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Expert Tips from a Celebrity Stylist for Your Wedding

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We had an opportunity to pitch some questions to celebrity stylist Lindsay Hillyard-Driscoll for wedding day tips to keep you looking your best.  Lindsay, a recent bride herself, has worked with numerous stars including Kimora Lee Simmons, Chrisette Michelle, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, The Dixie Chicks, and Prince.  She offered tips and tricks that are regularly used by her celebrity clients to plan for the unexpected during big events to help brides look flawless from the time they put their veil on all the way through dancing the night away at their reception.

C+D:  What tips should brides remember in choosing their products for outdoor weddings?

Lindsay:  It’s just as important to feel good as it is to look good.  In fact, I believe the two are very closely related, so I always counsel my clients to choose a look that they can be comfortable in.  For outdoor weddings, that means choosing shoes that work in grass – no spiky heels – and a dress that works with the season – you don’t want a complicated, tiered dress in the middle of summer. 

C+D:  We work with a lot of clients that choose to have destination weddings—mostly outside.  What sort of things should they consider for their beauty game plan?

Lindsay:  To plan for an outdoor event – whether a red carpet walk or a wedding – think about how you’ll be moving.  If you will be walking a lot on uneven ground, I’d suggestion searching out a dress that isn’t too tight, and allows you to walk with long enough strides so you can make it down the aisle, whether in a cornfield or cabana. I also recommend that brides “blow rather than blot” – I always pack a hand-held travel fan that you can use to blow away perspiration beads on the face rather than blotting papers or tissues, which can remove or smudge make up. 

C+D:  What about the gentlemen?  Sometimes they have it just as bad as the ladies with their tuxedos and suits…

Lindsay: Grooms are often the most overdressed, if they are wearing a suit in the middle of summer.  So, to help them out, I suggest using a panty liner in their undershirt.  I know it sounds strange – but it works!  Just call them ‘sweat guards’ if your man is squeamish about feminine products. 

C+D:  That is amazing…I never would’ve thought of that. I will have to make a note to add “sweat guards” to our emergency kits!  Also with weddings, one thing that I notice that is really important is the endurance of a bride’s hair and makeup for her wedding.  Any tips there?

Lindsay:  To keep you and your look fresh all day, I say take fewer trips to the bathroom – you don’t want to over-do the touch-ups.  To keep yourself focused on the big day rather than bee lining for the bathroom, even if you are having your period, I suggest to my clients to use a menstrual cup.  I know lots of women haven’t heard of them, but they are safe to wear for 12 hours – fewer trips to the bathroom and less hassle!

C+D:  Any favorite simple accessible items for fast fixes?

Lindsay:  A white out pen can fix a French manicure or shoe scuff, a few bobby pins can keep falling hair away from your face, and a roll of electrical tape might be just the fix for a split in the groom’s pants or a loose cuff. 

C+D:  I know a lot of brides worry about being “too overdone” on their wedding day.  It can be really easy to fall into a trap of too much when planning for a big event.  What is your take?

Lindsay:  Stay as close to your natural look as possible – you can still look special but keep your look aligned with your overall style, that way you’ll know how to touch up your make up and hair more easily – it won’t be so foreign. 

C+D: Any other tips brides should keep in mind?

Lindsay:  Lots of good styling is about layering.  For your clothes, it’s about finding the right undergarments and most importantly for your wedding is the right bra.  Make sure your first layer fits well and is comfortable.  For your make up, there are lots of techniques where you can layer your look with a powder application in between the layers.  And even for your hair, layering in the right products (such as volumizer a few times with hairspray on top) can help preserve your style.

 

imageAfter earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University, Lindsay Hillyard-Driscoll  was asked to join Prince’s ‘Musicology’ tour, where she dressed Prince and his band.  After the ‘Musicology’ tour, she joined Jay-Z and R. Kelly for the Best of Both Worlds tour.  She has since styled T.I., Ciara, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy and became the lead stylist for recording artist Chrisette Michelle. She was also the in-house stylist at Black Entertainment Television, responsible for styling all VJs and news anchors.

Visit Lindsay’s website: Style Me Haute

How to Avoid Murder Charges at Your Wedding Rehearsal

…Or “Tips for  a Successful Wedding Rehearsal”

Planning your wedding with its intricate details can all be for naught if it falls to pieces when being run through your “dry run”.  Your wedding rehearsal allows you to get yourself, bridal party and necessary vendors acquainted with what you plan to do for your wedding.  At the worst of times however, a wedding rehearsal can be stressful for some brides and  like herding cats. 

Even if you are working with a wedding planner, here are some tips that will make your wedding rehearsal run smoothly and efficiently:

Tell your participants to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the “real” start time. Depending on the complexity of your ceremony and size of your bridal party, your rehearsal should last anywhere between 30-60 minutes.  Nothing is worse than being in the middle of the rehearsal, and finding out that your bridesmaid isn’t there.  Give yourself some cushion time so that even if people arrive late, they are still on time to get the rehearsal started.

If possible, rehearse where your wedding will be. If your wedding is outside, rehearse at the ceremony site.  Only use a second location as your worse case scenario.  If you have to have a backup for your ceremony, make sure everyone knows where it is and if any changes must be made in order to have the ceremony there.

Have everyone that is participating in the ceremony at the rehearsal. This includes all readers, soloists, members of the bridal party, grandparents, etc.  Again, you cannot have a successful rehearsal if people are missing.  Moreover, be sure to walk though with all mothers and grandmothers and their escorts so that they know where to be, walk and sit prior to the ceremony. People will be able to confidently perform their duties when they’ve had an opportunity to practice them first.

Have a partial setup for prosperity.  If you are having large arrangements, tables for a unity ceremony as well as seating.  If you have a special entrance, rituals or layout, it is much more helpful to have some of these items in place to assist for good practice.

Meet your bridal party the night before or earlier in the day before the rehearsal.  Also, do not invite non-participants to the rehearsal.  This is another way that your rehearsal can double in time.  People will want to meet and greet, reunite and hang out at the rehearsal.  Because everyone is so excited and being social, it is much harder to get everyone to do what they are supposed to.  Meeting for lunch, tea, beer, or whatever, helps everyone to come ready to rehearse and comfortable with the rest of the bridal party.  Likewise, avoid having non-participants congregating at the rehearsal for similar reasons.  They will want pictures, hugs, and conversations and while this is fine, it is not the place for the rehearsal.  Ultimately, it could cause you to run over your time at the rehearsal and into your time for the rehearsal dinner. 

 

All of these tips will help you have a successful rehearsal and avoid the many pitfalls and time wasting activities that can draw out the process. 

20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding

 

Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.

 

1.)  Never book any venue without seeing it.  My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you. 

2.)  Never  work with any  vendor without a contract.   Ever.  This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty.  Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper. 

3.)  Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget.  You will waste your time and the time  of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.

4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”.  In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties.  Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process.  Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue. 

5.)  Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.

6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast.  Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day.  Please treat them nicely. 

7.)  Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows.  Ever.

8.)  Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.

9.)  Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.

10.)  Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, “cheap”, "spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.

11.)  Never put your registry information on or with your invitation.  Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding.  This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.

12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind.  This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day.   Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.

13.)  Never go to your  catering tasting starving.   Everything will taste good.  You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.

14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids.  Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car. 

15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit.  A deposit is refundable.  A retainer is not.

16.)  Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions.  Don’t try to make them all angry either.  Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”

17.)  Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown.  The day will be a blur anyway,  it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director.  Enjoy your day.  Save your sanity.  Please get a wedding coordinator.  If you do, let her/him do her/his job.

18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up.  If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them.  Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.

19.)  Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes.  While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable.  Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.

20.)  Never  forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over).

:: Photo Michal Zacharzewski

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit, Part 2

The Mansion at Forsyth in Savannah, Georgia

Welcome back!

Last week, we talked about the first of the five tips for a great wedding venue visit.  This week, we’ll round up our last bit of tips that will help you choose a wedding reception or wedding ceremony location with ease and confidence. 

  1. Become a complete space cadet.  One of the most important features that makes your potential site a viable choice is its ability to accommodate all of your guests.  You will want to inquire into how many guests can comfortably fit at the venue, because size matters.  Can you have the ceremony and reception at the same place?  Are there options for inclement weather?  If there are tenting options  for outdoor weddings due to space or weather concerns, how much extra is this option in addition to the costs of the rental?  Some venues will require you to book an additional space as your backup—be prepared to factor this into your budget when comparing costs later.  If there are multiple rooms at the venue, ask how many other events are booked on your wedding day.
  2. Gain absolute clarity on the role of your “coordinator”.  Many venues erroneously give their on-site catering manager or coordinator the misnomer of “wedding coordinator”.  This gives most brides the impression that their “venue comes with a coordinator”.  In most cases, this is true and false, and causes much stress and frustration for those on-site coordinators who deal with questions that they cannot and should not deal with.  The coordinator is on hand to answer your questions in terms of your wedding ceremony and or reception, not the entirety of your wedding.  Some on-site coordinators do not stay at the wedding the entire time to execute or oversee, so these will be questions you will want answers to prior to booking your venue.  If their duties are limited, ask for recommendations for wedding coordinators that can work with you on a day-of-wedding level. 
  3. A matter of convenience. Since you and Mr. Fabuluxe know your guest list the best, consider your guests in your decision.  How large is the parking lot?  Is their a fee for valet parking?  How far is parking from the venue?  Take note of the number of restrooms  and their locations– compute if it will be convenient for your guests.  If there are only two stalls in the bathroom, your guests will spend more time in line than at the wedding reception.  If you have elderly or handicapped guests, make sure that the exits are easily accessible, with ramps, if necessary.  If your venue is a resort, ask if there is shuttle or cart service to get guests to the main hotel areas.   
  4. Is there room at the Inn?  Ask ahead if there is a changing or private room for you and your groomsmen if you will have your wedding ceremony there as well.  When planning your timeline, having an onsite room will be most convenient for you. If it doesn’t, it gives you notice to pad your travel time in the the wedding day timeline. This room could also be a perfect hideaway if you would like a private moment with your new husband in the midst of the festivities.
  5. Don’t Go Solo.  Have your fiance, maid/matron of honor, parents or wedding planner attend your venue visit with you. It is good to have a second opinion—especially if you are madly in love with a specific venue.  Another person’s point of view will help you see things you had not or considered.

