Here’s a sneak peek of the styled wedding shoot I did with Kali and Keaton in early July. We started off at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to take advantage of the beautiful summer blooms that were on display, and then we ended at William’s mother’s lovely home to finish off the day. What’s even better is that my models are an actual couple, their chemistry is undeniable in the precious moments I captured!
If you’re a soon-to-be bride or a newlywed you know how much time and effort goes into wedding preparation. One of the many things that is or has been on your mind is: photos. Photography is the one of the only mediums that will allow you to reminisce and visually share this special day of yours, so on the day of your wedding the last thing you want to overthink is how your pictures are going to turn out. Below are a few tips to consider when preparing for your wedding celebration to ensure that your pictures look like they came straight out of a page in a magazine.
3-6 months before:
Diet and Exercise Regimen: If you feel you need to get “more in shape” before your wedding, allow yourself ample time to adjust to a healthy, regulated lifestyle. Don’t rush this process, as long as you feel your very best on your wedding day, that’s all that matters.
Schedule: Finalize a wedding day schedule so that everyone including the wedding planner, hair and makeup team, photographer, florist, and vendors are all on the same page. This will keep the day going smoothly without any hiccups.
Know Your Angles: Being comfortable in front of the camera is a MUST when aspiring to have amazing pictures. We ALL have a side we favor when taking pictures. Make this known to the photographer so they know to photograph you in a way that makes you feel confident. It’s also not a bad idea to practice taking photos to learn what poses flatters you best.
Hair and Makeup: If you're hiring a hair and makeup artist, utilize the months leading up to your wedding to do a trial run. Not only will this ensure that you love how you will look on your special day, but you can also plan to get your engagement session done after being glammed up to knock several things off of you to-do list.
1-2 months before:
Hair: Get your hair trimmed and colored a couple months leading up to your wedding. This will make sure that your hair looks fresh and healthy on your wedding day, and it will also ensure that if any mishaps occur that you can get it fixed in plenty of time,
Teeth: Just face it, you will be smiling A LOT on your wedding day which makes having pearly whites an essential! Go to your dentist or purchase whitening strips to keep your smile bright and fresh.
Facial: Getting a facial done will allow your skin to be smooth, clear, and refreshed in your photos. Giving enough time in between your facial session and the photographs is a must, though. This allows time for any possible reactions or flare-ups.
Special Picture Requests: By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how your wedding day schedule will encompass your picture spots. Have some good ideas in mind? We want to know! Set the expectation for us because we want your visual memories to be unique and personal to you!
The week of:
Manicure: Having your nails nice and neat ensures those desired ring shots are satisfactory and on point!
Ring Cleaning: We want your ring to shine on your hand and in your pictures. You’ll take everyone’s breath away with a fresh, shiny ring.
Wax/Shave: Wax and shave any unwanted hair from your body. We have professional cameras for a reason: to pick up EVERY detail. Don’t want it in your photos? Get rid of it.
Don’t Pick: What could I possibly mean by this? You’ve been planning your wedding for awhile now and have picked or assisted in picking out everything. What I mean is: don’t pick your face. Plain and simple. Makeup artists are there for a reason, and swollen faces should not be a prerogative. If you have a flare up try a trusted topical treatment you’ve been using, ice it, or stay away from mirrors to avoid the compulsion.
Night before/Day of:
Sleep: It’s hard. Excitement and nerves are coursing through your body, but a good night’s rest (7-8 hours) will keep the dark circles, stress, and exhaustion from creeping in.
Hydrate/Snack: So many brides forget to stay hydrated and eat on their wedding day. Whether that be from pure forgetfulness or refusing to do so, it is SO important to drink water and eat to avoid headaches, nausea, or even passing out. We want you to stay happy and healthy on your special day!
Take a Peek: Unsure of how pictures are turning out or out of pure curiosity, if you want to take a look at what we’re capturing, it’s okay to ask ever so often.
Timeliness: Make sure to stick to the planned schedule. We don’t want you to feel rushed and we also want to be able to capture everything we and yourself had planned.
