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Author: Melanie Rivers- Melanie Rivers Beauty | Images: Noah's Ark Photography

As a professional hair and makeup artist, one question I've been asked a lot recently is "Is a bridal makeup trial run really necessary?" On one of the biggest days of your life, it's important to try to avoid any hiccups that may occur and make sure that the day goes smoothly. You wouldn't get married without a rehearsal or try your dress on only once, and it should be the same for your hair and makeup. Many brides think that a trial run is just a way for artists to try to make more money. In reality, it's like a form of insurance for not only the bride but also the artist. In fact, many artists I know are starting to make a trial run mandatory, and include it in their bridal rates. While I still offer a trial run as optional, here I will give you 5 reasons as to why my response to that question is always "YES!"

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1. A trial run is more than just a practice run for hair and makeup. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know your artist's personality and their skill level, and to determine if they are the right fit for you. You want to be comfortable with them and make sure they are able to execute your desired style or makeup look.

 

2. As professionals, we will always try to please the client but sometimes, the desired look is not always possible depending on your hair or skin type or face shape. A trial run is a good time to discuss your options and to try different looks that will work for you. It may be necessary to purchase hair extensions or other products ahead of time to achieve the desired results.

 

3. While most professional makeup artists try to work with mostly hypoallergenic products, it is possible that you may be allergic to an ingredient in a cosmetic or hair product. Your wedding day is definitely not the day you want to discover you are allergic to latex eyelash glue or the red dye in purple eye shadow. A trial run gives you the opportunity to test out not only the final look, but also the products used.

 

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4. Wedding day schedules tend to be pretty tight, so knowing exactly what look is desired and how long it takes to perform can save a lot of valuable time.

 

5. A trial run is also a great opportunity to discuss any details such as the number of attendants and services, a timeline for the day, and recommendations from the artist. For example, I once had a bride mention during a trial that she wanted to get a facial on the morning of her wedding. I explained that makeup is not supposed to be applied after a facial, and often times the makeup won't adhere to the skin anyway. Had we not discussed this at her trial run, it would have been extremely difficult to achieve her desired look on her wedding day, and I can guarantee neither of us would not have been satisfied with the results.

 

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A trial run is a very important and often underestimated part of the hair and makeup process. It may mean you have to adjust your budget slightly, but I assure you that it will be well worth it. Every bride wants to feel beautiful and confident on her wedding day. By knowing exactly how the day will go and exactly how you will look, both you and your artist can be confident that you will look and feel your best!

 

 

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Author & Images: Jenny Olson- Forever Bride

The past month has been a time for “firsts” for me. This is my first blog and I recently experienced my first barre class. I’m all grown up, now I just need to figure out my linkedin profile and I’ll be a real 21st century adult! I’m just kidding, I am, however, one step closer to figuring out a workout routine that I actually enjoy.

 

Two weeks ago, Ashley and I went to one of our VIB vendor’s workout classes. Haute Barre, located in heart of the West End Shops in St. Louis Park, joined the Forever Bride crew in May and I was so thrilled! We finally have another fitness vendor that will help sculpt our brides and their bridal parties into shape before their big wedding day. Until I realized as part of their joining the program, I had to take a class and write a personal blog about my experience. Now wait a second, events and galas? Sure. Glamorama? Yes. Happy Hours? Of course. But a sweaty gym after work? I think not. Or at least I thought not.

 

The Haute Barre experience is one to be reckoned with and hard to say that you did not have fun in the end. Somehow, Amber, the owner of Haute Barre has mastered the art of fitness. She has created a workout class that not only crams cardio, lifting weights, ab workouts, and a totally tushy tuck into one 60 minute class, but she also somehow manages to make it fun. I mean, of course, during the workout there are times you think, “I can’t do this,” “Amber, you’re killing me,” as sweat rolls off your face. But, at the end of the class it is undeniable that you liked the small bit of torture you went through and you realized you were toe-tapping the whole time to those killer 80’s pop remixes. As Amber was pushing you through your low points you were silently singing in your head to that Whitney Houston mashup.

The Haute Shake-it class will have you both “hot” and shakin’ it. It will also have you lifting, tucking, and squeezing as well. But trust me, it’s all for the greater good ladies. You’ll be leaner and more toned at the end of the 60 minutes and the best part is you are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from a a little ahi tuna and a lot of martinis over at Crave! So sign up for your first or your 100th class, just get to shakin’ that booty at Haute Barre!

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Author: Mulberrys Garment Care | Photos: Taryn Christine Photography

First off, congratulations! You’re married and on your way to a lifetime of happiness. But before all that begins, you’ve got to figure out what to do with that beautiful gown. Most brides want to preserve their wedding gown either as a keepsake or for family brides-to-be. While a number of dry cleaners offer wedding gown cleaning and preservation, not all services are the same. Here are three great questions to ask when deciding which dry cleaner should take on this special task:

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1) What chemicals will be used to clean the dress?

