with your aesthetician to see what is best for you. No matter what you do, know that treated skin allows skin care products to penetrate deeper so they work better because they don’t have a layer of dead skin to go through.

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

“You should always get rid of some of your dead skin,” says Jones, “and with that, a microderm abrasion is very good to do. If a bride has brown spots, oily skin or acne, we can try to control that for them. So if they come in a few months in advance, five to six months, they can do five to six facials.”

 

So what is a microderm abrasion? Jones says a “microderm abrasion is a mechanical exfoliation, so it uses a machine; it’s pretty much like a vacuum. It has a little tip that feels like sandpaper, and you move it back and forth across the skin, like an eraser. The wand has a long tube attached to the machine, and that sucks up all the dry skin and you’ll feel immediate results.”

 

Over time, microderm abrasions also help with fine lines. However, Jones says getting them done is not a one-and-done treatment. You need to get it done regularly to really reduce the appearance of fine lines or sun spots.

 

Other skin treatments include waxing and spray tans, which are very popular with brides (wedding season or not). “A spray tan will give you a natural glow,” says Lee, who suggests coming in 48 hours before your wedding so you can properly give the spray time to settle and have time to wash the residual spray off your skin so it doesn’t rub off on clothing.  She also suggests waxing first, otherwise, the spray will come off with the wax.

 

Waxing is a great temporary fix to remove hair; I’m sure many, if not all of you, have had it done before. However, if you want a more permanent solution to hair removal, you can do laser hair removal. “If you start six to eight months ahead of your wedding date. You could do laser hair removal and be hair-free by your honeymoon or have most of the hair significantly reduced,” says Jones.

 

So we’d like to know if you are doing any skin treatments, which ones, and how do you like it so far? What advice do you have for brides who want to start a skin treatment?
 

Featured Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

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the one thing that will ruin your wedding and 4 ways to prevent it

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. It’s probably a day some of you have been dreaming of since you were a small child. It’s a day that will go down in the history books of your family’s legacy for generations to talk about. All eyes are going to be on you, and you have one chance to get it right; it has to be PERFECT! Mementos from your wedding day will be saved and passed down, and your photos will be cherished by generations after you.

 

Stressed out yet? If you hadn’t noticed, I was purposely setting the tone for this blog post. Did you read that and feel a little short of breath, perhaps your heartbeat rose a little? It was done to show you how this one thing can ruin your wedding day.

 

Have you figured it out yet? I’ll give you a clue: It’s completely manageable.

 

Still not sure what it is? It’s EXPECTATIONS

 

Let’s dissect this a bit, shall we?

 

We’d all be lying if we said we didn’t want a perfect wedding day. We all want the perfect day. You’ve been playing it out in your head forever, have a vision for what you want, and you expect perfection, because gosh darn it, you’re getting married! But, let’s face it: Nothing is perfect. So, expecting a perfect day is probably not going to happen and is somewhat unrealistic.

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Admittedly, we (brides and grooms) are our own worst enemies. We’re putting this pressure on ourselves based on what we think our guests or family expects, or what the Internet, TV or movies tells us to expect in terms of perfection.

 

Nellie Hill, Event Planner and Owner of Nellie Hill Events in Hurley, explains why wanting the day to be perfect is understandable. “It’s hard because everyone is looking at you that day,” she says. “The spotlight is on you, but you have to try and remember that it’s about two people coming together, and it’s about love and as long as you guys are married at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. People aren’t going to remember those little things that happen…they’re going to remember the love and the family and coming together.”

 

Is it realistic to expect perfect weather on your wedding day? No.

 

Is it realistic to expect everything will run like clockwork to the minute? No.

 

Is it realistic to expect your wedding will be the most memorable wedding your guests will attend…EVER? No.

 

Is it realistic to expect guests will appreciate all the details as much as you? No.

 

Is it realistic to expect you are going to absolutely LOVE every single one of the hundreds of photos taken of you that day? No.

 

Is it realistic to expect everyone to dance to every song? No.

 

Is it realistic everyone is going to love your food or the cake? NO.

 

See where I’m going? You can’t please everyone. So, why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?

 

I know, it’s easy to tell you not to expect perfection. However, the good news is there are four easy ways you can control and manage expectations, and when expectations are controlled and met, that means less anxiety, worry, and stress for you. Sounds good, right?

 

Manage wedding day expectations with a budget

 

Have you ever heard of the phrase “Champagne taste on a beer budget?” That phrase rings especially true when it comes to weddings. That’s why it’s important to have a budget. You need to write down everything you’ve ever dreamed of for your wedding day and compare it to how much you have to spend. If what you want costs more than what you have to spend, then you need to take a step back and reconsider a few things.

 

“First thing I tell a couple is to make a list,” says Joanne Provanzano, owner and certified bridal consultant of What Dreams Are Made of in Kingston. “Start with the number one thing you want for your wedding and as you go down the list it’s what you want less and less.” Having a budget manages your expectations in terms of allowing you to realistically see what things cost and it also ensures that you get your top items (within reason, of course). You book what you want based off the list and as the money runs out and you don’t get what’s left at the end of the list, it’s OK because you didn’t put a lot of importance on them anyway. “You have XYZ amount of money to work with,” says Provanzano. “Get the important stuff first; then what’s left, those are the frills.”

 
RELATED: Three Essential Details You Need to Know Before Attending Your First Wedding Expo
 

Manage wedding day expectations through communication

 

Communication is so important when it comes to managing expectations. Disappointment and arguments start to happen because expectations were not met. And why were expectations not met? Because they were not communicated.

 

Planning a wedding means you are going to input from everybody and their uncle, with immediate family topping that list of opinions. “It’s hard to field out those opinions, but I think the main thing is to really focus on what is special for you and your spouse,” Hill says. “Everybody is going to have their opinions, and the best way to handle it, personally, is to just listen, take it in and then do what you feel is right.”

 

cake topper

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Think of when you give someone advice or an opinion. If they shut you down completely, you’d be pretty upset, right? However, if they listened to you and took what you said to heart, even if they didn’t follow through with it, you’d be OK, because they took the time to acknowledge what you said and heard you out.

 

You need to do the same. It’s incredibly frustrating at times to get opinions thrown at you from every direction, and you’ve probably said to yourself, “Who’s getting married — me or you?” but just take a deep breath and listen. It’s all coming from a good place, and if the other person feels heard, even if you don’t follow through, they’ll be OK with it.

