Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Veil Or Not?

I've never been a veil bride. From the very first dress I ever tried on (almost one year ago!), I never pictured myself with a veil, even though my mom made me try on a few. I was drawn to a raw veil (love how modern this feels) and then to a mantilla veil (love how vintage this feels), but in the end, I'm pretty sure I'll be walking down the aisle sans this iconic bridal accessory. 

For a short while, I considered a headband made from ribbon like these brides, and I'm still kind of in love with the idea.

I'm also considering the hair flower route as so many brides have done before. Mrs. Perfume revealed her DIY flower here, Mrs. Cupcake showed us her purse- and hair-accoutrements here, Ms. Mascara gave us the rundown on crafting your own here, and Mrs. Pineapple made a feathery flower here. While three out of the four brides above crafted their own, I would be taking the safe route and buying one pre-made. 

For inspiration on both fronts, I've been on Etsy (story of my life) and come across these lovelies.

Etsy seller Oh My Deer

Etsy seller BeSomethingNew

Etsy seller Muscari

What should I do? A hair flower or two? Or a headband? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wedding Weekend: Make-Up Trial

On Monday, before heading back to Santa Fe, I had my make-up trial with Katelyn Simkins, one of Denver's favorite make-up artists. It took almost two hours and we still didn't quite achieve the look I like, but we got darn close.  My inspiration was heavily based on the Vogue cover I blogged about here. We were aiming for dewy skin, a pewter, smudgy eye (although, not too smoky), rosy cheeks, and a glossy, stained lip. Before I show you the results, though, you deserve a make-up less picture (even though I wear a little bit of natural-looking make-up on a daily basis). 

Me (left) hiking with my two MOHs

Now, onto the trial. Here's the first iteration:

It could've been the light in her kitchen, but I looked pale. My eyebrows looked too dark. And the false eyelashes were making me feel weird about my eyes. The look was a little bit vintage, and not sun-kissed enough for what I want. Not really knowing how to tweak this look in order to achieve what I'm going for, I asked her for more cheek color and gold eyeshadow, as opposed to pewter. I really had these things in mind: gold, apricot, peach, coral, and dewy. 

This is the second version:

She didn't take much off, but she added gold to my lids and another layer of blush to my cheeks. She also added a little under-eye smudge to get the look that's on Vogue's cover. Unfortunately, the gold she used is a little more green than yellow. I became obsessed with gold eyeshadow when a friend of mine showed me MAC Goldmine. Luckily, Katelyn said she could pick some up before the wedding. 

For the third try, I wanted darker lips. I've always loved a bride who can pull off the less eyes, more lips look. By this point, though, I think I had too much on my eyes to try it out. 

It came out a little vampire-y. Maybe it was just the color lipstick? I think I'm sticking with a more natural-colored gloss. She'd also added more cheeks above, too. After this, we went back to the neutral lip color and my trial was finished. 

As the day progressed, I took a few more pictures to see what the make-up would look like over time. 

Immediately after the trial

Two hours after the trial. Still holding strong.

Six hours later. 

Katelyn definitely achieved the skin, cheeks, and lips. Now, I need to find a very specific picture of the overall look I want (in particular, eyes) so that she can achieve it on my wedding day. I definitely think she has the skills to pull it off and she got the dewy skin right (without too much shine) which seems hard to do. This is similar to what I want in terms of color:

Her lips and cheeks are similar to what I want but with gold eyes

Did your first make-up trial go as planned? Or did you have to work towards what you wanted?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding Weekend: Hair Trial

This past weekend, like most brides-to-be including Ms. Perfume, I utilized the three-day weekend to wedding plan. A six-hour drive put me up near Denver on Friday night, ready for an appointment-filled couple of days. First stop: hair trial.

My naturally-straight hair in the Bahamas

As you've seen in past pictures, I have stick-straight hair. Always have. There's nothing wrong with straight hair--I don't have to "tame my curls" or worry too much about frizz--but, I've also never seen myself with curls. I'm often fond of wedding 'dos with soft, romantic curls, but since I've never had 'em, I wonder if I could feel like myself even with a little wave. 

The minute I told my stylist, Tasha Valenti of The Look Beauty Salon in Denver, that I'd never had anything other than straight, she busted out the curling iron. I showed her my inspiration photos and off to work she went.

Tasha getting to work

Things to keep in mind: 1) I will have a fake flower as a hair accessory (more on that later), 2) Tasha kept saying, "This is just a trial. It will look much more shiny, clean, and polished on the actual day." And 3) All pictures below are by my awesome friend Melanie Lidman who sat through the whole wedding-planning weekend with me. And gave her two cents (and sarcasm) when needed.

Style 1:  Curly side ponytail with woven back

I really like it from the front but it feels a little young to me. 

