Hair & Makeup Trial

This weekend I get to be made up! I’m doing my hair & makeup trial on Sunday. To say I’m really excited is an understatement!

When picking who I would use as my “Beauty Crew”…I knew instantly that Michelle Larner would be my go to girl! I’ve had a relationship with her for quite a few years & I refer all my clients to her for their wedding day makeup. Which is why it was an extremely easy decision when it came to my wedding day vendors. Here are a few shots of some of the incredible work she does.

{Images: Wedding Makeup by Michelle Larner}

Next up was Hair…through the years of planning weddings & working with beauty artists it became apparent that a lot of Makeup Artists work as a team with a Hair Vendor. They usually team up for client weddings & they work seamlessly together. There is an art to timing the Bride’s makeup & hair so that neither looks dull or flat {from all standpoints}. Especially when most Brides also have some of the girls in their Bridal Party do their hair & makeup as well.

I found that the process of picking a hairstylist for the wedding day is easier if the Makeup Artist works with someone exclusively. And Michelle does, which is great because it was one less vendor I had to worry about. Plus because I trust Michelle’s work so much I knew who she picked as her sidekick would have to reflect that same amount of quality & creativity as her work does. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Tara Jeanetti is my hairstylist for the wedding day & Capelli By Tara company was the way to go. I looked at her work online & felt confident with what she could create.

Now for the look…Because our wedding will be an evening, formal ~ black tie optional wedding, rather dramatic lighting ~ I wanted to create the same look for me. Smokey eyes that pop, BIG lashes & soft lips {don’t want to overwhelm}…

My hair would be rather simple…soft curls & pinned throughout. An almost unmade look actually.

So there you have it…the look I’m going for. I can’t wait to see my vision created by these talented artists. What I’m most excited about is sharing with you all the vision for the overall Wedding from my head…onto Blog…and into reality. And then come February, 2013…I’ll be able to post how it all came together. And if the vision that I pictures was true to what took place. It’s an overall exciting journey that I’m looking forward to bringing to life.

Advertisements

I Said YES to the Dress!

On April 21st, 2012 I said YES to my Dress….and here is how the whole experience went down. Like I tell all my Brides right before they get their dresses….when they ask me, “but how will I know?”…I say trust me…you will know!

Everyday when I go to work I pass this small Bridal Boutique & my mom said why not, lets give it a try. It’s called Nouveau Bride  in Merrick, NY. I also made an appointment with Bridal Reflection in Massapequa {where most LI Brides do their shopping}…

Now of course as most Brides do, I did my research online, looking at dresses upon dresses, looking for THE ONE….I even watched like 15 straight episodes of “Say Yes to The Dress” {NY and Atlanta}…to get maybe an even better idea of what type of dress I wanted. Well…it didn’t seem to help cause I was all over the place. I had pictures of ball gown dresses, A-line, Trumpet & Lace. But what I did know is that I was willing to try ANY style & wasn’t “married” to one particular style of dress or fabric.

So we both went in with open minds & some pictures that as soon as we walked into Nouveau Bride’s shop I had to discard cause they had NONE of the styles that I brought with me. {shrug}…OK so back to the ol’ drawing board & completely from scratch. I said OK what DO you have?

Well I tried on Ball Gowns, I tried on ALL lace & Tulle Dresses…somehow the way things were going I didn’t think we were going to be here for long. I had a decent but NOT over the top budget because my wonderful Mom & Dad were planning on paying for the dress…I think I tried on about 5 dresses & nothing. Every time I walked out…Looked in the mirror…and felt NOTHING! Hmmmm….was this how it was gonna go?

I was already extremely anxious & excited for the day….so feeling discouraged at the way things were going wasn’t making my anxiety any better. Corey the lovely sales woman said “Hold on….I may have something in the back for you”….{I think subconsciously when they say I have something in the back there is an immediate impression of exclusivity…so my ears were already perked up}…

She comes back with a dress that when I first looked at it on the hanger I was under whelmed & felt like maybe it wasn’t me or too much. {I won’t disclose the full details of the dress…My Soon to Be Hubby reads my blog daily & I wouldn’t want to take anything away from the reveal}..

BUT I said what the heck…lets go for it. I put on the dress….she adds a little “something extra” to the dress & I don’t really spend much time looking in the mirror. I walk out of the dressing room with a “Hmmm…oh wow, this is nice” initial feeling. My mom has been waiting patiently outside, dress after dress, giving just a look & not being overly critical of the dresses I’ve come out with so far. I know she wanted to see MY expression first before she made hers as to not sway my decision in any way.

*NOTE: I tell ALL my Brides to lower the “entourage” when going dress shopping. Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the pot. Everyone has very different tastes & it’s better to have at most 2 people come with you on your dress appointment, who’s opinion you value the most.

