Create Invitations and Personalized Guest Books with Basic Invite

Create Invitations and Personalized Guest Books with Basic Invite

I can’t believe that Engagement Season is right around the corner! It runs from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day. Even with COVID and all of the craziness of 2020, I expect that engagement season will still be in full swing this year. We need love and reasons to celebrate now more than ever.

The importance of wedding paper pretties should not be overlooked no matter how the couple decides to celebrate. Basic Invite is a great site for personalized guest books and to create invitations.

Please note, this is a sponsored post but rest assured that all opinions are my own.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of creating personalized guest books and invitations through Basic Invite:

Personalized Guest Books

Basic Invite has 195 options for personalized guest books. There are many great options to choose from for every couple!

photo of Basic Invite personalized guest books
What a wonderful keepsake! I love when couples create a personalized guest book.

Over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets

That’s right – they have over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets to choose from! Each of their wedding invitations is part of a set. They have all the wedding stationery couples need, like save the dates, wedding invitations, enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs, and even matching thank you cards!

photo of Basic Invite invitation suite
It’s so nice to have all of these matching paper details.
photo of Basic Invite wedding stationery
If I could do it again, I would definitely have had matching thank you cards!

Almost Unlimited Colors

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that offers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Couples can change the color of each element on a card with over 180 different color options. The card can be customized exactly how they want it, down to the littlest detail.

photo of Basic Invite invitation colors
These hues are gorgeous!

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes

Speaking of colors, couples can choose from over 40 different envelope colors so that their invitation stands out even before it is opened. All of Basic Invite’s envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be closed quickly and easily and without having to lick each and every envelope.

photo of Basic Invite's colorful envelopes to create invitations
A colorful envelope automatically creates excitement and a happy mail day! What better first impression of your big day?

Custom Invitation Samples

I am such a visual person! If you are like me, you’ll want to see it before you buy it. Basic Invite allows couples the ability to order a printed sample of their invitation so they can see the card’s paper quality and how it will print before they have to place their order.

photo of a Custom Invite flat lay
This definitely ensures that the couple will be happy with their final product!

Free Wedding Websites

In addition to paper invitations, every couple needs to set up a wedding website in order to best communicate with their guests. Basic Invite has completely customizable wedding websites. They are mobile friendly and super easy to use. You can instantly upload all of your wedding details, along with images, and a convenient map with directions for your guests. Choose from 180 custom colors, and a design suite to match your wedding invitations!

photo of Basic Invite wedding website
This is a great way to really “brand” your wedding. Basic Invite’s wedding websites are formatted to look great on any device’s screen too!

Free Address Collection Service

Collecting guest addresses can be quite the chore on top of planning a whole wedding! Let Basic Invite do the work with their free address collection service to request addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link via social media or email, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. I love that they can do it all!

photo of Basic Invite's address collection service
What a wonderful feature (and it’s aesthetically pleasing too!)

*NEW* Seal & Send Wedding Invitations

I have saved the best for last! The Seal & Send is Basic Invite’s newest collection and couples are LOVING them. The seal and send wedding invitations are an all-in-one wedding invitation with a tear-off RSVP postcard included! Currently, they are offered in over 30 designs including ever-popular foil options and, like their other products, they are customizable. For this collection, guests’ addresses are printed on the front of each invitation so no envelope is necessary! All you have to do is share a link, collect addresses, and upload them onto the design. Once you receive your order all you have to do is add postage, fold your invites, and secure them with a sticker.

photo of Basic Invite's Seal and Send wedding invitation
These are amazing!
photo of Basic Invite's Seal and Send option to create invitations
I love this presentation! It is functional and beautiful.

I am so inspired by all of these paper pretties and innovative services to create invitations and personalized guest books!

To learn more about Basic Invite, you can find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Want to collaborate on a post? I’d love to hear from you! Say hello.

1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA

1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA

Finally, we have arrived to the anniversary photoshoot and vow renewal that started it all! To properly set the scene for this post, I am writing as it is raining, sipping my coffee, and burning a Seattle scented candle (seriously, it’s from Bath & Body Works and smells like white caramel cold brew). The ambiance couldn’t be more perfect aside from maybe writing this post while in Seattle itself.

