❄️Baby, It’s Cold Outside!❄️

Happy New Year everyone!! I finished 2013 as a bad blogger! I’m sure past brides can understand, once it gets down to crunch time (as in 2 months until your wedding!) it’s hard to think about anything else.

It’s officially 23 days away from my wedding. I can’t believe it! When they tell you it goes by so quickly, they ain’t lying (I’m southern y’all!)! My amazing bridesmaids keep asking if they can help me do anything but honestly, there isn’t much else to do but walk down the aisle. But yet I have that mind frame that I have so much to do which causes me to have anxiety attacks. Literally!

The past few months I’ve been trying other makeup lines to see if I can add more to my work kit. My goodness has it been fun!! I have a LONG list in ‘Notes’ on my phone of goodies I want to get. While playing with new makeup over the winter months, my skin got ridiculously dry! I never thought that it could happen because I’ve been battling adult  acne for a couple of years now. I was prescribed Epiduo from my dermatologist so it has helped keep the oil and blemishes at bay. But this year, my skin has been FLAKING! Since my wedding is so soon, I had to find something to smooth my skin back out without breaking me out. But of course, like switching to any new product, your skin has to get used to it and 9 times out of 10 you’ll break out a bit. But give it time! And that’s something I’ve done.

Im listing some of my new favorite makeup and skincare products below. And did I mention they’re ALL reasonably priced?!

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1. Oxygen Botanicals Hydrating Eye Cream – this stuff is like a miracle in a bottle! When having extremely dry skin it tends to get very sensitive. Especially around the eyes. This cream not only takes away the sensitivity but it doesn’t sting once applied like a lot of other products do. It has green tea, sweet almond oil, aloe, and vitamin A which helps with fine lines. And that it does!

2. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask – you should ALWAYS use a heavier moisturizer at night due to friction and to hold that moisture into the skin. this mask is meant to be used overnight. I wake up and my skin is the smoothest it’s ever been!

3. Oxygen Botanicals Super Hydrating Cream – Most people could use this as a night cream but my parched skin needs it for the day time! It is filled with Hyaluronic Acid, which is the most moisturizing ingredient for the skin. it makes my skin stay moisturized ALL day without getting that tight feeling. It also goes great under my primer and foundation.

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1. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – I was very hesitant about this product since I already had MAC’s Fix + Spray. But in my opinion, this is WAY better! And it’s oil and paraben free! I don’t have to re-powder at all during the day!

2. Sigma Beauty Brushes – I will always say that MAC makes the best brushes. However, I’ve been watching many YouTube videos and artists on Instagram using these more and more. They are definitely more affordable than MAC and actually have a much bigger selection. I haven’t tried them yet but I just sent in to get my discount and once I start using them, I’ll let you know if they’re yay or nay! But I have high hopes. 😉

3. Morphe Brushes – I know the picture is of a palette but their main sellers seem to be brushes (hence the name!). Once again, these have also received great reviews and they’re even CHEAPER than Sigma! I will be trying them because the prices seem too good to be true. But I’ve researched everywhere and haven’t found one bad review! They’re palettes look beautiful as well so I can’t wait to try those in the next couple of weeks.

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Waterproof Concealer – I tried this on whim thinking that I needed a good concealer that will stay put if (who are we kidding?! WHEN) I cry at our ceremony in 25 days. it says what it does… It stays put ALL day. Even through a few tears and contact issues! A must for all brides!

5. Tarte Braziliance Skin Rejuvinating Maracuja Face & Body Self Tanner – Goodness, that’s a mouthful! It’s so hard to find a good self tanner. I’ve tried so many over the years and I think I’ve found one I love. It comes with a mitt so your palms don’t get that dirty look even AFTER washing your hands. it’s also moisturizing since you can’t put on a body lotion beforehand. the formula is dark when applying so you can see if you have streaks anywhere. It’s great for these winter months when we tend to be pale!

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1. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – Do you know that I waited in line at Sephora the night this was launched?!  It is probably my favorite Naked palette thus far. Why? Well, it’s very different than the first two as far as colors and you can’t go wrong with pinks and browns! They look great on everyone. I love the versatility that it offers. You can wear a light pink during the day and go glam with a black sparkle smokey eye at night!

