This issue of our Real Bride Series features Tessa and Michael who were married earlier this year at the Ocotillo Golf Club in Chandler, AZ. Tessa offers great advice while reminiscing about her wedding day.
Getting to Know Tessa & Michael
What is your name and your groom’s name? Tessa Mallette & Michael Lara
What was your wedding date? Saturday, January 28, 2017
How did you and your groom meet? We met online and it did not take long before we wanted to meet. Our first date was at a sushi restaurant and didn’t want the night to end. We had so much in common; both of us are the oldest child with younger brothers and we enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, and experiencing local attractions and farmers markets.
We are dying to know, how did he propose?! Michael and I were supposed to go on a double date with my best friend and her husband. We were running late and parking was challenging as he wanted us to park in a busy mall parking lot across the street. Little did I know, my family was waiting out of sight. We walked near the waterway up to the restaurant, Michael stopped by a fountain and got down on one knee. I was so surprised! What surprised me even more was that my family, my best friend and her husband came around the corner just after I said “yes”! Michael and I are both planners so it is hard for Michael to surprise me but he had emailed my friends and family the location spot including where they all should park and hide so I wouldn’t suspect a thing! So romantic and perfect!
The Details and the Dress
What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? My wedding colors were blush pink, gold, and mint green. I always knew I wanted a pink wedding but I wanted a more classic look, so I added the gold accents and added the mint green for an extra touch.
Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my dress at David’s Bridal. It was a relatively easy process and I found it in one day. I was discouraged at first due. I wanted tulle but each one I tried on seemed so itchy. Finally, I found the perfect dress with pearl buttons running down the back and lace details on the top. It also had a flattering neckline and the bottom flowed just like Belle’s dress from Beauty and the Beast.
Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)? Our ceremony and reception were at Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona. We fell in love with all the water and the beautifully manicured green golf course which was perfect for our dream of an outdoor ceremony site. The reception site was beautiful as well. The architecture of the building featured a wooden ceiling that made you feel as though you were on a boat. It was just the right size for our 80 guests.
From Flowers to Cake to Favors
What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? I had a mixture of different color roses and additional flowers in my bouquet. For the ceremony, we had baby’s breath in metal buckets down the aisle.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Our wedding cake was lemon cake with raspberry buttercream. We also had chocolate cupcakes with a pink buttercream.
Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they? We did s’more’s kits with mini Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers.
What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? We purchased two wine barrels for either side of the ceremony aisle and they really created the rustic style that we wanted. Also, our DJ offed up-lighting options which enhanced the reception and added just the right touch.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? We honeymooned in Kauai, Hawaii which is an amazing island that is mostly undeveloped. We had great weather and enjoyed traveling around the island, kayaking to the secret falls, and flying on a private plane tour of the island.
A bit of Advice…
Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Just watching all of our family and friends enjoy dancing and getting to know each other. It was so fun to see everyone in the same place and all the love in the room.
What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?
Do NOT stress yourself out on the details. Make sure you choose the best vendors who want to make your vision come true. Also consider adding some personal touches that you love. When the day comes it all seems overwhelming but once your vision has come to life, you will be able to enjoy each moment. The ceremony and reception fly by so fast so be sure to take time to enjoy each and every aspect.
The Vendor Dream Team
Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team? Lia Photography was such a great choice for us. The husband and wife team shot our engagement shoot and we were sure that they would shoot our wedding with the same professionalism and quality. We were so right! They know which photos will make anyone who sees them feel like they are there and a part of the whole experience. We have many options for printing and our photo book is almost done. Can you imagine how excited we are to see it and relive the day?!
Rock Around the Clock Entertainment/Jeff Marcus was also such an amazing selection. Jeff was so engaging from day one to make sure that we were on the same page for music selection, up lighting, and interaction with guests, which was very important for us to make the reception run smoothly. Jeff thought of everything and sent over a questionnaire to make sure that he know as much as possible about our guests and music preferences. He also took photos and videos of the ceremony and reception and sent them to me the same night. Hands down, Jeff is absolutely the best DJ that I have ever experienced. We were so lucky to find him for our big day!