 

You also need to communicate with your fiancé. Traditionally, it’s usually the bride that calls the shots, but your groom has a voice too and, even though he may not be as into the planning as you, he has ideas that need to be heard, and more importantly, represented. Remember, this is your wedding…plural. If he wants ice cream, or a certain type of beer, or lawn games, or a certain type of cake or food, don’t shut him down. Make sure you incorporate his likes and wishes too.

 

Lastly, you need to communicate with your vendors. You need to make sure you are communicating your vision to them throughout the entire planning process. What kind of music do you like? What style photography do you like? What specific food do you want? What traditions to you want to incorporate? If your vendor just showed up and you gave them full control over the day, chances are, you would never end up with the wedding you envisioned. Your vendors have your back and are waiting for you to tell them what direction to go. And as a red flag, if your vendors don’t ask you personal questions and don’t want your input…don’t hire them!

 
RELATED: Why Hiring an Experienced DJ For Your Wedding is a Bad Idea
 

Manage wedding day expectations with a ‘Plan B’ AND a ‘Plan C’

 

Three plans? Yes, three plans. Here’s why: Jeanne Stark, of Hudson Valley Ceremonies in Rhinebeck, says, “You have Plan A which is absolutely perfect, nothing is going wrong. Plan C is ‘We’re going to have a hurricane on your wedding.’ ” Basically, everything that can go wrong will go wrong and you need to plan for that. “Plan B”, Stark says, “is somewhere in the middle. We may have a pop-up thunderstorm. We may find out there’s some kind of huge festival in town and all these little things. What do we do with that?”

 

Having a plan for something that might happen last minute, and knowing what to do, lowers anxiety. “I always feel as though, if you have three concrete plans, that when those dilemmas do occur, they’re (the couple) not overwhelmed,” says Stark. Then, it’s almost like things aren’t going wrong, they’re just going correctly according to Plan A, B, or C.

 

Manage wedding day expectations by realizing your wedding is not a competition

 

When you think of competition, you think of being better at something than someone else to “win” or set you apart from everyone else to get a “prize.” Well, there are no prizes in the wedding world. No one gets a trophy for anything you do on your wedding day. So, why do you want your wedding to be the best anyone has ever gone to? Is it because you are trying to impress someone or worried about what they will think of you? Is it because you are trying to prove a point?

 

wedding guests

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

By thinking your wedding has to be bigger or better than someone else’s means you are not only putting added pressure on yourselves but are also setting expectations so high, that you, no doubt, will have regrets. A wedding isn’t a game. No one wins or loses. Each wedding is different and unique for its own reasons.

 

If you’ve been to a few weddings, you probably have a “favorite” and one that wasn’t. Stark says couples these days are attending more weddings than ever before, and that’s good and bad. “They do walk away with what they don’t want at their wedding and they walk away with what they want, but now they can’t have that (what they want) because somebody did it,” she says. “And I always remind them: You know what? If somebody else did it and you still want it, do it! Not every single person at that wedding is going to be at your wedding.” She says if you went to your friend and asked if you could copy an awesome idea they had at their wedding, they will more than likely say yes and tell you why it was so great…or why it wasn’t and steer you in a different direction.

 

“It’s not a competition. There’s only so many ideas that can go around,” says Stark. “Taking the good ones (ideas) and reproducing them is not a bad thing.” Even if you copied everything you saw at a wedding you loved, from the same vendors to the venue to the food and same playlist, it’s never going to be the same because the guests are different, and you are different. Stark says, “You’re not going to be exactly like your fiend’s weddings, it’s going to be different and more important you need to make it (your wedding) about yourselves. If you’re really simple people, make it a simple wedding; it doesn’t matter. People coming together and being able to enjoy themselves is not the most important thing, it SHOULD BE the thing. Everything else is just icing on the cake.”

 

Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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30 truths you need to know about your wedding day (part 1)

One of the great things about having been a recent Hudson Valley bride is I can relate tidbits of information back to you, the engaged couple. They say hindsight is 20/20 and now that my wedding has been over for a few years, I can tell you there are at least 30 (maybe more) truths about your wedding that no one tells you…but really should.
 

Some of these may be a no-brainer, and some of these may come as a surprise – but either way, they are things you need to know. So, because this is such a long list, I’m going to give you 10 now, share another 10 with you next week, and the final 10 the week after that.
 

So, let’s begin, shall we…
 

Wedding Truth #1 – Your wedding day will be the BEST. DAY. EVER.

 

I know this sounds really cliché, but when I tell you it’s the best day ever, it really is. I thought I knew what walking on “Cloud 9” felt like before, but it wasn’t until our wedding day that I really knew what that meant. Why is it the best day ever? Because it’s the one day that encompasses every aspect of what makes something the best: excitement, love, family, friends, good food, good drinks, fun dancing, fairy tales, delicious dessert. Everyone that has ever meant anything to you is in one room together. The reality is, it’s probably the only time that will ever happen.
 

Wedding Truth # 2 – The most important part of your wedding is signing your marriage license

 

Ok, this is the unromantic truth. You can have the most gorgeous couture gown, have the most exquisite décor and flowers, have your meal prepare by a world-renowned chef, etc.; but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is signing your marriage license. Without that piece of paper, your marriage is not legal. It needs to be signed by both you and your spouse, and two witnesses, usually the maid of honor and best man.
 

 

Wedding Truth #3 – Always check your reception area

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

No matter where you have your wedding, and even if you have a wedding planner setting up the space, always check the reception area prior to guests entering the room for the formal reception. You need to do this for three reasons. One, it is a great moment for you and your new spouse to break away, get a moment to yourself, and really absorb the atmosphere, alone. When you are being announced and walking in to the space, you won’t have time to really enjoy the space and see it. Two, it gives you the opportunity to give it a once-over to make sure everything is placed the way you like it and to make sure nothing is off. For example, I noticed the flowers on my cake were missing, and if I hadn’t had that moment to notice it and have it fixed, it would have made it very awkward later on. It also gives you a chance to speak with your DJ to go over the intros. And three, it’s a great photo op to be in the center of the dance floor, just the two of you.
 

Wedding Truth #4 – You will be very warm all day.

 

Even if it’s the dead of winter, between the endorphins and adrenaline, being the center of attention, the excitement of the day, running around, and your dress and tux, you are going to be warm all day. I remember being outside taking pictures and some of my bridal party notice it was chilly, and I was hot, to the point of almost sweating – and I’m usually the one’s that always cold. And, let’s face it, a wedding gown, as pretty as it is, is made out of material that is not very breathable, same with tuxes. So, it’s essential to bring with you that day, things that keep you cool or help you deal with the heat. You can download your free wedding day packing checklist here.
 

