Posts in Weddings
Jen with Makeup For Your Day | How a Hair and Makeup Service can Make or Break Your Wedding Day
 
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I am so excited to share with you an interview between myself and one of the co-owners of Makeup For Your Day! Makeup For Your Day is a hair and makeup company catering to couples in the state of North Carolina and beyond. I have been anxiously waiting to share this, as it holds some great information that soon to be newlyweds could use when picking out their beauty services for their wedding day.

From a photographers standpoint, I have worked with so many great beauty companies. I have also worked with some not-so-professional ones. That’s okay, because every person has to start somewhere. And yes, people have bad days. It’s when you work with professionals that make the biggest difference for us.

For instance, if the hair and makeup team runs late, a photographer loses precious time for those getting ready photos. If they are running late, then that would also put my clients in an anxious state…which in return makes for some interesting images. The whole point of getting ready is to put the clients in an easy state of mind. It’s their wedding day, and when you have people who are still learning the ropes, I find it a bit chaotic for my clients.

Photographers, I am anxious to hear your thoughts after you read this. Am I alone or do you agree?


N: How long has Makeup For Your Day been in business? How did it come to be in this wild and wonderful wedding industry? Tell me more about the client you serve.

J: Makeup for Your Day has been in business 12 years this April!  We started our company as an artistic outlet to our full-time corporate jobs in banking and property management respectively. After referrals started going through the roof from planners and photographers who were thrilled with our business model of showing up on time, dressing and working in a professional capacity and getting our client done on or before scheduled time we got more serious and began recruiting and developing staff to take on more accounts.  Our typical client ranges from young professional to established career veteran. Usually, it’s a woman that wants to feel lovely on her big day by looking like herself...only perfectly polished for the cameras.

N: What separates Makeup For Your Day than the other companies? 

J: A few things separate Makeup for Your Day from other companies. Namely, we have a large, experienced team to draw on for bridal parties both large and small. In addition, we live in an age where a lot of our clients are flying in from out of state to get married back in the Triangle where they may have gone to school, or to the coast or mountains where they may have vacationed growing up. The benefit of hiring Makeup for Your Day is that we have teams across the state in Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington that can accommodate any location and we even have teams in Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN to pull from, as well.  Our clients can rest assured that they’ll get a consistent, luxury experience no matter which team they work with! Other distinctive qualities that we take pride in are personalized beauty schedules for our brides that expertly map out their “pre-wedding planner timeline” to ensure their day gets off to the best start and that everyone is completely pampered in time for the photographer, planner or coordinator to take over the reigns as expected. We also have a boutique studio location in Raleigh that is convenient for our brides that are flying in to RDU (less than 4 minutes from the airport!) and our Triangle and surrounding area brides to come in for all pre-wedding appointments and festivities such as their trial run, bridal portraits, engagement photos, boudoir session, etc.


N: For myself and my clients, I want the best for them, especially when it comes to wedding day. I have noticed in the past that if clients choose hair and makeup artists who are not well versed, or have not been in the industry long enough, etc., actually cause the timeline to shrink. This will, in return, give the couple anxiety, etc. Why is it important for a couple to have a decent hair and makeup artist? What are some things that they should look out for when booking this service?

J: Great point and one of the biggest talking points for us with our brides! The makeup artist and hair stylist completely set the tone for the day first thing so if they are late, working too slow or worse, can’t manage the bridal party to keep them on task of “cheeks in the seats” when they’re supposed to be...the whole train become derailed.  Hiring a professional makeup artist and hair stylist (read “professional” again and again) that is talented in their art for color and styling is only half the battle. A client truly has to find someone with an understanding of business and customer service in order to not have any worries going in to their day. I stress this because a lot of people can do beautiful makeup on themselves and their friends and some can even style hair that looks gorgeous for a few hours or for a night out but how do they work under pressure?  Can they conform to a strict timeline? Do they show up early and with everything they could possibly need? Do they communicate well with not only the client but her guests and other vendors? Do they understand what mediums the photographers and videographers are shooting in so they can adjust the makeup accordingly? Most importantly, do they have a contract and is it THOROUGH? I could go on and on! The biggest advice is do your due diligence and research the artist or stylist you want to hire. Read reviews and dig for more than just the superficial “look” that they gave the other client. Find out how professional they really are from the way they dress, their timeliness to their discussions with people in their chairs. That will help you decide if you’re working with someone that takes your day seriously and approaches it from a business transaction standpoint or just a hobby that earns them a quick buck on a Saturday.  

