{Real Bride Series}: Meet Kelley

 This Real Bride Series edition introduces Kelley and Neil. Read about their amazing proposal!

real bride series meet kelley.

Kelley’s Love Story:

What is your name and your groom’s name? Kelley & Neil

What was your wedding date? Thursday, December 29, 2016

How did you and your groom meet? We met while working at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project in Madison, WI. The first time we worked together we both noticed each other.  It actually took one of our client’s moms to convince Neil that I was, in fact, interested in him.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?! Funny you should ask, because I wrote a whole prose piece about the proposal the day after it happened:

He gasped, audibly.

“Wow!” he breathed, “Just… Wow!”

Neil was totally captivated by the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t help but smile at my gangly rock hound as we continued further into the park. I parked the car near the geology museum, filled my purse with two bottles of water and a sandwich, and then we both got out and began walking.

Neil’s gasps and murmurs continued along the walk towards the park center. I couldn’t help myself and began ooing and aahing along with him: it was such an incredible sight!

Along the walk, some conversations were struck up with other canyon visitors. Meeting Sam, the bassist of the metal band Barrier, was probably the most eventful: we encountered him, barefoot and bare-chested, meditating on the ledge of the canyon. Neil joined him and, when he finished, almost fell into the canyon while performing a sun salutation in his boots (“Jesus Christ, sweetie!”). After that scare, we chatted with Sam for a bit, learning his name, profession, and that he was from Chicago. His band was on tour and heading to California for a show that night. In a second run-in with Sam, he looked at us with his warm, kind eyes, and said, “I don’t’ know if I’ll ever see you again, but I want you to know that I love you guys.”

“We love you too!” we told him, practically in unison. Looking back, I get the feeling that he knew what Neil was about to do…

During our walk, I commented, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to do engagement photos out here? We should do that at Christmas! Assuming you’ve proposed to me by then, of course.”

I literally had no idea what was about to happen.

Eventually on our hike, we turned around and made our way back to the museum and the car. We went into the museum and, after a brief exploration, went over to the gift shop corner and made some purchases. Upon putting them in the car, I said, “You know what? I’m tired, and a little hungry. Why don’t we go get some food?”

“Well… Will we come back? Because I’d like to come back if we leave now…” Eventually, Neil convinced me to get back out of the car and come marvel at the canyon together one last time (“The sun has gone down a little, so it looks different now!”).

We plunked down on a ledge and gawked at the view. A little down the way, a couple was struggling to fit themselves and the canyon into a photo on their phone, so Neil offered a trade: we take their picture if they take ours. Immediately after our photo was done, I sat back down on the ledge, and gazed out at the gorgeous natural wonder, contemplating life, love, and nature.

“Hey Kelley,” I hear behind me.

Upon turning around, I saw Neil on one knee, holding a ring box with a gorgeous band of diamonds in it.

“I… Wh… Is this…? I— Yes!” I said.

He hadn’t even said the words yet, but I didn’t care; I knew what they were, and I already knew my answer.

Everyone around us gasped and smiled and clapped. A whispered “congratulations!” with a huge smile came from one woman who walked by us.

Later, in the car, I teased him for not actually asking “the question.”  “You didn’t even give me a chance to!” he countered. But then, he took my hands, looked me in the eyes, and asked me, “Kelley Noel Rolak, will you marry me?” “Yes, Robert Neil Thomas Graupner,” I smiled, “Yes I will.”

real bride series meet kelley

What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? Our colors were variations of primary colors (red, yellow, and blue). The meaning was twofold. First, the three primary colors are prominent in the Autism awareness symbol. Second, Neil has Scottish heritage and, while we eventually nixed the idea of the groomsmen wearing kilts for the wedding, we wanted to pay homage to the Dalrymple family tartan (Neil’s grandmother’s maiden name).

The Dress

Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my dress at Vera’s House of Bridals in Madison, WI.  I knew I wanted a tea-length gown, and while at this expo, I saw a woman dressed in basically the perfect gown. When I saw her I froze, with my jaw hanging open. The woman wearing the dress saw me and laughed. She then came over to me and said hello. Of course, I was so excited, I was barely able to stammer out, “Dress! Where! Perfect!” She then let me know that she was a consultant at Vera’s and that all I had to do was call them to make an appointment.