Seattle, WA

For the longest time, Sean and I had talked about taking a trip to the West Coast to explore Seattle and Portland. We took the opportunity to make the trip to celebrate our 1st anniversary. Traditionally, the first anniversary gift is paper, so that is when I decided to gift us with our paper vow books (that’s right, we got our vow books AFTER our wedding). We wrote our original vows in them as well as new vows to read to each other on our anniversary.

The Photographer

Since we were going to be in Seattle, I envisioned hiking around mountains and waterfalls while wearing backpacks for the shoot. I wanted a dark and moody style of photography that really represented the mostly overcast vibes of the area.

I posted on my Facebook feed that I was looking for a photographer in the Seattle area with this particular style and my network came through! A friend suggested that I reach out to Megan Gallagher Photography who had recently relocated to Seattle from Raleigh. Her style was exactly what I had been envisioning, she had experience shooting in the mountains outside of Seattle, and she was already someone who was familiar to me.

photo of couple hiking at Snoqualmie

Since we did not have a car, Megan picked Sean and I up from our AirBnb in Capitol Hill and drove us to the Snoqualmie River area which was an hour outside of the city. Once we had arrived, she pulled the car over close to an area where we could hike the rest of the way to Franklin Falls.

On our walk over to the area with the waterfall, I quickly realized that this location exceeded my vision 100%!

The Franklin Falls area was breathtaking.

photo of couple at Franklin Falls

Pure bliss. How could it not be? These views plus sweater weather is the best!

Of course we couldn’t go to Franklin Falls without getting photos with the waterfall itself.

photo of piggyback couple at Franklin Falls in front of the waterfall

Time for a piggy back ride! Do not attempt this while wearing a dress!

photo of Sean in front of Franklin Falls waterfall
photo of Mollyann in front of Franklin Falls waterfall

We also took this opportunity to get a few individual shots with the waterfall.

close up photo of Mollyann in front of Franklin Falls waterfall

Don’t go chasing waterfalls unless they make you feel like this!

I did my own hair and makeup for this shoot so I definitely don’t look as glam as in some of my other shoots but the look was perfect for the scenery and the casual vibe. Who gets their hair and makeup done professionally to go on a hike in the wilderness? The correct answer = no one.

Once we were finished shooting at Franklin Falls, we started making the trek back to the car but stopped to take some shots on these rocky stairs.

photo of L.L. Bean boots

You may recognize my boots, the classic L.L. Bean Duck Boots. I knew that they would be the perfect boots for the shoot, however, I did not own a pair and they were sold out on L.L. Bean’s website in my size at the time. I ended up buying them used from a seller on Poshmark. And that’s not the first time that I’ve bought shoes that I had been eyeing from Poshmark, my wedding heels also came from there. If there’s a will, there’s a way to find what you are looking for!

Next, we drove over to our next location, Rattlesnake Lake. Do not fear, I am told that there are no rattlesnakes there, but you will find these amazing tree stumps in the water.

photo of couple in tree at Rattlesnake Lake

And this crazy tree!

photo of Sean in tree at Rattlesnake Lake

We changed into our second outfits for Rattlesnake Lake in the car – you gotta do what you gotta do when shooting in nature like this!

I love this outfit on Sean. Sometimes rolling up your sleeves and pant legs are all you need to complete a look. We decided to both go barefoot for the remainder of these shots, however, the ground was very rocky and uncomfortable to walk on barefoot, so we would wear flip flops to move around then throw our flip flops out of the frame for the photo.

photo of couple at Rattlesnake Lake

To this day, Rattlesnake Lake is probably one of the most unique areas that I have ever seen in my life. Thank you Mother Nature for showing us your roots (literally)! I am so happy to have had Megan there to capture this memory. These photos are the best keepsakes and are priceless to us!

close up photo of couple at Rattlesnake Lake

These photos give me all of the feels (especially the feels of my bare feet on the rocks)! Kiddinggg.

photo of couple standing on a tree stump at Rattlesnake Lake

Going out on the tree stumps in the water was magic. Pure magic.

