Favorite Bridal Beauty Products from Los Angeles Makeup Artist Tammy Yi

We hope you enjoyed Tuesday’s article on beauty advice for brides – we had so much fun putting it together with Los Angeles makeup artist Tammy Yi. Today, in part 2 of her guest post series, Tammy is sharing some of her all-time favorite, must-have bridal beauty products, not to mention more fabulous advice for getting a glowing complexion and a radiant wedding look.

Tammy‘s decade of experience in the bridal beauty realm prove one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt – she knows her beauty products! Let’s hear from her why she never leaves her brides without these beauty essentials…
In the Primer of Life: Hydration and skin balance is key to how your makeup is going to wear. If your skin is too dry, it will eat up your makeup and if your skin is too oily, it will break up your makeup. There are so many great primers and moisturizers out there, so find what works best with your skin type. My suggestion is if you are oily try Hourglass – Veil Mineral Primer from Barneys New York, and if you are dry try Laura Mercier ‘Hydrating’ Foundation Primer from Nordstrom.
A Solid Foundation: Your foundation is so crucial to the overall look of your makeup. To look flawless, yet not over done, foundation plays a big part. I love Dior ‘Diorskin Airflash’ Spray Foundation from Nordstrom.
Beauty in the Blend: BeautyBlender ‘Pure’ Makeup Sponge Applicator & Cleanser from Nordstrom is a great tool for applying foundation and blending.

Matters of Contour: For a light contour you can use powder bronzers, but for serious contour you will need to use foundation sticks or concealer sticks. Pick one that is at least three shades darker then your skin tone and one that is at least three shades lighter than your skin tone for highlighting. I suggest Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick from Nordstrom.
Hitting the Highlights: A highlighting concealer is your best friend in your makeup bag. Use one that is light weight so it doesn’t crease around the eyes. It works as an eraser around the eyes and lips. I suggest Yves Saint Laurent ‘Touche Éclat’ Radiant Touch from Nordstrom.
We’re All Set: Use a setting powder that is light weight. You need to set your makeup before applying any pigment or color on your face to ensure wear power and blendability. I suggest NARS ‘Light Reflecting’ Loose Setting Powder or NARS ‘Light Reflecting’ Pressed Setting Powder both from Nordstrom. It is talc free and doesn’t matte you out too much.

Draw the Line: Make sure to use a waterproof eyeliner. MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack from Nordstrom is a good go to.
Hey There Bright Eyes: A nude or flesh tone eyeliner in the inner rim of your eye will give a more open look to your eye. Try Chanel Le Crayon Khôl Intense Eye Pencil from Nordstrom.
Raising a Few Brows: When filling in your brow, use a tone that matches the lightest tone in your hair. That will give a natural effect to your brows. Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Brow Wiz’ Mechanical Brow Pencil from Nordstrom has a good variety of colors.
Walk the Tight Line: Tight lining the eye is one of my favorite eye tricks. Fill in the liner at the root of the lashes – it will give you a natural line and a full lash look. Laura Mercier ‘Tightline’ Cake Eyeliner from Nordstrom works great for this.

A huge thank you to our beauty expert from the City of Angels – Tammy is beyond amazing and we love her incredible work!


Wedding Planning 101 – Five Great Reasons to Hire an Expert Wedding Planner!

Today we’re talking about a crucial aspect of planning a stress-free wedding, and something we love to promote here at Junebug… the benefits of working with an expert wedding planner! If you’ve ever attended a flawless wedding, no doubt you’ve seen first hand what a great wedding planner can do, but to really learn about the specific benefits they can bring to the wedding planning process, we brought in an expert – Heather Lynne Vickery.
Heather is the owner and event director of Greatest Expectations Special Events & Weddings, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. Heather says event planning is more than a career for her – its a labor of love! Armed with an imagination borne from her college theater days, and experience honed in non-profit event management, Heather launched her business thirteen years ago and it quickly blossomed into one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design companies. Her clients praise her ability to bring their vision to life, all the while reducing stress and making both the planning and the event truly enjoyable experiences.
We are so happy to have Heather as one of our Junebug members, and are thrilled that she offered to share some of her expertise with us today!