I walked out in the dress….I get a better look in the mirror…I feel how it moves on my body…and I look at my mom…she looks at me….we look back at the mirror…she asks me to turn around…and we both start crying without saying ONE word to each other & we both knew it…We both said “THIS is MY Dress”….

BUT WAIT….we started laughing saying…”Wait wait…no we can’t start crying just yet…we have another dress appointment”….We did all the calculations & realized the dress was WAY over our budget. Hmmmm NOW WHAT? My mom was kind enough to say we aren’t ruling this out, BUT we have to go to Bridal Reflections & see what we find there. DEAL….we were on our way.

*NOTE 2: Stick to your Budget & look at dresses in your budget. One of the worst things you can do it try on dresses out of your price range because you MAY fall in love with one & then realize it’s not feasible from a price standpoint & all other dresses may pale in comparison. And you WILL become discouraged & frustrated with the process.

NOW I was getting excited…because at the end of the day I knew I had found THE Dress at one place & even if this appointment at Bridal Reflections wasn’t going to be successful, I didn’t have to start looking again. {Secretly, I don’t like clothes shopping or don’t like the process of going from dress shop to dress shop, even if some girls absolutely love this part the most. I wanted to find it. Feel it. And Buy it.}

Bridal Reflections had a few of the dresses I wanted to try on….which was great because I have to say, everything I thought would look good on me. Didn’t! NOT ONE single thing I wanted to try on looked like my dress, or something right on me or my body. Just wasn’t me. So we ventured off the list and tried on about 10 dresses.

There was one dress that I walked out with….I stood in front of the mirror…looked at my mom….had that feeling….was like OMG could this be it….felt it for 5 seconds…then POOF….it went quicker than it came. Hahah….I looked at my mom & said “OMG…MOM….{loooooong pause}…..NOPE….Just lost it…OK back to the dressing room”…It was rather funny actually.

And this was it {but then I realized that even though I simply loved the top…the bottom felt like a Christmas Tree}

{Designer: Martina Liana}

It was a stunning dress…but at the end of the day I knew it wasn’t ME per say. Soooo back to the dressing room….dress after dress…still nothing. And then I got to the point where I was about to try on another dress and I stopped the whole process. I felt bad, but I told the lady that I didn’t want to waste her time…she knew that I had felt something for another dress at my other appointment. And so I said I think I’m going to go get my dress. I just knew.

I walk out…look at my mom & she says “Ok Lu….Let’s go get your dress”….We walked out of there so excited to go back. I knew it from the moment we had THE moment together. Not a word exchanged just a look of total excitement & seeing myself IN the dress walking down the aisle to say I do to my best friend & soul mate.

The rest is really history…we went there…put it on again…walked around some more…it felt so right. And it’s so true what “they” say…When you KNOW…you just KNOW.

The Designer is Matthew Christopher & here is a small glimpse of some of his amazing structured dresses. {MINE is NOT included of course}…But I’ve never heard of this Designer before so I wanted to show everyone his incredible dresses. The Structure & lines on his work is amazing & his dresses are extremely reasonable. They range from $1500 – $5000! So all Brides I feel can afford his work. And the quality is impeccable.

{Designer & Images: Matthew Christopher}

I was lucky enough my Mom & Dad were flexible with the budget & were willing to say YES to this particular dress. I will be forever grateful to them for giving me such an incredible piece that I will feel & look amazing in as I walk down the aisle. So there you have it. My own personal “Say Yes to the Dress” experience. And honestly, I hope every single Brides gets to feel that amazing & thrilling feeling when they know they have found it. It’s an unforgettable moment that I will forever remember.

The DRESS!

Now of course I’m not going to disclose THE dress that I do decide to buy…but I wanted to write a post of just the overall process of shopping & where my mind is taking me right now as far as styles….what I wind up picking may be totally different from what I have in my head…but these are the styles I’m going for nonetheless.

{theknot}

Being that our wedding is going to be a Winter Evening Wedding…I think this Bride deserves a little pouf & a little sparkle…not too much…but just enough to give off a little glitter when I twirl.

I’ve never really been one for big ballroom type of dresses, but for someone reason I want to feel like the princess Jeff makes me feel like on a daily basis. I want my skirt to twirl during our first dance & I want my dress to make an entrance so to speak.

I have my first dress appointment with my mom on the 21st. We plan on going to Bridal Reflections in Massapequa & a small bridal boutique in Merrick called Moonlight Couture just cause it’s on the way & I always pass it when I’m at work.

My mom told me she has envisioned me in something special & different…but what that is I don’t know. What I DO know is that because my mom has worked in the fashion & celebrity industry for the majority of her life she’s seem some pretty amazing gowns and styles. I trust her taste implicitly & wouldn’t even dream of not hearing her out as to which dress I should pick. She’s absolutely my fashion guru & why would such an important decision be any different.