Wedding Truth #5 – Never give your rings to kid or dog ring bearers.

 

Photo Credit: JT Sander Photography

I will be the first one any day to say kids and dogs make the cutest additions to your bridal party. However, cute does not always equal responsible. Your rings are expensive, and, just after your marriage license, they play the second-biggest role in your ceremony. They don’t say “With this ring, I thee wed” for nothing. Therefore, if you are having a little kid, or your dog be your ring bearer, they can walk down the aisle with a pillow or a little box tied around the dog’s collar for pictures, but make sure an adult has the rings at all times. Again, this is usually the responsibility of the best man or maid of honor. Anything can happen and the last thing you want is for the dog to see a squirrel and run off with the rings, or try to pull the box off the collar and chew it. Little kids, depending on their age, might chicken out, and not even make it down the aisle, so, you want to make sure the rings are in good hands, near you at all times.
 

Wedding Truth #6 – You may probably never see the photos your guests take.

 

Your guests will be taking photos all day, and I explained how creating a wedding hashtag makes it easy for you to gather all the photos guest post on social media. I also give you tips on what to do if you don’t want guests sharing photos on social media. However, the reality is most likely, you will only see a fraction of all the photos taken. This is because either the guest doesn’t think they are good enough photos that you would be interested in, or they just don’t have the time to email them or send you hard copies. For whatever reason, don’t expect to see many of them.
 

Wedding Truth #7 – You are going to feel gutted when your wedding ends.

 

The first truth I mentioned was your wedding day is your best day ever. That’s why, when the final song is played, when the last guests leave, when the house lights go up and the staff is packing up your wedding day décor, it’s gutting to think it’s all over. Yes, you have a whole lifetime to look forward to, which will bring with it days that are just as good, if not better. However, when something you’ve spent countless hours, days, and months working on is now over and done with, a little part of you thinks “Now what?” It’s very bittersweet.
 

Wedding Truth #8 – The most relieved you will feel is during your recessional.

 

“We did it!” was the first thing that came to my mind when the ceremony was over and we were leaving the church. I literally felt like a ton of bricks was just lifted off my shoulders. The formalities of the day were over, the worry about getting to the church on time, the anxiety of planning and making sure everything ran on schedule was over and now the fun could begin. When I look at those pictures of my husband and I walking down the aisle, we have the biggest smiles on our faces – pure euphoria.
 

Wedding Truth #9 – Some guests may come to the ceremony even if they are not invited to the wedding.

 

If you have a wedding in a house of worship, you may have guests show up who weren’t invited to the wedding. Think about it: If your reception is at the same place as your reception, it’s obvious there is a closed private event going on. However, houses of worship are open to the public, regardless of what is going on. To explain what I mean, how many times have you been to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and seen a wedding going on? It’s the same situation, just a different setting. Also, your wedding may appear in the house of worship’s bulletin or other announcements; so if a parishioner sees your listing – and maybe knows your parents – they may ask to come to the service only.
 

Wedding Truth #10 – Your bridal party relationships may change.

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

When you choose your bridal party, you choose the friends or family members who have always been there for you. Your bridal party could be as little as zero people – you don’t really need a bridal party – or upward of 10 or more. However, you need to realize that while those people have been important to you, and you plan on them being in your lives forever, relationships change. I don’t mean to end on a sad note, but friendships change with time. Things happen, through no fault of anyone. Also, just because you were in someone’s bridal party, does not mean you have to invite them to be in yours. Keep that in mind when choosing your party. If you have a lot of members who are there because you feel like you have to pay them back, rethink your choices. Do you want to look back at photos and think “Who was that?” or “Why did I ever invite them?”

 

Join us next week for part 2…
 

Featured Image Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

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Featured Couple: Azia & Alonzo

Their Love Story…

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Azia and Alonzo met in junior high school in Harlem, NY. Azia says “I was in the 7th grade, he in the 9th grade. He was in a relationship for most of my time there until I got to 11th grade. He was in his first year of college when we had an impromptu (meeting) at a family member’s house. We talked casually for a few months then disconnected for five years. We rekindled via Facebook but once we met up on our first date (ice skating), we have been together ever since.”

 

The Proposal…

 

“I was 9 months pregnant with our second son when he popped the question,” says Azia. “It was the day after our baby shower, so my family was still in town. My dad, uncle and sister were in on it but I had no clue. We walked our friends out to the car and Alonzo asked me to walk around to the back of the house to look at something. As we walked, he told me how much he loved me and was excited for the next two weeks. As we approached the back porch, he knocked on the window but I thought nothing of it. Minutes later, I looked up because I felt rain drops and he tapped my hand for me to look down (he was on one knee)…the windows were open and my entire family is screaming and crying in celebration. It was amazing, I cried and hugged him and then my mom jumped in and hugged us both. It was beautiful because he captured the moment perfectly; I only told him one time that if he ever proposed, I’d like my family there.”

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Wedding Theme…

 

Love and Paris

 

Why the Hudson Valley…?

 

“We just purchased a new home in December 2014 and wanted to continue celebrating the new chapter,” says Azia. The church they chose, Bethel Missionary Church in Wappingers Falls, is the same church where her parents got married 25 years earlier and is also the church where her grandmother, an ordained Reverend, preaches and works.

 

Most Memorable Moment…

 

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Azia’s most memorable moment was hearing Alonzo’s vows, and Alonzo’s was their first dance.

 

Hudson Valley Professionals…

 

Rentals: Durants Party Rental (Wappingers Falls)

Rehearsal Dinner: The Derby Restuarant (Poughkeepsie)

Photographer: Myles Studio Photography (Highland)

Venue: Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel (Poughkeepsie)

Florist: Lucille’s Floral of Fishkill (Fishkill)

Cake: The Pastry Garden (Poughkeepsie)

Transportation: AVIS (Poughkeepsie) and Mid-Hudson Limousine Services (Poughkeepsie)

 
 

Photo Credit to all: Myles Studio Photography

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Bridal Gowns

Who should help you say ‘yes’ to your wedding dress?

Shopping for your wedding dress, hands down, is one of the most thrilling aspects of wedding planning. Your dress is so much more than a garment. Your life literally changes in that gown.

 

If you’ve ever spent a night binge watching “Say Yes to the Dress”, you’ve probably seen the excitement that comes when a bride comes in itching to try on all the beautiful gowns. You also know how quickly that excitement can turn to disappointment when the opinions of her entourage crush her dreams as the gown she loves quickly turns into a gown she wants to burn.