Wedding plans are falling into place, you are getting closer to the big day which means that your honeymoon is getting closer as well (we can hear you sigh from here!). Whether you have picked a tropical beach honeymoon or not, you want to be sure that you have sexy summer feet ready to dance the night away or snuggle in bed. Here is our DIY guide to soft and sexy feet.
Smooth Supple Feet
Feet don’t have many oil glands which leaves them prone to dryness.
Moisturize feet daily. Restore softness by applying a foot cream immediately after showering, while skin is still wet. For maximum benefits, look for one that also contains exfoliators such as lactic acid to improve its ability to soften your skin.
Fingernails grown thinner with age but toenails thicken and harden due to the pressure from shoes.
Trim and file correctly: Using a nail clipper, trim toenails into a square shape. This will eliminate splits and ingrown nails. They should be even with the tips of your toes. Smooth rough edges by using long strokes with an emery board.
Excess skin builds up over time and attaches to the nail, shortening your natural nail.
Soften cuticles every 2 weeks: Rub on cuticle oil and immerse feet in warm water for 10 minutes to loosen skin. You can also apply a cuticle remover.
Push cuticles back and trim: Gently ease cuticles off the nail with an orangewood stick, and snip hangnails using a nipper.
Calluses are a result of so many things – pressure and friction from shoes, walking barefoot and even genetics (something else you can thank your parents for!).
Exfoliate daily: Use a pumice stone in the shower to buff away dead cells. Water softens skin, making it easier to remove so, if your balance isn’t perfect enough to do this in the shower, soak your feet in warm water first. Also, don’t get too carried away with sloughing (calluses protect feet, so don’t file them down entirely) and razors, which can cut skin and lead to infection.
This discoloration is usually residual staining from red or darker polishes.
Buff superficial stains: Lightly filing nails erases surface marks.
Bleach nails: Remove stubborn stains with the natural citric acid from a lemon (do not use household bleach).
Use a base coat: Applying this clear polish before painting nails creates a stain-fighting barrier. Try alternate shades: If you wear dark hues, go lighter every 3 weeks.
See your doctor: Persistent yellowing could be a sign of health problems.
How to Make Your Wedding Makeup Last During a Heat Wave
Summer is in full swing in Arizona! We officially hit triple digit temperatures earlier in May and we have had many brides concerned about the resilience of their summer wedding makeup in this heat. Imagine our surprise when we opened our email box last week and found yet another question about this subject! The topic must be on every bride’s mind.
Kara M. in Scottsdale emailed “I’m getting married on Memorial Day weekend in an outdoor ceremony. I am a little worried about my makeup as each day gets hotter. I’m worried that I will have sweat lines down my face.
How do I keep my makeup fresh and streak free in this 100º+ heat?”
Well, Kara, you are lucky that my team of stylists, comprised of many AZ natives and long-time residents, are experts in dealing with the heat.
Here are 9 things to remember:
- Skip the powder. Toning down shine with powder can create a chalky look that exaggerates fine lines and wrinkles. Use blotting papers instead to absorb excess oil without messing up your makeup.
- Cool off before application. Let your skin cool down before applying any makeup as warm skin absorbs makeup. Remember blotting papers in lieu of powder!
- Carry a facial mist. A facial mist delivers a fine spray that will cool your skin and will make your makeup last longer. Tip: Our go to facial mist is MAC Prep+Prime Fix+.
- Use a primer. Primers are made to help makeup cling to the skin a little longer and they cut down on shine. Apply before putting on your foundation, but after your moisturizer.
- Avoid heavy foundations. Heavy, full coverage foundations are more likely to melt and slip on hot, sweaty skin. In the warmer months, switch it up to a lighter product that is oil-free and won’t be heavy on your skin. Try to stay away from powder foundations to avoid caking should you start to glisten or sweat.