Devil is in the Details

There are so many elements that have to come together for any wedding. And ours is no exception. All I know is that I have this vision in my head & all I care about is bringing it to life. With all the bells & whistles I don’t want to skimp on anything. Now my fiance has been a real sport throughout this planning process & he’s been involved in many of the planning aspects. But when it comes to flowers, decor & the overall look of our wedding he’s basically said “It’s ALL you honey”. And I respect that…he looked at me like a dear in headlights when I told him about my floral design meeting & mentioned “monochromatic”, “floral trios”, “hanging votives” & “color palette”.

He had no clue what I was really talking about but listened intently nonetheless {this is the part of marriage I think he has down packed….look excited, smile & nod…when it comes to something girly} Hahah… I’m a big fan of having a dramatic reception room, so when I was speaking with my Event Manager, Kathy, at BYC she knew she had to send me a picture of a wedding they had there recently to show me what could be done with “lighting”. Thus leads me to my absolutely need to have up-lighting done in our reception room.

I love the glow of the room & I feel like it creates a really formal & elegant look.

The next step was hiring a Company that could give me great quality lights & provide an additional visual appeal that my florist wouldn’t necessarily be able to do for us.

We hired EJ the DJ for all of our music needs & knowing what they provided my clients in the past, I also knew they would be the people to do our lighting & room ambiance. So we looked to them for lighting options & they created a perfect package. Up-lighting is relatively inexpensive {a definite extra}, but can transform any room into something a little more romantic & dynamic than with traditional lighting.

We also looked to them to provide a little something extra for our Wedding that would accompany our DJ. What this is…I won’t tell yet….even though I’m documenting the whole process there are still quite a few surprises that I would like to keep under wraps. All will be revealed after our wedding….

Bringing the Vision to Life

Another vendor down…I booked my floral designer on Tuesday….This choice was easy because Santos Floral Designs is not only VOW Wedding‘s exclusive floral designer but I’ve used them for quite a few of my client weddings & referred them to my friends as well.

Christina Santos has worked with David Tutera on his show My Fair Wedding & did some freelance work with him after a tragic fire took down the whole block of stores in Long Beach, NY a few years ago. I was so happy to see her come back to the same spot.

Christina has been a huge part of my professional life & most recently personal because she was actually hired by my now fiance to set up an incredible proposal in our home while we were out.

The day Jeff proposed he had Christina come to our house & set up this beautiful display asking me to Marry Him….the moment I walked into our home my stomach dropped at the sight of this amazing set up.

When I turned around he was on one knee asking me to marry him. I cried & it took him several times of asking me to marry him before I said yes because I was just so overcome with emotion & joy.

I’ve known that Santos Floral Design was going to be my Wedding Day Florist for a very long time…I was just waiting for the moment to come where we could set up our brainstorming meeting & make my vision come to life. And this past Tuesday, we did just that.

We sat for almost 2 hours going over all the details I want {and boy are there plenty}….I want our guests to walk through the venue & be completely blown away by the flowers and decor. We finalized everything during our meeting. She’s an incredibly talented floral designer & I was jumping up & down as we were moving from page to page jotting down what she was going to create for us. I had it ALL in my head….and I needed someone to bring it to life….and she got it.

{images: santos floral designs}

I’m not going to spoil the surprise as to what I have planned. But all I can say is that it will be different. It will sparkle & I will bring the Winter Wonderland vibe indoors. {BUT there will be NO snowflake anything. Haha.Not my style}….The wedding is a formal/black tie optional adult only event. Classy but unpredictable. I’m really excited & can’t wait to do my walk-through with my Day of Coordinator {of course I have one} & see the spectacular vision brought to life right before our eyes.

Take our Picture!

Picture…Pictures…Pictures….I loooooove pictures. I’m usually the one at every party that has the camera out…and the one that posts them online that same night or latest the next day. I love taking pictures so much that for my client weddings I usually take tons of pictures during their wedding & post them online for the couple to view the following day. Gives them a little peak before they head off to their honeymoon.

Most professional photographers can take up to 3 months to filter through, edit and present pictures to their clients which is why my clients are so happy to receive my shots the next day. Here are a few shots I’ve taken of my clients through the years.

I’ve always loved being able to capture a moment in time. Life is always about making memories & being able to provide that extra little service for my Brides & Grooms makes me feel like I have a little edge against my competition.

I digress….I’ve worked with some of the best of the best in the industry. I’ve worked with Anthony Vasquez {who’s shot many celebrities, most recently one of the Jonas Brother’s Weddings}, Christian Oth Studio {Alison Mayfield & Michael Falco} & Modern Wedding Photography to name some of my most favorite Photographers & Studios. You can’t got wrong with any of those vendors.