From Heather: I wanted to share my thoughts on hiring a wedding planner. Sure, were admittedly a biased bunch on this topic at Greatest Expectations, but we have heard both sides of the story many times – brides who are thrilled that they had a relaxing, dreamy wedding day; and brides who chose not to hire a planner and then ended up with major regrets. In light of that, I want to present my Top 5 reasons (in no particular order of importance) that hiring a wedding planner is essential to beginning your wedded bliss on the right foot!

Budget: Often people think hiring a wedding planner is simply an added expense theyll need to fit into their budget. While there is a fee associated with hiring a wedding planner, I can assure you that fee will be worth the time, effort and energy you save. Just as important, utilizing your planners budget-savvy expertise can often save you a great deal of money. More often than not, the fee for hiring a wedding planner will be paid back to you during the planning process.
A planner will consider your budget, help navigate the often un-clear price tags and fees associated with planning a wedding, and balance that budget around your priorities. Even couples with the smallest budgets can really benefit from hiring a wedding planner!

Knowledge of the Industry: A wedding planner comes with a handy and invaluable toolkit, and not just the one they bring with them the day of your wedding! Wedding planners are armed at all times with an arsenal of relationships with other professionals in their area. After discussing your vision with you, your planner will be able to help you find the right venues, florists, photographers, etc. that align with the vision you have for your wedding day. They will likely find people for you that you may not have discovered on your own and are a perfect match! Most planners don’t have a set “team” that they work with every time. A skilled planner’s talent lies in finding people that are just the right fit for each other.
Once your planner has put together a list of suggested pros to meet with, they can aid in the selection process as much as you’d like. They can make introductions and let you take it from there, or completely take over the process on your behalf (not forgetting to get your stamp of approval on all important decisions along the way, of course!).

Creativity: Think of wedding planning like interior design. It seems simple enough, and most brides have some sort of vision for their wedding. But, it takes a certain skill set to craft that vision into a tangible product. Here is where your wedding planner comes in. Not only can a planner serve as a financial advisor and resource, we are also artists when it comes to taking our clients’ ideas and crafting them into a beautiful event. So many brides start out of the gate with wonderful, crazy, off-the-wall ideas for their celebration but never get to marry (pun absolutely intended!) those ideas with a wedding. Part of a planners job is to take whatever vision is presented to them, no matter how off-the-wall, and craft it into something that can still be deemed a wedding.

Someone to Run the Show: Even a bride who is able to plan all of the details and tie all of the loose ends together without an ounce of help from a planner needs someone to run her fabulous show on the day of the wedding. Why, you ask? Well, you know that florist/photographer/caterer/baker that youve been working with up to this point? Are you prepared to be their go-to person on your big day for last minute questions about setting up at your venue, the order of events on your timeline and when and where their own meal will be served? This is a step that no excited bride envisions herself having to do while she is having her dress fluffed, or sipping champagne with her wedding party, and dancing with her guests during the reception.
Trust us, if a designated third party (ahem, a seasoned wedding planner) doesnt exist to orchestrate these minute details, they will end up putting a major damper on your bridal glow. Ok, so you think your Mom, sister or best friend will take on this role…but is that really fair? Do you want them running around and working your entire wedding day? Day-of coordination for a wedding is hard work. We often work 12+ hours, eat our meals in about 2 minutes flat and we are the glue that keeps everything together. This is not a job for your mom, sister or best friend, they should be enjoying the day with you. A seasoned wedding planner will be there to tie up the loose ends, pull it together into a clear timeline, and ensure that the day of your wedding runs the way you wanted it to all while you and your loved ones are having the time of your life!