- Switch from powders to creams. Powders can cake in the heat, which is super unattractive. During the summer, if you’re noticing caking, switch to cream blushes and eye shadows. Be sure to use an eyelid primer if you are concerned your shadow is caking (be sure to apply before shadow).
- Go water resistant. Mascara that’s water resistant or waterproof is better able to withstand summer sweating. Liquid eyeliners also last longer than pencils when your lids are moist.
- Avoid dark colors. If you’re going to be out in the sun, stay away from smoky eyes, dark blushes, and the like. These are a bit harsh in the bright summer sun, and are also more likely to be noticeable if they drip or smudge. Look for softer colors, particularly for the eyes.
- Drink! Keeping your body cool from the inside out is the best way to keep your skin dry. Carry a stainless steel water bottle with you, and sip frequently. Add ice often to keep it cold. This can also double as a neck and face cooler when you need it! Tip: We love Hydro Flask for their insulated abilities!
Till Next Time – Sabrina
What is the meaning of the wedding tradition
“something old, something new,
something borrowed and something blue?”
This wedding tradition comes from an old English rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in your shoe.” It describes the four items the bride adds to her wedding outfit or carries on her wedding day as tokens of good luck. You shouldn’t stress too much about them — they are the little tokens of love your mother, sister, other relatives, and your bride tribe will give you as the wedding approaches. However, don’t be afraid to provide any or all of the items yourself. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each means:
photo credit: Andy Delisle
consider adding a charm or locket containing a photo of loved ones to your bouquet
offers optimism for the future
photo credit: Etsy
many brides opt to have their engagement and/or wedding ring symbolize something new
symbolizes borrowed happiness
photo credit: Walker Goldsmiths
your something borrowed may be a family heirloom such as jewelry
stands for purity, love, and fidelity
To purchase Etsy:
you can get creative with this one – from jewelry to shoes to garters – the options are endless
Sixpence in Your Shoe
is a wish for good fortune and prosperity
(largely a British custom; American’s use a penny)
photo credit: White Tree Photography
Meet Real Bride Angie and her husband Greg. They met in 2011 and tied the knot in 2016 at Schnpef Farms. What did Angie love most about her wedding? Read on…..
In Angie’s Words
What is your name and your groom’s name? Angie & Greg
What was your wedding date? Saturday, September 10, 2016
How did you and your groom meet? Greg and I met through mutual friends at the University of Arizona in 2011.
We are dying to know, how did he propose?! We spent the day doing things we hadn’t done before. This included hiking new trails in familiar areas. We were on top of a peak at sunset at Papago Park. I was completely taken by surprise.
What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? We chose navy blue and yellow because they were appropriate for the season and everyone looks good in navy blue! I wanted to carry sunflowers so the yellow was a natural fit.
Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my dress at David’s Bridal. My mom and two of my three bridesmaids were with me. It meant a lot to have mom there because I rarely see her since she lives out of town. I chose the second one I tried on which is funny because I didn’t like it on the hanger. My mom picked it out and insisted I try it. I came out of the dressing room and got the dream reaction! After trying on the next dress I realized that Mom knew best and nothing compared – I was hooked!
Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)? We had our ceremony and reception at Schnepf Farm’s Red Barn. We got a phenomenal deal through the bridal expo and it was located perfectly equi-distance between where our two families (Greg’s are from North Phoenix, mine from Southeastern Arizona).
What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? My bouquet was composed of Sunflowers and white carnations (carnations are my favorite). My bridesmaids had sunflowers and white daisies.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We had a marble cake, made by one of my best friends.
What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? Instead of numbering our tables, we chose to name each of them after a location we’d lived or visited and shared a story about an adventure we had there. It made it a lot more fun and interactive for our guests. Each table also had different topics to make suggestions for i.e. Date night, funny jokes, books to read, bucket list ideas, etc.
Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day? I absolutely loved my flower girls reaction to her dress. She is 2 years old and upon seeing her dress her eyes got big and she whispered “princess?” She reacted the same to my dress too, it was adorable!
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? Yes! We took a 5 day, 4 night Carnival Cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. It was so fun!
What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides? There will always be one member of the bridal party that let’s you down. Remember, this is your most important day, not theirs. Lower your expectations of everyone and you’ll truly be dazzled by those who do show you extra love.
Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team? DJ Philo: http://www.philfree.net/blueroommusic/
Hybrid Duplexity Photography: http://www.hybridduplexity.com/home.html
Schnepf Farms: http://www.schnepffarms.com
See our wedding website for full list of vendors:http://collinsdugi2016.nearlyweds.com/sites/index/3060311
He Put a Ring on It…. How Do I Keep My Nails Beautiful for My Wedding?
We all want strong, thick, beautiful nails but sometimes it seems that, just going about our daily lives, we are damaging our nails rather than strengthening them. Most what we do, from washing our hair to filing at work to cleaning our homes weakens and dries our nails. Our beauty experts offer the following advice for making sure that your nails are in tip top condition when your husband-to-be slides your ring on your finger.
7 Tips for Stronger Nails
- Watch the water. Believe it or not, some people absolutely love watching dishes (can I get a “holla”) but all that water isn’t good for your digits. Wear gloves when you wash dishes, and don’t soak in the bath tub (or Jacuzzi) for too long. If you must indulge, keep your nails outside the water (clasping that glass of red wine, perhaps?) for most of your tub time.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We can’t say this enough….hydration is key for beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Drink lots of water throughout the day (we suggest half of your body weight, in ounces, so 130 pounds is 65oz of water), and you’ll feel and look better, all the way down to your hydrated cuticles and nails. A balanced diet that includes plenty of protein will also help improve your nail health.
- Keep your nails short. If you’re nails are weak, consider cutting them shorter while working to make them stronger. Shorter nails are less prone to breaking. This is because there are fewer exposed edges to tear and less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed. Just be sure to file your nails in one direction. Don’t saw back and forth – this can cause your nails to split and peel.
- Creams and cuticle oils are your friend. Dry cuticles can lead to hang nails, cuticle picking and even peeling. Don’t cut your cuticles—which, when done incorrectly, can be painful and could lead to infection —use cuticle softener to gently push them back, and apply cuticle oil regularly to keep them soft and moisturized. We love Mavala Cuticle Oil (available at Ulta) because it absorbs quickly, is moisturizing, long-lasting and has a great scent. It is definitely worth the price! Hint: A little goes a long way.
- Avoid alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based sanitizers can be especially drying for your nails. Wash your hands with soap and water. After, follow up with hand crème or cuticle oil to keep your nails and cuticles in pristine condition.
- Be careful when cleaning. Why clean? Just hire someone to do it!! But if your bank account won’t support the added expense, wear gloves as chemicals and detergents can weaken your nails.
- Strengthen with a Supplement. Taking 2.5 mg (2,500 mcg) of Vitamin B-7, or Biotin, daily will increase nail thickness and reduce splitting. If you prefer to steer clear of supplements, biotin is found naturally in cauliflower, beef liver, eggs and fish.
Wedding Day Makeup: How Much is Too Much?
We are so excited to introduce you to our Ask Sabrina blog! As the premier on-location wedding hair and makeup studio in Arizona you can only imagine how many questions we receive from brides-to-be seeking tips for their wedding day. We are so happy to be be able to share those questions and answers with you as well. Ask Sabrina will publish the second and fourth Mondays of each month. If you have a question that you would like answered just email us at email@example.com and we will ask Sabrina and answer you via the blog!
This week’s question (and our inaugural one) comes from Stacey K. in Chandler. Stacey asks:
What is the truth about a bride wearing more makeup than normal on her wedding day?