A number of dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene to clean wedding gowns. This toxic chemical has been proven to be a carcinogen and ground water contaminant. Not only that, the chemical is far too harsh for wedding gowns, often causing beads to dissolve or chip–hardly the kind of thing you want your wedding gown subjected to. Other cleaners claim to be green but use chemicals such as siloxane or petroleum-based solvents. We would recommend visiting a dry cleaner that uses toxin-free cleaning methods such as wet cleaning or liquid CO2 cleaning. These methods are more delicate and will leave your gown pristine and free of harsh chemicals.

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2) Will my dress be wrapped in acid-free paper?

When wedding gowns are preserved, they are typically wrapped in tissue paper to protect the gowns fabric from deteriorating. However, often this tissue paper contains an acidic quality, which actually accelerates yellowing and aging of the dress. We’ve seen beautiful gowns practically destroyed by this process countless times. Make sure that your dry cleaner is specifically using acid-free paper.

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3) Will these services be guaranteed?

Due to the delicate materials and details of the dress, handling these garments may lead to a larger price tag. Make sure you find a dry cleaner who is willing to stand by their work; if you’re not happy with end result, the service should be redone, no questions asked. Unfortunately, not every dry cleaner believes in that philosophy. But we certainly do at Mulberrys!

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In terms of wedding gown cleaning and preservation services, Mulberrys offers the trifecta: we use toxic-free chemicals, acid-free paper, and include a satisfaction guarantee. Stop by one of our 6 Twin Cities dry cleaning locations–Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, Eagan, Minnetonka, or St. Louis Park–or try out our free home delivery service!

 {See these images and more on our Pinterest page!}

 
 
 
 
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Author & Images: Bellagala

From going to the same college to finally meeting each other through a mutual friend, Brittney & Jarod are nothing less than being absolutely adorable. Their love can be seen through every part of their wedding as these two said their “I Dos” on June 27 of 2014.

Brittney & Jarod met while they were both attending Minnesota State, Mankato. Once Brittney saw Jarod for the first time during a night on the town, she walked right up to him to let him know that she thought he was cute. The next day, Jarod reached out to Brittney and their love story began to unfold right in front of them as they enjoyed a casual walk around Mankato.  Before Brittney knew it, Jarod was asking for her hand in marriage and slipping a ring on her hand in Waikiki with their loved ones watching online from a 24/7 live cam that was streaming the whole thing. She was completely caught off guard!

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For their special day they chose A’BULAE—a venue that overlooks downtown St. Paul, Minnesota with a modern architecture feel and a rooftop that will make every guest go “wow” as they take in the scenery. With the help of A’BULAE’s wedding planner Nancy, the vision for their wedding was made into a reality and just could not get the place out of their minds. After visiting only one other place after A’BULAE, they knew they had to stop looking for they had found their dream venue.

To help finish out the rest of their wedding plans, the couple reached out to Bellagala for every service they could offer them in order to make their dream wedding more of a reality. With their help, Brittney & Jarod were able to secure their floristphotographerDJhair & makeup team, event planner, and live music! Talk about getting everything you need at once place! To round out the wedding planning process, the couple was able to book their cake & cupcakes from Buttercream, videographer Bryan Bratt, and officiate Dr. Reverend Frank Nelson. All that was left was to wait for their magical day to arrive.

When the day had finally come, everything started to go as smooth as it could go. However, the weather that day had decided to bring in a little rain. Before the rain could completely start the couple and wedding party were able to snap a few pictures on the rooftop. Then, in the middle of the photo shoot, the clouds opened with rain and everyone was all ready in their tuxes and dresses! Luckily for them, beautiful and fun pictures were captured and it did not put a damper on Brittney & Jarod’s special day. Before they knew it, the rain had diminished and the soon-to-be husband & wife were able to have the rooftop ceremony they had been planning.

Every detail of this wedding was thought out with precise execution. From having their grandmothers being their “flower girls,” Brittney’s grandfather’s blue shirt sewn into her dress to have a little piece of him with her on that day, to even Jarod saying “…as MY husband” instead of “…as YOUR husband,” this modern wedding is one that will be remembered forever not only in their hearts, but ours as well. This wedding was truly nothing short of perfection.

See these images and MORE on our Pinterest page! 

 
 
 
 
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Author: Matisse Merriam- SBG Designs | Images: Marc Gabor-Marc Gabor Photography

 

Sara Goldfine of SBG Designs attracts jewelry connoisseurs from all around the world with her extraordinary line of timeless adornments. Her collections are inspired by the constant desire to create something different. Because of her attention to detail and use of rare and vintage stones, Sara is able to design jewelry that is unique and versatile.

We recently sent some boho pieces off to California for photo shoot with our good friends over at Kaiea Swimwear. The pieces photographed were our Gold Arrowhead Necklace, Gold Shell Necklace, and a recently designed body chain! The images turned out even better than we could have imagined. We have already been receiving so much positive feedback and it is all due to the talented Marc Gabor for the amazing shots!

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Images: Marc Gabor Photography | Swimwear: Kaiea Swimwear

 

 
 
 
 
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Author: Samantha Ray- Forever Bride | Images: Joanna Fuerst- Joanna Day Photography

Husband & wife photography duo - Johnny & Joanna of Joanna Day Photography - have dedicated their careers to portraying love through their photography. As one of our beloved VIB vendors, Joanna Day Photography has been featured on wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty and A Northwoods Wedding.

Recently, Joanna Day Photography had the pleasure of capturing the wedding of Christina & Justin. Check out the photos & some of the details Joanna explained to us about their big day below!

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With the intimate backdrop of the Hope Glen Farm, Joanna Day Photography had the chance to shoot the beautiful wedding of Christina and Justin. The couple desired their wedding to be full of love and family, which truly shows through in the these pictures. The thought behind the camera was a "half-hippie" theme. Joanna Day Photography captured the wedding down to the last details with this idea in mind. From the lace to the flower crown to Joanna's favorite - the stunning greenery chandelier, not a single detail was overlooked. With the picture perfect scenery behind them, the couple said their I-do's. Afterward at the dinner, Christina & Justin sang a song they wrote to their guests. Joanna said there were hardly any dry eyes in the crowd! Bringing together the underlying theme of love and family, Christina & Justin had a table set aside to honor those who could not attend the wedding. This was especially meaningful for Christina because her father had just left the Air Force, and Justin is in the Air Force. All together, the wedding was in a beautiful setting with lovely details creating the perfect setting for Joanna Day Photography to capture the exact shots needed to fully cover the wedding!

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 Author & Images: Liz Vovk - 4 Girls Glamour

The main purpose of booking a boudoir shoot may be to gift a gorgeous album or print to your partner for your wedding. However, a lot of clients feel that their boudoir sessions ended up being an unexpected gift for themselves. It’s a way to reconnect and celebrate your personal beauty and confidence. Every woman’s motivation for booking a session is different and every woman wants to feel and be reminded that she is beautiful and sexy.  The images from your boudoir session will help you remember that for years to come.So just sit back, relax, and enjoy being pampered!

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The bonus of hiring a professional photographer who specializes in boudoir photography is being pampered by professional stylists. My team of professionals were hand selected because of their talent and ability to listen and make my clients feel special!

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When you arrive on the set, you’ll be  whisked off to hair & makeup and wardrobe. Sometimes it takes a little time to warm up and to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Take this time to just breathe and listen to my direction as I set up a few poses. I use the few minutes to utilize the lighting and to find different angles that will compliment your body.

 

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You’ll soon find that there is no need to rush through the session. The feeling of being in front of the camera will start to disappear as you get more comfortable and find your confidence. Constant communication between us will help to ease you into the session and ensure that you are happy. Boudoir Photographers will always have your best interest in mind and will work with you to create a session of stunning images that you love.

 
 
 
 
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Author & Images: Katie Jones - Kaite Jones Photography

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The man of your dreams has proposed to you so you start dreaming of your wedding day, the dress, all your friends and family there, it’s your day. You imagine this gorgeous Minnesota day captured in your images that you get to treasure for the rest of your happily ever after. Does this dream include you in your dream wedding dress at sunset, in a field of wildflowers, or with a horse or an other animal the means a lot to you. All these options you just can’t plan to include on your wedding day due to time or the distance from the actual wedding.

 

Well what about adding a private bridal photography session to your wedding planning? Bridal sessions are everything that you dream of. These stylized sessions are designed to reflect your personality and to create the dream images of you in your wedding dress. I work alongside you to create your dream session; including renting furniture and a hair and makeup artist all at the location of your choosing. No detail will be missed!

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During this session, you do not have to be as formal as your wedding. Your hair can be down and your makeup can be bolder than you plan on wear on your wedding. These images do not have to have the same look as your wedding photos. This is an opportunity for you to take on a different look, but still be in the dress of your dreams.

 

“My favorite part was that the shoot was so relaxed and just fun! On my wedding day it felt so rushed and there was so much excitement that I'm really glad I did a shoot prior. I also really enjoyed spending the afternoon with Kendra who did make-up, you of course, and my sister in law. It was like playing big kid dress-up. Overall I really appreciated how relaxed it was. For me it was also nice to try everything on before my wedding and get a sense of how I would look prior to the big day.”

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In addition, at the end of your bridal session you can throw in a mini boudoir photography session. You already have all the cute furniture, your hair and makeup are done, and you are getting out of your dress to go home, so why not! All you need to complete boudoir experience is simple flirty images. If you would like to add a boudoir photogpraphy session to the end of your bridal session and would like to use the images as a gift to your groom, make sure to book your bridal session at least a month before your wedding.

“Love, love, love, the photos. The images were so soft and really focused on the beauty of the bride which was nice. They were personal images. The link to download the pics was also really really nice; and so was the app. That was a great tool to share with friends and family. I'd highly suggest doing that for all shoots.”

 If you are a fall bride and are in love with the idea of designing your own bridal session then let’s get started. First, make sure that you are VIB member with Forever Bride. Signing up with Forever Bride is free and will get you connected with TONS of amazing vendors not only for you bridal session, but also for your wedding planning. Second, shoot me an email so that we get you on the books as we get into the busy fall. Finally, start creating a Pinterest board of ideas for your bridal session. This can include ANYTHING: colors, decor, and the look that you would like to have for your hair and makeup. I am totally a visual person, so this board will allow me to see exactly what you are thinking of creating. I will also share this board with the hair and makeup artist.

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So, if this is something that you are interested in or would like to just talk with me about what you are thinking before booking, send me an email. I would love to talk about your dream bridal experience.

 

“Katie, I think you do an excellent job. You made the experience fun! And, for some of the more intimate shots you made me feel really comfortable and confident. In addition, you couldn't have picked a more perfect setting! Overall very impressed and very happy I had the opportunity to do the shoot! The photos turned out great, were turned around quickly and delivered in an easy to use format.”

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 Author: Annette Hall - Bridal Aisle Wedding Consignment | Images: Poly Mendes- Poly Mendes Photography

 

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There are many engaged couples with budgets varying  from the wedding that spares no expense to the $2,000 wedding.  There are a lot of options the wedding couple has in planning their big day.  Here are some great reasons to consider consignment when it comes to planning your dream wedding.

 

1. It's great for your wedding budget

 

At first glance, that designer wedding dress of your dreams may seem beyond your reach due to budget constraints, but the ideal dress is within reach when you shop consignment.  You can score huge discounts on high-end, name-brand and vintage wedding dresses.  Prices are based on the retail cost of the dress as well as style, age, and condition.   You never know what you're going to find for a significantly lower price! 

 

2. It's great for you

 

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When your big day is over, you will most likely have no need for the vases you used as centerpieces, the 30 table runners, the flower arrangements, the ring bearer pillow, etc. Consigning is advantageous to you because you get to resell the items you  no longer have a use for and are taking up space in your home. Plus, you get back a portion of the money you spent on these items. It's found money!

 

Consigning saves you time. When you consign with us, you bring your items in, and we do the rest for you. Pricing, displaying and hopefully selling your items is no longer your concern.  While consigning your wedding items won't make you rich, it will provide a welcome rebate on purchases whose usefulness has run its course. And, of course, that money can be joyfully re-spent on future budget priorities now that the wedding is over.

 

Bridal Aisle believes in the principle of consignment = community.  The exchange of resources at a local level is a key driver to economic growth. Our mission is to present a warm and professional environment for consignors and customers alike.  When you shop at a consignment store, you help support our local economy.And you are making someone else happy with your treasure. Something you no longer need might be exactly what someone else is looking for.  Consignment shopping is for anyone who likes a great deal while still getting the brands and the quality they deserve. Thrift stores receive donated items to which the previous owner attached little to no value, while consignment shops have higher standards for the items they have in stock.

 

3. It's great for the environment

 

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With all the emphasis on going green these days, an earth-friendly trend remains — consignment shopping.  Consigning is another way to do your part to recycle.  Despite the great efforts of charities, consignment, vintage and thrift stores each year, only about 1.3 million tons of textile waste is actually recycled, the EPA reports, compared to the 13 million tons dumped. When you factor in the resources used to make, package, transport, and sell things such as clothes, sheets, and towels, the importance of reusing textiles becomes clearer.

 

The benefits of consigning are endless and Bridal Aisle wants to provide you with your dream wedding at a fraction of the cost.  We take great care in setting up the showroom gallery to display all of your consigned wedding items. We are fortunate to continually receive new and unique pieces in fabulous condition, and people have learned that things don’t hang around too long. The centerpieces or the dress that you fell in love with today may be snatched up tomorrow. Which is all the more reason to purchase today!

 

Why pay the difference, if you can't tell the difference?

 
 
 
 
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