Still feeling the magic, we made our way back onto land and began our vow renewal.

I purchased our vow books from Moglea but unfortunately, they no longer sell them. There are many Etsy sellers that also have cute vow book options though!

After the vow renewal, it was starting to get dark but we had one more surprise in store…

photo of couple popping champagne

Champagne! We bought a mini bottle thinking that it would be easier to transport however, if I had to do it over again, I would have splurged on a big bottle for a more grand POP! You live and you learn.

The success and experience of this shoot is definitely what encouraged us to continue this tradition every year. Let’s just say, it set the bar HIGH! Even looking back at these photos I am in awe of some of the images. It’s hard to not just look at them as art – we were really there! It was real life! It makes me want to visit the West Coast again soon.


photo of Megan Gallagher

Hi Megan! It’s hard not to fall in love with Megan Gallagher Photography. I can’t believe that one individual can be so dang talented. Megan seriously went above and beyond for this shoot. The locations were breathtaking and it was an experience that Sean and I will never forget. She also delivered the album in both web size, ideal for posting on social media/online, and high resolution, ideal for printing.

For more photos from this shoot check out Megan’s blog post, Rattlesnake Lake-Franklin Falls Anniversary Session. Heads up, since this shoot, Megan has relocated to Portland, OR.

Are you inspired to travel, have a vow renewal each year on your anniversary, or to at least book a photoshoot? I hope so. Please, please, please copy our tradition for yourself! It’s exactly why I share these experiences.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out our 2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX and our 3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC.

2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX

2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX

For our 2nd anniversary, Sean and I traveled to Austin, TX and had our photoshoot and vow renewal at our picturesque AirBnb.

I’m working backwards as my previous post was our 3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC. You’ll notice that in the photos in this post, Sean and I look much younger and less beaten down by the doom and gloom of 2020 – just kidding!

Austin, TX

Sean is my biggest love but my next biggest love might be my love for the city of Austin, TX. When just planning our anniversary trip to Austin, I was already falling head over heels for the activities, vibes, and food in Austin. When we arrived for our vacation, those feelings were confirmed. Austin is a badass city! I can see why so many people are moving there everyday.

The Pros

When searching for a photographer, I knew that I was looking for someone who had a vibrant and quirky style for this shoot. I searched Austin photographer hashtags and looked at what photographers wedding vendors had tagged in their photos on Instagram. I actually had to search for a while and then finally came across Bonnie & Lauren. Bonnie was available and was so excited to capture our vow renewal tradition! After Bonnie was secured, I asked her who she recommends for hair and makeup. She suggested Lavish Beauty ATX and Jen was available to glam me up for the shoot. Done and done!

photo in airbnb in austin,tx
All photos by Bonnie Burke

For our trip to Austin, Sean and I booked this awesome AirBnb and we knew that it would also be the perfect location for our shoot! Visiting Austin and need a place to stay? I highly recommend it! We hope that we can stay there again someday.

photo of couple on a bright blue couch
photo of couple on a bright blue couch
photo of couple on a bright blue couch

It had the most photo-worthy furniture which we definitely utilized throughout the shoot!

photo of the couple laughing on the bed

And a bedroom with striped walls that I couldn’t get enough of!

photo of couple on the bed
photo of couple on the bed
photo of couple kissing on the bed

Holding hands and kissing on the bed felt super intimate yet relaxed. If you have an adorable bedroom setup in your home, why not shoot there?

photo of couple outside with coffee

Time for an outfit change (and to actually put on shoes)! When we moved outside to the pool area, we had to grab some lifestyle shots doing one of our favorite things – drinking coffee!

photo of couple standing
close up photo of couple standing

We moved to the other side of the pool for a greenery backdrop and for our first standing photos of the day!

photo of couple in front of greenery in austin tx
headshot of Sean
headshot of Mollyann

Ready for your closeup? Why not grab some individual headshots during a couple’s photoshoot! It always comes in handy to have a recent headshot on hand.

photo of vow renewal in the breezeway

When it came time for our vow renewal, we chose to read our vows in the breezeway. It was a very picturesque and shaded spot!