More often than not, couples depend on their photographer’s expertise when picture time comes around on their wedding day. Poses, who’s photographed with who, location, and time of day are a few of the many things photographers take into consideration when directing their photographs to make sure that the day goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
But what happens when you trust your photographer’s routine, yet you want to make sure they capture a specific moment during your special day? You ask, of course. Special picture requests are not uncommon, and they are also a way to give your wedding memories a unique and personable vibe.
Now you’re probably wondering, “What could be considered a special picture request?”
Well, as mentioned earlier, most photographers have a routine or timeline they follow for weddings. Getting ready photos; pre-ceremony photos that include the first look (if you’re into that), bridal party, groom’s party, and immediate family pictures; ceremony photos; post-ceremony photos if you didn’t do a first look (or just want more couple portraits) that can also include friend and family group shots; and, lastly, reception photos.
Photographers usually do the basics of formal posing of the bride and groom while incorporating family and friends to record who was a part of the celebration, as well as detail shots of the floral arrangements, invitations, food, jewelry… you know, the works.
If you have something in mind that doesn’t fall into the realm of the aforementioned categories, that's when you request for a special picture.
Examples of special picture requests are listed below to give you an idea of what might take your wedding photographs to the next level; and as said earlier, if it’s not mentioned… just ask. We want to make your day as special as you have always dreamed it to be.
A location that the photographer and you didn’t previously discuss
Relics of deceased family members
Silly, high-fashion, meaningful, etc.
Those that might fall outside of immediate/close family and the bridal/groom’s party
A specific act
Usually asked when the act is outside of “normal” wedding routine
A specific setting
Sunsets, fireworks, snow, etc.
We all know weather in Alabama is bipolar to the nth degree. So, here is a list of considerations you should make for your special day, whether in Bama or not, to make sure it remains special and stress-free.
Hot, cold, in between, make sure you know the general whereabouts of where the temperature is going to be on your special day so that you can plan accordingly on beauty and attire.
Small, portable fans are a mindful consideration just in case you're stuck outside taking pictures in the heat.
Blankets and shawls on hand are also something to consider to walk around with during the cooler degrees.
Rain/Snow… any type of precipitation
Have a backup plan for possible rainouts. Most weddings are not events to postpone, so if having a tent readily available is an option, make sure you have them on speed-dial.
It is SO important to stay hydrated during your wedding day. Regardless if it’s hot or cold outside, water will keep any medical issues from occurring and it will keep you feeling fresh all day.
Hair and makeup can be a huge issue if there is imminent weather on the way. Make sure your styles are weather-appropriate, and even have a possible backup. There are many products that are on the market to keep you looking and feeling your best, just ask your stylist what they recommend.
Argan and morroccan oil can prevent and reduce frizz.
Setting spray and waterproof makeup can keep your face in place all day.
Make sure your attire is temperature-appropriate for the time of year your wedding is scheduled for. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable for a day that you are supposed to remember fondly.
If you want a short-sleeve dress during cooler weather, maybe opt for a fur shawl to place over yourself during downtime. Plus, they make for beautiful, classy pictures.
If you know there is a significant weather change on your wedding day, make sure to let your guests know so they know how to dress accordingly and schedule how they will arrive easier. They’ll surely be thanking you for your consideration.
Abigail and Mathew celebrated their sunflower-filled wedding at Windwood Equestrian on May 27, 2018 with Arden Photography. We want to extend a VERY happy one-year anniversary to this sweet couple. We hope that love continues to grow and shine light upon you. Cheers to many more!
Might be a little early in my timing, but that won’t stop Arden Photography from wishing Larkin and Garrett a magical one-year anniversary. We hope that the past year has allowed your love to grow and flourish between the two of you. We, also, hope that your future is filled with continual reminders of why each of you chose to become one together. Happy anniversary!
Happy ALMOST two-year anniversary! I had the immense joy of spending May 13, 2018 with this amiable couple on their warm, summer wedding day. Arden Photography sends lots of love and well wishes to you both on your day of wedding remembrance. Cheers to many more!