Stacey, and all brides-to-be, this is a great question! We know that you have concerns about feeling and looking overly made-up for your wedding but there are a few factors we need to consider – the length of your day and photography/videography.
First, we all get up in the morning, go through our AM routine and head out to work. I don’t know about you but my makeup looks wilted by noon (earlier if its 115 degrees in the blazing AZ sun – your makeup literally melts off your face, right?) and it never looks fresh when I get home after work. Your wedding day is going to be as long as your work day, and that’s just the ceremony and reception portion! Your makeup may look a little heavy to you but it will get you through your first look to your last dance.
Second, any photographer/videographer will tell you to make sure your features are a little exaggerated so that you don’t look washed out on camera. You can’t repeat this day and we want to be sure that it is perfect. As always, we take our cues from you so should you feel that your look is too heavy, we will talk with you about alternatives to ensure you feel natural and beautiful as you walk down the aisle.
Till next time – S
Sun, Sun, Sun, Here it Comes!
Now that the sun is moving into the northern hemisphere (translation: AZ summer is rapidly approaching), we need to protect ourselves from it’s damaging rays. Choosing not to wear a sunscreen with SPF in the sun can cause wrinkles, brown spots, and worst of all-skin cancer.
But, have no fear, we’ve got you covered! Our stylists are sharing their favorite picks for face and neck sunscreens to keep your skin babydoll smooth during our brightest months!
First up is the Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 30. Eminence helps to lighten age spots and while toning the skin to promote an even complexion and skin tone. It is super smooth, non-greasy and absorbs quickly. Best of all, it’s organic!
Second…PCA SKIN SPF 45. This broad spectrum sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection with ultra-sheer zinc oxide, and the antioxidants milk thistle and caffeine. Its unique, quick-absorbing and light finish makes Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ideal if you have oily skin or are prone to break-outs.
Third…Swim, play, and enjoy the outdoors—knowing your sunscreen loves water as much as you do with Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30. This sunscreen is specially designed to provide superior sun protection without causing breakouts on acne-prone skin. It provides superior broadspectrum UVA/UVB protection. Perfect for face, this liquid-lotion has a water-light texture that leaves a weightless, matte finish so skin can breathe. Ideal for outdoor activities and sports, it provides high sun protection, yet is comfortable and gentle on the skin and is waterproof for up to 80 minutes so grab your bikini and towel and head to the pool.
As with all sunscreens, these must be reapplied every 2 hours! Now you can catch some rays and keep your skin youthful at the same time. xo
Exfoliate Your Elbows for Smooth Summer Skin
The Arizona heat can dry out your skin leading to painful, cracked areas – especially elbows and heels. Soothe dry skin on your elbows by exfoliating and following up with a good moisturizer. Elbows are often forgotten so be sure to exfoliate your elbows for smooth summer skin. During summer, they are exposed to the sun and heat while in winter, elbows suffer as skin dries out and rubs against heavy coats and jackets. Unfortunately, many of us only think about our elbows when they are cracked and hurting. By exfoliating you elbows weekly you will keep skin smooth and healthy looking.
Scrubs for Exfoliating Your Elbows
Use exfoliating scrubs to slough off dead skin and reveal the younger skin underneath. Homemade scrubs are easy to make in a few minutes, or pick one up from your local beauty store.
- Sugar Scrubs – For an at-home sugar scrub, combine olive oil and brown sugar in a small bowl. Two drops of essential oils will give the scrub an uplifting scent and moisturize your skin. Apply the scrub in the shower to damp elbows. Rub the scrub into your skin for one minute, then rinse.
- Salt Scrubs – Rub bath salts into the moist skin of your elbow for a good exfoliant. Rinse away the scrub after about a minute. Do not use salt scrubs if your skin is extremely dry or if you have cuts, scrapes or just shaved as the salt may sting.
- Microdermabrasion – Use your facial microdermabrasion kit on your elbows. Squirt or scoop out a dime-sized amount of the exfoliating liquid onto your fingertips. Rub the microdermabrasion exfoliant into your skin. It will only take a few seconds to remove the dried skin, so use caution.