 

Bridal Gowns

Photo Credit: WCHV

There is an enormous amount of pressure for brides to find THE dress, self-inflicted pressure to make sure everything about it is perfect because brides know when that music starts playing on their wedding day, all eyes are on her. Let’s face it, with the amount of choices, and new trends coming every season, it can get overwhelming.

 

Dress shopping can be especially hard for women who normally have a hard time making
decisions or who want to make everyone happy. That’s why, when it comes to saying yes to your dress, NEVER follow the rule of the more the merrier. In fact, the less people you bring with you on your shopping trip the better. Top designers and local shop owners agree. Taking more people with you to your appointment adds stress to what should be a fun event.

 

Why is a small group better when dress shopping?

 

Smaller is better for one reason. Clarity. “Less is better.” Antonetta Forzano, Owner of SpecialOccasions & Bridal by Antonetta in Fishkill says “…if you bring too many people, everybody has ideas and they may not have your idea.”

 

wedding gown

Photo Credit: Cynthia Starr Photography

Have you ever heard of the expression analysis paralysis? When you bring more people to the appointment, they all add their opinions and analysis of the dress which confuses the bride and leads her to decision paralysis. She can’t make a move because everyone else’s thoughts are running through her mind…except her own.

 

We spoke to Martin Thornburg, head designer for David Tutera and Mon Cheri Bridal and head merchandiser for Mon Cheri Bridal, who say “Go with some ONE. Not some TWO. You don’t need all that, it can be a very daunting and very exhausting chore to look for dresses…” He goes on to say that “A lot of times brides are led by a girlfriend, and that’s very nice but the issue is a lot of times it becomes more about what the girlfriend wants rather than what the bride wants”

 

“I say to try not to bring more than three people, three people who’s opinions you really trust…Betsy Wise, stylist at Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique in Beacon says. “The more people you have, the more opinions you have, the more confused it gets, it’s upsetting if you find something you love and your aunt hates it. It just adds extra stress to something that should be a really enjoyable fun experience.”

 

Who should you bring to your first bridal gown appointment?

 

Your entourage is not only about quantity but quality. Tina Pomarico, owner of Lady Gray Bridal in Beacon, says “Typically, a lot of girls like to bring their mom. I do find today that they do come with an entourage…but I think those that are most close to them are the people that they should bring.”

 

wedding dress

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

“I think also to bring people that support you…” says Laura Howard, store manager of
Chamonix Bride in Rhinebeck. “Try not to bring people that knock you down. Because at the end of the day, it’s the bride’s decision.”

 

Emily Glass DeGasperis, Owner of Blush Bridal Boutique in Kingston, says “We recommend
that you limit your party to three or less during your visit at Blush…we have found that the opinions of a trusted few always make for an easier decision for you (the bride).

 

What happens if the entourage confuses the bride or the entourage and bride can’t agree on a wedding dress?

 

First, Thornburg suggests that when you go dress shopping, have an open mind “…I would want to be open to suggestions of your consultant,” he says “that is what they are there for, and if you are going to a reputable company or a reputable salon, keep an open mind, you want to try on the different silhouttes, you might be surprised.”

 

wedding dress

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Once you find the silhouette you like and there is still no compromise or agreement from the group, Charlotte Guernsey, owner of Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique in Beacon says “you have to follow your heart. You have to feel comfortable and confident in your dress. At the end of the day it’s their (the bride’s) wedding and they have to feel beautiful. So it is hard especially if a family member is paying for the dress, they want that person to be happy as well.”

 

If you really love a dress, and those around you don’t, first, make sure you are spending your money wisely by looking at the quality of the gown and point out the benefits of the dress to the group. Then, ask the consultant to start adding the bling…the veil, jewelry, headpieces,have them pull your hair up, so you and those you are with can see the full picture. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding. You have to wear it, you need to like the way you look and feel in
it, and those around you need to understand that.

 

Howard says “it would be so nice to have a million people say ‘you know what, that’s your gown’, but it doesn’t matter, it’s up to them (the bride) entirely.”

 

We’d like to know about your dress shopping experience. Who did you bring? Did they all agree? Were there conflicting ideas and if so, how did you eventually end up choosing your dress?

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thank you

9 crucial things you need to do for your wedding vendors

Did you know that hiring a wedding professional, or even trying to figure out what professional you want, goes far beyond just signing a contract having them provide you with the goods or services you agreed on? You are responsible for a whole other part of that commitment, which is not always written in the contract.

 

There are 9 crucial things you need to do for your wedding vendors, which can be broken down into three areas: before booking, after booking to your wedding day, and your wedding day and beyond.

 

Before Booking

Never outright say you are on a budget

 

Photo Credit: WCHV

Guess what? 99% of all other couples at a wedding expo are on a budget. If you aren’t, you should be. If you’ve read my previous post on what you need to know before attending your first wedding expo, having a budget (or a roundabout idea of what you want to spend) helps flush out vendors who are totally outside your budget.

 

For example, if you determine that you want to spend $3,000 – $6,000 on wedding photography and videography and you see a photographer that charges $10,000, you know that professional is not for you. Why? Because you can’t expect a vendor who charges $10,000 for their goods and services to give you the same amount of value for a cheaper price.

 

On the other hand, if you see a photographer/videographer in the $7,000 range, don’t dismiss them. I’ll discuss why in a future post, but what you should do instead like I mentioned in my piece on how not to get overwhelmed at a wedding expo, is take that information home to think about it.

 

Always get back to vendors…whether you are interested in them or not

 

If you gave your information to any wedding vendor at an expo, if they are professional and on their game, they will reach out to you after the expo to follow-up. This is not to be annoying or sales-y, it’s because they have very busy schedules and if you expressed any interest at the show, they want to make sure you get on their schedule (get them booked) before it fills up.

 

If after you looked over their information and decide they are not the right professional for you, you must respond. Not responding or ignoring their email leaves them hanging, which makes it really stressful for them as they proceed to book their calendar. They may even keep contacting you because they are left in limbo. A simple, “Thanks for meeting with us at the show. After reviewing the information, we decided to explore other options” is all it takes. This way, at least you close that circle and both of you can move on.

 

They may come back and ask about motivators for choosing someone else, and again, respond. It’s not them being pushy at all, it’s because they are using the information you tell them to help them perfect their goods or services for future couples. They are just looking for honest feedback.