2. Anastasia Dip Brown Pomade – After watching one of my favorite makeup artists on YouTube review this product, I had to have it! Talk about a brow “gel” that will last FOREVER! I use MAC’s 266 angled brush to apply this and you use very little product. Make sure to apply with light strokes. A little goes a long way! I still use a clear gel to keep my brows in place but honestly, you really don’t need to because it holds them in place on it’s own. I highly, highly recommend this product!!

3. Tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer – I know this is the second concealer I’ve written about but this is a great one as well. A little goes a very long way with this one. my other favorite thing about this concealer is that it’s great for dark circles because it brightens the area if you set it with a translucent powder by patting the powder on with either a stippling brush or beauty sponge (that way it won’t move the concealer out. It will hold it under your eyes!).

4. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation – I decided to try this when I felt like my MAC Pro-Longwear foundation was making my skin have that tight, dry feeling. This is like a tinted moisturizer but with more coverage. I love that you don’t have to use a lot to cover your entire face. And the coverage is an A+. It’s kept my skin feeling moisturized throughout the day but not make me oily at all!!

 

I hope you’ve learned a few fun things. I’m a product junky and love reading reviews and peoples thoughts on them. Hopefully I’ll get one more post in before my big day…. 😉

 

Xoxo,

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There’s A Baby In The Dollhouse!!!!

I’m sure  most of you know what we’ve been up to lately. It’s blanetly obvious if you visit mine and Lauren’s Facebook pages. But if you DON’T know……. Little baby Chloe Elizabeth was born on September 30th at 2:36am to my best friends Lauren and Tim Nichols! Man, was it a long night! I thought for sure Chloe would enter the world the night of the 29th but she had to be like her mommy and be fashionably late so as to make an entrance!

Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed in the room during labor (ARGH!), but when I walked in to meet my brand new goddaughter around 6:30am, I let everyone coddle over baby Chloe for a minute to sit on the bed with my friend/sister to make sure she was okay (Lauren had to get a Cesarean Section due to the little one not wanting to come out!). We hugged and cried because she was now a mommy! I look at Tim like a brother and we joke that it’s awkward if we hug or do a kiss on the cheek. But that ALL went out the window that early morning. I even told Lauren just the other day that seeing him as a new daddy makes him even more attractive than he already is. That was so weird to say out loud!!

Chloe is a little over 3 weeks old today and I can’t tell you how loved and spoiled this baby is! As a Godmother, I can’t express the love I have for this new beautiful life that I get to be a part of. I can only imagine the feeling when we have our own children. I didn’t want to write much because for one, everyone always wants to see pictures and two, I’ve been CRAZY busy taking care of Lauren’s wonderful clientele until she gets back. So here you go Dollface Readers…. Here’s the stunning baby Chloe Elizabeth Nichols!!

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**Above Photo’s Curtesy of Heather Marie Photography**

 

 

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Viva La’ Musica!

I always wished I had the talent to either sing or play an instrument. I can play the very simple version of ‘Ode Joy’ on the piano from having 2 years of piano lessons. And sadly, everyone in my immediate family are tone-deaf! I get lots of “I’d rather hear them sing” from Matt in the car. Fortunately I come from parents who raised my brother and I on many genres of music. I can’t remember a time when I was very young liking “children” music. The Golden Oldies is all I remember! My parents met in their mid-late 30’s. So they grew up with a different genre than most of my age group’s parents. For example, Elvis (to me, there is only ONE!) was and always will be one of my favorite artists. From ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to my all-time favorite ‘If I Can Dream’ and everything in between! Two of my first concerts were The Beach Boys and Ray Charles. Millie (my mom! How can you not call her that when she has a cute little name like that?!) mostly loves 50’s and early 60’s as well as blue’s. She definitely got me into the latter. Bobby (my daddy. Again, cute name!) also loves the 50’s and 60’s but he also got into the “hippy” music such as Fleetwood Mac, The Doors, and Janis Joplin. You would think being from the South that we would all love country music but in my parent’s house, that is a no-no! The only exception is Garth Brooks. But as of very recently, I’m enjoying my fair share of country! What I’m getting at, music is a very important part of my life and sanity. It’s helped me through deaths, break-up’s, road trips, memories of old friends, etc.