Style 2: The Low, Centered Chignon

I felt like the bun was a little flat against my neck. I wanted volume! And, I've worn my hair in a low chignon for the couple of proms I went to. I'm wondering if it's time to branch out.

Style 3: The Side Bun

The point of this was to have the bun peep out from behind my head so it didn't just look like my hair was up from the front on the low chignon. As you can see from the first picture, it doesn't really do that. Hmmm...

Style 4: Messy, Low Side Ponytail

Tasha had started to pull it out before this last pic was taken which is why that one section looks particularly long. I personally like the curled ponytail and volume from Style One, but with a less young style. 

In the end, Tasha told me to look at more inspiration photos. Find one I love and she'll do the style. I trust that she can. I was surprised by how much I loved my hair down with curls. Maybe I'll let my bangs grow out and decide if I want them back closer to the wedding. And, in the meantime, I'll be keeping my eye on some celebrities for inspiration 'dos. 

Kate Bosworth

Lindsay Lohan

Tasha re-curled my hair just before I left so I could spend the day with curly hair. 

Who's hair is better?

So, hive, which style do you like best above? Any suggestions? I didn't thoroughly love any of them. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Dresses Are In

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to one of my flower girls, four-year-old Cowboy Boot Cuz. I also shared a dress I'd come across on Etsy that I thought would be simple and beautiful for three little girls at a wedding in the country. After that post, I ordered them. And what happened at the end of last week? They came!

All photos by my dear friend, Amanda Wilson

After a few back-and-forths with Etsy seller AngelWear on fabric, I decided I really wanted a vintage-looking eyelet, since the dress style, itself, was reminiscent of bygone days. AngelWear wasn't quite finding what I wanted (she lives in Hawaii and has a limited selection) so I took the job on myself and headed down to Joanne's. I came across an adorable floral eyelet for 50% off that was also the only ivory eyelet I could find (perfect, since I don't really want them in stark white).

The dresses are absolutely adorable. I sent them off to their respective owners and am hoping they get rave reviews once they arrive. AngelWear was amazing to work with--she asked me to send the fabric right away as she was headed on vacation in about 20 days and wanted to get them done before she went. She made all three dresses in one day. And for $34 a pop (including shipping).

Plus, I love the fact that they came from Hawaii since I feel a special attachment to those islands. I lived there for a summer in college and will forever find that place completely carefree and blissful. Actually, it feels something like being a child.

Did you find a great etsy seller? Share the wealth!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Whole Lotta Wedding Planning

This upcoming weekend, I've got a whole lotta wedding planning going on. A six-hour drive on Friday will pretty much put me into wedding wonderland for the following 48 to 60 hours. Saturday entails a hair trial and menu planning, Sunday involves on-site rehearsal dinner research, and Monday (yay for holidays from work!), I'll be testing out who I think will become my make-up artist. See some of the hair and make-up vendors work below!

There's something to be said for not getting married in New York or Los Angeles. While Denver (the nearest major city to my venue) is large, it's make-up artists and hair dressers are a bit more navigable than a city thirty-two times its size (yep, that's the Denver to New York ratio). While I tried Ms. Joey's Craigslist method of finding wedding-day beautifiers, it didn't quite work out. I got one reply and, alas, I wasn't excited by it.

Tasha Valenti's Hair Styling
So, I scoured Wedding Wire for some recommendations. Originally, I wanted someone who could do both hair and make-up. And while the girl I think will be doing my make-up can do hair too, she had a recommendation of a superb hair stylist since all five of my 'maids want to get their hair done.

A Before and After Make-Up Job by Katelyn Simkins

As I e-mailed a few various vendors, though, I began to see that the two-hour drive to my venue was creating some massive travel fees: $50 per hour or $125 round-trip. Yikes. Then I came across Ms. Katelyn Simkins who seems to have a real talent and charges .50 cents per mile (which ends up being about $40 each way). Not only that, she recommended Tasha Valenti from Denver's Look Beauty Boutique to do hair. Tasha agreed to jump in Katelyn's car (they're friends) and charge no extras for travel. So this weekend, I'll be giving them both a shot! And, since I likely won't be driving back up to Colorado before the wedding, I hope they work out.

Tasha Valenti doing hair for a photo shoot. She looks fun anyway!

I blogged about the Vogue cover make-up inspiration before, but besides that, I haven't shown you anything else! So, below, are the images I'll be handing to the respective stylists (note: while I have a few more on the hair side, here, I actually have some magazine tear-outs for make-up that I didn't scan in time to show you). All images below are from Project Wedding.

For hair, I'm back and forth between a low chignon and a pinned-back down look. So far, I've only seen one down-do that I like (below). I have stick-straight hair so romantic curls just aren't in the cards for me. We'll try both the bun and the down style, I'm sure.

For make-up, I'm going to a dewy look with hints of peach and gold:

Where did you find your inspiration? And your make-up and hair stylists for that matter?