This year’s Met Gala “Camp: Notes on Fashion” was co-hosted by Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘camp’ it is defined as “an aesthetic style and sensibility that regards something as appealing because of its bad taste and ironic value.” This means more was more, and the eclectic style choices our favorite celebs made gave us mixed emotions of awe, wonder, and down-right shock. From Disney-inspired chic to the guests doing their own rendition of their celebrity aspirations to Las Vegas showgirl to the nth degree, I was not disappointed with the “lewks” that graced the 2019 Met Gala’s highly-esteemed red-carpet staircase. In no apparent order, here’s a few of my by-far faves that showed up and showed out at Monday’s event.
Almost two years ago Cari and Michael were wed at Windwood Equestrian with Arden Photography in tow. Happy EARLY anniversary to you both! We hope these past two years have been filled with love, patience, and happiness; and we wish many more years of the same!
On May 12, 2018, Lindsay and Blake were married at Windwood Equestrian. With that being said, Arden Photography wants to extend a loving, early anniversary wish to this sweet couple. We enjoyed sharing your wedding celebration with us, and we hope you can look back on your special day with fond memories!
Happy, happy, early two-year anniversary to Erin and John! This lovely couple celebrated their special day with us on May 6, 2017, and we’re still not over the excitement this day held. Arden Photography wishes you many, many years of love and adventures.
Happy EARLY one-year anniversary to Lauren and Graham! Arden Photography was beyond over-joyed to be included in your wedding celebration on April 28 2018, especially at our special place we call home, Windwood Equestrian. I loved being able to relive this beautiful day looking through your photos. You guys are truly a beautiful couple, inside and out, and I wish you so much love for the future.
Arden Photography wants to extend a HUGE happy two-year anniversary to Lacey and Carter that got married on this day, April 22nd, in 2017! We are so honored to have been a part of your special day, and we wish you many more years of happiness and love.
Easter is quickly approaching and if you haven’t had the time to figure out what you will be clad in, don’t fret quite yet. Easter is typically viewed as a conservative holiday having most people attend church and family affairs. So, since it’s a day to celebrate, of course you want to look (and feel) your absolute best! Below are a few color and style options for a last-minute search to help you queue in what you’re looking for.
Easter Color Palette:
Pastels are always a spring must. These soft colors compliment a wide variety of skin tones, while also bringing color to your wardrobe in a more subdued manner.
Kelly Green has gotten extremely popular over the past couple of months, and it won’t stop now. Green is a strong, statement color, so it can be left simple with only the color to admire, or you can accessorize it in a way to subdue the color. Yellow can be a bit off-putting and it doesn’t suit everyone with the right confidence, anyone can pull it off with their own flattering, joy-inducing shade.
If you want to go a little more under the radar these neutral shades have got your back (literally). Jade is a muted version of its brighter counterpart previously mentioned if you still want to add color to your ‘fit. Navy is a softer version of black, but is still just as flattering! It will also keep you from getting as hot if you were wearing black in this Alabama weather.
Easter Style Watch:
This SUPER flattering style of dress hits you right where it matters at your waist, brings it in, and hides anything underneath its overlay structure.
Chic and comfortable. What more could you ask for? Maxi dresses come in so many styles, you’ll be sure to find one that fits your personality to a ‘T.’
Skip trying to find a two-part ensemble, and go straight to the rack filled with jumpsuits and rompers. Pants or shorts, you get to decide, but jumpsuits and rompers come in a variety of styles sure enough to fit what you’re going for this Easter holiday.
Remember the galcho? Well this is it’s hotter, older sister. Coulettes are usually cropped and flare at the ankle. A high-waisted version of this pant pared with a nice, blouse, and a clean heel, can bring a boss babe vibe to any get-together,
It is REALLY easy to get wrapped up in how the big picture of your wedding day is going to look like. We’ve all been in that position of last-minute, impulse packing, and when you arrive at your destination, you realize you have forgotten the tiniest detail that makes all of the difference. So, here’s to you! I made a quick and easy list, beauty edition, for you to check off on your wedding day. Say bye-bye to having to turn that car around or sprinting through a Walgreens, and say hello to a relaxing, stress-free pampering sesh!