Since music is so important to us, I knew we had to have the best DJ in Charlotte. 3 words…..Split Second Sound! I had always heard great things about them and even attended weddings that they DJ-ed. I had never met the infamous Vinny Esposito until Matt and I drove ALL the way out to Stallings, NC to meet with him. Have I ever said how much I love Italians?! Especially ones from either New York or New England?! Of course I have! I’m marrying one! Anyhoo, I loved Vinny from the very first hug! We talked about our wedding logistics, Vinny and Matt talked about being Italian and Patriots and Giants football, and I talked about how I’m not a fan of the Panthers (Vinny is the DJ for all of the Panthers games!)!! We hired Vinny on the spot! The most funny thing he said before we walked out the door was, “The only way I wouldn’t be able to do your wedding is if the Panthers go to the Superbowl.” Hahaha, good one Vinny! *side note, our wedding is the day before the Superbowl*

We hired them for the entire wedding; ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Nothing about our wedding is going to be traditional. I’m making sure of that! The song that I will be walking down the aisle to is beautiful and perfect. I wouldn’t want it played live. And the same goes for the songs that our mother’s  and my bridesmaids will be walking down to. As much as I love a good concert (trust me, I couldn’t tell you how many I’ve been to in my life), I want all genres played so everyone can have a great time. With that said, if I had unlimited funds I would FOR SURE have Justin Timberlake come do a concert at our reception…. But then I might not leave with my new husband! 😉

My last advice: Do your research on DJ’s! Questions to ask; How long have they been in business? Will they play what YOU want played? Do they have great reviews? What type of equipment do they use? How many DJ’s are employed by them? Can you pick your DJ? Do they offer other fun “accessories” such as uplighting, monogrammed lights, etc? Do they provide microphones for the ceremony and reception? Are they wireless? I could go on and on with questions! In case you haven’t noticed, I ask everyone EVERYTHING!!!

If you’re stumped on what music you’d like to play at your wedding, there are so many resources out there on the world wide web for inspiration! Wedding Wire is great, as well as The Knot.

Lastly, my absolute favorite resource has been an app called “FUN WEDDING”. All of the songs are categorized and you’re allowed to make yourself a ‘Favorite’ list to save for that last meeting with your DJ! I’m posting the iTunes link in the app icon below. Enjoy getting your groove on!

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Xoxo,

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Pinterest… Good or Bad For a Bride?!

Sorry it’s been a couple weeks since my last blog! My dear friend and oh-so talented (and pregnant!) business partner Lauren and her husband bought a new home and an eight month pregnant woman does NOT need to be doing much labor so Matt and I have been helping them paint, move furniture, oh! And her other best friends and family threw her a baby shower in there!

The other day I read a very interesting article by a photographer by the name of Aimee Grover. The article was called ‘How Pinterest Can Discourage the Creative Process for Photographers’. I found it to be very informative for both photographers and couples. As a bride who has already had her engagement shoot done, I could see how recreating a photo you saw on Pinterest can seem a little forced and also a little degrading to the photographer. The article asked a very good question; Are you hiring your photographer for their talent or because you think they can capture that same photo you love on Pinterest?

For Matt and I’s engagement shoot, I told our photographer that I tend to get a little uncomfortable in front of the camera and I didn’t want to pretend like Matt and I were models. He asked what we like to do and I told him that Matt cooks a lot and I watch! I have an entire Pinterest Board for engagement shoot ideas. Did I show any of them to our photographer? Nope! Once he arrived at our home, he went right into photography art mode! He watched us, gave us ideas, and told us what to do! What I thought was going to be a shoot in our home, he asked if there was a fun spot outside near our house and we told him about our neighborhood’s wooden bridge. He asked if we were down and we said “Sure!” He told us to just love on each other, sit here, kiss there, look at the camera, and once we received our photos back I cried! They were  Matt and I! He caught us being ourselves. It was our photographer using his own creativity to capture us being real and in love.

Back to the article… I thought this also retains to makeup! Granted, makeup artists usually tell brides to bring inspiration pictures to the trial run. But one has to remember that they aren’t the women in the photo’s. We can definitely recreate a look, but it will always look different on someone else because, well, everyone doesn’t look the same! We’ll do a look from a picture and the bride might think it’s too much or not like it so much on them. My advice, know what colors you like, know that warm colors bring out blue eyes, fuller lips look better with a darker or red lipstick/gloss, and KNOW that your makeup artist is creative! I look at peoples faces like blank canvas’s. I love going into a trial run and the bride says, “I trust you!” My mind starts running and seeing all different looks and then the perfect look pops into my head and I just go with it!

