Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Post: Erica Cote of Silver Immersion

I am so excited to present the first guest post for Every Last Stylish Detail!  Erica Cote, beauty extraordinaire, is the owner and stylist at Silver Immersion, a full service hair, makeup, and photography studio based in Catonsville, MD.  I have worked with Silver Immersion on a client wedding and was very impressed with their work.  When I approached Erica about a guest post, she jumped into brainstorming and decided to focus on a very common question that brides have, "How Do I Figure Out My Bridal Beauty Persona?".  Check this link for Silver Immersions Real Weddings portfolio and definitely keep up to date with the SI ladies by following their blog.  I'll let Erica take it from here:

So now you're engaged... the bridal world is at its knees to cater to you!  But how do you figure out what kind of catering you're looking for??  Your beauty persona is deeply rooted in the kind of event you are looking to have.  Black tie?  Shabby chic?  Classic elegance?  High-end couture?  Once you have an idea, then you can begin to discern the persona that you want for your big day!  Here are the basic questions every bride should ask yourself a few questions to get the ball rolling.

1. Do I like makeup on a regular basis? If not, would I mind it for one day?(can my skin take one for the team)

2. Do I like simple, natural looks? Or do I prefer to be an automatic show stopper at all times? (some prefer Natalie Portman over Scarlett Johansson)

3. Do I like beauty from a particular era? 50's, 60's, 70's?

4. Do I tend to gravitate to looks that give a feel of certain icons? Marilyn Monroe(black eyeliner and red lips), Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren(ooh lala), Diana Ross(flash those lashes girl!), Betty Paige(we get quite a few ladies that like the pinup feel), Grace Kelly, Dorothy Dandridge....I could name tons but at least this gives you somewhere to start!

5. What facial feature do I want to play up? Eyes, lips, cheekbones(never underestimate the beauty of awesome bone structure). From there you can begin to find some inspiration with your ideas to guide you(Gwen Stefani's timeless red lip look might not be what you're looking for if you're more into the bare naked beauty of JLo).

6. Do I like hair that is up and structured or loose and free flowing? You definitely want to go with a feel that flows well with your choices for hair and makeup. Continuity(even if it is unorthodox) is the glue to hold it all together.

So obviously I could go on and on about this, but I think you get the idea.  Hair and makeup is meant to be about accentuating who you already are.  Some choose to let their alter ego shine, while others are content just polishing up the beauty that shines through every day.  Begin to figure out how to be the best glammed up version of yourself on your big day... and don't forget to have fun!!!!

Both images courtesy of Silver Immersion

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Recessionista Brides Start A Trend

This week the New York Times published an article discussing the latest bridal attire trend.  Can you guess what it is?  Savvy brides are spending less on wedding gowns and instead are now focusing on the accessories.  As the article points out, there are so many options for gowns, most of which are focusing on the recessionista bride.  Vera Wang's White Collection for David's Bridal, Anthropologie's BHLDN line and J. Crew's bridal collection, just to name a few. 

As a recessionista extraordinaire, I'm all for buying accessories that can be worn again and again... and again.  I would even suggest to go a step futher by focusing only on buying the accessories that you need.  I love the freedom today's brides have to make their own rules as the days of buying everything new for your wedding are over.  Brides are realizing that they may already have the perfect shoes, necklace, wrap, etc. which can save hundreds of dollars.  Or if you do want to splurge on wedding shoes, at least you can wear them again.  Some brides are excited to change into a reception dress, so buy a second dress that is more of a party dress that you can get a lot of mileage out of at future events.  And by the way, let's not leave the men out.  With most grooms choosing to wear a gray, tan or black suit in lieu of a tuxedo, I think it is worth the extra money to buy a tailored suit that you will be able to wear for a lifetime.

Lastly, the biggest way to cut costs may seem obvious- do not mention the "w" word- wedding.  Aside from an actual wedding gown appointment, don't mention the accessories you are shopping for are for your wedding.  I hope this gives couples some inspiration to get the most out of their attire, not only on their big day but for future events.  Since my Felicity C Weddings clients are always ahead of their time, I've picked a few client photos for ideas. Enjoy!

 CHERISH your dress, LOVE your accessories.
Credit: Clair Pruett

Embellish with a jeweled sash & hairpiece that you can wear again.

Rock a 2nd wedding dress that you can wear to many future events.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lady In Red: Yay or Nay?

Although there are very few rules left for wedding guests, the cardinal rule is to not steal the bride/couple's thunder on her/their big day.  Following that principle, I find it inappropriate to wear red to a wedding, as it is such an attention-grabbing color.  I recently went to a wedding where FOUR guests (all female) were wearing bright red dresses.  It made me wonder if guests believe there really are no rules for wedding attire.  I have noticed at client weddings that while the majority of guests are dressing appropriately, there have been a few instances of too short, too tight, too flashy, etc.  As often as women's fashion changes, maybe guests are taking on new rules for wedding attire too.  It used to be that black was too somber to wear to a wedding but now that is a top choice.  My main question is how are women deciding which, if any, rules to follow?  Is appropriate based on your color choice or dress style/length? your geographic region (west coast, midwest, east coast, deep south, etc.)? formality of the wedding? time of year? location of wedding?  

Thinking about all of this, of course yesterday I saw The Duchess of Cambridge wearing a red dress (with a red hat!) going a wedding this past weekend.  My head exploded with even more questions.  Does she get to where whatever she wants anywhere she goes because she is royalty now?  Do British people just wear crazier wedding attire (I'm looking at you, Princess Beatrice) all the time?  I know this a not a typical post wherein I discuss a topic with a definite guidelines.  Please leave your comments on this post to let me know what you think & have a great day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Custom Gifts Just Got Better!

Like most people, I really enjoy photos.  LOVE even.  I love keeping special moments with family & friends tangible by keeping the photos framed around my house.  And just like framed photos, I periodically switch out the photo background on my phone to keep my favorites with me all the time.  This must have been the inspiration for what Case-Mate came up with, custom phone photo cases!

This innovative company is jumping on the technology trend by offering custom options for all of your case needs.  They cover iphones, blackberries, htc phones, smartphones, tablets and accessories.  The DIY custom case is as easy as uploading a photo, making sure that it is 1650 pixels high by 1650 pixels wide.  If it is smaller it cannot be enlarged to fit, like the photo I used below.

  Website: Case-Mate/ Photo Credit: Jacqueline Schlossman, ReadyLuck

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

History of the Honeymoon

Two of my very good friends just got back from their honeymoons this weekend and aside from my incredible jealousy (one friend went Spain & the Canary Islands and the other one went to Greece), it got me wondering when & where this awesome tradition started. 

The first reference to a honeymoon period is in the Bible, in Deuteronomy 24:5 “When a man is newly wed, he need not go out on a military expedition, nor shall any public duty be imposed on him. He shall be exempt for one year for the sake of his family, to bring joy to the wife he has married.”(Source)  This reference seems to signify that the period of time right after marriage that was reserved for the couple to strengthen their new bond without distractions.  Another theory of origin is the Scandinavian custom in which "newlyweds, for the first month of their married life, drank a daily cup of honeyed wine called mead. This ancient practice date back to the history of Attila, king of the Asiatic Huns from A.D. 433 to A.D. 453" (Source).

Fast forward to the early 19th century when British upper-class couples started to make a trip after the wedding to visit the relatives who had not been able to attend, a tradition that originated in India.  This transitioned into today's honeymoon (a couple-only vacation) after World War I, when the opportunity for middle and lower-class couples opened as mass travel became affordable and acceptable (Source).  The most popular destinations were Italy and France which marked one of the first booms of modern mass tourism (Source). 

Today's couples are not limited to Europe but travel all over the world usually to a special location where they wouldn't normally vacation to mark the huge occassion.  The typical honeymoon is one to two weeks for the couple to spend time sightseeing, relaxing and enjoying some much needed down time after intense wedding planning.  Traditionally the groom's parents pay for the honeymoon but like most areas in modern wedding planning, that is not set in stone.  The newest trend is to wait to go on a honeymoon, which is becoming more and more popular.  Many couples take a lot of vacation days off work close to their wedding and then they need to wait to build up more vacation time.  Whatever you decide to do for your honeymoon, make sure it is enough time to take a break from your day to day life and come back refreshed!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Celebrity Weddings: Gwen + Gavin + That Amazing Dress

All celebrity weddings make a statement and most say "hey I'm incredibly rich and this is what I dreamed up for my wedding".  Then there are the extremely memorable weddings that us mere mortals will remember forever.  For me, one such wedding is that of Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale.  And let's be honest, if you remember this wedding then you most likely are remembering that dress.  That breathtaking and quite daring Christian Dior gown that singlehandedly made color in wedding dresses chic AND brought major attention to the 'ombre' trend in fashion.  It is so iconic that in March 2011 that gown found a new home at the Victoria and Albert Design Museum in London. 

Now back to wedding details.  "After six years together, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were more than ready to get married – even if the bride was an hour late to the ceremony. The couple exchanged vows on September 14, 2002 during a traditional Anglican service at St. Paul’s Covent Garden in London. Stefani carried a delicate bouquet of phalaenopsis orchids and her grandmother’s Catholic prayer book down the aisle.  A second wedding was held in Los Angeles two weeks later. According to Stefani, it was held so that she could wear a custom-designed wedding dress by British-Gibraltarian fashion designer John Galliano twice. The fashion-forward singer, who has since also become a best selling designer, wore a bright lipstick that echoed the hot-pink hue detailing the bottom of her hand-painted gown (Source)."  "The groom wore a traditional British morning suit and was escorted by his Hungarian sheepdog, Winston, who donned a garland of red flowers.  Following the vows, guests boarded double-decker buses and headed to Home House, a private club, where a six-course Italian dinner was served in the courtyard garden. The menu included risotto, pasta and seafood.  To celebrate their first anniversary, Rossdale and Stefani returned to St. Paul’s Covent Garden with the same car and driver they had on their wedding day (Source)."  Now for the photos!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Giving Back On Your Big Day

Weddings can offer many opportunities.  They are opportunities for family & friend reunions, an opportunity for guests to travel to a new city and it is also an opportunity for couples to give back in a big way.  The trend to give a donation to a charity in lieu of favors is catching on and with good reason.  Charitable donations are not only a tangible & practical way to honor family members or loved ones but it also lets guests know that the couple is committed to a certain cause.  I've seen monetary donations go to a huge organization such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society which would go to overall research & funding.  If you want to know exactly where your money is going, look for a smaller charity.  One of my friends is Armenian and in lieu of favors she & her husband made donations to the Armenia Tree Project which plants one tree in the country for every $20 donated.  Talk about a tangible donation!  Here are the top 6 other impressive ideas I've found:

1. Get physical.  I came across one friend on facebook who is getting married this Saturday and has a super fun charity idea.  He posted a few weeks ago that he & his future wife are running in a 5k the morning of their wedding, complete with t-shirts!  $1 from every shirt sale will be matched by the couple to be donated to Washington Animal Rescue League.  And there are dog shirts available! How cool!

2. Donate your dress.  There are many organizations looking for clothing donations and Brides Against Breast Cancer specifically focuses wedding dresses for women fighting breast cancer.

3. Donate your leftovers.  Check with your caterer to see what they do with leftover food and suggest they donate to a local shelter.  There are some logistics involved with this idea, but your caterer will know what can & can't be donated.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Celebrations!!! Barton Baptism 5.15.11

It is a great joy when I work with a couple on their wedding and then stay in touch when they celebrate future milestones. The Bartons married in September 2010 and this May I worked on their son Lane's baptism.

Much like a wedding day, there were both ceremony & reception sites.  The Bartons choose Newark's Holy Family Catholic Church, which was gorgeous.  There were actually multiple children in this one baptism mass and there was so much excitement in the church that day!  Barbie & Mark choose their best friends, Jessica & Rob, to be Lane's godparents and they both did a great job during the baptismal ceremony. Jessica participated in the Italian custom of having the godmother dress the baby for the ceremony which was a very sweet moment.

The reception took place at UAW 1183, also located in Newark, DE.  In our first meeting Barbie had a great vision for the whole day which made my job easier.  I think we were both surprised to see how many options are available for boy baptisms!  The color scheme was blue, white and black and the UAW hall was such a perfect place for this intimate event.  Food & drinks were a family affair, as it was provided by both Barbie & Mark's sides.  Guests were treated to a full spread of fruit salad, vegetables, salad, meatballs and pasta dishes.  As a bonus, one of Barbie's aunts brought a portable sound system for the couple's ipod. Barbie handcut table runners to go on top of the white tablecloths, complete with balloons as the centerpieces and lanterns floating around the room.  She also had toy gifts for all the children in attendance which was not only very nice but helpful to keep the kids occupied!  Last but not least, the cake was provided by All About You Cakes.

We were lucky enough to book the same photographer who did the Barton wedding, Sparkle Photography. Here are the photos of this beautiful day. Enjoy!