Lipstick color of choice
If you have a h&mu team, they’ll most likely have lip colors to use, but it’s always nice to have one of your own to touch up throughout the day and keep your lip color intact and fresh.
A LOT of things can occur right before that special moment of walking down the aisle, especially with your mane. Having a travel-sized hairspray handy can keep those fly-aways out of your face and secure any undesired loose business.
Bobby pins/Hair elastics
As previously stated, hair can be very unpredictable. Having a couple of bobby pins/hair elastics laying around can be useful if hair goes array.
If you wear fake lashes, lash glue is a must! Emotions will be flowing, or at least your allergies might, and watery eyes can lead to lashes falling right off. Lash glue on hand is perfect for fixing up any teary-eyed issues.
Taking pictures before your ceremony can quickly make anyone get an undesired, “oily” glow. A makeup brush that you’ve used with your personal powder, or even one with no product on it, can blot the oiliness right off of your face.
Fix fly-aways or add some volume to your locks. Most teasing combs are small in stature, so they’re easy to tote around.
Keep those lashes locked into place and free from worry about happy tears.
Tweezers are never not useful and can be used for a variety of actions like: plucking eyebrows, putting on lashes, fixing jewelry, etc.
Ever have one of those “why do bad things happen to good people” moments? At least that’s my exact thoughts when I chip a nail. Stowing away your nail color will prevent that thought from even starting to run across your mind (and keep the mani fresh for those up-close ring shots).
As funny as it may sound, forgetting to stay hydrated is really easy when you’re getting ready for that smooch of a lifetime. Not only does it keep you from being parched, but drinking a lot of water several weeks before your wedding can help clear up skin and your digestive tract.
Happy one-year anniversary to this lovely couple! Hannah and McKinley got married at Windwood Equestrian on April 14, 2018. This couple is so kind-spirited, and I loved being able to spend your wedding day with the both of you. Much love from Arden Photography, and well wishes of happiness in the future.
Amanda Sturgis is a cosmetologist with a specialization in hair cut & color based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She works at Salon Studios in Northport, Alabama.
With over 25 years under her belt, Amanda has seen it all in the cosmetology world. Bleach fails, the “I thought it was going to turn out this color” plea, & bad cuts galore have yet to deter her from this passion. Rather, she welcomes it with open arms to help get her client’s back to their most comfortable & confident state. Amanda makes it her goal to have her clients not only happy, but also educated so that they know why she may recommend something different from their original hair excursion. Healthy hair is a priority when you sit down in her salon chair.
Primarily a salon hair stylist with a devoted clientele, weddings are far & few between, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her fair share of preparing lovely brides on their wedding.
Below are a few tips & considerations to make when thinking about YOUR big day’s locks:
Enhance what you’ve been naturally given.
You want to look & feel like the best version of yourself on your wedding day.
The hair style you choose should be dependent on your dress style and the time of day, time of year, & theme of your wedding.
To make everything look cohesive & to feel the most comfortable, you’ll want to be aware of your wedding-day decisions prior to setting your mind onto a hair style.
Soft, natural curls & updos are on trend right now.
Be unique & do what makes you happy. If that’s following trends because you like the style & the way it makes you feel, then go for it. If not, talk it out with your hair stylist to create a style that enhances your beauty the most and makes you feel unique during your celebration.
If styling your hair with elastics and/or bobby pins, make sure they match your hair color or are translucent.
Pesky hair ties/bobby pins can distract from your hair style in pictures and in person. Have your stylist hide them within the hair style or use something similar to your hair color so that they will blend right in.
When using hair spray, make sure it doesn’t leave a film over your hair and that your hair still has movement.
Too many a times people feel that for a hair style to stay, they have to spray a TON of hairspray into their hair, yet if you have a quality hairspray your hair style should stay intact all day long without leaving it looking and feeling crunchy.
Madeline Hulsey is a professional hair & make-up artist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She works at Wildflower Hair and Nail Studio in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Madeline, better known as Maddie, specializes in hair cutting & coloring, & she has been doing hair & makeup as a career since she was 16 years old.
Maddie never meets a stranger. Her kind-hearted, bubbly personality always leaves her customers feeling enlightened & joyous by her radiant character.