Handwritten vows are so precious!

photo of reading vows
photo of vow renewal kiss
photo of couple with vow books

Always sealed with a kiss afterwards just like the wedding day.

photo of couple swimming in the pool

After we finished shooting in our two planned outfits, Bonnie, Sean, and I all realized how cool it would be to also shoot in the pool. I mean, it was our favorite part of the Air Bnb and it was the perfect place to escape from that intense Texas heat! Sean and I quickly changed into our bathing suits and got some bonus pool shots!

photo of couple standing on the pool steps
photo of couple in the pool
photo of couple in the pool

I’m so glad that we jumped in and just went for it – these turned out to be some of my favorite shots of the day!

close up photo in the pool
close up photo in the pool
photo of kissing in the pool

I love all of the variety and different outfits in this shoot! It’s like a lot of mini shoots all wrapped into one. We really had a blast and I’m impressed that we managed to pull off three outfits in an hour! If you want to do the same, have all of your outfits planned out and accessories set aside and organized for a quick change. There’s no time to be rifling through your closet when you are paying your photographer by the hour. Plus, it will leave you feeling flustered and that’s not a good look in photos.


Red has always been one of my favorite flattering colors to wear but it is a pretty bold color. I like how the floral print and Sean’s light blue chambray shirt toned it down a bit for these photos.

2019 was really the year that I realized how much happiness the color yellow brings to your life. I felt like the turquoise earrings, yellow midi dress, and the print on Sean’s shirt all felt very “Texas” without wearing cowboy boots and all.


Bonnie seriously blew me away. She is so… rad! She did not hesitate to do whatever it took to get the shot. Whether that was moving furniture or moving around us to get the perfect angle, she did it without hesitation. Also, she delivered some highlight photos the same day as the shoot and delivered the whole album two days later. See, I told you that she is rad!

Photo of Bonnie by Diana Ascarrunz

Bad news, Bonnie & Lauren is no more. But good news, they have both gone solo and Bonnie has launched Bonnie Burke Weddings! She’s seriously the bomb.

Jen with Lavish Beauty ATX made me feel gorgeous! She was very professional and was delightful to talk to while she was dolling me up. Since this shoot, when makeup artists have asked me to show them photos of how I would like my makeup done, I show them photos of Jen’s handiwork on my face. I loved everything about it! I feel like I look like myself, but the best version of myself.

Next up, is our 1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA that started it all!

3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC

3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC

The Tradition

Every year for our anniversary, Sean and I have a tradition where we travel and explore a new city, book a photoshoot, and renew our vows (perhaps this was inspired by our Paris Honeymoon Photoshoot?!). We read our original wedding vows and write new vows every year. It’s a great way to consistently remind each other of the promises that we have made to each other in our marriage. This also ensures that we have updated photos each year!

Charlotte, NC

This year for our 3rd anniversary, we decided to enjoy a staycation in Charlotte, NC. Since we had just moved to CLT and finished unpacking, the thought of packing up a suitcase and traveling again so soon didn’t sound very appealing. Plus this was a great opportunity for us to document this next (and quite unexpected) chapter in our lives. Since we are new to town we are practically exploring the city every day already!

The Pros

I searched for Charlotte photographers on the ‘gram and saw that @kevyndixonphoto was already following me. Her style was exactly what I was looking for! Fortunately she had the date available and it was an easy choice. After booking Kevyn Dixon Photography, I wanted to get a hair and makeup artist who could make me feel my very best and photo ready so Kevyn recommended Cali Stott Artistry. Once Cali and Kevyn were both booked, it was game on!