 

After Booking to Your Wedding Day

 

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Photography

Keep your wedding vendors informed

 

Make sure you keep an open dialogue with all your vendors and make sure you are telling them the same information. For example, make sure all vendors know your timeline, make sure they all know if you are going to be doing something fun or special during the ceremony or reception. Make sure they all have important contact information and phone numbers. This is so everyone is in the loop, so no one misses something important, and so all your vendors can give their best on your wedding day. If you’ve covered all your bases, that makes your day less stressful. Who doesn’t want a stress-free day?

 

Pay on time

 

When you sign a contract with any wedding professional, pay careful attention to when payments are due. More often than not, a deposit will be due right up front (or soon thereafter), another payment will be due sometime before the wedding, and the final payment will be due the day of the wedding. It’s crucial that you pay on time to make sure that your date is not compromised and it avoids any uncomfortable moments. Trust me, vendors don’t like to, nor do they want to, come chasing after payments, that’s not their job, so you want to make sure that you hold up your end of the bargain.

 

Wedding Day and Beyond

 

Photo Credit: Hannah Nicole Photography

Don’t be rude or abusive

 

This could quite possibly be THE MOST important piece of information in this entire article. Weddings are stressful. There’s no denying it. People express their stress in different ways, and sometimes, because you have so many expectations of the day and want everything to be “perfect,” it’s sometimes easy to snap at those around you. But remember, being stressed is never an excuse for being rude or abusive to anyone.

 

The professionals you hire are there to give you the best they can give you that day. Outside of you and your family, they are the ones that care the most about your day. Of course, they are going to do everything they can to make you happy and deliver what you deserve, but with that comes trust.

 

You need to trust who you hire. Yelling, cursing, demanding, throwing, and anything of the sort is something you should never, EVER do. Yes, in essence, they are working for you, but that is no excuse to treat them any differently than you would your family or friends.

 

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Feed your vendors

 

Yes, vendors do need to be fed! They are with you all day working, and just like it’s important for you to remember to eat throughout the day, they need to eat as well. Make sure you have snacks and water for them prior to the reception or ceremony in case they want or need a little sustenance. Professionals may bring their own, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and not assume. Plus, it’s just nice. I mean, who doesn’t like a snack?

 

At the reception, make sure you give them a meal. Even if their contract says that they do not require a meal, make sure you ask them if they would like something to eat and see if your venue can make sure they get food.

 

When you give your final head count at the venue, your professionals (photographer, videographer, DJ or band), are in that number. Check with your venue to see what the details of vendor meals are. Sometimes it’s the same meal but at a discounted rate, sometimes it’s a boxed meal. You want to make sure that the venue offers to feed your vendors, and if they don’t, ask if it’s ok if you can bring in outside food for them or if the vendors can bring their own meals in with them.

 

Tip your vendors

 

Make sure you bring money with you the day of your wedding to tip your professionals like your limo driver, your maître d’ and anyone else providing you services that day. Make sure you double check all your contracts to see the details of those tipping details such as how much. For some vendors, it may be included in the price agreed upon in the contract.

 

thank you

Photo Credit: JT Sander Photography

Thank them

 

After you get back from your honeymoon, and while you are writing your thank you notes to your guests, make sure you also send your vendors thank you notes. It’s very easy to send them a thank you e-mail, but it means so much more to hand-write a note for their time and talent. By the time your wedding comes, chances are, you will have become very friendly with your vendors – I’m still friends will all of mine – and it really is a nice gesture to take the time to tell them how much you appreciate them and what they did for you that day.

 

Give reviews when asked

 

Lastly, and along the same lines as sending a thank you, many of your vendors are going to ask that you write reviews on many of the sites they use to market themselves such as top wedding planning websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire.

 

It is so important that you leave reviews for your vendors. You have to remember that vendors are self-employed, meaning that they don’t have a big corporation behind their work, and they don’t have big marketing budgets. For them, more often than not, word of mouth is their best marketing tool and the best word of mouth marketing is based on reviews.

 

By leaving a review, you are helping support their business and their livelihood. Living in the Hudson Valley it’s so important to support those in our local community and neighborhoods. Reviews also help other couples, just like couples before you helped you, find your vendors.

 

Vendors make this as easy for you as possible and will usually send you the links to their directory sites. You don’t have to rewrite a separate review for each website either, just simply copy and paste. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to do, and your vendors will thank you immensely for your review.

 

What tips do you have for couples and what they should be doing for their vendors?

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Wedding DJ

Why hiring an experienced DJ for your wedding is a bad idea

Say what? No, this is not a typo; you read that correctly. You do not want an experienced DJ for your wedding; you want an experienced wedding DJ for your wedding.  Yes, there is a difference. Let me explain…

 

Actually, I’m going to let the experts explain it. Recently, we sat down with a few of the Hudson Valley’s top wedding DJs to learn more. First, it’s important to not underestimate the value of a DJ to your wedding. Joey Garcia (DJ Joey G.), owner of Jade DJ Entertainment in New Paltz, says, “One thing I wish they (couples) definitely knew was how important the DJ is to the wedding. We are right in the middle of every part of the wedding – from the first song played to the last song played – and it’s huge who you pick to DJ your wedding. No single vendor will have more of an impact on the wedding – good or bad – than the DJ.”

 

Let’s break this down a bit:

 

Wedding DJs manage the timeline of the night

 

First, you need to remember that a wedding is not like any other event. There is a certain ebb and flow to weddings and a certain format weddings follow which differs from traditional business events or other parties. That is why experience DJing weddings is so important.

 

Pat Mahan, owner and DJ at Digital Musicians Entertainment in New Windsor, says, weddings have two main components. In addition to playing music, the other, and more important, is management of the event. He says DJs “…can be the best DJ ever, but it’s irrelevant if the person managing the function can’t manage it properly.” He explains certain songs are played at receptions at certain times, mainly because they are taking guests into consideration. Older songs (oldies and classic rock n’ roll) are played earlier in the reception and newer songs are played later. That’s why, if you’ve ever gone to a wedding and requested a song and maybe had to wait a while for it to be played, it’s because the timing for that song wasn’t right.

 

Wedding DJs manage details

 

One of the details that sets an experienced wedding DJ apart is knowledge of the venue. This is important because they will be already familiar with the layout, load-in areas and the staff at the venue, making the day seamless.

 

Richie Schneider (DJ Richie Styles), DJ and manager of Music Speaks Volumes in Wappingers Falls, says, he trains his staff to always have a watchful eye. He tells them “Be aware of what’s going on. If it concerns you or not, just be aware of what’s going on in a room.” He explains this is important because if he knows the couple is going to do something special, he can notify the photographer that something important is about to happen.

 

Garcia says, “With the photographers, we won’t do the cake cutting without checking with them first to make sure they are ready – same thing with the videographer.”

 

Garcia also explains, “If (wedding DJs) are doing their job, they are going over every detail from start to finish beforehand – sitting down with the couple, finding out what they want, what they are looking for and what they’re not looking for, and putting it all together in the timeline of events.”

 

David Fischer, DJ and president of M.C. Fish Entertainment, Inc. in Fishkill, says wedding guests often look to the DJ as the one in charge because they are orchestrating all those moving parts. “We have to get with the other vendors; we have to get with the caterer to find out the timing of the meals,” he says. “I want a 10-minute heads-up because I don’t want to be blowing the roof off the joint and having 150 people sweating five minutes before they sit down to eat dinner.”

 

Wedding DJs know wedding trends

It’s one thing to know and keep up with trends in the music industry and DJ industry; but an experienced wedding DJ will also know the latest trends in weddings so they can properly manage the couple’s expectations.

 

Andrew “Enriquez” Nikola, DJ and president of Enriquez Entertainment in Marlboro, says a DJ can be “experienced for 25 plus years. The key to experience is evolving and changing with the trends of weddings from the entertainment perspective. … Do they have experience? Absolutely. They have many years of experience. But that experience doesn’t necessarily transition to a good time. … To be a professional (wedding) DJ, you must adapt to complement what your couples desire.”

 

If you’ve already chosen your DJ, what advice do you have for others looking to choose theirs? If you are a wedding DJ, what parts of a wedding do you think are most overlooked by couples?

 

Photo Credit: Jade DJ Entertainment

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DIY Wedding

3 easy ways to DIY your wedding when you don’t have the time or crafty genes

You love DIY. You have visions of your wedding day being full of crafty, hand-made goodness. However, it’s been years since you touched a glue gun, and the last time you crafted anything was back in high school art class.  Maybe the thought of a DIY wedding is tormenting you because, even though you love to craft, you just don’t have the time to do it.

 

If any of these circumstances sound like you, have no fear. The DIY fairy is here! Well, not really; I don’t have wings and a little tutu, flying around with glitter and ribbons … though that would make an awesome Halloween costume. What I do have is real, practical, advice that will help you.

 

DIY Wedding

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

DIY Option #1

 

First, let’s start with DIY for the those born without the craft gene. I mentioned in an earlier post that, by now, you should have a good idea of your crafting skills. If they are not where you would like them to be, don’t use your wedding as the time to practice.

 

Look to your family, friends, bridal party, and especially your maid of honor. If any of those people have a craft skill you are envious of, ask them for help. I can almost guarantee they would be more than happy to help. Now, this comes with a big BUT. You can ask for help, BUT do not micromanage! I can’t stress this enough, and trust me, whatever it is you are tweaking or fussing about to make just right, no one will notice. Some people you ask might be hesitant, and that’s because of that dreaded word “bridezilla.” They want to help you but are afraid of the repercussions.

 

DIY Wedding

Photo Credit: JT Sander Photography

Now, I know you aren’t like that, but to make things easier for all involved, start with some photo inspiration and sit and talk with that person about what exactly it is you like about a particular photo. Keep in mind that what you get may not look exactly like the photo, but will be inspired by it. Then, you can offer to pay for the supplies, or tell that person in exchange for doing the DIY, they don’t have to give you a gift. Before that person goes ahead and makes hundreds of anything, ask to see a sample, that way you both have a chance to see what it looks like and change anything. Once you give your OK, that’s it. Leave it be.

 

DIY Option #2

 

If you don’t know anyone who is crafty, another option is to look online for local crafters. Etsy is a great starting point, as is your local art society. Don’t forget to talk to your venue and florist for ideas as well. Remember, they’ve seen it all and could have some great suggestions for you. Who knows, there could be a DIY craft (such as mason jars filled with fairy lights to be placed down the aisle) that would be a cinch for you to make, even if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body or the time to day anything. That would be a really simple DIY project.

 

DIY Wedding

Photo Credit: JT Sander Photography

DIY Option #3

 

Speaking of time, if you really don’t have the time to deal with any DIY, hiring a wedding planner may be a great option for you for several reasons. First, similar to your florist or venue, they’ve done it all, AND they have all the supplies – or, at least, know where to get the supplies – so it’s out of your hands. You don’t have to worry about a thing.

Second, they have the time. They are hired to help you and to help make your vision a reality. For example, let’s say you want antique teapots on each table as centerpieces or to hold the table numbers. Well, without a wedding planner, you are stuck with sourcing the teapots, so that means taking the time to drive to antique shops, searching, buying, and then what do you do with all of them after your wedding? Unless you collect them, chances are you want to get rid of them.

 

DIY Wedding

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Vintage rental companies are another great option. If you don’t want to hire a planner, you can hire a vintage rental company to see if they can provide that vision for you. They would have the supplies, and best part, they take them back with them.

 

The last thing you want is to be stressing out over this. These are just a few options. If you have an idea or thoughts that you’d like to run past someone before you begin, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to craft and could suggest some great ideas for you.

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Featured Engagement: Gabby & Mike

Their Love Story…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “We met at Hollow Brook Golf Club, where both of us worked. Mike is the assistant golf pro, and I am the Food and Beverage Manager. Our love story started off as co-workers that grew into friends and then into a relationship. We were friends for 5 years before the time became right for us to turn our friendship into a relationship. Mike was always a person that in my eyes had the gift to light up a room full of people with his humor. He was the friend that started off by just making me smile and slowly turn into the person I wanted to share everything with. After, a long work week we would have pizza on Sundays together. These pizza meals together became the best part of my week”

 

Mike: “My love story with Gabby starts with coffee. Might sound weird until I explain. I never drank coffee, like ever. But at the place we work, she is often found in an area where the coffee is. So naturally I started drinking coffee. But since I didn’t like coffee it was more like 3/4 milk and 1/4 coffee. But it was the only way for me to keep seeing her without seeming too eager to spend time together. So I now am an avid coffee drinker. With less milk and more coffee…and still a lot of Gabby.”

 

The Proposal…

Photo Credit: Gabby and Mike

 

Gabby: “It was on July 17, 2016, on my birthday. I was running a wedding at work, and Mike was helping me out by bartending for the event. As the wedding was about to finish, Mike came up to me and said he was going to leave early because his knee was bothering him. I thought nothing of it and said, ‘OK, see you at home.’ Well, when I got home I open our apartment door to orange rose petals and candles leading to him where he was on one knee and popped the question. For me the whole thing is a little of a blur…..I was so excited and surprised I started to cry.”