N: How often do you receive images from wedding photographers who have photographed weddings that you or your team have done hair and makeup services on? Which images are you looking for in regards to showcasing your work?

J: I’m chuckling at this question because I can answer it two ways. The first thing that came to mind was, “rarely”. Even though our handiwork is featured on every shot of the bride and bridal party, MOB, MOG, extended family, etc. we are so often overlooked for receiving credit on such images and even more so included in albums that get shared by photographers. It’s sad, really!  The reason why I say I can answer it two ways is because the second thing that comes to mind is that I actually get images of our clients pretty regularly now because I go after them. It’s like a second job sometimes to track down all of our clients’ photographers info and reach out and follow up (and follow up again...sometimes with the planner instead) but it’s worth it once we get access.  Other times it takes some serious internet stalking to find the photos and reach out but it’s all taught me to be super thankful for blogs with a search feature! :) We’re typically looking for a series of images that tell the story of their day. In general I like to have bridal portraits from the day both profile and face forward with eyes up and gazing down - to appreciate the awesome lashes and eyeshadow work -  as well as an aisle shot (for the hair), ceremony shot, the kiss, after they’re pronounced married, first dance either with spouse or we always love a good bride/daddy shot or groom/mama shot, and finally the exit.

N: Why is it important to know the style of your clients photographer? For instance, I shoot film on a wedding day. Does this have any inkling to what you do as the stylist to mesh well with that? If so, what is the process of determining how to correctly apply makeup, etc.?

J: It is IMPERATIVE to know the style of your client’s photographer and the medium in which they are shooting!  For a makeup artist, we need to know if the client will be photographed in film or digital and if film which type of film. The type matters because, as you know being a film photographer, certain film is more saturated than others and that’s important when applying color to the face.  The makeup artist only has one shot to get it right with film because it isn’t like digital where you can edit to the hills for more or less saturation. With film, a client generally doesn’t want as much post editing done because that defeats the purpose of using film in the first place and negates the authentic feel of the overall image. Therefore, if a makeup artist puts too much blush or a lip that saturates to fuchsia or worse, a chunky highlight that renders like glitter in the sunlight on film the photographer is going to be in for a heap of issues to try to tone all that down without losing skin tone in the process.  It’s a mess! And that’s just one example. So, I’d highly recommend that photographers also start referring clients to professional artists that really invest in their craft that take classes and educate themselves with multiple mediums so they can better inform their clients where to go and save themselves an editing headache in the process.

N: What advice would you give newcomers that are coming in to this wedding industry? 

J: Newcomers to the wedding industry: welcome! Find your niche and go after it. We are blessed to be in a big wedding area and there’s more than enough business to go around. Don’t undercut others and do a disservice to yourselves right out of the gate...charge what you’re worth!  Network with others and really LISTEN to experience so you can take the good with the bad and make something awesome for yourself.

All images were taken by Fancy This Photography of Makeup For Your Days work.

 
An Ethereal Spring Wedding at the Rickhouse in Durham, NC | Brooke & Teddy's Wedding
 
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**As seen on the blog of Southern Bride and Groom! **

Okay—honesty time. I fall in love with my couples. I know. Super weird, but, I do. I first met Brooke and Teddy last year for their engagement session in downtown Durham. You may remember their session as it featured some really fun images of those two at Ponysaurus (their first date spot). So, of course, these two made my favorites list because they were great from the beginning.