I had envisioned the photoshoot and vow renewal taking place in an area with a field and water nearby. Since Sean and I are new to the area, Kevyn suggested Clarks Creek Nature Preserve which turned out to be the perfect spot!

photo of couple by the water
photo of couple walking by the water
photo of couple standing by the water

It was a hot, summer day with temperatures over 90 degrees and PLENTY of sunshine!

photo of Mollyann twirling her dress
photo of Mollyann twirling her dress
photo of Mollyann twirling her dress

Even during a couple’s photoshoot, it is important to get some individual shots too! I loved twisting and twirling around in my Anthropologie dress.

photo of Sean walking
photo of Sean walking
photo of Sean walking

Sean’s stroll was definitely photo worthy! Choosing complimentary colors is important for photoshoots, so his heathered olive green J Crew Factory shirt was the perfect choice paired with my white and fuschia embroidered dress. Bonus: He looked very handsome in it!

photo of vow renewal at Clarks Creek Nature Preserve

After we finished shooting by the water, Kevyn scouted out the perfect spot for our vow renewal.

In our vows, we cursed and joked that, “if we can survive 2020, we can survive anything.” Isn’t that the truth?!

photo of couple with hat
photo of couple kissing with hat

Once we finished the actual vow renewal, we got back to shooting some more fun shots. These are some of my favorites!

The hat ended up being an awesome prop! I once heard that if a lady wants to stand out for her fashion, it is not about showing a bunch of skin, just wear a hat that compliments your outfit. It’s legit advice.

photo of Mollyann wearing hat
photo of couple walking
close up photo of couple walking

Consider that tidbit of knowledge your magic hat trick for the day!

couple in prom pose
close up of couple in prom pose
photo of couple facing forward

Prom pose! I always think of these as the photos for your parents and family. Specifically, I’m referring to the photos where both individuals are posed and facing the camera. They are definitely must haves.

photo sitting at Clarks Creek Nature Preserve

Since we did so many standing photos, I wanted to get some seated shots. Kevyn was so kind and got her rain jacket out of her car for me to sit on so that the dewey ground did not ruin my white dress. The great part is that you can’t see that I was sitting on a jacket at all!

photo of couple
photo of couple
photo of couple kissing
photo of Mollyann and Sean

Also one of my favorite shots!

photo of Sean spinning Mollyann
photo of Sean spinning Mollyann
photo of Sean spinning Mollyann

To finish, Sean spun me around for our final shots.


Sean and I are both so delighted with our photos and our experience! Kevyn Dixon Photography was amazing to work with. She made us feel relaxed, posed us with ease, and did an excellent job editing the photos and getting them back to us in a timely manner.

Photo by Tricia Michael Photography

It was so much fun having my hair and makeup done by Cali with Cali Stott Artistry! She was so personable and truly a joy to be around. I was really worried that the heat would mess up my hair and makeup but she did a great job and both stayed put.

Photo by Lindley Battle Photography

These ladies were both professional and true pleasures to work with. If you need a hair and makeup artist or a photographer in the Charlotte area, I would highly recommend both of them! They also both do weddings.

Looking for some more anniversary and vow renewal inspiration? Check out my 1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA and my 2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX.

8 Creative Ideas for a Wedding Invitation Suite

8 Creative Ideas for a Wedding Invitation Suite

Some people believe that their wedding invitation is just going to be thrown away so they do not put much time and effort into designing their stationery. This notion breaks my heart! I treasure paper pretties and your wedding invitation suite is the first impression that your guests get to experience of your upcoming wedding day. I love when the invitation matches the style and design of the wedding decor so that it serves as a sneak peek for your wedding that starts to get your guests excited to see more. You should treasure your wedding stationery as a part of your wedding design and as a representation of your best day ever.

Wedding Invitation Suite Ideas

When working with Alison of One + Only Paper on the design for my own wedding invitation suite, it was really important for her to incorporate marble, watercolor florals, metallic copper, and geometric details as all of those elements were a part of my wedding design. We sat down and discussed the vision and she came back to me with this amazing collection that I truly cherish.

I’m going to break down several ideas inspired by my wedding invitation suite in hopes that it will inspire you to intentionally design your own with personal touches and handmade details that best represent you and your partner and your wedding vision. You’ll find that the stationery even serves somewhat as “branding” for the wedding and that the details can be used throughout your wedding day as well.

My suite took a lot of prep and assembly so I treated some friends to pizza and had several hands help me put it all together!

photo of wedding invitation suite
Design by One + Only Paper, All photos by Mikkel Paige

#1. DIY Hand Painted Elements

hand painted envelope liner
asymmetric card

We used a metallic copper paint and hand painted the envelope liner as well as a paint stroke on The Details card. The paint stroke reminds me of Simba in the Lion King! Now you can’t unsee it, right?