 

Read the article and think about makeup while reading about photography. And enjoy some images from Lauren and I’s past clients who let us get creative and trusted us!

Xoxo, Casey*

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Lauren Yoder

 

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Top 10 Must-Have’s For Wedding Planning!

Hi Dolls! I’m excited for this post because it involves being a “guest blogger” for one of my old friends from WAY back in high school! Her name is Emily Ryan and has the SUPER fun blog called Manhattan Emily! Lot’s of Top Ten lists about the most random and interesting things. Such as Top 10 reasons why she loves the Kardashians, top 10 reasons why Twitter is her favorite form of social media, and much, much more!! Emily and I went to the “Fame” school here in Charlotte… Northwest School of the Arts! And what Emily never knew was that I looked up to her so much! She is one of the nicest, most fun, and most TALENTED people I’ve ever known! To me, she was the friendly, humble version of Rachel Berry (Lea Michelle’s character on ‘Glee’). When American Idol first started I remember thinking that she would be perfect for it! But anyhoo (Yes, that’s meant to be spelled HOO), I’m excited to be guest blogging for her and letting everyone in on MY opinion of the Top 10 must-haves for planning a wedding!

1. A VERY patient, forgiving, and laid-back Fiancé!! – Now, this could just be in my case. Why? Because I’m pretty much psycho! Yes, I admit that! My number one excuse for my dramatic and emotional behavior is the fact that I’m a Virgo. I’m a worrier. Not all brides are, but I am. My poor, poor fiancé has put up with many break downs, arguments, and hearing a lot of “I don’t want to go into a marriage like this!”. Again, this is me being dramatic. My advice to newly engaged couples (especially if you’re like me!), have a conversation up front with your significant other that the next few months are not going to be easy! Let them know that you need their support and compassion. Because, my God, you’ll need it! Let them know that you will be stressed dealing with all of the little details so you might be a little “testy”.

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2. A good wedding planner to, at the very least, guide you through the process – This was a hard one for me because I know how I want my wedding to be. And I want to be in control of EVERYTHING! But since we’ve hired the amazing Nancy Usuff with I Do Wedding Consulting, I’ve received a lot of good advice and planning tips up until the last 2 months and she will take care of everything! She’s helped me find a vendor for all of our wall draping and given us great ideas for a rehearsal dinner. I don’t recommend a day-of coordinator because they don’t really know the logistics like a “mending the end” type of package like we have. I do have to say that I have a bit of an advantage than most brides because I’m in the wedding industry and have met so many amazing vendors so I knew exactly who I wanted to use for everything! But since couples will start the wedding planning process cold turkey, then I would have to say get a planner! They know the best of the best and can work with any budget! Do it! You won’t regret it!

3. IBUPROFEN – Do I really have to explain this one?!

4. A knowledgable esthetician – I’m really not trying to self-promote! I’m being serious! Stress will make your skin do CRAZY things! And do you really want huge zits all over your face the day of your wedding? I would recommend looking into estheticians that own their own business because 9 times out of 10, they’re very experienced and well-rounded. If you go to a spa (especially a “chain” spa) you’ll take the risk of getting a facial, chemical peel, or a brow wax from someone straight out of school. The only good things about these chain spas is they have great education so the esthetician grows. Trust me, you don’t want to get the skin around your brows ripped off because the wax was too hot or your bikini line all bruised up a few days before your wedding! If you’re wanting to start hair removal for your wedding night and honeymoon, start at the very least a couple of months before the big day. If you’re on a budget and look at facials as a luxury instead of a necessity, then save up until 2-3 months before your wedding so you can get one facial for a good deep cleaning and the esthetician can recommend the best skincare routine for you to keep away any blemishes.

5. Your girlfriends AND your mama! – My mom has been my ROCK! She has kept everything organized for me so I can remember all the details from the vendor contracts. She’s gone with me to all of the first meetings because Matt couldn’t care less about decor and flowers! Which makes me happy!! I get my dream wedding because he doesn’t have an opinion! Woot Woot!! My bridesmaids have been awesome! 4 of them (you should know who you are!) are so calm and are good with calming me down with just a few sentences in an email since all of them don’t live in Charlotte. The other friend is exactly like me! She gets things done QUICK! I have a good balance. This is how neurotic I am… My friend, and brother’s significant other, wrote an email from all the way over in LA letting me know that she had been looking for dresses and asking if it was okay if she cut bangs. As I was reading the email, I CRIED!!! Why?! Because I was so stressed and just the thought of her letting me know what she’d been up to and asking about her bangs (which I told her to go for it!), made me feel special at that moment. I don’t suggest becoming a Bridezilla and asking everyone to do everything for you, but if you need help or having a stressful day, if they’re a true friend, they’ll help you in a second!

