Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Five Failproof Wedding Makeup Tips

Every woman aspires to be the most beautiful bride on her wedding day, and this naturally requires time and planning to make sure you appear absolutely flawless. Once you’ve chosen your dream wedding dress and matching accessories, select a makeup style that reflects your own personal sense of style. Keep in mind it’s going to be a long day and you need to plan accordingly. Rather than retouching your makeup every hour, choose products that will last from when you walk down the aisle right up until you wave farewell to your guests. Here are five helpful tips to ensure your makeup is a hit on your big day.

1)     Select Flattering Shades
For women with neutral skin tones, choose pink or warm brown and cream or cool lilac. For cooler skin tones, excellent picks include plum, lilac or pink. And if you have a warm/olive skin tone, light pink, muted brown and dazzling beige are best. These color palettes are a good guideline for selecting lipstick, blushers, and eye shadows that will look most striking on you.

2)     Long-lasting Lips
Make sure you do your research and selecting a lip color that will not fade throughout the day. Trusted brands such as Maybelline and Revlon will make sure you look picture perfect all day, plus it won’t smudge all over your groom’s face when you lean in for that special kiss.

3)     All About Angles
During the wedding ceremony, the right side of your face is often visible to your guests when you’re standing at the altar. Make sure you’re not hiding your glowing face with sweeping hair or a distracting headpiece. Your guests and photographers want to see every emotion on your pretty face as you exchange vows with your groom.

4)     Less Is More
Try to avoid choosing a makeup look that makes you unrecognizable. Although it may be tempting to follow all the latest dramatic make up trends, you should try and keep it simple. Your makeup style should complement your overall wedding look, not steal the show. A good rule of thumb is to accentuate either your lips or eyes for understated elegance.

5)     Luscious Lashes
Finish off your bridal look with good quality waterproof mascara. There’s bound to be a few tears shed on your special day, and even if you’re not one to let your emotions overcome you, thick, creamy mascara will give you fuller and longer-looking lashes that will last all day long.

Whether your hiring a makeup artist or planning to do your own, make sure you consider these simple failproof makeup tips for a ravishing bridal look that will take everyone’s breath away.

About SimplyBridal in an online retailer of quality wedding dresses, bridesmaid gowns, and wedding accessories. SimplyBridal now delivers to North America, much of Europe, and parts of Asia. We offer over 400 made to order wedding dress styles and our bridesmaid dresses come in 28 eye-catching colors.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Michelle and Adam Get Married at Haywood Hall!

Last February I met Adam and Michelle to begin planning their ceremony for their wedding on October 19, 2013 at the historical Haywood Hall, a popular downtown Raleigh wedding venue and the oldest house in Raleigh. They chose to have their wedding in the garden area in front of the scuppernong arbor. The weather was rather iffy and overcast with rain threatening. They had vacillated back and forth about a tent but finally decided to take their chances and it all worked out! Their reception was nearby at the new Museum of Life Sciences. 
When Marty and I arrived the chairs were in place with pretty flowers decorating them. Our violinist, Craig, with Arioso Strings arrived about the same time and set up his place and a place for Ed, the guitarist, to join him. There was a race going on all around us and the traffic was definitely clogged due to barricaded streets but we managed to start on time! I got my sound system set up and did a sound check. Then Jim Colman, our photographer, arrived and we greeted each other. It had been a while since we had worked together so it was good to see Jim again.
The scuppernong arbor was bedecked with hanging flower balls and pretty petals underneath.
Ed arrived and he and Craig began warming up.
I sent the bride, her father, and the bridesmaids out the back door to circle around behind the gazebo while the groomsmen and I got lined up to make our entrance first. 
Our director, Betsy, got the mothers lined up with their escorts. Adam escorted his mother in and our groomsman Tom escorted the mother of the bride.
The groomsmen are holding flowers that will be part of a "circle of love" created around the couple during the ceremony before they make their vows. The table with candle is a memorial to Adam's father who has passed on from this earth but is dearly missed, especially on this day.
Our beautiful bridesmaids are ready to make their entrance.
Then our lovely little flower girl, Charlotte, and ring bearer, Chase, made their entrance. Charlotte was old enough to understand what she was to do and did a good job. Chase, age 3 1/2, didn't quite understand what he was to do and ended up kicking the ring pillow down the aisle and running crying to his mother, one of the bridesmaids. Adam's mom quickly retrieved him and he was fine for the rest of the ceremony! This is not uncommon!
Michelle and her father, Art, made their grand entrance next.
Michelle and Adam met when friends of theirs drug them to a joint gathering of two Carolina Hurricanes Fans Twitter groups (one in Raleigh, the other in Wilmington) back in April of 2011. They definitely noticed each other but it was when the two groups convened for another social gathering in Wilmington that they really connected and stayed up all night talking. By mistake Michelle gave Adam her father's phone number (one digit different than hers) and when he sent a text, her father texted back "and now you have my number too!" They started hanging out together a lot and soon became a couple and inseparable. Adam proposed at PF Chang's where they had earlier both confessed their love for each other. They told me that Adam's mother at that point started planning their wedding and they had a running joke that she would just tell them where and when to show up!
I had them each tell me in confidence what they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. Then I tell them for the first time during the ceremony. It is a tender moment! About this time in the ceremony I felt raindrops and Michelle mouthed to me "it's raining." I walked over to my sound system and handed a nearby guest a plastic bag to cover it with and went right on with the ceremony. Thankfully the rain let up again quickly.
Notice the circle of flowers around our couple? These were flowers carried in by the mothers and wedding party. "These flowers represent not only a new beginning for our bride and groom, marking this spot in their lives, but also the love of each person who placed it.....Each flower is a show of support for our bride and groom as they become husband and wife as they begin this new, amazing and wonderful journey together." Then they exchanged vows and rings.
Oh happy day!!!
Cute! These two groomsmen pulled pink sunglasses from their pockets before recessing!
This young man came up to speak to me after the ceremony to tell me he had a good time. I had noticed him earlier taking pictures. His politeness and curiosity were refreshing!
Michelle and Adam, you two are a great match and I know you are going to create a wonderful life together. I wish you loads of love, happiness and contentment!
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Allison and Andrew's Wonderful Wedding at the Matthews House!

