{Real Bride} Meet Julie!

Our featured Real Bride for April is Julie who was married last March. She had such a fun wedding with some elements of Irish tradition and adorable ring bears!

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What is your name and when was your wedding date?
My name is Julie Kotzbach and we were married on March 14, 2015

Kate Eschbach Photography-47How did you and your groom meet?
Mike and I used to work together at a restaurant. He was a bartender and I waited tables. One days, after about 5 years of sort of knowing each other, he invited me to go hang out with him after work with some of his friends. I did. We hung out again a couple days later, and then started spending every day together. We got married just after 8 ½ years of dating.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?!
Mike proposed on Christmas Eve at my dad’s house. It was my dad’s birthday and we do Christmas with that side of my family the same day. Everyone was there. My dad and step-mom totally knew, and I had no idea. My dad called me into the living room (everyone was sitting around the room since we just opened presents), Mike snuck up behind me, my dad spun me around, and BAM! Mike was on one knee.

After he proposed lots of things that he’d said and had happened earlier in the day made total sense. He’s a sneaky little devil. I called my mom to tell her right away, but she already knew. Mike had gone to see my dad the week before to ask permission, and had gone to see my mom to tell her since she wouldn’t be there when it happened. He’s thoughtful like that.

What were your wedding colors? Did you have an overall theme for your wedding day celebration?
Our colors were grey and green. There wasn’t a theme per say. We found colors we liked, loved the space, and just kind of went with how I felt about everything. I guess maybe our paper garden23_2632_fullias became the theme since they took over our lives for a few months. Haha.49_2658_full

How large was our wedding party?
We had 4 bridesmaids, 2 groomsmen, 1 groomsmaid, 2 flower girls, and 2 ring bearers.

Where did you find yourdress? Would you say that finding your dress was a relatively easy or a difficult process?
I got my dress at David’s Bridal in Ahwatukee, it was the first and only store we went to. The consultant I had was great. I showed her all the David’s dresses I liked, but I should have shown her all my pictures. I tried on 4 dresses. The 3rd was a tea dress and I went in with the mindset that a tea dress was what I wanted. However, I wanted to like a long dress to compare. I put the dress and didn’t want to take it off. Surprising I went to my would-be dress pictures later, and the one I ended up getting was really similar to another once I had been looking at. Go figure.

Where did your ceremony and reception take place? Was there any special meaning behind the choice of venue(s)?
We had our ceremony and reception at Chapel at the Farm in Gilbert. I had been looking for a venue and was starting to feel like I had to have a certain type of wedding. It sucked. I found Chapel and went over to the site. Then I realized I’d been there many times before. My mom and I have breakfast often at the little restaurant in front of the area. The moment I walked under the pavilion I immediately relaxed. This was the place. It was pretty, open, there was a big grass area for the kids, and we could make the space whatever we wanted.

What kind of flowers did you have in your bouquet and the ceremony/ reception?
Oh the flowers. My amazing friends came over to our house for 2 months before the wedding and helped me assemble 300 paper gardenias for the entire wedding. They were amazing when they were finished!

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What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Did you have a groom’s cake?
We ended up not having a groom’s cake, even though I tried to talk Mike into getting a 1995 Chevy cake. Our cake had 3 tiers and we did a different flavor for each tier. The bottom was almond cake with almond buttercream. (I’m normally not into almond all the much, but the cake was amazing. We tried it at our tasting and I was surprised at how yummy it was!) The middle tier was chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, and the top tier was vanilla cake with salted caramel filling. We had buttercream for the outer layer with a simple white on white design. The whole thing was totally delicious! We may have had cake for breakfast the next day.

Did you provide favors to your guests? If so, what were they?
Since we got married on Pi Day, I decided to have a little fun with it. I made mini recipe cards of some family pie recipes and other recipes pie recipes I loved, and turned then them into a mini cookbook with a binder ring.

What details from your wedding that made it unique to you?
The flowers were A LOT of work but they meant a lot to me, and spending that extra time with my friends was fun. I made 2 flavors of popcorn, packed in Chinese take-out boxes, the night before the wedding for cocktail hour. I love making popcorn. A blogger friend made custom peg dolls for our cake toppers, complete with flat t36_2645_fullop for make. One of my favorite things was leaving the wedding in Mike’s 1955 Chevy. He’d worked for a month to get her back in action so we could drive her home from the wedding. The other big thing was, the lead piper from our bagpipe band played me down the aisle. Mike chose the song. His sister walked down the aisle to it, when his dad passed they played it, and now he was welcoming me to the family with the same song. It was a big deal to me.