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6. $ Money $ – Sad, but true. Especially with websites nowadays like Pinterest and Etsy. Most of the wedding inspiration photos on Pinterest are simply that. INSPIRATION. I quickly found this out once we started getting quotes from different vendors. Weddings are EXPENSIVE!! The average wedding cost in the USA today is around $27,000. I thank The Lord every day for my mom and dad for hosting our wedding and allowing me to have my dream wedding! Luckily there are ways that you can cut costs down on your wedding. Have your wedding on the “off season”. These months are pretty much the winter months. December through February. Matt and I are doing this by getting married on February 1st. Vendors aren’t too busy so they’re more than likely going to give you a discount on services. If you want the traditional spring wedding, have it on a Friday or Sunday. But DON’T, and I repeat, don’t ask if a vendor can lower their pricing packages unless they bring up the subject first! I find it very rude, honestly! The vendors have their prices for a reason. And that reason is that they are worth it! We base our pricing on time, travel, talent, product usage and replenishment, etc. To sum this up…. Weddings are expensive!!

7. Sleep – I’m sure you’ll have lots of sleepless nights worrying about if your dress will get here on time, where you’ll get the balance money for the caterer, what songs you want to have played, and the list goes on! If you’re like me and have bouts of insomnia then try an all natural sleep aid. If that doesn’t work, try Tylenol PM. And if THAT doesn’t work, go see your doctor and they can prescribe you a stronger sleep aid such as Ambien, Xanax, or Klonopin until your wedding is over! I don’t condone drug use AT ALL and some of these prescriptions can be highly addictive so make sure your doctor keeps a close eye on how many you’re taking by only prescribing 3 refills at a time and then paying them a visit to see how you’re doing. 🙂

8. Forms for the Budget, Guest List, and Wedding Timeline – Your wedding planner can give you all of these! Or if you’re a self-planner then you can find most of these documents online. Another great source is Martha Stewart’s Wedding Planning book. It has all of the documents you need along with other fun things such as folders to keep contracts in, bags to keep business cards in, and photos of different flowers!

9. A gym, workout routine, and a good diet – Once I got engaged, I jumped on the bandwagon and started Crossfit! After the first workout, I was questioning my sanity. But I kept up with it for the first month and fell in love! Well, a love-hate relationship! I hate every single second of the workout of the day but I’m seeing the difference in my body and how I feel about myself and I love it! The hardest thing for me is diet. I have the worst sweet tooth and can’t turn down candy or a cupcake if its offered! So I have my underarm jiggle and lower belly to still work on. It’s just hard to say no! You’ll find yourself working off stress at a gym or a spin class or just going for a simple run at least 3 times a week if you’re not into torturing yourself at a Crossfit gym. And you’ll feel so hot for your wedding!! Also, make sure you stick to a good diet. Maybe cheat one meal a week so you’re not depriving yourself and hating your life! If you’re like me and not a cook, look into healthy food delivery services that deliver your weekly meals to your door every week! I’ve started with Racing Edge Fit Nutrition. The meals aren’t frozen, they’re made fresh and all you have to do is stick them in the fridge and warm them up when you’re ready to eat! It’s the best thing EVER and not expensive!!

10. A photographer that SEE’s your vision and can add to it – I know, I know, I talk about my photographer ALL the time! But when I tell you that photography is the ONE thing you want to spend your money on, I mean it!! You’re going to have these photo’s for the rest of your life! Or at least until your second or third marriage. I chose Richard Israel because, to me, he’s the BEST! He’s so knowledgable and worldly. If you haven’t read any of my other posts, our wedding is going to have an Old Hollywood theme. Richard shoots a lot with film. It fits perfectly with our wedding because our photos will look aged with the texture and color of the prints. Choose a photographer will allow you to let them know what you want and they can add to that vision! Don’t let the photographer talk you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with such as doing the “first look”! I can’t stress enough, this is YOUR day! Stand your ground if you want to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle. So many photographers want to do the first look because it’s easier for them. I could be completely wrong and a photographer is reading this and hates my guts now! But in my opinion, the photographer can easily get all of the family and bridal party shots done between the ceremony and reception. This is where the planner comes in! They keep everyone on track! My advice, meet with different photographers, ask them a ton of questions, and see if all three of you understand each other!