Hand painting is such a precious touch because it makes it so that no two invitations are the same.

#2. Include Asymmetric Cut Outs

For The Details card, we also cut off one of the corners to play into the geometric elements in a creative way. This asymmetric feature added a simple, impactful detail!

#3. Wrap the Suite in a Translucent Vellum Jacket

translucent marble vellum jacket

Adding translucent or transparent details makes a wedding suite feel modern. I loved the addition of this translucent marble vellum jacket to hold the pieces of the invitation layered together.

ceremony flower petals

I also used the leftover vellum to create cones to hold the flower petals that guests threw at the end of the ceremony. It was really easy! I just rolled them into a cone shape and used double sided tape to secure them.

#4. Create a Wedding Logo

wedding program
white wax seal
wedding cocktail napkins

I adore when people create a wedding logo or monogram for their wedding. You can use it throughout your wedding in several ways. For ours, we used our wedding logo on our programs, on our wax seal, and on our cocktail napkins.

Who doesn’t love a wax seal? When choosing a wax color, I loved that we went with white! It was so crisp, modern, and clean and really brought the entire suite together.

#5. Use Thread as a Belly Band

Rather than a traditional paper belly band, we used copper metallic thread. We wrapped the thread around the suite several times and secured it with the wax seal.

#6. Print White Text on a Dark Card

wedding invitation

Traditionally, wedding invitations are white so I loved that ours were dark gray with white text, especially since my favorite color is also gray!

#7. Include your Rehearsal Dinner Invitation in your Wedding Suite

rehearsal dinner invitation

It was really important to me that the Rehearsal Dinner Invitation was also designed along with the wedding invitation suite. It was sent together to those who were invited rather than sent separately.

#8. Use a RSVP Postcard

Rather than sending a small envelope with an RSVP card, our RSVP cards were postcards. I loved how this turned out! This meant that we did not have to purchase additional envelopes and could use postcard stamps, an easy design that also saved money.

wedding RSVP postcard

There you have it! Your wedding invitation suite is a keepsake that you will always have to remember your wedding day. You can keep it in a scrapbook or arrange it in a unique way to display. I ended up arranging a copy of mine in a frame to hang on the wall of my office.

I could not have brought this vision to life without Alison’s hard work and expertise! One + Only Paper no longer designs wedding invitation suites however, she is a painter, illustrator, and designer and has many lovely art collections and prints available for sale in her online shop. I recommend following her on Instagram @oneandonlypaper and signing up for her email list to be the first to know about her new artwork.

Which idea is your favorite? Comment and let me know!

9 Wedding Day Beauty Tips

9 Wedding Day Beauty Tips

I worked in the wedding industry for many years, have been in several weddings as a bridesmaid, and was also a bride myself. With these experiences, I learned several Wedding Day Beauty Tips along the way. However, that statement makes me feel like I’ve just said my own version of the Farmers Insurance campaign slogan “I know a thing or two, because I’ve seen a thing or two.”

Rather than just seeing and knowing it, I consulted with a beauty professional on the topic. Not just any beauty professional, but Britnye Shore the Owner/Creator of The Bardot – Beauty and Bridal with locations in both Florida and North Carolina. Britnye contributed so many great tips and words of wisdom to the conversation.

photo of Britnye Shore
photo of Britnye Shore

Is Britnye Shore a boss babe or what?!

photo of Britnye dolling up a bride

I am excited to share these 9 Wedding Day Beauty Tips so that you can feel confident and let your beauty shine in the best way possible on your big day.

#1. Hire a professional makeup team and have them do both hair and makeup for the entire wedding party.

Rather than just having the bride get professional hair and makeup done, have the the whole wedding party done for the best, cohesive look possible. In addition to bridesmaids, think about your other VIPs that will be photographed a lot and who want to feel their best as well – flower girls, mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, and grandmas too!

In addition to hiring a hair and makeup team, Britnye says, “Always have a hair and makeup trial! This eliminates stress for you and your artist on the day of. This allows yourself to experiment with different styles and makeup looks. And once you nail down that look you’ve been dreaming of, there is no stress on wedding day as to what your hair and makeup will look like!”

If you are having bridal portraits taken before the wedding, that would be a great day to do your trial! I did not have bridal portraits taken however, I did have a wedding dress alteration appointment after my hair and makeup trial so I really got the chance to see the whole look come together with my dress.

photo of Britnye and her St. Augistine team
I love that Britnye is striking the Wonder Woman Pose with her St. Augustine team!

#2. Get a spray tan.

Britnye states, “Spray tans are a phenomenal way to get that bridal glow if you haven’t had time to be in the sun or if your wedding is in cooler months. We always suggest going to a professional who does spray tans by hand and not the machines. They can custom create colors based on your consultation and can contour any areas that are desired. It’s the best!

I fake bake all the way and love a good spray tan by hand! Getting your spray tan 2 days before the big day will give you the best color on your wedding day. You can also get rid of any unwanted tan lines that might show with your dress.

Have dark skin? A spray tan is still a good idea. In Mindy Kaling’s book Why Not Me? she says, “It’s not about changing the color, it’s about evening out the color. Basically what that means is a really brave woman named Jen will show up at my house with a machine that looks like a small stainless-steel box to store a gremlin, and I will strip naked and stand in my bathroom with my arms and legs wide open and a guilty expression on my face. You don’t have to wear underwear, but I always wear mine because it’s important for Jen to know that I am classy.”

spray tan photo
Every time that I have gotten a spray tan by hand, it has looked a little something like this.

#3. Wear fake eyelashes or get eyelash extensions.

If you have never worn fake lashes, you are seriously missing out! At first, they do feel like you are wearing little baseball caps on your eyelids but once you get used to them, you are all set.

I ended up getting eyelash extensions so that they would last throughout my honeymoon as well. It was definitely worth it!

photo of Britnye
Surprise! The Bardot has their own brand of lashes! In this photo by Daybreak Photo Co, Britnye is wearing her dramatic lash set.

#4. Bring your own lip color so that you can re-apply throughout the day.

You will be kissing, eating, drinking, and talking a lot so your lip color is bound to wear off. In order to stay picture perfect throughout your entire wedding day, make sure that you have your own lip color so that you can re-apply as needed.

I tend to get lip color all over my teeth (I suppose that it’s the way that my lips curl when I smile and talk!) so I prefer a long lasting color or stain. My all-time favorite is Chanel’s Le Rouge Duo Ultra Tenue Ultra Wear Lip Colour.

photo of Chanel long lasting lip colors
There are a ton of great color options too!

#5. Do not try something new right before the big day!

“Same goes for lash extensions or any type of facial and peel. Always give yourself an appointment buffer to ensure that you don’t have any allergies and that you get the look you want! You just never want to try something new right before the big day. Give yourself time!” Britnye remarks.

I wholeheartedly agree. I had never had eyelash extensions before so I actually got my lashes done a few month before the wedding to try it out. All went well so I got them done again right before the wedding.

#6. Have your hair prepped and ready and get clip in hair extensions.

Britnye is a hair pro and knows the best practices and secrets for making your hair looks its best. She says, “If you’re looking to change your hair color before your wedding day, always start the process 3-4 months before hand just in case some minor tweaks have to happen before the big day! And we always suggest for the best look to color your hair 2 weeks before your date. Just that little bit of root looks natural!”

I know that it is poplar to grow out your hair for the wedding and then get the “wife chop” right after the wedding. I knew that I wanted my hair in an updo and that I wanted to have my natural hair color for my wedding so I grew it out and got it colored in order to pull it off.

Britnye advises to, “Get a professional blowout 2-3 days before your wedding day. This not only allows your hair to look amazing for your rehearsal but always gives your bridal stylist the best possible hair to style! Freshly washed hair does not hold as well. Having the professional blowout will prolong your hair and the products that they will use during the service will help hold your style on wedding day!”

Yes! I had a blowout for my rehearsal dinner and did not wash my hair again until after the wedding.

Britnye also thinks that, “It is a great idea to buy clip in hair extensions for your day. Even if it’s just a few pieces, the added fullness is a game changer! Just ask your stylist what type you should get. Chances are she or he has them for you to purchase already and the quality has been tested. Not all hair extensions are the same! “

Clip in hair extensions are a great idea if you are wearing your hair down or in an updo. Full hair is always a gorgeous look!

photo of Britnye wearing a turban
Britnye can rock a turban, and that leads me to my next surprise – The Bardot has their own turbans too!

#7. Under eye patches will save your life!

For someone whose undereye circles sometimes can compete with Pete Davidson’s, I know this to be true! Britnye suggests, “24k gold eye patches have so much nutrients and oils to help with any type of under eye bags on the day of or any discoloration.  Bonus tips to keep them in your fridge so they stay nice and cold!”

#8. Get your nails did.

A fresh manicure and pedicure is a must have! You and your partner will be sporting some new bling bling so there are bound to be some close up photos of your hands and nails.

photo of hands and wedding ring
A good mani pedi will last you through your honeymoon as well. Check out my post, 5 REASONS TO BOOK A PHOTOGRAPHER DURING YOUR HONEYMOON | PARIS HONEYMOON PHOTOSHOOT

#9. Prep your smile.

A white wedding dress is not very forgiving. If your dress is white and your teeth are yellow, they will stick out even more and it will not be a good look! I had a dental cleaning and did a round of Crest Whitestrips right before the wedding so that my teeth would be in tip top shape.

You could also get professional teeth whitening as well!

photo of crest whitestrips

*OPTIONAL TIP* Wax on, wax and hair off.

Legs? Underarms? Arms? Bikini? All of the above? Maybe your eyebrows should be freshly waxed at the very least. If you have dark underarm hair and get em waxed, you can throw your arms up in the air like you do not care on the dance floor!

*BONUS TIP* Have a pair of comfortable wedges or platform shoes ready that are the same height as your heels.

Technically this is not beauty, hair, or makeup related but if you are a wuss like me when it comes to wearing heels for a long time, this tip SAVED MY FEET on my wedding day! All of this beauty work is no good if you are wincing from sore feet all night. I wore my pretty wedding heels for my first look and that was about it. I wore comfy platform sandals the whole night and no one knew the difference. Sneaky sneaky and comfy comfy!

Often you will see brides change into cute sneakers or flats for the reception however, I do not recommend changing the heights of your shoes as your dress has been custom altered and bustled and this will mess up how your dress lays. Unless you plan on wearing flats all day, this is actually a misconception and a no no.

photo of wedding shoes
My heels were gorgeous Kate Spade pumps though! Photo by Mikkel Paige

Wedding Beauty Prep Schedule

Since this is a lot of information, I recommend that you count back from your wedding day and plop the appropriate dates for your beautifying services into your calendar and make appointments when applicable. Easy peasy!

I know that many people are not used to this much prep or even wearing that much makeup. However, when you are being professionally photographed all day, I GUARANTEE you that being professionally dolled up will make a HUGE difference in how you appear in your wedding photos and you will have zero regrets.

This post is mostly for the bride to prep however, it does not hurt to share some of these tips with your bridal party as well. Blush and champagne are super popular colors for bridesmaid dresses however, they definitely look best when your leading ladies have a spray tan 🙂

I have never seen a bride who was not beaming and beautiful on her wedding day. There is something about the white dress, the love, and the internal glow that brides have that makes them drop dead gorgeous and stunning but I hope that these tips make you feel your best and help you live up this exciting time in your life!

Did someone say, GIVEAWAY?!

Britnye, thank you so much for your insight, tips, and tricks! Make sure to follow her business Instagram accounts for all things beauty at @thebardotbridal and @thebardotbeauty and to follow her personal account @wearetheshores.

giveaway photo

You should definitely follow as we are doing a GIVEAWAY and would love for you to play along! The Bardot is giving away a set of lashes and an everyday turban. You can read the rules to enter on our Instagram accounts (mine is @mollyannrussell). NOTE: This giveaway ends on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8pm EST.