Their wedding, though? Oh, it was just as beautiful as these two. The ceremony and reception took place at one of my all time favorite venues — The Rickhouse. Get Lit Special Event Lighting completely transformed the place by placing these beautiful white drapes at the altar site; it, honestly, felt a bit magical. Just wait until you see the ceremony site! It even dubbed as a beautiful backdrop of the head table at the reception!

The day started out dreary. The weather stated it was supposed to rain ALL DAY. Which, in the beginning, it did. However, right before Brooke and Teddy’s first look the sky opened and it was sunny until night. It was really a pretty site to see.

Brooke and Teddy did their first look on the patio of the Rickhouse overlooking the old Durham Ball Park. This may have been my most favorite part of the day only because I could see the sheer excitement in these two seeing eachother for the first time. They exchanged cards that they had written to eachother over the past couple of years they had been together, and—it was just the sweetest. They were completely smitten with one another.

After all of the jitters had passed, guests started to arrive and sit for the ceremony. Not only did Brooke’s parents walk her down the aisle—but, her father was the actual Minister who married the two of them at the altar. The colors of blush and grey looked almost mesmerizing, but how Teddy looked at Brooke had to have been the best part.

To be honest, I have had a hard time picking out favorites for this blog post as I am loving their entire gallery. Brooke and Teddy—Congratulations! Thank you for your kindness!

Special thanks to all of the vendors who made this possible!
Venue // The Rickhouse
Hair and Makeup // Makeup by Ashley Mooney
Catering // Picnic
Wedding Flowers // Tre Bella
Gown // Tre Bella
Coordination // Blissful Celebrations
Music // Spin
Draping and LIghting // Get Lit Special Event Lighting
Videography // Three Thirty Six Films
Chalkboard // Hint of Mint Designs
Cake Pops // Raleigh Cake Pops

 
Sarah with The Matthews House | A look into how photographers can help other business owners
 
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Sarah with the Matthews House

A look into a Cary, NC wedding venue and how photography plays a part in their venue

Photo by 627 Photography

N : How long have you been with The Matthews House? Tell me about the history of The Matthews House, how it started in the wedding industry, why did it become a venue?

S : We have owned the property for 2 years since this past December. Our family bought it as a joint venture. It was originally a private home, then it was a dress shop, then it was a florist, then a wedding venue. It is kind of funny that it all comes full circle to the wedding industry. We moved back to the area about 5 years ago and wanted to branch out into the market. My husband, Vincent, does the day to day work at The Matthews House and also does the graphics. I have an event planning background and assist with the events and weddings that take place here.

N : What are some key things about The Matthews House that separates it from the other wedding venues?

S : We have some prime things that separate our venue from the others. For starters, its in downtown Cary. Once youre at The Matthews House you actually feel a bit secluded via the gardens and the brick--it’s almost like a little oasis. We have great parking. We also provide easy options for guests. We have some vendors they could happily choose from, or we can give them the option to customize--it is completely up to the couple.

N : Do you work off a preferred vendor list? If so, why? If not, are there any vendors that are absolutely necessary from a venues standpoint--like catering, etc.?

S : The only preferred vendor we use is Southern Harvest as they are the ones that work out of the kitchen. However, you do not have to use them at all if you do not prefer. The only thing we require of guests to use them for would be for the bar service--which is great because they have all of the necessary permits to serve, etc. We include a day-of coordinator, Jeanette or Heather, but again, if you’d prefer to bring an outside vendor you are more than welcome to. For catering we do ask to approve of them in advance.

N : How often do you receive images from photographers who have photographed weddings at The Matthews House? Which images stand out more from a venues perspective? Which ones are you more likely to share or showcase on your website?