 

Mike: “From the moment I got the ring I knew exactly when it was that I was going to propose. What better day than the date of our 1-year anniversary and her birthday? Since I had recent issues with my knee, I absolutely knew I could use that to send her thoughts into another direction. So my plan was solid. I told only the closest friends at work my plan so they could keep her distracted and on track. Gabby asked me to help her out and cover someone for bartending at a wedding she was running. Toward the end of the wedding, I told her my knee was acting up and wanted to get home and ice it.

 

“I raced home and set up my GoPro, put down some rose petals and lit some small candles leading a trail for her to find me in the living room. I played our favorite song when she walked in. I was so nervous I almost couldn’t get the words out. But I knew that this was going to be the most special day of my life, so I reached into my heart and asked the woman of my dreams to spend the rest of her life with me.”

 

What They Are Most Excited About…

 

Hudson Valley Engagement

Photo Credit: Sweet Alice Photography

Gabby: “I am excited to spend our forever together. For me, getting married is our beginning. I can’t wait to plan all the adventures our future as for us.”

 

Mike: ” I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is everything. When you finally meet the person who makes you smile when you’re sad, the person who picks you up when you fall, when you find that one person who makes you feel complete, you get excited about everything. Nobody knows what the future holds, and that’s a good thing. But having a person like Gabby by my side, nothing can ever be that heavy.”

 

Advice For Engaged Couples…

 

Gabby: “The process can get stressful with all the details and family and friends’ opinions. But remember the big picture is the two of you celebrating your love.”

 

Mike: “The months, weeks, days leading up to your wedding can be some of the most stressful times a couple is going to go through. It seems like everyone comes out of the woods with an opinion. While all these opinions come from a good place with the heart in mind. You must remember to do what makes both of you happy. This is your day. Do everything the way you want to do it. They are not getting married— YOU ARE! Enjoy the process and smile the entire time. Come the morning of your wedding day, leave nothing behind and keep an eye on your future.”

 

Check back later in the year when we circle back with Gabby and Mike on their wedding day

 

Photo credit to all: Sweet Alice Photography

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wedding makeup

This is the one mistake that can ruin your wedding photos

Did you know having professional makeup done for your wedding has a direct effect on wedding photography? If you were thinking of doing your own makeup for your wedding, I strongly encourage you to reconsider.

 

You might be thinking makeup could be an area where you can save money by doing it yourself. While saving money is great, try to find other areas to make the cut. It’s crucial you don’t forgo the importance of professionally applied makeup.

 

Professional makeup vs. DIY makeup

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

First, let’s start with the basics. We asked some of the Hudson Valley’s top hair and makeup professionals to break down the benefits of professionally applied makeup versus doing your own.

 

Ada Seymour, Owner and Salon Coordinator of Salon Lucere in Chester says professionally applied wedding makeup helps every aspect of your wedding day: “It helps your gown look better. It makes your photos come out better. It makes your day better because you’re not constantly touching up. Touch-ups are not necessary if it’s done professionally.”

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Salon Lucere

To be specific, professionals go by that name because they are experts in that field. Just as with all the other professionals you hire for your wedding day, makeup artists are no different.

 

Rebecca Lee, Owner of Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie, explains, “With doing makeup yourself, you tend to not have that eye for where the colors lay and how they mix well with your face to enhance your look.” She also says the untrained person may not necessarily know how to enhance her features or skin tone the way a professionally trained makeup artist will. “Even the small amount of makeup, with a trained eye of a makeup artist, it can create big changes that you don’t necessarily know how to do yourself,” Lee says.

 

Why professional makeup is best for wedding photos

 

wedding makeup

This is me giving a thumbs up on a great job at Bella Luci Salon! My MOH took this photo the morning of my wedding

Wedding makeup goes far being just making you look good; it serves a bigger purpose. Professional makeup balances you out. “When you’re doing wedding makeup,” Lee says, “you really need to take into account pictures, photography with lighting and flash, and things that reflect off your skin differently.”

 

You want your skin looking smooth and your complexion enhanced so you don’t look washed out. “Some things that we do with the contouring of the face are so minimal…but in a picture completely enhances your face,” says Lee.

 

I mentioned in my post earlier this week that, at least when it comes to DIY crafting, doing it yourself is not always cheaper. The same applies to wedding makeup. It might be cheaper that day, but in the long run will cost you in the form of regret. “Pictures last forever,” says Cheryl Conklin, Platinum Stylist and Bridal Coordinator also of Salon Lucere. “Of course you remember the day; but really, when you look back on that day, you look at the photos…and you want to look like what you think is perfect…that wouldn’t be the place where you should cut back.”

 

The photographers’ opinions

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Myles Studio Photography

Still not convinced hiring a professional is a good idea? We asked Hudson Valley photographers to share their thoughts on professional wedding makeup, and you may be surprised at what they have to say.

 

Myles Pinkney, Owner of Myles Studio Photography in Highland, says having professional makeup done serves many purposes. First, it makes the day run so much smoother. “Often times, when brides do their own makeup,” he says, “difficulties arise because they can’t find the right color, or lose track of their mascara, because they have so many other things to worry about.”

 

Secondly, he says not all makeup is created equal and may look different when photographed. “A true professional,” he says, “will have the appropriate makeup to look good in photos, and often will have makeup that will last longer. They also know what makeup looks best with certain skin tones.”

 

wedding makeup

Photo Credit: Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography

Christine Ashburn, of Christine Ashburn Wedding Photography in Cold Spring, says looking great in person and looking great on camera are equally important. “A professional makeup artist knows what looks good on camera, the importance of matching the right foundation to your skin tone and what colors and contouring to use that will make your features pop,” she said.

 

Beyond outward looks, there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes, in editing, if makeup is not done properly and professionally. Ashburn says, “There is nothing worse than having to color correct every single photo of a bride because her foundation color was off and she looks orange in pictures. Worse is having to Photoshop a bride’s photos whose foundation is not blended well and reflects artificial light poorly resulting in a ghosting, washed out look, or a spotty look in the photos.”

 
Are you having your makeup professionally done? What made you decide to get it done professionally? We’d love to know.

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DIY Weddings: 5 things you need to know now

This is the first in a multi-part series about DIY weddings

 

For many, the term “DIY wedding” conjures up thoughts of saving money or maybe saving time. Maybe it makes you think of vast seas of burlap and mason jars. Maybe it’s the opposite. Perhaps you think DIY means “cheap.” Whatever you envision when you think of the term DIY wedding, I’m here to tell you, it’s probably not true.