Allison and Andrew have known each other for a long time! They met their junior year in high school in New Jersey when Andrew's family moved there from New York and he was the "new boy at school." They hit it off as friends right away but shortly after graduation, Allison's parents moved to Virginia. They both went off to separate colleges and pursued advanced degrees, all while just keeping in touch and seeing each other from time to time but not as a couple! The first spark of more than friendship occurred in January of 2011 when Allison visited Andrew, but nothing more than some glances and low key flirting. It was when Andrew traveled to Greensboro NC to visit Allison and take her to the law school prom (first I knew of law schools having proms!). They shared their first kiss that night and by the time the weekend ended, they decided that they were perfect for each other--something their friends had known all along! It was long-distance romancing until February of 2012 when Andrew landed a job in Raleigh and he moved here while Allison was madly studying for the bar exam which she passed, of course! He proposed 8 months later. They chose the date of October 12, 2013 and the lovely Matthews House for their venue. 
Doing a sound check before the ceremony and chatting with Kelley Kennedy who owns Teacup Floral. I met Kelley last year at several Professional Wedding Guild networking luncheons and was so impressed with her originality and fresh ideas. She was a fashion designer in New York for many years before she and her husband decided to move south and start a family. She told me that although she worked in fashion design, floral design was her real passion! I referred Allison and Andrew to Kelley and I was delighted that they hired her.  
Our DJ Lenny Fritts with Touch of Class DJs has his portable set up on the porch into which I plug my microphone. The weather that day was very overcast and threatening rain but his equipment was protected. But I have discovered through the years that when the air is full of moisture and even when slightly spitting rain, the colors are really saturated and brilliant. Great for wedding pictures!
Lenny and I work together a lot. In fact, he and the Matthews House had referred the couple to me!
Kelley became a mother last year and after we spoke earlier, she went to get her adorable little girl who was in the car and so I could meet her! I thought it was wonderful that this flower professional named her daughter Magnolia Rose! Maggie for short. Isn't she adorable? And such a happy baby!
The tables were so well color coordinated and I love the mason jars with flowers that looked like they had just been plucked from a flower garden.
Instead of a wedding cake, Allison and Andrew chose to have Wedding Pies! Looks scrumptious! These were made by the Matthews House baking staff.
The aisle was decorated with hanging blue mason jars full of flowers and a clump of dusty miller at the foot of each chair.
We actually started this ceremony early. The rain looked impending and since all the guests were there, having been bussed from their hotel, we said let's go! First in are the parents--these are the parents of the groom.
Preeti Waas, manager of the Matthews House, was our very capable wedding director. Here she cues in the entrance of the mother of the bride escorted by her son.
 Bridesmaids in the lovely cobalt blue were next in. 
Now for our beautiful bride and her proud father!
After the opening prayer, we gave tribute to the couple's parents who are standing to receive and give their blessings.
 Andrew's sister, Rebecca, shared words from Ecclesiastes. 
And now for their story! Many of the guests had not heard the complete story from beginning to now so it was a lot of fun and laughs.
They had written their own vows and they were printed in my book for them to read to each other. But, Andrew surprised us all and had memorized his. He did not look down once for a prompt!
Allison was blown away and mouthed to Andrew that she had not memorized hers! 
Andrew and Allison, you were a pleasure to work with and I am honored that you chose me to help you tie the knot after all these years! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and contentment!
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