Who Went:

The appointment itself was so much fun. I brought my mom, my sister, and future mother-in-law to come help me decide what dress to choose. The first dress I tried on was, of course, the dress I fell in love with at the expo. It was wonderful! There were quite a few options, and I didn’t want to miss something if it could be even more perfect. I’m glad I made that choice, because the dress I ended up choosing was the fourth dress that I tried on!

The Description:

The dress itself was a relatively plain strapless tea-length gown. But the feel of it made me do the same “I love this floofy dress” happy spinning that I did in the first dress. But something was missing, so we tried adding a belt, which added some much needed bling. My FMIL suggested a jacket. I think we were both thinking of a bolero, but what they brought out was so much better: a lace 3/4 sleeve, portrait neckline jacket that buttoned in the back. In all of the wedding dress TV shows, it seems like every bride cries when they find “their dress.” Well, that was the moment I burst into tears.

So a relatively easy experience, but still storied.

real bride series babydoll weddings graupner twirl

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)? Our ceremony and reception took place at Superstition Manor in Mesa, AZ. While we both live and work in Wisconsin, my parents both have family in Arizona. I have even spent every Christmas that I can remember (except one) in Mesa. And the idea of having a winter wedding somewhere where it wasn’t ACTUALLY winter (sorry, Arizonians, but you don’t know what cold is) was also definitely a large factor in picking Arizona.  Superstition Manor closes at 9pm on weeknights. We knew the party would last later than 9 pm, so we rented a party bus to take us out to Scottsdale for an after-party pub crawl!

What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? I had wildflowers that fit the color theme in the bouquet, including some dahlias. Neil was actually the one to take care of the floral arrangements, as I was busy with graduate school. I could not make it to the tasting at Superstition, so Neil, his mother, and my father went in my place. Neil picked the menu, scouted photographers, and settled all of the floral details. Knowing that I am a Star Wars nerd, he made sure that the florist included a light saber hilt in the handle of the bouquet. Brenda even made sure that the noise mechanism worked, which made the bouquet exponentially more fun! So I think Neil did a pretty great job with the things he helped with.

The Cake

What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We had a vanilla cutting cake, with mini cheesecakes and mini red velvet cupcakes as the dessert.

What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? Neil’s uncle officiated our wedding, and gave us each a mate from a pair of Christmas socks as a metaphor for the cooperation we would need to develop in order to make our marriage work.

First Dance:

For our first dance, we used a piece of music called “Waltz for Zizi,” from the anime show “Cowboy Bebop.” The father-daughter dance was to “Not While I’m Around,” covered by Jamie Cullum. I had had my heart set on using Jamie Cullum’s version of the song for years before I realized that it was a cover of a song from “Sweeny Todd,” but I decided I didn’t care.

Special Meanings:

We signed our marriage certificate with a Darth Vader pen.

Neil has a 125-year-old railroad pocket watch that he carried with him.  My father gave it to him for Christmas. It had belonged to his great grandfather while he was working as a doctor for the railroad as it was expanding to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I occasionally play with an old time band in Madison called the No Name Stringband. I had hoped they would be able to play for the wedding but their schedules did not allow for it. As a gift to me, the band recorded a new version of their original piece, “You Look Alright, Still,” for me to use in their absence.

Did you provide favors to your guests?  If so, what were they?  We had small cactus tea lights in red glass tea candle holders. We also made coloring books and had sets of crayons for everyone in case they were waiting during pictures.

real bride series babydoll weddings graupner favors

Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day? The photo booth at the wedding was so much fun! We also had rented a party bus to use after the wedding!

The Honeymoon

Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? We took our honeymoon 3 months after the wedding. We went on a Disney Cruise through the western Caribbean: Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Falmouth, Jamaica, and Disney’s Castaway Cay. The cruise even had a Star Wars day at sea!

What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides? Delegation is important! If you are busy, allow someone you trust to take the reigns. You may even end up with the best bouquet ever!

Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team? Lasting Impressions Weddings – Brenda (floral)
Royal Escape Productions – Joshua (photography) – When we first met our photographer to set up a contract, the three of us ended up chatting for an hour before we finally got down to business. Joshua from Royal Escape Productions is easy to get to know which made having him and his team at the wedding even more fun. It truly felt like they were friends who just happened to be taking our pictures.
Superstition Manor – Brittany (venue)
Save this Dance – Tyler (DJ)

bride groom real bride series graupner wedding babydoll weddings

How to Achieve the Perfect Winged Liner

Just Wing It

winged eyeliner tutorial

Dolls, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…. whether you’re a makeup pro or novice, applying liquid eyeliner can be tricky, if not a total nightmare. And trying to perfect the winged liner look can be the most frustrating beauty trick you’ve tried.  Believe it or not, you can actually achieve this look without a steady hand.  The secret to a perfect look is actually a common household object – scotch tape.

This idea honestly isn’t new but we have so many gals ask us how to get this perfect look that this is a perfect post to share!   

All you need is:

– Eyeliner of choice (if you’re a liquid eyeliner virgin, opt for a liner pen or marker)
 Scotch Tape (but any tape will do)
 Cotton balls & makeup remover
– A black eye pencil 
– Mascara 

Here’s How:

1. Apply an inch-long piece of Scotch Tape under your bottom lash line at the corner of your eye, at an angle towards your temple. How you apply your tape will determine the shape of your feline flick/cat eye.  
winged eyeliner how to babydoll weddings
2. Next take your eyeliner and apply it as close to the root of your upper lash line as possible and into the inner corner of your eye. I personally find resting my little finger on my face helps to steady my hand. 
3 & 4. Using the Scotch Tape as a guide, continue applying liner along the tape (mess isn’t an issue!). Then bring the eyeliner back towards your lash line in a triangle shape and fill it in. Remember liquid liner starts thin towards the inner tear duct and gradually widens and comes to a sharp point at the end of the flick. 
5. Now gently remove the tape (but make sure the eyeliner is dry first) to reveal a smooth and straight feline flick.
6. Go over the eyeliner if required and clean up your under eye area with a cotton bud and a little makeup remover. 
7. Next tightline your upper water line (without jabbing yourself in the eye). This will define your lash line and fill in the visible space. 
8. Polish the look by applying a few coats of mascara. But remember it’s all about the liner not the lashes! 
winged liner tutorial babydoll weddings
9. And voilà! You’ve mastered the sticky trick for perfect winged eyeliner!

Ask Sabrina: Beautiful Brows

Beautiful Brows

beautiful brows

Dear Sabrina:  How important are brows to your overall look?  I over-tweezed my brows and now they look sparse.  How can I make them look fuller before my wedding day?  – Browless Britney

Britney – I am so sorry that you over-tweezed your brows but just know that it happens to the best of us.  Oh are there some horror stories I could share with you!!  Let’s tackle your question in three parts.

How important are brows to your overall look?

I cannot stress enough how important they are to the overall look on your wedding day and just for everyday beauty. They are what frames the windows to your soul (your eyes). Having great brows, defined brows and well maintained brows is powerful and contributes to a ‘pulled-together’ look. As a makeup artist I am constantly asking my clients to grow them out so we can rehab the mistakes.

What tips can you give us for perfect brows?

The best tip that I can give you is put the tweezers away, let your brows grow for 4-6 weeks and give me a call to make a brow appointment. If you don’t have 4-6 weeks for regrowth, we can give you a brow tint to tint the hair and a little bit of the skin to give the illusion of hair. Also you can pick up any brow kit that will help you fill in your brows and make them more groomed. We love Urban Decay’s Brow Box – available at Urban Decay, Ulta and other beauty stores.

If our brows and lashes are sparse how can we help them to look fuller?

Eyebrow and eye lash tinting is great to give that illusion of fullness especially for eyebrows that are growing out. To encourage growth, try mixing castor oil and coconut oil together to create a custom lash and brow serum. Your brows will be healthy and fuller in no time.

xoxo Sabrina

{Friendor Friday}: Elizabeth Douglas Photography

Friendor Friday Spotlight: Elizabeth Douglas Photography

We are fortunate to have an amazing tribe of vendors that we work with to create dream weddings for our clients.  Every other Friday we will spotlight one of our vendor friends, or friendors.  These amazing artists are in the trenches with us.  They battle deadlines, work in the blaring sun, walk an average of ten miles on event days and more.  We do this because we all love making people’s dreams come true.  When you need of a photographer, caterer, florist, planner, venue, videographer, etc. we hope you will entrust one of our amazing friendors.  We think they are rather spectacular!