 

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit

 The  Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

The Imperial Ballroom at the Atlanta Biltmore

 

 

I love going on venue visits with brides and grooms. Even if I have been to a particular wedding ceremony or reception site several times before, it is always great to visit with renewed purpose and see it through their eyes.  When you visit your venue, think of it as visiting a home you and Mr. Fabuluxe are considering purchasing.  You want something that reflects both of you and your lovestory, makes you feel comfortable and is conducive and complementary to your overall event vision.  Just like when buying your home, as soon as your foot crosses the threshold, you should feel like you are “home”.  You should see the two of you cutting the cake in the corner or stealing a kiss by the door.  You should see your dad doing that dance that you wish he wouldn’t on the dance floor.  You should see your best friends marveling at the centerpieces and beautiful decor.

I’m sure that if you have a wedding planner, s/he will attend these visits with you and give you some key things to look out for.  Here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Pay attention to how you are treated…on every level. Your family and friends will visit your venue and come across various members of the site’s staff.  If you are having a destination wedding, this will include hotel front desk staff, too.  In these instances, I would suggest staying at the resort/hotel prior to booking.  Granted, everyone has a bad day—but if you feel neglected, offended, or chastised, it may be time to look for another wedding location.  You will be less apt to forgive these attitudes and affronts your wedding day. 

  2. Pay attention to any odd smells and stains.  I know, strange but true.  If there is a “unique” odor in the venue, it could be for various reasons—the site is old, there is a mold problem, etc.  Be sure to inquire into if it will be fixed (nevermind asking what it is); you are paying to rent the facility and have a right to know.  Look for things that could detract from your wedding like hard water stains on walls or other stains on the carpet/flooring.  Ask if any renovations will occur prior to your wedding;  you may be able to benefit from those new upgrades.

  3. Does the decor make you soar or gives you a sore? In addition to the pictures you see online at the wedding venue’s website, be sure to check other sites like Flickr as well as blogs of photographers and wedding planners in your area.  You will be seeing the venue without any frills—but it will be good for you to get an idea as to what you are walking into as well as how much work you will have to put into your design to make it the way you want.  If the decor is antiquated, ask if you can make any non-permanent changes.  Also, if there are any decorations that you simply adore, ask if they will be in place for your wedding.  This would also be a good time to ask what the venue does anything special around the holidays if you are having a wedding at during a holiday season.

  4. Take your own pictures.  You know what you are going for with your design and it can sometimes be hard to describe in conversation or in emails.  Instead, take your own pictures of your potential venues to review at a later date.   Print your photos at home or send them to a place like Walgreens or Walmart.  One tip:  Print them as 8x10s and have them laminated at Staples or Kinko’s.  With a set of dry erase markers, make notes or preliminary placement designs for your own records.

  5. Know your limitations, restrictions and requirements up front.  It’s the pits finding out things after you’ve signed the dotted line.  The problem is that you may not have known to even ask those questions during your visit.  You will want to know if your vendors are required to have liability insurance in order to work there.  You do not want to run into a problem with booking a vendor only to find they do not have the required paperwork and refuse to get it.  Of course, you should ask about any design limitations and restrictions—which parts of the venue will you have access to? Are you allowed to affix anything by hanging, taping, pinning or stapling?  Can structures be built onsite?  Do they have any exclusive catering or photography rights?  Can you bring your own alcohol?  Are there any structural limitations that you could run into if you want to use a non-standard layout or lighting?  Are there any noise ordinances?  What about rose petals, confetti, rice or sparklers?  Can you have open flames or must you use enclosures?  How early can you set up?  These are all some great questions to get you started.

 

 

We’ll break this post in half, with the other five tips coming next Monday.  In the meantime,  check out 5 Venue Assets that Will Fabuluxe Your Wedding

We Likey: Troy Jensen

troy jensen makeup beach

Troy is one word: fabulous.