Tools for Exfoliation
If you don’t have any scrubs on hand, an exfoliating tool along with some soap or gel will get the job done just as well.
Loofah – Rub the area with a handheld loofah sponge. Squirt a little soap on your sponge and lather it up. Rub the elbows with the loofah sponge in a circular motion for about 90 seconds as too much exfoliation can damage skin. Only loofah your skin once a week.
Netted Scrubie – Squirt your favorite shower gel or soap into a wet netted scrubie. Rub across the elbow area until suds appear. A netted sponge is gentler than a loofah so you can use it daily. Be sure to hang your netted scrubie to dry to avoid bacterial growth.
After exfoliating your elbows, add moisturizing lotion or oil to the area. Look for moisturizers that contain Vitamin E, Vitamin A or aloe for maximum moisturize protection.
- Lotion – A moisturizer lotion with hydroxyl acid will encourage skin to renew itself. Avoid using lotions with alcohol-based fragrance as these can dry out your skin. Apply lotion to elbows daily.
- Oils – A scented oil like massage oil, olive oil or even baby oil will keep elbow skin flexible. Apply oils to elbows before bed and follow with a lotion for added moisture.
We are so excited to introduce Katie and her real bride story. It’s been 3 years since Babydoll Weddings provided hair and makeup services for her back on October 19, 2013 – the day that Katie married her handsome prince. Katie and Chad have known each other since childhood and we still can’t get over the fact that they built their own venue for their big day! It was the perfect combination of romantic, country, and vintage styles. Just look how gorgeous this venue is! Read more below!
How did you and your groom meet? My husband and I met when I was about 8 years old. He was good friends with my sister and, as a result, he became a good family friend. Later in life, we reconnected at his parent’s New Years party, and that was the start of our dating relationship.
The #babydoll tribe is dying to know, how did he propose?! We went camping, and right before we were getting ready to drive home he surprised me with a romantic picnic. Sitting, overlooking this beautiful valley as the sun was setting, he dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife!
What were your wedding colors and why did you choose them? My colors were blush pink/gold/ivory. I wanted soft, romantic colors as I was going for a country vintage vibe.
Where did you find your dress? Would you say that finding your dress was relatively easy or difficult? I found my dress at Suzanne’s Bridal, and it was relatively easy… I narrowed it down to 2 dresses; one was this BEAUTIFUL lace gown that had a long train, and the other was a light organza gown, with subtle blush colored flowers. I ended up getting the organza dress because when I was in it I just kind of “glowed”.
Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of the venue(s)? When my husband and I went to look at venues, nothing really “spoke” to us – and everything cost SO much – so we decided to take the money we would have spent on a venue and built our own. 🙂 My husband bought property out in Maricopa years ago, and we designed and built exactly what we wanted, which means we planted over 300 trees, trenched and installed irrigation lines, planted grass, and erected a “pole-barn”. What a special day it was, when we were actually enjoying the fruits of our (and friends/families) labor!!:) As a result, we now have a place that will be in our family forever.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? We had 4 or 5 different flavors. Shoutout to Sugarlips Cakery!!
What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and at the ceremony/reception? Roses, Hydrangeas, Baby’s Breath
Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they? Yes, my cousin made these BEAUTIFUL boxes, and we put little seed packets in them.
What details from your wedding that made it unique to you? Everything:) we built it from the ground up! One thing that we especially loved was that my dad built us a picture wall. When we sent out our thank you cards, each family received their photo, too.
Other than marrying your husband, what was one of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Fireworks erupted during our first dance as husband and wife… it felt like a fairytale!
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go? Hawaii (Big Island)
What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides? Don’t stress out too much… no one will remember those “little things” that didn’t get done. Have fun!! Remember, you are throwing the biggest party of your life, and you are marrying your best friend, so all will be well!
Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team? Jessica Q Photography!