Working in the beauty community for several years now, Maddie knows a thing or two when it comes to preparing her brides & bridal parties, albeit she would never admit that herself.
Here are a few quick & easy tips Maddie swears by to leave your wedding day, at least the hair & makeup aspect, a little more stress-free:
Sometimes… less is more. On your wedding day, ensure to enhance your beauty instead of reinventing an entirely new look.
You want people to appreciate the beauty you already have shining within you.
Water keeps your skin replenished and gives it that top-notch bridal glow.
Get plenty of rest. You would be surprised with how much a few extra hours of sleep helps on your big day.
More sleep = clear skin, reduced stress, less fatigue, & less bloating.
Skincare is KEY for a refreshed look. Start a stable skincare routine a few months out from your wedding.
By giving yourself enough time in between finding out what skin products work for you & your big celebration, your skin will be thanking you for giving it that little extra attention & time, & you will be feeling unstoppable.
Make sure your in love with your trial run.
If you’re not feeling something during your trial, you most likely won’t be feeling it on your wedding day either. Ask questions or suggest something you want to do. It is YOUR big day after all, we just want to make you feel comfortable & special.
Get a lip color you adore & take it to your trial.
This allows you not to have to worry about pesky touch-ups after the hair & make-up team head out. Some artists give you a complimentary lip color, but that isn’t the case all of the time.
Make sure your hair is freshly colored and shiny for your big day.
Of course, only if you want to. Fresh color and conditioning treatments just give your hair that extra luster you’ll be appreciating looking back at photographs.
Lashes are a MUST!
They make your eyes appear more wide awake & bright, & they pull together the final touches of any makeup look.
You can also get them customized with individual lashes so that you can control the lash intensity, volume, & length.
Being present in the pageant world has taught the current Miss Alabama USA, Hannah McMurphy, a ton about makeup: what looks good, what doesn’t, and a whole lot of trial and error. But, before her current namesake, and prior to being fully invested in the pageant community, Hannah worked, and still works, as a hair and makeup artist for weddings, pageants, and formal events.
Despite weddings and pageants having vastly different end-products, one ending with a ring on one’s finger and the other, hopefully, a crown atop one’s head, they do share some commonalities in the makeup realm. When approaching makeup in both the wedding and pageant style, here are a few tips and tricks your local Alabama representative has dubbed as fool-proof:
Eyelashes are a MUST! They tie together the look and add extra glam and definition to the eyes.
Brows are SO important! Fill those babies in, and remember they’re sisters NOT twins.
“Usually a shade range of one to three shades lighter or darker of your natural hair color is the safe zone for brow fill-in color.”
Bronzing your face gives more dimension and liveliness to your features. Don’t be scared of it! Just remember to build the color up.
For a “snatched” looking nose, contour along the bridge of your nose, not on the sides as that can make it look wider. Go in with a highlight and lightly apply it in a thin, but blended, line down your bridge. For added contour, take an under-eye powder and place it along the sides of your nose around the contoured area. This will blend the wider parts of your nose into your face and accentuate only the contoured part.
A good under-eye powder will brighten up your face, make it appear more open, and clean up any fall-out.
“Under-eye powder is GREAT in moderation. Don’t put too much on, though, it can flash back with flash photography and make you appear like you have white circles under your eyes.”
Try: bareMinerals Well Rested Under Eye Powder Concealer
Slightly over line your lips for a poutier look.
“This tip can go south very fast. You only want to over line the fullest part of your lips right above the natural lip line. I always use a gloss, too, to pack a little more punch.”
Hi! Kali, here! Not only am I Arden’s intern, but I also do hair and makeup for weddings, pageants, and formal events.
When I think weddings, I think glowing bride. And by glowing, I mean highlight, highlight, and oh, did I mention, highlight?
My go-to makeup for brides and bridesmaids, unless if they know specifically what they want and/or provide examples, is light, shimmery eye shadows, dewy skin, and nude, pink-y lips. I feel that this look gives enough drama to the client while also not taking away from their natural beauty. Enhancing is the goal.
Contrary to most beauty routines, I usually start with the eyes. This allows easier clean up of fall-out and less stress on the artist for accidents. I lightly fill-in the brows before starting eyeshadow, and then I come back in with an eyeshadow primer and/or concealer to clean up the brow and prime the eyes for eyeshadow. Eyebrows are SO important because they are what frame one of the most important features of your face. The key with eyeshadow is to BLEND and build the color. It is a lot easier to make an eye darker than to lighten it up. Pearls and champagnes make for beautiful brow bone, inner corner, and inner eye highlight and ultimately brighten up the eyes and make them appear brighter and more awake. From there, I tend to stick to neutral, warm browns and light oranges as transition shades in the crease, and bronze and deep browns for the outer corner. Whatever I use on the lid, I drag down below the lower lash line. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT to pull together the eyeshadow. It makes the eyeshadow look complete and balances the eye out. If someone likes darker eyeshadows, I’ll add dark gray or black to the outer corner, but like I said earlier, it is much easier to ask the client what they would prefer after the final look is complete. People ALWAYS have different thoughts on what natural and glam makeup look like, so it’s much easier to build up the color than try to take away. For eyeliner, I stick to browns in the waterline because it is not as harsh as black, and on the lid, I usually only use a deep brown or black eyeshadow on a thin angled brush to have a soft, smokier look.
On to lashes! A good mascara is a must, and I love L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise… waterproof of course. We’re talking about the chance of tears looking pretty high, always happy ones though. I always recommend fake lashes to every client. To me, they pull together any look and add extra glam to the bridal party. If clients are wary about strip lashes, individual lashes are a great alternative. They tend to feel less invasive, and they can be built up to suit any person’s preference. The great thing about fake lashes, too, is that they’ll come off when you wash your makeup off!
After eyes, I move on to foundation, cleaning up any fall-out around the eye before applying. Doing it in this order is just preference, though. Personally, I feel that it can make for a cleaner, accident-free session. Regarding foundation, you don’t want something cake-y or drying, so I try to steer myself toward light-to-medium coverage foundations like Fenty Beauty or Estee Lauder. I usually use a damp beauty blender to pat on the foundation onto the client’s face. The beauty blender allows you to control the coverage of the foundation pretty well, so as not to cover up too much. Unless if asked to do so, we LOVE to see brides’ and bridesmaids’ freckles and moles! After foundation, I’ll use concealer to get the under-eye and spot treat any additional problem areas. Remember the goal is to enhance, not cover up.
Once base is complete, I usually go in with a baking or banana powder and set along the under eye, across the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, on the chin, and underneath the hollows of the cheek. To me, this adds extra definition and dimension to the face. A bronzer/contour powder is used next to shade and add more color to the client’s face. It is very important to make sure that whatever shading color you are using is not too orange or too gray. We don’t want Cheetos or the Walking Dead to be present at the ceremony. Then I go in with blush on the apples of the cheek. I tend to be attracted more to rosy pinks, corals, and peaches because I feel they give the most natural looking “blushing bride” face.
Then, to my FAVORITE part. H I G H L I G H T. To me, highlight adds that extra glow, sparkle, and oomph to any bridal makeup. I usually go for champagnes, golds, pearls, and light pink highlighters, as they seem to blend more seamlessly into the skin and compliment a wide array of complexions. I place it along the high points of the cheekbones, lightly down the bridge of the nose, on the cupid’s bow, center of the chin, and my favorite spot ABOVE the brows.
After finishing the face, I do the lips. Most of the time the bride or bridesmaid know what colors they want to use, have to use, or prefer, but if not my go-to is a nude or light berry pink. I fill in their lips with a corresponding lipliner color first, as this prevents lip color from bleeding and allows the color to stay longer and be more vivid. Then, I go in with the desired lip color. I tend to be drawn to lip glosses more so than lipsticks, but it’s always up to the client’s preferences.
Lastly, to set everything in place I use a setting spray (Morphe’s is one of my faves), and then I lightly pat in the setting spray with the previously used damp beauty blender, as I have found that this melds the makeup more seamlessly into the skin.