Last, but certainly not least Alleviate Stress! Ill be the first to tell you: planning a wedding is quite a process, and, like all important decision in life, it involves some stress. There is a laundry list of decisions to be made, money to be spent, and things to be done leading up to I do. However, it should be an exciting and happy experience for all involved. There is often added stress between family members and friends in addition to the difficulty of knowing how to plan a wedding, when it is something you have never done before! It always kills me when I hear stories about brides out there who have said I cant wait until this is over. Hearing that statement breaks my heart, and is why alleviate stress is my absolute, number one reason for hiring a wedding planner.
Wedding planners are here to take the burden of contracts, due-dates, timelines and table settings (and thats only a tiny part of our check list) off of your shoulders so you can focus on the fun…clinking champagne glasses with friends and family at showers, sitting pretty for hair and makeup the morning of your wedding, and ultimately making the trip down the aisle to say I do to your sweetie.
There are wedding planners of all styles, personalities and budgets out there. It is important to hire one that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. At Greatest Expectations, we often tell our clients they should want to meet us for cocktails. It is important that they like us that much! Otherwise, they may never be able to relax enough to really enjoy the process. I hope you find the perfect planner for your big day!

Thank you Heather, for sharing your expertise and knowledge!


Wedding Planning 101 – Meeting with a Floral Designer, with Guest Blogger Nancy Liu Chin

I’m just giddy working on this post…not only do I get to spend some time on my very favorite topic (I’m the flower girl here at Junebug amongst a die-hard group of loyal photography junkies!), but I get to share one of my favorite designers with you too! Junebug member Nancy Liu Chin is brilliantly talented, and as an expert in the industry she has a lot of great ideas for couples as they are planning and working with a floral designer. Today she is sharing some of her beautiful designs AND tips on what you can do to ensure a successful meeting with your florist!
From Nancy Liu Chin: Perhaps it is naive of me to think that all people who are newly engaged should know how to work with a floral designer. After all, there are endless wedding planning books, articles on how to plan the perfect wedding, and plenty of blogs…yet, today, a bride asked me if it was necessary to meet with me in order to get a floral proposal. Of course, meeting a floral designer is a must unless you are planning a destination wedding and even at that, I recommend a phone interview.
So to help newly engaged couples, I’m writing this post on how to prepare for your meeting with your floral designer. I truly hope this is not only helpful for engaged couples but for all event planners, floral designers, wedding enthusiasts…and many more. I will be using the term Floral Designer in this post for simplicity. Keep in mind that I am using both these terms – florist and floral designer – to mean someone who will be creating wedding flowers. It’s interchangeable!
So, the question is, what should you prepare for when meeting with your floral designer? Follow these steps, and your floral desgn
1. Flower Knowledge – Do you need to know the names of all the flowers?
My God, I hope not! If all clients knew the name of all cut flowers, then most of the floral designers around might be out of a job. To me, it’s like asking if a patient needs to know all the medical terms before they see their doctor. It would be unproductive and a waste of one’s time. If gardening is a hobby, I can imagine that you might want to know more about how flowers are produced, cultivated, and cared for. However, for someone who is planning a wedding, there are more productive things to spend your time on.
Keep in mind, a good, knowledgeable, informed floral designer should have a portfolio with plenty of flowers for a couple to look through. I keep a “deck” of colorful cards which are coordinated by color and alphabetized so that I can “flip” through it during meetings and show clients what flower I am describing.
Here are some good examples of the type of phrases that would be helpful for you to use:
  • Romantic, fluffy, large head flowers like roses and peonies that evoke a garden feel.
  • Modern, architecturally interesting blooms that have beautiful, shapely stems. French Tulips in a single vase are very elegant to me.
  • Something unusual with lots of spiky tips, fussy, different. Something that wouldn’t be fun to touch but would look very different from the standard fluffy flowers.
  • Simple, happy flowers that make me smile, like sunflowers, daisies, mums.
  • Bold, dramatic flowers that work for a grand ballroom.
Bottom line: Describe characteristics of what you want the flowers to look like!