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Thank you Emily for allowing me to write a Top Ten list for you!! This has been so much FUN!!

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Xoxo,

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Wedding Planning: Venue

Ever since I started doing makeup professionally I’ve learned so much about the wedding industry and how it all works. Many of my brides have taught me so much as well. So when Matty-Cakes and I got engaged, I knew the venue was the first thing to book. Well, besides Richard of course (If you read my last post, you know what I’m referring to)!

We knew February would be a good month because it’s right before Matt has to start traveling again for his job in NASCAR. Like I’ve said before, I’m every typical girl that dreams of her wedding day. Especially with addictive websites nowadays such as Pinterest and Etsy. I had an idea in my head of where I wanted to having our ceremony and reception, I just never disclosed the location with Matt until he put a ring on it! I grew up with movies. I even have a talented brother who’s living his lifelong dream working for Disney Animation. I wanted our wedding to have an “Old Hollywood” feel to it. I knew I wanted our colors to be black, ivory, and deep red. Very classic. Feathers, bold fonts, lots of candles, pearls, lace, etc. I knew this “little” hotel in south Charlotte would be perfect for my Old Hollywood wedding………..

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So one Saturday morning in February my parents, Matt, and I were off to the glorious Ballantyne Hotel and Spa. We were welcomed with champagne to toast to US!! The sales rep, Monica, then took us on a tour of all of the different rooms that are offered. Guest rooms, bridal suites, presidential suite, etc. She showed us the gigantically miraculous Ballantyne Ballroom. It’s almost 7,000 square feet!! We could split up the ballroom and have the ceremony on one side and the reception on the other. She then took us over to the Carolina Room where we could easily have our ceremony with up to 150 guests. It was gorgeous!!! Floor to ceilings windows looking over the golf course, guests entering through the outside terrace, dim candle light up the aisle at sunset in the cold winter. It was perfect! Next she took us upstairs to the smaller Fairway Ballroom. It took me a minute but Matt fell in love with it first. It also has floor to ceiling windows looking over the golf course along the back wall. I think why I wasn’t thrilled with it at first was due to the lower ceilings (I know it’s not much.. 11 feet compared to the Ballantyne Ballrooms 16 feet but still!!). But as I thought about it, we could drape the walls to make the ceiling seem higher and give it drama.

And then the favorite part of the tour happens….. Monica takes us to lunch at the hotels restaurant. As we get to the table there are little cookies in the shape of a wedding cake with Matt & Casey written in frosting!! I was SOLD!! Monica was so sweet, answered all of our questions, and went above and beyond great customer service. We had a great lunch and decided on an official date…. February 1st, 2014!! Once we realized that it falls on the day before the SuperBowl, Matt and I thought it would be best to wait and leave for our honeymoon on Monday the 3rd. My Atlanta Falcons could go up against his New England Patriots and dammit, I’m not missing that!!

I had a rather easy and seamless experience as far as booking our venue. So here’s a few pointers for you future brides:

1. DON’T set a date first!! You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to find a venue that has your date open.

2. Go look at venues before you do anything else if you don’t have a wedding planner. This way, you’ll know more of what you want as far as decorations and such.

3. Are you inviting a lot of out of town guests? If so, think of a venue near hotels. Or do like me and book a hotel for everything!

4. Go over budget for the wedding beforehand so you know about what you can spend.

5. Remember, no question is stupid!! Make a list for the sales rep!! Ask about catering, beverage, decoration policies, preferred vendors, penalizations for using outside rentals (Trust me, they do this!), do they provide tables and chairs, etc!

6. And most important, were you blown away with your experience touring the venue?! If so, go with your gut!

MAKEUP:

I LOVE doing an Old Hollywood look for brides and models!! Red lips, winged black eyeliner, thick lashes, soft pink blush. You could do it for anything! Work, out to dinner, out on the town with your girlfriends, anytime!! Here’s some good products to play with for this look:

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1. MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

2. Benefit They’re Real Mascara

3. NARS Orgasm Blush

4. Dior Lipstick in Cherry Red

 

Hope everyone got something out of this! Til next time!