 

Working everything from fashion to beauty and makeup to photography, his talent is truly limitless.  He creates awesome looks for celebrities and breaks it down product by product, giving you a recipe for gorgeousness. I’ve been so impressed by his skill and even have a list of new looks and brands to try out soon.  What is even better is that Troy interacts with his readers—so don’t be surprised if you see him in the comments section!

 

Visit Troy Jensen’s blog!

10 Tips from 10 Wedding Planners

tips

One of the benefits of reading wedding blogs is that you get so much insight from fellow planners and brides.  I decided to ask some of the planners I think are outstanding to share a few of their favorite tips with Fabuluxe™ readers. Be sure to check them out, too!

“Hire vendors you trust, then let them do their jobs.”  Sara Bauleke • Bella Notte
“Start work on your seating assignments early as this becomes a MAJOR task as you get closer to the wedding…. when you make your guest list, purchase plain white, cheap paper plates and a pack of sticky notes…..write each guests name on a sticky note and arrange them in groups by family, friends or co workers around the paper plate about 8-10 on a plate ( as most 60” round banquet tables seat 8-10).”

Mark Kingsdorf • Queen of Hearts Weddings | BLOG

“Do you dread negotiating with vendors on their prices?  Wedding vendors need to support their lives too so most aren’t willing to drop their fees just because you ask.  The best way to get a good deal is to tell the vendor what amount you’re able to spend.  Then see how they can customize their services to fit your budget.  Perhaps the photographer will knock out the parent album that you don’t need anyway.  Maybe the DJ will leave the spinning club lights at home.  Or perhaps the caterer will suggest that you skip the mini dessert buffet and only serve wedding cake.  You may be surprised at how customized your vendors will make their packages in order to earn your business.” Laura Auer • Wish Special Events | BLOG
“Don’t get caught up in a particular shade of “pink” or “blue” when choosing your colors!  Different hues of a color will give your decor and overall wedding style that “designer” look.  Gone are the days of everything matching as well.  Bridesmaids dresses in gradient shades is a HAUTE look!”
Wendy Robinson • Sacred Moment Weddings | BLOG
“If you really want a unique wedding, stop looking for inspiration in wedding magazines.” Monica Gill •   The White Box | BLOG
“If having an outdoor ceremony, be considerate of your bridesmaids who may be wearing heals.  Consider purchasing them Solemates It keeps them from sinking into the grass.”  Latrice Cushenberry •  Bridal Opulence Weddings and Events | BLOG
“Keep all wedding related information in one place. Don’t have piles all over the house, and one at work, and one in the car, and don’t forget about the one that you have in the bathroom.  If you keep all of your wedding contracts, correspondence, emails, pages you’ve pulled out of magazines in one place, you will feel more organized. And if you need something, you will know exactly where it is. If your wedding consultant asks to see a copy of the contract, you know where it is – if you need to check the floral order, you know where it is.”

Melissa DiStefano •  MasterPiece Weddings | BLOG

“Consider a brunch reception if you are planning your wedding on a shoestring.”  Shanika Butts • SJB Weddings and Events | BLOG
“Add a line item to your budget for vendors that need to receive gratuities such as limo drivers, beauticians, etc. This can add up and it is so important to account for it at the beginning.”  Saundra Hadley • Planning…ForeverBLOG
“Make the timeline realistic and plan for all the activities you want. For instance, if you want to take pictures before the ceremony, please don’t ask the bridal party to show up only 2 hours before the ceremony, then say “If they’re late, then they won’t be in the pictures.”In reality you are going to WAIT for them because those are your friends or MOTHER,  and you really want them to be in the photos.  Plan accordingly to avoid any tardiness, tantrums and hurt feelings.”

Katasha Butler •  K.Sherrie + Co. | BLOG

Thank you to all of the planners that were so gracious with their time to participate. You all offered some wonderful tips and I know you will create more fabulous events in 2009.  Stay tuned for more tips from other wedding pros.

Miss Fix It: Hollister Medical Adhesive

 

 

Hollister’s is typically used to adhere prosthetics to the body, but it has so many other glorious uses in the world of beauty and fashion. 

 

 

Remember this dress?

 

 

Yeah, well it wasn’t staying on by the grace of God, that’s for sure.

 

Now, while I can’t say for sure that J.Lo used Hollister’s specifically, I will say her stylists used something similar.  Use for extra security for strapless pads, halter dresses, or when you want straps to stay put.  My tips? Spray on to you—not your clothing.  Wait for it to dry and apply your clothing carefully.   For those heavy duty jobs, spray into a small cup and let it thicken.  Apply with Q-Tip or old makeup brush and follow the instructions above.  Whatever you do, just don’t think you’ll master it on the first try.  Be sure to give yourself practice.

 

When double sided tape isn’t enough—choose Hollister’s!