2. Get Organized and Create a Check List
It is very helpful to create a check list of things you need. Emailing a copy to your floral designer ahead of time is wonderful. You can also bring a copy with you to the meeting. Of course, since you may not know all the flower pieces that you might need, here is my check list.
Personal Flowers:
  • Bridal Bouquet
  • Bridesmaid Bouquets
  • Groom’s Boutonniere
  • Groomsmen’s Boutonnieres
  • Usher(s) Flowers
  • Reader(s)
  • Officiant
  • Mothers and Fathers
  • Grandparents
  • Sponsors
  • Ring bearer, Coin bearer, other little boys who need flowers
  • Flower girls, Junior Bridesmaids, other little girls who need flowers
Ceremony Flowers:
  • Altar or Ceremony Large Pieces
  • Chair or Pew Decorations
  • Aisle Decor
  • Welcome Table
  • Gift Table
  • Foyer Arrangement
  • Door or Entryway
  • Car Decor
Reception Flowers:
  • Centerpieces
  • Head Table or Sweet Heart Table
  • Bride and Groom’s Chair
  • Bar
  • Food Stations
  • Dessert Stations
  • Cake Table
  • Dance Floor Decor
  • Cocktail Table
  • Place Card Table
  • Door Ways
  • Lounge Decor
  • Walkways
  • Fireplace Mantels
Bottom Line: Get organized and have a list ready!
3. Style, Color, Concept
Of course many couples go to meetings thinking that they will see something in a floral designer’s portfolio and instantly love it. I wish this were the case. But it is so NOT.
I think many couples come for inspiration. That’s wonderful! However, to make your wedding flowers truly unique, come with as many ideas and examples of things you love as you can. There are so many resources filled with ideas! Some things to bring:
  • Tear-sheets from magazines
  • Tagged images you love in wedding and floral design books
  • Images from wedding blogs, and individual blogs from wedding professionals
  • Pinterest boards
  • Swatch samples of fabrics you are using – your dress and bridesmaid dresses
  • Color swatches – you can go into Home Depot and pick out some “paint” chips so that you can clearly communicate your wedding colors. I guarantee you, when a bride walks into my office and tells me her wedding color is green, I ask her, “is it moss, forest, sea, celery, pea, chartreuse, apple, lime, sage, vivid, Kate Spade, Kelly, spinach, or pepper green?”
  • Your wedding invitation
  • Photos of your venue
Bring all the things that you think are useful for someone who is creating your weddings flowers. And it doesn’t have to be a whole novel – a few printouts, consolidated into something concise is perfect.
Bottom line: Go to be informed, and be prepare to show and tell.
4. Ask and you shall receive
In advance of your meeting, be sure to have a list of questions that you need answered. During the meeting, many will be addressed. However if you don’t have a prepared list, you might forget a few important questions. Jot down at least a few key questions. Some things you might want to ask:
  • Can you suggest a few cost saving tips?
  • What flowers hold up the best during the month of my wedding? (This question will show if the floral designer is truly knowledge about flowers and thinks off the cuff.)
  • Have you worked at my venue before? If not, would you mind going to do a site visit. (This question shows that a floral designer is attentive to the details and wants to be prepared. It also reflects their experience level.)
  • Do you drop off the flowers or does your staff or crew do the complete setup? (This question will answer what type of day of service you will get. And if the price for such service is warranted.)
  • What was your favorite wedding? Do you have an example in your portfolio? What made it so special? (This question will show you what the floral designer deems tasteful, interesting to them. I love this question because only a couple brides have ever asked me this and I think this one is by far the most interesting. It shows me that a couple wants to get to know me as a designer. )
  • How many events do you do a week? Will my wedding be the only one that day? (This question might be important to some of you if you feel that you need your team to focus on just you for that week.)
  • Have you ever gotten so ill that you couldn’t complete a job? If so, what would happen to my wedding? (It’s important to know if a floral designer has contingency plans. I know that we do, so I think others should be prepared as well)
Bottom line: Whatever quality is important to you, make sure you leave that meeting feeling that you get a good sense of a floral designer’s values, creativity, knowledge, and depth.