What is your name and the name of your business? Maria Elizabeth Fossler, Owner and Lead Photographer at Elizabeth Douglas Photography

wedding photographer elizabeth douglas photography friendor friday

How long have you been in business? We have been a formal business sine 2012 for 5 amazing years!

pet photography elizabeth douglas photography friendor friday

What is your favorite part of your job? I’m a people person, so I LOVE connecting with people and making them feel good about themselves…straight out of the camera! Having fun and conversing during a session and making people smile makes life complete!

“Who Doesn’t Love LOVE?”

What is your favorite par of the wedding industry? Who doesn’t love LOVE? My husband and I (the Douglas portion of the business, and my second shooter), love LOVE stories. Capturing the LOVE in a couple’s eyes, in their touch, and seeing the love in everyone else’s smiles during a wedding makes it all worth the lugging around of gear and constantly having a camera up to our faces! Whether it’s a Mr & Mrs wedding, a Mrs & Mrs, or Mr & Mr…we believe in love, and love capturing it!.

friendor friday elizabeth douglas photography headshots and portraits

What is your favorite memory being in business? Wow, that’s not a fair question…our favorite memory. For me, I have two. The first happened during a boudoir session where a group of friends had gotten together to participate in some specials I was having. They all hung out as each person took their turn having their photo taken. A woman about my age went first. Now, I say my age, as she was a mom of older teens/adults (at the time), and was a bit unsure about the whole boudoir thing. When I showed her an image from my camera of her, her eyes brimmed with tears and I got the most sincerest Thank You ever…along with a, “I can’t believe that’s me!” Another of my favorite memories was capturing the birth of one of our wedding couple’s daughter. It was something I will never forget, and I still tear up looking at the images!

elizabeth douglas photography family portraits friendor friday

Is there anything new or on the horizon for you? We’re excited to announce that we are moving into doing more corporate work, including head shots at our new location in Tempe! We would love to give you a new updated headshot! Mention Babydoll Weddings and we will give you a discount!

Babydoll Weddings Beauty: Gorgeous Lashes

5 Tips for Gorgeous Lashes

The last thing we want in the heat of summer is heavy, clumpy makeup so many of us lighten our beauty routine to a more natural look. Lashes, however, are a year-round necessity. Our experts put together these five tips to ensure that you get perfect eyelashes without going to the expense of extensions.

gorgeous lashes

1. Eyelash curlers are a must. 
Lash curlers are optimal to getting that “wow” factor. Not all curlers are alike, though, so be sure to choose one that creates a beautiful upward curl. With a delicate motion, move from the lash base upward for maximum results. And always curl before applying mascara, not after.  We love the glamorous curls you get with Shiseido’s curler. Silicon pad curls from base to tip and includes one replacement pad.

2. Rest between mascara applications.
Patience is a virtue. Give your lashes a little bit of drying time between each coat.  This will allow the mascara to set allowing you to add volume with each coat.

3. Comb your lashes. 
We don’t know about you but we hate clumpy lashes.  To avoid this, use a metal-toothed lash comb.  Wait a few seconds after applying your coat of mascara and then brush through your lashes.  Once dry, apply your next coat and repeat. Try the Lift Off Lash Comb for a refined look.

lash comb metal

4. Stick with one brand.
Mixing brands (layering one over the other) can lead to clumping as not all formulas are made to blend.  Should you decide to experiment, keep your lash comb close by to catch any potential clumps.

5. Condition your lashes.
Just like your hair, your lashes need a little TLC. Lash conditioners work as a primer, creating a good foundation for mascara. Growth treatments like Latisse stimulate the eyelash growth cycle, making it longer, so lashes come in longer, darker and thicker,” but you must stick with the regime to see results.  Full results take within 2-3 months, while improvements show within 4 weeks.

Wedding Traditions: Part 3 – Popular Wedding Floral

The Meaning Behind Popular Wedding Floral

bridal bouquet floral meaningA rose by any other name would smell as sweet, at least according to William Shakespeare.  Wedding flowers play an integral part in any wedding as they the focal point for decorations and tradition.  Your choices in color, style and floral type actually sets the tone and mood for your day.  Have you ever wondered how floral came to be part of the wedding tradition?