Other than marrying your husband, what was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
Kate Eschbach Photography-86There are two moments.  The first was the Best Man’s speech.  Kyle was so funny and sweet, and he had the whole thing memorized.  Apparently there’s a 12 minute version of the speech I’m dying to hear.  The second was at the after party.  One of our bagpiper friends dedicated a song to me before the boys started playing their set.  He never plays this song in public, it’s only for very close friends and family special occasions.  It was a great song, and I was so flattered he thought to gift me that way.

Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where did you go?
We are hoping to honeymoon in Vegas for our anniversary.

What is one piece of wisdom you learned from your planning experience that you would like to share with future brides?Drama will happen, you can’t control it, don’t let it suck you in. We had a lot of back and forth with the guest list. Due to venue and budget limitations we were inviting family only. We managed to sneak in a few longtime friends after getting some no RSVPs back. There were people that got upset that their invitation came before another family member’s and vice versa. If anyone (moms, dads, etc.) start pushing you about RSVPs, put them on the job. If they want to know so badly, they can find out and report back to you. It added a lot of stress I didn’t need, so I made it someone else’s problem. Put them on the wedding team and make ‘em work!

Who were some of the other vendors that were a part of your dream team?
Hair and Makeup – Babydoll Weddings

DSC_6731I cannot say enough great stuff about Sabrina (and her staff)!! She’s amazing! My bridal trial was great. I had no idea how to explain what I wanted. I showed Sabrina some pics and she took it from there. She talked me into my first salon hair coloring ever and killed it! My hair and makeup day of was perfect. My curls lasted all day, which is unheard of, and I felt beautiful.
Dress – David’s Bridal Bride’s rings
Gemvara (online) –  Groom’s ring
The Irish Jeweler (online) – Finding the right claddaghs (rings) was hard, but a little searching left Mike and I both happy. I had to custom order his ring from Dublin and the jeweler was awesome!
Cake – Piece of Cake Desserts
Rentals & Catering – Heidi’s Events & Catering   (Jillian was so great to work with)
DJ – Cerrick Entertainment (Crissy kicks ass!!)
Photo Booth – AZ Photo Box (had a thumb drive of all the pics, photo strips and individual pics, to take home with us that night!)

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Thank you so much Julie and Mike for sharing your special day with us! It was a honor to be included! 

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Babydoll Beauty Secrets: The 5 Do Not Do’s!

static1.squarespace-645x430You’ve been planning for your big day for months and it’s almost here. It is so close you can see your future husband standing at the aisle and you can taste those tasty appetizers you so carefully chose. It’s all come down to that one night. There are some brides who may panic thinking about all of this (which is totally understandable) and with this they may do something drastic. Working in the industry I’ve seen them all. So with that I have created “Michelle’s Top 5 Do Not Do Before the Wedding List” to help those in need.

Number One: New Hairstyles
It is suggested not to try out that cute new bob hair cut or dusty pink color right before your wedding; no matter how fantastic your hair stylist may be. I suggest this because you do not want any surprises on your wedding day, especially with how you look. And you don’t want to end up hating the cut and not being able to go back or hating the color and not having the time to get it recolored. None of us want to look back at our wedding photos and ask ourselves “why did I ever do that?!”

Number Two: Too Many Cocktailseb2d65e073821fe8f0618d68aecf5780
A week before your wedding is generally filled with parties, celebrations and dinners; all of these probably will include cocktails of some sort (generally speaking of course). Of course you want to celebrate with your friends and family but just be careful with the amount of cocktails you have. Drinking can be a source of unwanted calories and can cause skin problems. Too much alcohol can cause you to feel bloated and not great after a late night of drinking and not enough sleep. Bloating and blemishes on the skin and dark circles from lack of sleep is the last thing you need on your big day!

