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!
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
Family Memories, photos of grandparents
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hair, or the lack thereof, has always been used as a way to express our personality, our physical state, or even our current favorite color. Looking back on 2018, my brides’ hair varied from extensively braided up-do’s to flowing, loose curls. It complemented their dresses, matched the themes of their weddings, and it was created in a way to accommodate the season for which their celebration took place. A common factor amongst them all that I noticed, was that their hair was done in a way to accentuate and enhance their natural beauty, which is how every bride deserves to feel on their wedding day. Here’s a few bridal hair styles that can give you inspiration for a formal, night out, or even your future special day.
The anticipation that builds for the Oscars isn’t only to see which of your favorite actors is going to win an award of a lifetime, it’s a cat walk of the simple, avant-garde, and down-right out of the ordinary. This years annual event showcased sleekly-designed gowns, spring-time colors galore, and metallics that would make any disco ball jealous. We also had our occasional androgynous ‘fit that fully exemplified that any one can pull off any style as long as you have the confidence to wear it. Here’s a few of my favorite picks from last weekend’s Oscars. Maybe it’ll give you the unknown inspiration you’ve been longing for.
There is something about the deep hues of fall that compliment a woman so beautifully – just look at what happens to Mother Nature this time of year! The rust colored leaves, the golden sunlit rays, the red, ripe berries and apples; it is easy to see how this inspires makeup trends.
For your fall wedding, envision wine-stained lips, classic reds, magenta shadow-swept eyes, and hints of metallic gold and silver. If you aren’t accustomed to wearing a lot of color, incorporate it subtly. Apply just a pop of metallic gold shadow on the inner corner of your lids. You could opt for a bolder burgundy lip color and go for the bare minimum everywhere else. Remember to keep your favorite product on hand for touch-ups, and after quick stolen kisses with the groom ;)
Check out a few of my brides who opted for a splash of color other than in their floral decor!
I am in love with these beautiful bridal makeup looks! Perfect for the fall bride!
If you are a bolder bride who loves trying different makeup trends, be brave, and opt for one of these jaw-dropping palettes!
A few of my favorite fall products are courtesy of Smashbox cosmetics. This makeup line was engineered by photographers - of course I love it! Work a few of these products into your fall beauty regimen and you'll battle Mother Nature for the prettiest colors this season!
No matter what color your lips or eyes are, nothing will be able to compare to that beautiful bridal glow you'll have on the day of your wedding. Now if only we could get someone to bottle that up!
Love is more than just a pretty face, but let’s be honest - on your wedding day, we all want that picture-perfect smile! Seems easy enough, right? Then suddenly, you are flipping through your photos, and *gasp* there it is – that dreaded double chin! Now, you could spend an entire week binge watching Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model give girls coaching on how to thrust that chin forward, or you could read on below and save that time for addressing your wedding invitations!
Secret #1: Pull your shoulders back, push your chest out slightly, and gently extend your head forward. This is a great way to avoid that double chin. It may feel a bit awkward and weird, but Tyra says that makes for the prettiest pictures anyway. It also helps to accentuate your collarbone, allowing your shoulders and neck to look thinner.
Secret #2: Angle your face. Try to avoid direct head-on shots as these can sometimes result in an absence of shadows, and this can make your face appear wider. Instead, turn your head just slightly to the right or left, tilt your chin outwards and downwards and look at something just above your natural line of sight. This has the added bonus of emanating a soft and demure pose.
Secret #3: This one may also seem a little strange at first, but you’ll swear by its results! Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth while smiling. This draws very subtle tension into your jawline – an effective way to avoid the double chin, and also aids to elongate your neck.
Bonus Tip: “Look Away Trick” – this one takes practice, but is easy enough to do in the privacy of your own house (something I suggest since it could look a bit strange to anyone who might be watching – trust me). Instead of freezing your smile in place for a hundred photos, try looking away from the camera and look back with a big smile just before the snap of the shutter. Your smile will be more genuine and fresh, lighting up your eyes, and making for a gorgeous shot!
Tyra’s Bonus Tip: “The Smize” – Tyra loves this word, a mash-up of her most-used phrase on ANTM, “Smile with your eyes.” If you don’t like to show off those pearly whites, this is a great tip for you. Take a second to relax your face, open your mouth just slightly, and allow your lower lip to match the curve of your upper teeth. Tilt your chin just barely down, look up at the camera with your eyes, and faintly lower your lids – be sure to channel all the happiness of your big day to shine through!
So let’s face it, maybe you didn’t lose that last five pounds before lacing up your gown, but who’s going to notice when you’ve got a face like Tyra Banks?
It's always about the smiles
During wedding day there is nothing more amazing than looking at a bride's smile, mostly because it is what she's doing all day long. Our brides glow, literally radiate pure joy on their wedding day and it beams out at us through the ear to ear smiles we see throughout the day.
So the beauty tip this week is all about the pearly whites. Having a confident smile starts at your dentists office. As doctor recommended you should get your teeth cleaned every six months, but leading up to wedding day what's wrong with an extra cleaning and teeth whitening. Nothing in my book! I consider it the same as a facial or getting your hair and make-up done. As all girls should know, looking your best on camera starts with planning a routine ahead of time.