Why does the bride carry a bouquet of flowers?

The tradition of carrying a bridal bouquet can be traced back for centuries. In Ancient Rome, brides carried or wore flower garlands, as they believed that flowers signified new beginnings, fidelity and hope for fertility. Ancient Greece weddings featured ivy to represent enduring love.

Why does the bride toss the bouquet?

bouquet toss floral meaning

Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away.  In later times, brides tossed the bouquet to their bridesmaids and, it was said that the maid who caught the bouquet was the next to be married.

What is the meaning of certain types of wedding flowers?

Tradition isn’t the only element that dictates a bride’s choice of wedding flowers. Fashion trends also come into play. Convention has taken a backseat to individuality. Bridesmaids’ bouquets do not necessarily match the bridal bouquet, the boutonnieres and centerpieces. While most florists and planners stress the continuity of at least one main flower throughout all floral elements, many brides are breaking free from tradition.

If you have wondered about the traditional meaning of flowers that are common in weddings or if you want to instill certain ‘meanings’ in your bouquets, read below:


Long considered a symbol of beauty and love, the rose figures into many myths and fairy tales. Romantic writers and poets have used the flower as a metaphor for emotion, beauty, passion, and true love throughout the ages. The rose is an all-star player in the world of weddings, available in solid and bicolor varieties, including striped and tipped varieties as well. Not every variety, however, is scented. Three main types are likely candidates for your wedding flowers: hybrid tea roses (the classic, uniformly-shaped commercial roses generally seen at your local florist), spray roses (a rose with five to ten small heads on each stem and a “natural, garden-grown” look), and garden roses (expensive, old-fashioned varieties with bushy, open heads and delectable scents).


tulip bouquet floral meaning

📸: pinterest

Representing “consuming love” and “happy years,” the tulip can be a meaningful wedding choice. Tulips are available in a wide range of colors, including white and cream; pastels like pink, yellow, and peach; and vibrant hues like magenta, red, and purple. Available during much of the year, the most common tulips are very affordable, though rare varieties can be expensive. This versatile flower can enhance both elegant wedding settings and more casual venues, and work well in almost any permutation — from bouquets to boutonnieres to table arrangements. Three main varieties are commonly used: Dutch tulips (typically seen at neighborhood florist shops and in gardens), French tulips (expensive and elegant, with extra-long stems and large tapered blooms), and parrot tulips (noted for their ruffled, striped petals in intense colors).

Calla Lily

This elegant, trumpet-shaped blossom originated in Africa and symbolizes “magnificent beauty” in the language of flowers. The calla lily’s distinctive form is best seen in Art Nouveau and Art Deco works and twentieth-century photography. Two types are commonly available: a large-headed variety with a long, smooth stem suitable for tall arrangements or presentation-style bouquets, and a miniature version ideal for nosegays and boutonnieres. Creamy ivory is the most popular color, but calla lilies also come in yellow, orange, mauve-pink, and dark purple.


hydrangea floral meaning

With its big bushy head and intense shades of pink, blue, burgundy, and purple, it’s no wonder that the hydrangea represented “vanity” in the Victorian language of flowers. One of the most popular varieties changes in color as it grows from bubble-gum pink to sky blue, depending on the acid level of the soil. A stem or two of this moderately priced, scentless shrub flower helps fill out arrangements and bouquets, and a few sprigs make a charming boutonniere. You’ll find the hydrangea in white and shades of green, pink, burgundy, and blue.


The peony has a large, full head, strong perfume, and bright color. Despite this outward showiness, the flower acquired the Victorian meaning “bashfulness.”  The peony is available in two main types, the herbaceous and the tree peony; however, the latter’s flowers do not last as long when cut. A bouquet made solely of peonies can be gorgeous and the flower is also beautiful in centerpieces and arrangements. Grown in single- and double-flower styles, this expensive bloom is seasonally available in AZ from late November through June.


ranunculus floral meaning

Looking for a cost-effective alternative to roses or peonies? Try the lush, multi-petaled ranunculus, with its mild-scented with several blossoms on a stem and fernlike foliage. Carrying ranunculus is telling your partner, in the Victorian language of flowers, “I am dazzled by your charms.” A natural in a bridal bouquet or bridesmaid nosegays, this light flower also makes a fantastic boutonniere and is available in many colors.