One of my last client weddings I worked with a photographer Jason Kim. I have to say, out of ANY vendors I’ve worked with, I had a complete & utter blast with him. We worked extremely well together & I was blown away by the pictures he took for my clients. I later found out that he actually broke away from the Photo Studio he was working for & decided to venture out on his own.

This was wonderful news…his talent stands on it’s own & I am one of his biggest fans & supporters, because I knew he would be a force to be reckoned with once he went solo. And I knew that when our day came I wanted to scoop him up for our wedding, no second thought given to any other vendors I’ve worked with in the past.

Jase Kim Photography is our Wedding Photographer & we are both really excited to not only partake in the niche “Beloved” engagement shoot he does, but for him to absolutely capture the love Jeff & I feel for each other in a format that is so dear to me.

{photos: jasekim}

We met with him last week & although I had met him before our dynamic was a little different {and more casual} than while we were actually working together. With some sangria & tapas on the table Jason explained to both of us in-depth what a “Beloved” session would entail. We loved the uniqueness of how he would photograph us, capturing a raw true emotion, rather than a staged pose against a Meatpacking District wall in Manhattan.

He got to know us as a couple & not as clients. He asked great questions to evoke interest & our conversations stemmed from online dating to religion. Definitely a non-traditional vendor meeting, which is why we knew he would be able to make us both extremely comfortable during the shoots & even more so on our special day.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with our pick. So much that I wasn’t expecting Jeff to say to me that he’s really excited to do the engagement shoot only minutes after we left the meeting. To evoke such a comfortable & excited nature from a groom when it came to take pictures is a fête all brides try to accomplish. So I was pretty excited to see it in his eyes.

Jason Kim is a not only a talented Photographer but he’s able to really connect with his clients & make them feel incredibly comfortable & excited to show others the love they feel for each other.

We are excited & can’t wait to do our Beloved Engagement shoot with him come warm weather in either May or June!

P.S. Don’t worry….we will give you all a peak once we get the images…

Our Movie Magic

When planning my client weddings & my own there is a running theme of priorities. I tell all my clients when they start thinking about where & how to spend their money….where to put more towards the budget….they need to make a “NEED” list & “WANT” list. This helps all my clients determine if certain aspects of the wedding are more important than others & allowing for more of the funds to be allocated to that particular item.

For me…my “NEED” list was very simple. I “NEED” the following:

  • An incredible Cinematographer to shoot our wedding {Make Movie Magic}
  • A talented & creative photographer that shoots photojournalism style photos {or editorial}
  • And lastly a Floral Designer who can bring what I have in my head come alive

For me those three are really important. Movies & Photos can last a lifetime. And as I’ve mentioned before to me the way our wedding looks  is truly important & I really want my vision to come alive. {Speaking of Floral Decor, I’m actually going for my Floral Design appointment tonight…but I won’t disclose who & what we have planned till later in the week}.

So back to my Cinematographer….I have worked with some amazing videographers….and I had 3 that were on my wish list.

All these three cinematographers shoot in HD {but then again who doesn’t nowadays}…have an unobtrusive camera {it actually looks like a regular high quality hand-held camera}….and their highlight films & reels look like something out of a movie. The editing & the way they put the days events together is compelling & moves me every time I watch ANY of their Wedding Videos. Their work is very non-traditional cheesy wedding video.

I reached out to Moetic Films & their starting price for NY Shoots are $6,950 {Yaowza!} They do amazing work…but yet again my expensive tastes got the better of me. However, I knew I would find another vendor as equally talented…if not better! 😉

Magic Flute Videos has been a Company that I’ve worked with on several of my client weddings. Renzo is amazing to work with & love the way he shoots. Only problem, his Company goes away for Winter Months to Costa Rica…so they wouldn’t be around to actually shoot the wedding. Soooo back to the drawing board…

After doing some research online I came across 15 Minutes of Frame. To say I was blown away by their work is an understatement! Put it this way…I was so moved when I saw their wedding highlights on Vimeo I couldn’t help but start tearing up. And even though the other artists’ work is incredible…that was something they couldn’t do. Move me to tears. And that’s when I knew…They were our Cinematographers.

So far one of my favorite videos that I go back to watch over & over again is THIS HIGHLIGHT…Check it out! And tell me their work isn’t absolutely amazing.

So I reached out to Kaipo Schwab {who I’ve been in correspondence with before for other clients of mine AND to build a professional relationship to have them be one of VOW’s Exclusive Wedding Cinematographers}. We worked together on building a perfect package that gave us all the elements we wanted & working within our budget.

I was thrilled when it all worked out & we are now able to have them shoot our wedding. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to ever get them for our wedding but Kaipo was wonderful to work with & I’m so excited. Please check out their work, you will be blown away!

Next up….Photographers….

%d bloggers like this: