Whenever anyone finishes off a big project they usually have a wealth of hard won knowledge. Knowledge that they often wish they had possessed when they started. Planning a wedding is no different. After the bouquet is tossed, the dress stored and the honeymoon…am…mooned (?) every bride has a nice grab bag of tips for the newbs (also known as those-with-the-really-blinding-shiny-bling-that-is-yet-to-need-a-clean).
In times gone by this invaluable knowledge would be lost, or at best shared between a small group of friends and family but in the 21st century we no longer have to let this knowledge dissolve into the ether! we can let the whole world know of our wisdom! And immortalise that wisdom on the internet forever (almost).
Here is one such bride with a few handy ‘hacks’ for the new bride to be. While a couple of tips maybe more suitable for the American market, most of what she says is good for the Aussie bride to 🙂
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So, anyone who knows me will know that I am a nerd. I own a sonic screwdriver, I have Hermione’s wand, I have a Captain Kirk T-shirt (original series not reboot), My SMS tone is BB-8 chattering away, I know who the Winchesters are and Benedict Cumberbatch is a demigod (although he can’t say penguin for the life of him). I could go on. Its probably no surprise then, that I love the idea of nerdy engagement (and wedding) rings. Below are my favourites (Although I think the wonder woman ring is perhaps the most fitting -anyone who manages to plan a wedding is clearly in possession of superpowers).
PS. The cake is a lie ! (sorry, I couldn’t resist a Portal reference :-))
So, like many women, I have a bit of a shoe thing going on. I particularly like vintage or rockabiliy shoes and sometimes even goth. But lets face it, if its cute and pretty I will probably want it (I think I just heard my husband groan).
Recently I stumbled across the quirkiest wedding line of shoes I have ever seen. Irregular Choice (Yep, that’s their name) usually make weird and wonderful shoes; you have to be into Quirky with a capital Q to be able to pull of most of their range but they are fun to look at 🙂 Now IC have a wedding line! Its pretty out there but I felt the need to share it -I would love to see one of these pairs on a bride, just so I could take photos of the little darlings! below are some of my favs but go to
Irregular Choice Wedding Collection to see more.
Unfortunately they are not cheap, prices range between 70 -149 pounds, but if you want original looking shoes these guys are it, from bride and groom heels to light-up sneakers to demure pink lace pumps they probably have something for most of us!
So, you have booked a great wedding photographer (perhaps, even Filip Welna Photography, you lucky people with fabulous taste ;-)).
To ensure great wedding photos this is half the battle, but if you really want to maximize the great shots, there are a few things you can do to help. Choosing great locations for your photography is a big plus. In this blog I will look at how to get the best out of your bride or groom prep shots.
Most couples put a lot of thought into their prime wedding locations i.e. the ceremony, the on-location bridal party pics and, of course, the reception, but often forget about their preparation location. You might be wondering why it matters, but during your prep we take a lot of pics of the hustle and bustle of the build up to your wedding; photo’s that are often fun and quirky. We also take shots of any details; your shoes, veil, flowers, rings, jewellery. Finally, in the bride’s case, we take portrait photos before you take a step outside top meet the elements. You will really look your most perfect at this moment – your makeup will be fresh, your dress will be (relatively) crease free and your hair will be perfect. Often it is at this stage that we get some the nicest photos of our brides, so it really helps if the place you are getting ready in has the following features:
- Good natural lighting
Natural lighting will always produce the nicest photos, so it is always great to find a preparation location that has plenty of it – think a room with large windows that allows lots of light in. You don’t want the light to be too harsh, so preferable no direct sunlight streaming into the room, but you do want the room to be reasonably bright (See examples below). Your makeup artist will always go for the spot with the best natural lighting, which means at least some of your prep photos will be in this location. While often we are lucky and this is in a living room, we have watched some poor makeup artists squeeze into a small kitchen because it was the only place with reasonable lighting. Let me tell you, no matter what we do, literally having the kitchen sink in your photos is not a good look.
- No clutter
So you have found the room, now its time to de-clutter it. Take away anything that doesn’t need to be in the room – random papers, odd magazines, trinkets etc. In a photo the little things can often prove distracting. Also consider if the room can have less furniture in it, you want to make it spacious. Once your makeup artist and hairdresser arrive they will bring a lot of stuff with them, so they need the space (not to mention the photographer).
Generally speaking having a nice upright moveable mirror is really a plus, but if your room has a nice big mirror that is also good. We can take lots of nice photos of you checking your makeup, putting on perfume, looking at your dress in the mirror, below are few examples of mirror shots.
- Consider getting ready at a friends/ family members place
If you have looked at your home and feel like there is no good place for your prep, consider asking a friend or family member to use their house or apartment. We usually all have that one friend or family member who has a gorgeous well lit house, see if they would be willing to let you use it for your bridal prep.
- If all else fails, consider staying at a b&b or hotel
If all else fails, there are plenty of beautiful places in Perth for getting ready, particularly in the valley if you are getting married there. Just a cautionary note – do check it out before you book and consider realistically if it works as a prep location – hotel rooms can be small and if you think you need to get 6-9 people ready they may just prove to crowded to be useful, unless you hire more than one room.
Lastly, as a side note, it’s always worth considering travel times in your prep location. When you hire Filip Welna Photography you get us for the day. But if you position your prep location 1hr away from your ceremony, we loose that hour to travel, which means you loose an hour of photography. So if you position your self 15mins away instead, you just gave yourself an extra 45min of photography!
Happy Location hunting!
In my time as a wedding photographer I have come to the conclusion that makeup is king! I cannot emphasis how much difference great makeup makes to the photos. Wedding makeup is very different to the type of makeup you would do on a daily basis, because not only is it more glamourous (often involving false lashes, maybe a darker eye and other such fun extravagances) it also has to last and look good for a very long time. Considering most makeup is done in the morning, it can easily have to last 14 hours before the bride and groom retire for the night (or morning as the case may be!). That’s a tall ask, but a good make-up artist can definitely make it happen.
When selecting a makeup look most brides fit into three categories (although admittedly most of the categories overlap and intertwine)
- natural (kind of like Taylor Swift in the ‘Lovestory‘ video) and the brides below:
- vintage – clean, cat eye, not smokey just well defined, subtle cheeks and a red vampy lip or subtle nude/pink, Like the brides below:
- smokey and sultry – smokey eye with a natural lip and medium subtle cheeks.
Undoubtedly there are more, but these are the main types of makeup I see on brides, and of course, there are variations on each.
My advice is just choose a style that still makes you look like you and that you feel comfortable in. Remember there is a guy waiting to meet you at the ceremony, and while you should look stunning (and you will!), you should still look like the woman he fell in love with!
Its also good to remember that colours tend to wash out in photos (our eyes can see way more colours then the sensor in a camera), so your wedding photo makeup might be a little more intense then your usual (but, you shouldn’t look like a clown, just more done up). I always tell people that when your doing your makeup test, take a photo in decent light (maybe stand by a window to get some natural light, don’t do it in the bathroom where light is un-natural) to get an idea of what the makeup will actually look like in photos, you might be surprised. Some brides even manage to be such schedule mavens they organize their pre-wedding engagement shoot after their make-up test so they get a really good idea of what their wedding makeup will look like in photos.
Whatever look you go with, I have yet to meet a bride who didn’t look amazing, so take heart that the glow of the day will show in your face anyway, but some awesome makeup will just punctuate how truly beautiful you are!
Bye for now,
Tips and Links
- Red lips – If you go for red lip. the Mehru lip dye is amazing – it dyes your lip such an intense red! I have had (greasy) meals that would cause other long lasting lipstick to disappear yet the Mehru is still kicking along, completely kiss and grease proof. It also lacks that cakey feeling you get with long lasting lipsticks, because is a dye (so you might want to put some balm or gloss over it). Just stick with their reds, most other pinks come out purple in real life.