Xoxo,

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It’s Wedding Season and…. I’m Getting Married Too!!

I’m a horrible person. I have not met my New Year’s resolution and blogged every couple of weeks :(. My reasoning; Wedding season has kept me SUPER busy making brides, maids, and mama’s feel beautiful, also… I’m planning my OWN wedding!!! My fiancé and I are finally making it official February 1st, 2014. Being in the wedding industry I knew that planning a wedding was a lot of work. But I never thought it would be this stressful! I’ve had my share of panic attacks, meltdowns, and explosive arguments with Matt out of pure exhaustion and stress.

I always thought this time would be special and exciting and precious (and it mostly has been) but what some people don’t know about me is I’m a true Virgo! I want everything done at once! We took a tour of our venue (Ballantyne Hotel & Spa) not even a week after we got engaged. I emailed our photographer (more about him later!) the very NEXT DAY because I’m neurotic like any normal Virgo. You see, I’ve had our wedding all planned a couple years into our relationship. I’m like every average girl and knew exactly how I wanted our wedding to be. So as soon as that ring was on my finger, I started booking vendors!

First, before anything, I’d like to do a weekly post of my own wedding planning experiences and vendor spotlights. And of course incorporate makeup in there too! Does that sound okay?!

My first vendor spotlight is our amazingly talented and brilliant photographer Richard Israel. I’ve been quietly stalking Richard for almost 2 years now. As soon as I first saw his work, I knew that I wanted him for my non-existent wedding at the time! Our wedding is going to have an “Old Hollywood” feel to it. Our colors are black, ivory, and dark red. Very classic but yet sexy. I knew Richard would be perfect for this! Richard does quite a bit of black and white but he also uses old cameras with film to give the photo texture and a vintage feel. Old Hollywood themed wedding + Richard = perfection in my eyes!! His ability to make photography into beautiful art astounds me. He makes every photo literally look like a dream world.

After emailing back and forth we set a date to meet. Can I just tell you, this man is stylish!! Boots, leather, scarf, fedora, distressed denim. I knew Richard was from the UK so I was excited to sit and have a conversation with him because who doesn’t love a good British accent?! We had a great meeting and we all “gelled” and we told him we wanted him for our big day on the spot! And now the fun begins…. Engagement session!!! I’ve never worked with a photographer that gave better direction than Richard did with us. I told him beforehand that I didn’t want Matt and I to pretend like we were models like most engagement sessions. I’m not saying most engagement sessions are boring or uninteresting by any means!! It’s just not Matt and I. Matt is an amazing cook thanks to his Italian heritage and the wonderful women in his family. I like to watch him cook because unfortunately I didn’t get the cooking gene. So I wanted to capture that. I also wanted our two dogs in a few because they’re our world and part of our little family. After making meatballs and a quick wardrobe change on my part we headed to our neighborhoods cute little wooden bridge. Can I just say that Richard captured who Matt and I are perfectly when we got there (You’ll see below!). We then went down under the bridge into some wooded areas and he got some beautiful shots with his film camera. With a splinter in my bum, cut up feet from walking in thorns with bare feet, we were finished. I knew I would be pleased. And a week later, we were more than pleased. We were ecstatic!

I could never say enough good things about Richard. Brides, models, mothers, fathers, and EVERYONE check out his work. It’s breathtaking. I hope you enjoy some of our engagement photos as much as we do!

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Thank you Richard for creating photos for us to cherish forever! To everyone else, I hope you enjoyed This little bit of my life. Of course I can’t leave without letting you know what makeup colors I was wearing! Here you go!!

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 ***All MAC Cosmetic products***

1. Jest Eye Shadow (Lid and brow highlight) *One of my favorite colors!

2. Satin Taupe Eye Shadow (Blend into crease and on bottom lash line under liner) *My absolute go-to color!!!

3. Carbon Eyeshadow (Blend on outer lid corner up into crease)

4. Penultimate Eyeliner (Top lid and water line halfway underneath)

5. Sculpt and Highlighting Powder (Take the dark color and lightly blend a soft line under your cheek bone. Take the highlight powder and lightly dust your cheekbones and up to the temples)

6. Blankety Lipstick *another go-to!

7. Soar Lipliner

All Products can be found HERE!!!

 

Till Next Week!! Xoxo,

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