Wedding Planning 101 – Planning a Rehearsal Dinner

Besides the all-important wedding day, there are a few other events surrounding your wedding that will need planning, and they can be just as fun, memorable, and beautiful as the big day itself! One such event, the rehearsal dinner, is usually held the night before the wedding. It is an opportunity to welcome guests, thank your loved ones for supporting you, and to kick off the festivities! Today, I have a few planning tips and ideas to get you started, illustrated with Michèle Waite’s beautiful images of Kate and Tony’s celebratory dinner at The Corson Building.

Purpose: The rehearsal dinner can serve several purposes! Following the actual rehearsal, where the business of fine-tuning and practicing the wedding ceremony took priority, the rehearsal dinner is a time to unwind and enjoy the anticipation of the next day! It also is a “welcome dinner” of sorts for any special out-of-town guests that have been invited. Many of your guests (and even the two families) may be meeting for the first time, so it is a time for introductions, mingling, getting to know each other. Maybe most importantly, the dinner is an opportunity to thank your families and bridal party for supporting you throughout your wedding planning and upcoming marriage.

The Hosts: First things first…who pays for the rehearsal dinner? Traditionally, the groom’s family hosted the dinner as the bride’s family was footing the bill for the wedding. All of the “rules” surrounding wedding planning have definitely loosened over the years, including the rehearsal dinner, but this is still a good place to start. One great benefit to this is that it gives the groom’s family a chance to be part of the planning fun and feel included, even if they aren’t as involved in the wedding.
The Guests: Anyone that is participating in your wedding and was part of the earlier rehearsal is traditionally included on your guest list. Besides your wedding party and immediate family, you may want to invite a larger circle of family members, any out-of-town guests who traveled a long way to be at your wedding, or close friends that are not in your wedding party. The wedding day is busy, so the rehearsal dinner is a great way to get a little more time with loved ones and to connect with people who you don’t get to see as often as you’d like.

Location: The rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to introduce out-of-town guests to one of your favorite local spots. You could hold your dinner at one of your favorite date restaurants, or just choose a type of cuisine that is a local specialty. Kate and Tony selected the Corson Building, which specializes in farm-to-table dining, so their guests enjoyed the bounty of the season and local farms. The party doesn’t have to be at a restaurant though. A relative’s beautiful home, a favorite park, a boat that offers cruises on a local waterway, or a museum are just a few ideas of alternative venues.
Design: First and foremost, the rehearsal dinner should be unique and different from the wedding and reception. In my own experience in event design, I’ve met with a lot of groom’s families that are planning the rehearsal dinner, and the first thing that they tell me is the color palette of the wedding, or a particular motif that is guiding the design of the wedding. I try to offer some alternatives in this case; the last thing you want your wedding to be is a rerun or look recycled from the night before! This is your chance to use that OTHER color palette that you loved, or bring in the custom calligraphy place cards that were beyond your budget for the larger wedding guest list, or include the moss and acorns that your outdoor-loving fiance had his heart set on!

Toasts: After everyone has dined, the evening often includes toasts to the bride and groom, though it seems to vary by region how elaborate and involved the toasting can be. I’ve attended several rehearsal dinners in the south with 3+ hours of toasting and the opportunity for any guest to speak. (And I have to say, many of them have taken that opportunity! Settle in for a long evening of spontaneity, laughter, and tears!) In the Pacific Northwest, toasts tend to be short and sweet, and are usually just offered up by parents and maybe a few members of the wedding party. The traditional time for the bride and groom to say a thank you to everyone, and distribute any gifts they are giving to their wedding party and parents, is immediately following the toasts.
Favors: Though they are certainly not required, I’ve seen some very thoughtful couples plan a sweet little care package for their guests as they head out the door at the end of the night. A cute bag with a few scones, homemade jam, and a little good morning note make a lovely and easy breakfast for guests staying at hotels or in a hurry to get to scheduled events the next day. You also could do a tiny, delicious truffle for everyone to enjoy as a special “nightcap”, just as luxurious hotels leave a chocolate on the pillow.

Final words of wisdom: Make it an early night! Everyone should get a good night sleep before the big day tomorrow.