- Check out pinterest wedding makeup
- If your looking for some amazing perth makeup artists check out living dolls. Our lovely bride Alicia see below and in their gallery got the vintage look down.
Sorry this is a bit late, but it took a little more prep then usual because i decided to add in an actual checklist you can use to make sure you take everything you need.
Now, I know that a wedding day should run perfectly but its always best to “be prepared”, and one essentially part of making sure the day runs as smoothly as possible is the Bridal Recovery Kit/ Emergency Kit. Usually every bride usually has some form of Recovery Kit, it can range from just a lippy, tissue and perfume to a container filled with bandaids, party feet, water and much more (i have seen dedicated maids of honour with backpacks ready for any and all circumstances). Here is rundown of what I would recommend putting in one of these kits, I carry around a little kit it of my own (as a wedding photographer I believe in being really prepared) as well just in case but its a parred down version. In an ideal world my bride’s kit would have the following:
- bobby pins (because hair is prone to doing its own thing)
- hair brush, comb and perhaps even a straightener/curling iron depending on your hair type
- tissues (obviously)
- safety pins ( these are probably one of the most useful elements, it seems dress are destined to misbehave on the day!)
- basic sewing kit (its nice to be able to fix a button on a boys shirt, jacket etc)
- hand sanitizer
- baby wipes (also do very well in getting rid of mild stains, better than just water)
- really awesome bandaids, my favorite are actually these big ones that are skin colored and padded, here is a link. Great if your shoes have decide to launch and unprovoked attack on your poor feet, they stay forever in place unlike normal bandaids!
- party feet (and related products to alleviate foot ills)
- clear nail polish (for runs in stockings)
- superglue (always handy if a shoe breaks! pluss many other uses)
- feminine hygiene products (God forbid, but if you have watched 16 candles -it happens!)
- makeup essentials
- nail file
- biotene mouth gum or spray (really good if your mouth drys out before speeches etc, you can get it at any chemist)
- cash (for parking)
- pain killers
- indegestion pills
- allergy meds
and, actually, much more! (the sky’s the limit really). Water is essential for instance, and make sure someone in the party has access to a mobile, just in case. You can really make a kit as big or small as you feel comfortable with. Having a kit can just keep everyone smiling that little bit longer (which is a good thing in my book).
While i was researching this post I actually found it pretty hard to find a ready made checklist, so I decided to help budding brides out and created my own. I have created a word document and pdf checklist. just click the links below (you can add new items to the Word doc easily, just copy and past a previous item including the check box and then change it accordingly).
Till next time!
There are many things that you should have with you on your wedding day in your emergency kit, but some are less obvious than others. Everyone thinks of tissues and lip gloss but there are some other items worth including, for instance, a curling iron/straightener. Wind, rain and heat are all enemies of great hair but extremes of weather may well be unavoidable on your wedding day. While some people are blessed with hair that will keep its shape and style regardless of weather conditions, many others have hair that does the complete opposite. If you’re wearing your hair down on the day it is probably a good idea to bring whatever appliance was used to create it. Most brides who have their hair down curl it (well, it is classically romantic!). If you have straight hair that doesn’t keep curl all that well, you should plan for the fact that your curls may be gone, or at least not their initial bouncy selves, by the time of your reception. Do your research and use the wealth of curl helping mousses, shampoos etc to help keep those curls but also prepare for them to fall. Bringing your straightener or curling iron along will allow you to refresh your hairstyle before you enter your reception, so you can once again feel like your glamorous self as you enter!