S : We only receive images from weddings about a third of the time. We mostly receive them because we have sent a follow up asking for images. We are always looking for photos that are unique; we want to see great emotion. Detail shots are always a great bonus, but we are more so interested in the full room shot so that our couples could see what they could do to the space. We have a clean slate ballroom, so the sky is the limit when it comes to making the space unique. We would love images that help give our clients ideas on how to make it their own.

N : What are some things that you wish more photographers did on a wedding day shooting wise?

S : I dont really have a suggestion on what to do on wedding day, per se. However, if there was a way to make the sharing of images easier, we would much prefer that. We are more likely to share if there was an easy an approachable way to do so. We would love to spread the word, but in order for us to do that we would need images of events and weddings from the photographer.

N : If you've never worked with a photographer before--do you suggest having them reach out to you? Do you ever suggest them to come by to take a look at the property? What makes for a good vendor relationship?

S : For starters, we are always available to reach out to. If someone has never shot here before, we would be more than happy to show them around the venue. This would help build a great vendor relationship, but also, ensure for a smooth day. It is our top priority to make sure our clients are taken care of, so if this means to have their photographer come by to take a look at lighting, etc., we would definitely accommodate that.

N : What is something that you wish more brides knew before booking certain vendors for their big day?

S : Typically the first thing a couple needs to book is the venue. I would then suggest to sit down and try to figure out the biggest priorities of the day. Is it the best food? Is it the best dance floor? Is it the best wedding photography? Whatever the case is, start looking at those vendors first. These will typically be a good portion of your budget, so I would do those closer to the beginning stages of booking your vendors.

N: Any advice for vendors who are looking to go into the wedding industry?

S : I think one of the best things you can do is network. You learn so much about everyones perspective come the wedding day. Always be open to communication. Communication is key to a solid wedding day.

 
Iron Horse Wedding in Cedar Grove | Erika & Peter's Food Truck Wedding
 
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I am officially starting this blog post out throwing it out there that Iron Horse Events wedding venue in Cedar Grove, NC is gorgeous! The layout was just the best! For starters, Erika and Peter had the main house to themselves. Erika and her bridesmaids got dressed upstairs, while Peter and his groomsmen got dressed downstairs.

The energy of the day felt contagious, and the decor of the house meshed so well. I think my favorite part of the day was when Peter and his daughter, Dara, had their first look with one another. It was short and sweet, but the emotions were so joyous. Right after, Erika had a first look with her dad, followed by “two first looks” with her soon to be husband, Peter. Not following? It’s okay, you’ll see why when you take a look at the images.

Right before their official ceremony, Erika & Peter invited their closest friends and family inside the house to witness them signing their handmade ketubah. Their ketubah was just beautiful—and it was made by one of the groomsmen/Peter’s brother. Lots of fun elements went in to it, and I loved looking at the creativity that was placed in it.

The ceremony took place on the grounds behind the house. It overlooked a pond, and right behind it was a cute little barn, and lovely tent that housed the guests for the reception. The grounds were beautiful, and it was the sweetest site to see sheep looking at the ceremony not too far away. Their ceremony housed Erika and Peter’s gorgeous chuppah, but the real beauty came from the ceremony itself. My favorite and most tearful part of the ceremony was when Erika knelt down to Dara and hugged her. That, to me, was the sweetest love.

The night capped off with a ton of dancing, an actual cheese cake (I am literally talking about a cake made out of cheese), and best movie innuendos, and a plethora of food trucks that hosted the reception. It was fun to see the guests flock to the lawn right outside of the tent to eat food, laugh, and to hug. The wedding was every bit of Erika and Peter, and I was just happy to have been part of such a great celebration.

Congratulations, Erika & Peter (and Dara).


Special thanks to all of the vendors!

Venue // Iron Horse Events
Flowers // Family
Cheese Cake // Durham Public School Cooking Class
Photobooth // Spark Booth
Food Trucks // Stuft, Bo’s Kitchen, & El Jefecito
DJ // Complete Music