“I Do” and I Don’t

Clearly, I know I will be saying “I Do” on the big day. In fact, I can’t wait to voice those two words followed by an epic kiss with my groom. I imagine something like this…


pretty perfect, right?


Despite the definite “I Do’s” to come, it’s time to discuss the big don’ts that creep up before the wedding day. I’ve noticed a few.

Bask in the bridal shade, don’t bask in the sun!

Spoiled by Savannah’s beaches, I am often tempted to spend weekends in the sand, soaking up the southern sun. I only realized the repercussions when sunbathing was followed by dress fitting number two. From the front, I loved everything about the dress including the way it hugged my body. However, my “Say Yes to the Dress” fan club, sitting just behind me, noticed a problem. There was a thick tan line running straight across my backless dress. The tailor and my mother were equally horrified.

Burn your usual calories, don’t be an excessive bride! 

While I am a huge proponent of the bridal pure barre package, I know that every bride-to-be has a personal limit. Working out with goals to feel healthy, toned and energized is blissfully bridal. Pushing your body too far, however, will backfire on any bride. Stick to a workout routine that is challenging without being overbearing.

Be an open-minded bride, don’t be an overly adventurous one!

When I first started planning (way back in 2013) I was jazzed about every and any bridal possibility. Over time, however, I have learned how the beauty and accessory markets cater to vulnerable brides. A bride is a most desirable customer, since her budget tends to fluctuate with ease.

For example, at my initial hair consultation I was quickly convinced to purchase extensions.


hair care is my weakness!

My makeup trial was followed by excess appointments in preparation for the big day such as a “bridal boost” facial. Apparently the vitamins and glowing results are specially crafted for brides. My limit was reached when my esthetician suggested scheduling an arm wax, spray tan, and an exfoliation to ease the “bags” just beneath my eyes.

Ultimately, every bride-to-be should remember that there’s nothing they need to change, add or “fix” before their wedding. While trying new things is exciting, none of the added glam is necessary. I think I’ll keep the blonde hair on my arms and the pale complexion of my skin as is.

As for the bags underneath my eyes, well, I don’t even see those!

Categories: Uncategorized

The Magic of Makeup…and Kathy!

On Wednesday morning, Kathy Genchi, an award winning makeup artist rang my doorbell. I immediately noticed Kathy’s rolling suitcase filled with magic, better known to brides as makeup. Kathy is a previous salon owner who now works with Bobbi Brown. She also applies makeup at the Julien Farel salon in New York City.

When first asked to describe my ideal wedding “look,” I was indecisive and a little lost between blushes. Most days I wear minimal makeup; my two-minute routine includes bronzer, mascara and a bright lip, if the occasion warrants a pop. After Kathy studied the style of my dress and wedding colors, she began the posh process of bridal beautification.

Brides-to-be have one job during the trial: follow directions. For example, I lifted and lowered my head when asked, avoided too much blinking and remained painfully patient.


A patient bride is often the prettiest.

At the end of the one-hour trial, Kathy described my look as polished, pretty and romantic. Since I plan on wearing my hair like Rapunzel’s, Kathy chose a soft pink lip to compliment whimsical curls and a possible side braid. When my makeup was finished, I was surprised to learn that my lips were the most subdued feature. I have seen pictures of brides who chose striking red lips to match the brightest color in their bouquets. Although I love this idea, I have decided to wear neutral tones.

Since I do everything bridal with my fabulous wedding planner, my Mom also received a full makeup trial. The MOTB’s look was feminine, yet bold. Compared to my makeup, Kathy applied a sharper eye and a stronger lip. She looked flawless, as usual.


Post makeup trial with the MOTB.

Kathy will also be dolling up my four bridesmaids for the big day. Their makeup plan is best described as fresh, clean and modern with a smoky, memorable eye. I wondered whether or not the bridesmaids would prefer to wear different shades of color. Perhaps matching dresses, bouquets and makeup is too much? Kathy explained that the unique features of each bridesmaid would naturally create contrast when walking down the aisle. Makeup simply enhances and accentuates the obvious beauty of each bridesmaid.

When I mentioned using my glittery eye shadow on all four lovely ladies, Kathy smiled while shaking her head. She said, “The bride requires subtle differences from the rest of the wedding party.” Kathy, I am impressed by your eye for makeup and your thought process behind each stroke of color!

Not long after the trial, I stopped by the Bobbi Brown counter in my hometown mall as a walking advertisement for Kathy’s work and bubbly Bobbi brides. Every bride-to-be should purchase her favorite products from the trial such as blush and lipstick.

Even if brides are heading to the grocery store post trial, I recommend keeping all makeup on as long as possible. A few hours after the trial I was able to take note of certain areas which require tweaking. I also realized the importance of refreshing lipstick. Speaking of lip color…

Depending on the occasion, a nude lip is often preferred. For example: on the day of JB’s graduation from Officer Development School I innocently kissed his crisp white uniform while wearing a bright pink gloss. Unfortunately, the Navy recognized my mark of love as an unacceptable stain. Luckily, JB will be sporting a black tuxedo on our wedding day.


While in uniform, let your groom do the smooching!

Here’s the most important trick of the trial: check to see if your preferred makeup and hair artists are willing to stay until the reception. Even if you have waterproof makeup and heavy hair spray, after the big reveal, emotional vows, and endless photos, imperfections prove inevitable. I want to maintain the warmth, freshness and color of my look as I enter the ballroom with my groom. However, after hours of dancing, eating, singing and happy tears, I will gladly ignore my fading makeup.

When I began to summarize the details of my trial I realized it was the right time to remove all glitter. Brides-to-be should be forewarned: wedding makeup requires an equal amount of patience for both application and removal. Before leaving, Kathy reminded me that even the best makeup trial does not compare to the beauty of the bride on her big day. There’s no shade of makeup as special as the bridal glow.

Categories: Uncategorized