stephanotis bouquet callaway gable

📸: Calloway Gable

The Victorian meaning for this flower is “marital happiness,” making the dainty white Stephanotis an obvious choice for weddings. The star-shape, waxy florets grow on a flowering vine; each is individually wired or placed onto a special holder before it can be arranged. A bouquet of stephanotis blossoms is one of the most traditional a bride can carry. Mildly scented and moderately priced (labor may be a bit pricey), this floral option is available year-round.


gardenia floral meaning

Surrounded by dark green, waxy leaves, the exquisite gardenia exudes a sultry, heavy scent. A single gardenia makes a wonderful scented corsage or hair accessory. Be gentle as the delicate, creamy ivory petals of this expensive flower can bruise easily and the scent of many can be overpowering to some people.


{Real Bride Series}: Meet MacKenzie

.real bride series couple

MacKenzie’s Story:

What is your name and your groom’s name? MacKenzie & Brett

What was your wedding date? Saturday, November 19, 2016

How did you and your groom meet? Brett and I met his senior year at prom. He went with a friend and I went with his best friend. Long story short, we spent the whole night talking, traded phone numbers, and the rest is history.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?! In March of 2015, Brett planned an “Escape the Room” game inviting our closest friends and family. While I didn’t know it at the time, he had planned ahead and hidden a note in place of one of the clues to help us escape the room. We were about 50 minutes in to the 60 minutes groups are given to escape when my friend Amanda said, in a very loud voice, “MacKenzie, come look over here in the oven.” I had already looked there, several times, and she pulled out a metal, magnetic lock box and handed it to me. As I slid the box open, a small folded piece of paper fell out. I opened the note that read “Your next clue is with your fiance.” I turned around and Brett was down on one knee with a beautiful ring.

real bride series groom boutonierre

What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? Brett and I chose navy blue, oranges and peaches for our fall wedding. We wanted a contemporary look to merge with our rustic venue.

real bride series bouquet

The Dress

Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my wedding dress at David’s Bridal. It was the second gown I purchased and I fell in love with the soft features of the skirt and the beautiful designs at the top of the dress.

real bride series wedding dress   real bride series bride gown

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)? We held our ceremony and reception both at Shenandoah Mill. Brett and I fell in love with look of the mill, and how easy it was to coordinate the event. We love our pictures!

shenandoah mill real bride series

The Cake

What was the flavor of your wedding cake?  Brett was in charge of the flavors and look of the cake. The bottom layer was almond flavored cake with a chocolate hazelnut filling. The middle layer was pumpkin spice with cream cheese filling. And the top layer was red velvet with cream cheese filling. The frosting covering the outside of the cake was a light buttercream. It was delicious!

real bride series wedding cake

What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? Our favorite part of the wedding was the unique participants in our ceremony. Our grandmothers were our flower girls and they were so honored to be asked! And, not to mention, they looked adorable coming down the aisle! We also used our dog as our ring bearer. During the ring exchange in the ceremony, we called to have her released. She ran down the aisle in a tutu with the rings tied to her collar. It couldn’t have gone smoother!

real bride series dog ringbearer

Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Seeing my dad before he walked me down the aisle. Brett and I chose not to do a first look, so our photographer captured a first look between my dad and me.

The Honeymoon

Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? We are planning our honeymoon for June of 2017. We have a Caribbean cruise scheduled with some exciting excursions planned.

What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides? Enjoy the planning process and do only what you can. If you do it right, the experience of planning and involving your family will be just as valuable of an experience as the actual wedding. Don’t worry too much, because the day of, all you worry about anyways is enjoying the day.

Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team? Graceful Cakes– Wedding Cake
Cassy Carmody Photography
Shenandoah Mill-Venue

real bride series mackenzie

Babydoll Beauty: Simplified Summer Beauty

Beauty Simplified for Summer

Summer is all about lightening your beauty routine— such as ditching your foundation and blush in favor of a swipe of bronzer and letting your hair succumb to their natural waves. The flip side to warm weather’s unbuttoned ease is its ability to make your whole look melt. If you are looking for a simplified summer beauty routine considering trying some of the following tips:

Tinted Moisturizer

Using a product that multitasks, like a tinted moisturizer with SPF, turns three steps into one. Choose one that is a little bit darker than your skin tone. It adds a warmer glow to your skin immediately while protecting you from the suns harsh rays.  Plus, you can apply it with your fingers the way you would your moisturizer — much easier than foundation.