Number Four: Say No To That Spray Tan
Don’t get me wrong I am all for spray tans and looking like that summer goddess. You get to glow without the fear of skin cancer, it’s great! It’s just not great a week before your wedding. If you’ve been working00fac5b7d9e86b5f779105160b9081b1g on your tan for the weeks leading up to the wedding please do not get frustrated and go get a spray tan. You could end up orange and streaky or it could react poorly with your skin and we want none of these things to happen!
Number Five: Eat a Sandwich
One of the last things you should put your body through is excessive dieting. Yes you may want to shed that one last pound before the honeymoon but starving your body and putting it through an extreme change a week before the wedding is not the way to do it. Your body needs the fuel that food can provide to keep you going through those last minute details. Eat as your normally would but it is probably best to stay away from foods that make you fee bloated and gassy. You want to look and feel beautiful on this big day and not gross and ballon like.
So there it is, my list of the 5 biggest “Do Not Do” before your wedding!
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Babydoll Beauty Secrets: Perfect Tips for Perfect Lips

dab57c064e926aa47a7abd0f7a3589ecWedding season is here and we could not be more excited; especially with all of the fun spring makeup trends. Because one of them is a big bold lip we wanted to share with you on how to keep those lips smooth from morning to night. Perfect tip for your wedding day or a night on the town! Start by prepping your lips with a lip scrub. You can use a store bought such as Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish or there are plenty of DIY recipes out there; either or scrub works great! Next you’ll want to apply some hydrating balm or serum to those lips! One of our personal favorites is MUFE’s Hydrating Elixir (it can be used for eyes or face). Next comes the lip primer. This will give your lip product something to adhere to other than your lips. Then continue with your liner, lipstick and or gloss. And lastly and also incredibly important, blot. And to give the lips a crisp clean outline follow with a clean blended line of concealer in the cupids bow of the upper lip and under the bottom lip.  Perfect tips for perfect lips!

 

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Babydoll Beauty Secrets: The Power of Coconut Oil!

Well, it’s happened. I have jumped on the coconut oil train and I will never jump off. And the more I use it the more I ask myself how I did I not jump on sooner?! I started using it as a face mask to help treat acne. I suffered from severe aCoconut oil facecne in high school and I still have quite a bit of scaring and redness. So instead of globbing on makeup I looked for a more natural way to help reduce the redness as well treat some of those pesky blemishes that pop up every once in awhile. I came across this very simple face mask consisting of coconut oil (I prefer the coconut oil from Trader Joe’s) and tea tree oil (Doteerra is my go to for essential oils). By mixing these two ingredients together you have a treatment that helps fight bacteria on the face naturally and also will not over dry nor clog pores. It’s what everyone who suffers from acne ever wanted.Hair Mask

After I discovered this face mask that’s when I really jumped into the coconut oil life style. I now use it in my hair, when I cook, in my coffee and sometimes I just rub pure coconut oil on my skin before I go to sleep. It’s fantastic! And because of it’s growing popularity the price dropped significantly since when it first came on the market.  It has now become a staple in my beauty routine as well as my eating habits and I will never look back!

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{Real Bride} Meet Stormy!

This month’s Real Bride is Stormy. Her and her new husband got married
in November and I have to say how adorable of a couple they make!
Read more about their big day and
see how amazing she looked with that bird cage veil!

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What is your name and your groom’s name?
Stormy and Shawn

What was your wedding date?
Saturday, November 7, 2015

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{Real Bride Series} Meet Hillary!

We are so excited to introduce our new Real Bride Hillary.
She recently got married in November at Superstition Manor and
we fell in love with the pictures and
the story of how her and her groom met.
Read more below!

11.08.15-74What is your name and your groom’s name?
Hillary & Jonathan

What was your wedding date?
Sunday, November 8, 2015

How did you and your groom meet?
We met through mutual friends in high school. The next semester, he was in my Economics class where we were seated next to each other. I used this opportunity to ask him questions and be his partner for projects.

We are dying to know, how did he propose?!
I had the weekend off of work and no plans, so he suggested that we go to the Grand Canyon. We drove up Friday night to Flagstaff and continued to the Grand Canyon on Saturday. We took one of the shuttles to several of the lookouts. At one, he pulled me off to the side away from the crowd. He pulled away and I thought he was turning around to go back, but when I turned around he was on one knee!

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Babydoll Beauty Secrets: What To Wear?

120095175This weeks beauty secret is not really a beauty secret but I’m definitely helping revel a big secret that I am so happy I never have to deal with it again. So with wedding season barreling at us at the speed of a train I thought I would help some ladies out there who are asking the age old question “what do I wear to this wedding?” We all know not to wear white but I was surprised to learn that there are more rules than just that. (Looks like I shouldn’t have worn black to the last wedding I was at… Oops!) The Bustle posted this article titled “The 8 Rules Of What To Wear To A Wedding” and I can say, I wish I would have had these rules last year. So enjoy dolls, I hope this helps!

 

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Bachelorette Party Special!

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We are about to enter into wedding season and boy are we excited! But right now we’re in the planning stages on how to make sure this is our best wedding season yet. With this goal we thought about all of the steps of planning a wedding and how hair and makeup could be involved; and then it hit us, bachelorette parties! Why not have one of our talented stylists doll you and your wedding party up for a night out on the town? And to make it even better (yes it gets better) if you book services for 3 girls then your service is free! I know when I was a part of a bachelorette party I would have loved for someone to do my hair and makeup!

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The Photoshoot I’ve Been Waiting For!

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Recently we joined forces with Strut Bridal. A local (now one in California) bridal dress store that specializes in plus sizes and dresses made for full figure ladies. We planned a photoshoot to show off the beauty of the dresses as well as the talents of the Babydoll stylists. It went swimmingly (I mean I still cannot believe how well this photoshoot went) and I have been sitting here anxiously waiting the photos (and for those who know me, that is incredibly difficult for I have the patience of a 5 year old). But then, finally, finally, they arrived! (It really didn’t take that long).

I am first so incredibly proud of the ladies of Babydoll who worked on the models. Sabrina, Amanda, Micky and Charly; all whom are lead stylists and all whom are incredibly talented and have their own unique style that really shines through in these pictures. Secondly, I cannot thank Anne and Ashely of Strut Bridal enough for joining forces with us and providing the dresses and some of the best models and ladies I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I also have to thank Ben of Ben and Kelly Photography for capturing these images. It’s hard enough for me to articulate my ideas sometimes so the fact that Ben was able to create and make what I saw in my head a reality is amazing and so grateful for him and his talents.

It’s hard to explain the feelings of seeing something like this photoshoot come to life and be everything you wanted. The joy of it is incredible! There was this precious brain child of a photoshoot that Sabrina and I had. We saw a need and we wanted that need to be filled. A need that has been needed to be filled for quite some time. We just hope that we are able to accomplish that with these photos. We want to promote full figured ladies and the body positive moment. We want to help change the industry and the thoughts that every women can fit into a size 2 wedding dress. But really, most importantly, we just want every woman, no matter her size or shape feel drop dead gorgeous in a wedding dress.

Alright, now that my Grammy speech of thank you’s is over let me give you some back story to how this all started. Rewind to about late summer. Sabrina, the owner and I were attending an open house. We started talking to two ladies, Ann and Ashley from Strut Bridal. A dress store (two locations now!) specializing in plus sizes of bridal and formal dresses in which Ann owns and Ashley is her right hand lady; very similar to Sabrina and I. Maybe that’s why we hit it off the way we did; but no matter how we hit it off I am so happy we did!

We stood there talking about the wedding industry and why we all loved it but there were some things that didn’t sit right with us. One of those being the lack of full figured women in magazines, advertisements, etc. After Sabrina and I got over our shock of this being true the feeling of disappointment sunk in. Not every bride can fit into a  dress size is a 2 and when a store doesn’t even carry her size the frustration and sadness that comes with that is unimaginable. As we continued talking and as this news sunk in I wanted to change people’s outlook on wedding dresses and full figured women. I wanted to change the magazines’ outlook of full figured women in wedding dresses. I swear sometimes Sabrina and I share a brain, especially when she said exactly what I was thinking. We both wanted to change the minds and promote the beauty of any and every women.

After a meeting and a few months of planning this brain child of our’s was born. A brain child of a photoshoot set in the beautiful halls and rooms of Cheatau Luxe. A brain child of a shoot with four full figured models, all in dresses from Strut, each one unique in shape, color and material. A brain child that lets Babydoll stylists have full creative control and create a look all their own; a look that shows off their talents. A brain child that celebrates the full figured frame, the creativity of the artists and hopefully a brain child that can hopefully change some opinions. And I am so excited to share it all with you! Stay tuned.

 

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Babydoll Beauty Secrets: Important Beauty Tip!

18edfd66aa9e69bec5dbfd6b45568f6eThere is a very important beauty tip that I feel like needs to be discussed. Shampoo your scalp, condition your ends. Once more, shampoo your scalp, condition your ends. You have some important and also fantastic natural oils in your hair and on your scalp, they are worth taking care good care of. Another great and also important way to do this is only condition every other time you wash your hair. Over conditioning can dry out hair by taking away the natural oils and clog pores on your scalp which can cause hair loss and make your appear very greasy, which none of us want! I used to be a scalp conditioner as well as a frequent user of condition. It was automatic, wash your hair and then condition. It was an incredible hard habit to break but since I have been following this routine I have noticed such a difference in my hair and I am more than happy about that! So remember, shampoo your scalp, condition your ends.

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