The same advice goes for those brides who straighten their hair for their day, since if the weather is humid your hair may have started returning to its naturally curly/wavy state and a quick rundown with a straightener will also take care of any frizzies that may have appeared. Don’t take a travel version straightener, they usually are just not powerful enough to do the job well, and if you use it to curl you will end up with small Shirley Temple style curls (which is not good if you were going for gentle romantic curls).
As a Wedding photographer I can tell you that photos tend to be very forgiving of hair, in fact the texture of messy hair can often look great in a photo, so not all is lost if your hair does decide to do its own thing on your day. My hair which is dead straight naturally had pretty much lost all its curl by the end of the day but I wasn’t too concerned, in the end the wedding day was not about my hair! So do your best to fight the good fight for great wedding hair, but even if you lose, remember to keep smiling and enjoy the day, it will only happen once after all.
For a bride, shoes are an interesting and perplexing area. Most bridal dresses are super long so it almost seems inconsequential what shoes are worn, but, on the other hand shoes, are often what makes a woman feel sexy, desirable and glamourous. So what to do? You love 6 inch sillettos because you feel you can take on the world in them but also realise existing in them for 12 hours + may well turn your most special day into a torture fest worthy of the Saw films? Well, as a self confessed shoe addict I have some tips culled from years of experience wearing shoes that most pediatrists would faint at the sight off. So here are my 8 tips! fee free to add more on our facebook page.
1. Break in those suckers!
Wear your shoes BEFORE the day. Do not, I repeat DO NOT try to break in your shoes on your wedding day, it will only lead to tears and not of the good kind. This also applies to flat shoes.
2. Make like a ballerina!
Some brides choose to go flat, some are tall and feel more comfortable that way, some just like the look and some want comfort (I went flat for the look, I am not that tall at only 168cm) but even if you don’t want flats to be your main shoe, have a flat pair of shoes that you can wear after the ceremony for the photo shoot (if you have much walking to do) and also for dancing the night away. Ballet flats are so pretty these days, or if you can’t find anything sparkly/unique enough buy plain ones and jazzy them up with diamontes etc (ebay is a good cheap source for gems, ribbons, buttons). Some go even more casual and get jazzed up thongs!
3. Take it down a level
Consider a slightly lower heel. I know, Blasphemy! But before you start cursing my name many shoes are available that are just a little lower and look fabulous. A lot of retro inspired styles fit into this category.
4. Wedge it
One of my height challenged friends on Facebook said “God only lets you grow until your perfect, some of us reached perfection far earlier than others!” so if you don’t like ballet flats or are not willing to sacrifice height loss for comfort on your wedding day, what about wedges? There are some gorgeous wedge styles out there and they are far more comfy then stilettos (plus they don’t sink into the grass or sand).
5. Size does matter
Make sure they are the right size! I know its painful to walk away from the perfect pair of shoes because they just don’t quite fit but its not worth trying to squeeze your poor toes into a shoe thats just not made for them and then hoping you will survive the entire day and night in them. Or, if you can’t let them go go a size up and use gel heel liners, insoles etc to get them to fit nice.
6. With a little help from my “friends”
Use insoles, heel pads, heel liners, toe pads whatever you need! And please realise that many of these options do make the shoe fit snugger, so take that in account when your shoe hunting. Also go see an expert, the shoe repair guy can make shoes more comfy and heels last longer etc, he/she is more than just a pretty face. Mad Tip: sometimes I get ballet flats that fit but are a bit high near my ankle, so I put in a heel lift to make my foot sit higher in the shoe. I have found that this also makes snug ballet flats more comfortable plus I am also just a little taller which can’t hurt 🙂
7. Its custom, honey.
Custom make your shoes. I know sounds outlandish to some but these day you can custom order your shoes in a variety of widths, colors and requirements all online. Try Shoes of Prey for a start, which are awesome.
8. Don’t forget your entourage
All of this goes double for your bridesmaids! They are glorified slaves after all and will have to walk at least as much as you do.
To help you on your journey here are some web links:
Wishing you a foot friendly, comfy shoe wedding day!