Cheeks and Eyes

Use the same product on multiple areas instead of individual blushes and eyeshadows. Choose something that has a bronzy tone to it but stay away from anything peachy.  Our pick is Nars the Multiple Bronzer, $39.  Finish the look with a waterproof (aka sweat proof) mascara that will add volume to your luscious lashes. Try MAC’s Haute & Naughty Waterproof Lash, $23.

simplified summer beauty

Kissable Lips

A tinted gloss is a girl’s best friend during the summer.  Loaded with mango and shea butters, our favorite tint is not-sheer but not-opaque which means it delivers the right amount of soft, subtle color to your pout.  Clinique Chubby Stick, $17.

simplified summer beauty


Ask Sabrina: Preparing Skin for Your Wedding Day

Dear Sabrina: What is the best way for preparing your skin for your wedding day?

There is a saying that goes something like “no amount of paint can cover a bad foundation”.  We don’t know where it originated from, and maybe it was just something that is said to those folks in the cosmetology industry but we heard it and it stuck with us. The exact same goes for makeup.  No amount of makeup can fix bad skin.  A prime canvas is necessary to paint and prime skin is necessary to a {relatively} flawless look.  So, it may be understandable why we did a happy dance when we opened Jackie’s email asking how to prepare her skin for her big day.

While makeup artists can work to create a smooth, primed foundation to work with but there are many steps that you can take as well.


Babydoll Weddings Facial Good Skin Wedding preparing your skin

It’s great to have a few facials leading up to your big day.  Be sure to start them a couple of months before as facials tend to detoxify the face and you don’t want any blemishes to show up unexpected just before the wedding.  While an at-home facial is an option, we strongly recommend a professional facial to ensure that any areas prone to problems are addressed.  Be sure to use a good skin-care system daily (morning and night) to cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize.  Follow the recommended exfoliation schedule (generally not more than twice per week).

I love Embryolisse and babydolls, it is available at Target!

skin care prepping skin


sunscreen babydoll weddings preparing your skin

Sunscreen is your friend.  Be sure to apply an SPF (we recommend a 15) before applying foundation.  This will protect your skin from the suns harsh rays which cause wrinkles and freckles that could related to further damage or skin cancer.  Click here to read our blog “Here Comes the Sun” and find our top sunscreen picks.


babydoll weddings hydrate preparing your skin drink water

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Our bodies are approximately 60% water (the percentage fluctuates based on age and gender).  Drinking water helps to flush toxins from your body which includes your face.  Grab a glass of water and capture a natural glow!

xoxo, Sabrina


Babydoll Weddings Beauty: BB Cream

Why You Need To Add A BB Cream To Your Beauty Regimen

BB Creams, or Beauty Balms (also known as Blemish Balms), were originally developed in Germany by a dermatologist who wanted a single cream that would protect skin and provide coverage after laser treatments. They are formulated to do the job of five or six other products: moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, skin treatment, concealer, and foundation while providing sheer to medium coverage. South Korean beauty bloggers first discovered this wondrous all-in-one product and it quickly spread throughout Asia before finally making its way to the Western Hemisphere approximately four years ago. Today, just about every makeup brand carries a BB Cream.

Why You Need a BB Cream

Aside from the multi-purpose functionality of this product, a BB cream will help you achieve fuller coverage without having to move up to a heavier foundation. A pea-sized dab of BB cream can provide just the right amount of coverage for a casual day.  Add a foundation on top of it for a slightly heavier, flawless look.

Most BB Creams come in light to medium shades (medium tends to be the darkest shade available). For this reason, we recommend color matching at your favorite makeup counter to be sure the shade is right for you.

We are MAC lovers and so it is a no-brainer that our favorite BB Cream is MAC’s Prep +Prime:

MAC Prep+Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 35:   A beauty balm that blurs imperfections and evens skin tone immediately. Provides medium coverage, satin finish, and is available in 12 shades. $31.00

bb creams mac

Try it, we guarantee you will love the results!  Oh, and guys, believe it or not, there are BB Creams available for you, too!



June 2017
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