 

Here’s why: I was a DIY bride. I made everything – from save-the-dates, to menus, invitations, programs, envelope box, decorations at the cocktail hour, place cards and even favors. You name it, I made it.

 

Did I do it to save money? A little.

Did I do it because I thought it would be easier and faster? No.

Did I do it because I wanted our wedding to be really personal? Kind of.

Did I think my wedding would be “cheapened” in a way by doing DIY? Not one bit.

 

The real reason I DIY-ed my wedding was because I love to craft and make things.

bubble tags

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

That, my friends, is the ONLY reason why you should consider DIY-ing your wedding. It’s the ONLY reason why I did it. I was working a very high-stress job at the time and knowing that I could come home and craft got me through the day. It was my way of destressing, decompressing, and just relaxing. Those of you who have any hobbies know when you really get into it, you kind of zone out, and that’s what I needed at the time.

 

Would I do it again? Heck, yeah! In a heartbeat. It was so much fun! But again, it was fun because it’s my hobby. If it’s not your hobby, if you don’t enjoy it on any level, don’t do it. You will be absolutely miserable throughout the whole process and will end up hating it. Just like with anything else, if you are assigned a project and end up hating it, it will show through your work.

 

If you have never DIY-ed anything before, I strongly discourage you from using your wedding as your first project. It is too large of an undertaking, and the pressure is too high so it will cause a lot of added stress that you don’t need.

 

If you have crafted before and are considering some DIY for your wedding, I’ve taken the most common DIY myths and broken them down for you:

 

DIY-ing my wedding will save me money

 

escort cards

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Yes and no. It really depends on what you are doing and how many people you have. For example, if you are making programs, menus, save-the-dates, invitations or any type of decorations, you are probably going to need really good cardstock (not the kind that’s prepackaged). Cardstock, when you buy it as single sheets for one project is relatively cheap. When you need to buy it in bulk for a massive project like a wedding, it adds up pretty quickly.

 

Same with paper cutting supplies. Remember, too, there might be supplies you need for a particular wedding project and then may not ever use it again. You need to weigh the pros and cons of that. If you are OK with spending money on a tool that you may never use again, then go for it. If you are hesitant about that, then DIY-ing may not be for you.

 

You also have to take into consideration ink. We all know ink isn’t cheap, and trust me, you will be do an awful lot of printing, and reprinting…if you make a mistake.

 

When it comes to favors, same thing. If you do want favors, keep the end in mind. What do you want your guests to do with them? I knew I didn’t want to spend money on a little tchotchke that would just sit on someone shelf collecting dust. I wanted something edible. Buying local edible treats was a strong contender, but everyone knows and loves our family recipe for fudge and so, that was my favor.

 

It actually costed more than just buying something, but my end result, giving my guests something edible that I know they would love and was personal, was worth it. In addition to the cost, it all had to be made, cut, wrapped and put in boxes (which were purchased and hand-assembled), and I also put a note in it which stated what flavors they were.

 

DIY-ing is easy and fast

 

fudge favors and menu

Photo Credit: Majestic Studio

This is a resounding NO. DIY-ing is not easy or fast by any stretch of the imagination. It’s much easier and faster to have someone do it for you or just purchase the items that you are DIY-ing. It took me hours and hours – I’m talking at least 5 hours a day, more like 8-10 each day on the weekend, to DIY my wedding. Weekends were spent sourcing craft supplies in local stores, scouring the Internet and Pinterest for design inspiration, making prototypes, trial-and-error, printing and cutting so that during the week, I had a finished prototype and the pieces for it so I could just assemble. I had a long running list of everything that I needed to do and, as the days and weeks passed by, I kept adding to it. Was it easy? No. Was it faster? No.

 

Let’s look back at my favors for a second. Fudge (good, real fudge) is highly perishable and melts very fast. Therefore, it could not be made too far in advance and always had to be kept cool. That meant it took up room in more than one fridge. Not only did it have to be made a week out, but I couldn’t pack and wrap it until two days before the wedding! It was a bit stressful, and very time consuming. But, was it worth it for me? Yes, and I have some great memories of family packing and wrapping fudge.

 

When you decide whether or not to DIY, you really need to take into account how much time you have and what you want to be doing with that time. Do you want to be knee deep in crafts, glue, ribbon, cutting or do you want to spend that time relaxing or maybe doing other fun wedding planning activities? If you don’t mind the thought of crafting for hours, then DIY is for you. If you don’t, don’t do it.

 

If I don’t have elements of DIY, my wedding will be cold and impersonal

 

cocktail hour decor

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Many couples feel they need elements of DIY in their wedding to make it personal. You can still add personal touches without doing any DIY. Think about what personal elements you want in your wedding. Do you want a unique guest book, or cake topper that resembles your hobbies? Do you want a memorial table with photos of passed loved ones or do you want a family tradition implemented into your ceremony? These are all things that add that personal touch without doing any DIY yourself.

 

Think about weddings you’ve attended and what you liked about them. Was any part of what you liked related to DIY crafts? If so, then that’s a good indicator that type of work means a lot to you and you should have some in your wedding. If not, what was it? Maybe it was a small affair, maybe they had special readings, maybe the music was nostalgic or they had really unique food or perhaps even a food truck. If so, then you don’t need to worry about DIY.

 

DIY weddings look ‘cheap’

 

guest book baseball bat

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Again, this is really subjective. The first thing you need to realize is no matter what you do at your wedding, no one is going to appreciate it as much as you, and everyone has different tastes. You are not going to make everyone happy. Your wedding could be gilded in gold, and someone would still complain.

 

I’ve seen DIY crafts that are so good you would think a professional made them, and I’ve seen others where it looked like it came from an art class for 5-year-olds. The results of each come with practice. If you are really worried about something looking “cheap,” I suggest doing a few things.

 

One, take a step back. If you’ve crafted anything in the past, you’ve probably gotten feedback from others on the work you’ve done. If it’s good, then don’t worry about it. If it’s not, you might want to reconsider…if you are worried about what others think.

 

Two, practice or ask a friend or family member for help if you know your skills aren’t where you would like them to be. If this is you, do not take on more than one or two projects and don’t make those projects ones that have a lot of focus on them.

 

With that being said, your wedding is your day. You have a vision and you owe it to yourself to make sure your day is one that you look back on with no regrets.

 

So, we want to know. Are you DIY-ing your wedding? What are you DIY-ing? Photo comments are best…let’s see your work!

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