Planning Guide

Glam Wedding Day Makeup

Today’s blog I had to bring in the expert, because although I love to get dolled up this is not my strength.   I had the opportunity to chat with Ja’Sona Pilgrim of JP Glams to bring you a few tips on how to have your best wedding day face!  She is a talented Makeup Artist (MUA) and has used her love of fashion and big stage performance to inspire her work.  She has been beating faces from New Jersey to Mississippi and continues to travel and eventuate the beauty of her clients.   Ja’Sona is sharing her glam tips for other MUAs and couples to be aware of so let’s jump right in!

Tips for the Ultimate Bridal Glam by Ja’Sona Pilgrim

“Always remember, her pictures will last a lifetime as well as these moments you get to share with her. Make it beautiful, make her feel beautiful & feeling like the Queen she is!” - Jp Glams

“Always remember, her pictures will last a lifetime as well as these moments you get to share with her. Make it beautiful, make her feel beautiful & feeling like the Queen she is!” - Jp Glams

1.       Before any make up is to begin you must always make sure you consider your brides preferred or chose wedding dress and hairstyle. It is known that makeup can be the ultimate accessory to any outfit or look for any event however, in Bridal, it must cater to the style of the dress and hair for a cohesive, elegant and overall beautiful finish.


2.       Pictures last a lifetime. With that being said it is important to make these life lasting moments a beautiful one. Take your time with your bride and her bridal party. For a smooth application be sure to set up a consultation for your bride so you know the exact look you want to achieve and the products needed. This helps with timeliness, efficiency to what she wants on her big day and a happy Bride!


3.       Be prepared! Preparation prevents poor performance and we all know there is a ton of performing and moving around on a Brides big day! Be sure to include products that are to help with sweating, lots of movement and long lasting. Prep the skin before any foundation. This includes moisturizer for hydration and a good solid primer to lock in that foundation. Full coverage foundation is always preferred for an overall smooth finish and be sure to use lip stain lipstick. A lip stain prevents a complete removal of the lips even during eating & drinking. My brides are always given a complimentary lip-gloss or lipstick so they have the ability to reapply as they need throughout the night.



How long should it take for Bridal makeup and her Bridal Party?

You always want to consider the bride and any last minute errands or any unforeseen circumstances the day of!

Always start early enough to give the bride at least 2 hours to get dressed & take pictures!

⁃       The Brides makeup is always done last, after her Bridal party!

⁃       The Bride gets no more than an hour and 15 minutes of application, if needed. Since all brides receive a consultation you know exactly the look she wants and should be executed beautifully yet swiftly but not rushed.

⁃       Bridal party makeup should take no more than 30 minutes & touch ups once everyone including the Bride is complete.

Ja’Sona Pilgrim, MUA & Denise Diaz, MUA team up for our fabulous Washington Wedding!

Want more on these artisits??

Ja’Sona Pilgrim



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Denise Diaz


Quick Guide To Summer Wedding Dos & Don'ts

2019 Summer is upon us and busy couples are putting their finishing touches on details.  Here are a few Dos and Don't for you to consider.




- Stay hydrated.  


There is nothing romantic about having guests, your wedding party or even worse, the couple fall out at the alter because they have not drank the proper amount of water.  Ensure that you keep hydrated and provide guests opportunities to hydrate as well. 


- Have an backup plan.


Summer time can mean 100+ degrees, summer showers and thunderstorms depending on what area you live in.  This may affect your ceremony or reception so have a plan.  This may include a tented structure with a cooling system or an indoor venue to keep the party going.  Work with your planner or the venue to discuss options that are a good fit your you.


- Be vibrant.


Summer fun and fashion go hand in hand.  Choose colors like "living coral", the pantone color this year or others that bring vibrant and  trendy flair to your celebration.  Color, not your jam.  No worries!  You do not have to take this concept overboard and have your event look like a tie die shirt.  Find ways to bring pops of color into your design that stays true to your style and tone of your celebration.



- Skimp on the amenities.


You want guests to be comfortable and truly enjoy their time during your wedding celebration as some may be using their vacation time to travel to your event.  Budget to accommodate guests and make the trip a memorable one.  I love to see couples offer information on local attractions or provide welcome bags with locally resourced items.  Investing in experiences will truly make your guests appreciate your thoughtful planning and make for an amazing time for everyone. 


- Feel Obligated to a seasonal theme.


Just because it's summer does not mean you are obligated to a beach themed wedding.  Your celebration should be authentic and speak to your personality as a couple.  Ditch the sea shells and look at design options that are meaningful and tailor your wedding experience to be true to who you are. 

Elopement, A Real Wedding Option

Elope. This is the nuptial norm for most military couples, but what are elopements really like?  I’m breaking it down for all my traditional wedding people, who think eloping is a dirty word.  Elopements can actually range from a humble and sudden exchange of vows to a luxury experience.  Feeling a little spontaneous?  Let’s elope!

The original definition of an elopement is simply a no notice or secretive marriage that takes place with just the couple.  Many associate it with running off to Las Vegas or Mexico with the one you love with the intent of coming back with shared last names.  Today, some of the original framework still holds true, but additional guests or local elopements are becoming more common.  Generally speaking an elopement is planned under 90 days and has 5 guests or fewer.  Micro Weddings are equally as popular with military and civilian couples as it involves an intimate guest list of under 30 people.  Anything over that, you are just having a wedding.  I’ll break those down in a future post.

Focused On The Marriage Not The Wedding

The element that I love most about an elopement is the focus on the marriage as opposed to the other details which can be a bit of a distraction.  You aren’t worrying about appeasing family, friends or living up to any particular expectation.  The focus is put on the couple.  Their wants and wishes.  They hone in and make the day they choose to say “I do” special. 

Believe it or not, my husband and I eloped.  Yup!  I was head over heels for this promising Air Force pilot.  We knew it was serious by the second date when we were talking about credit scores and future plans.  We just knew.  Things moved fast, which is common in relationships with military members.  We took a hard look at finances and our future plans as we found out we were expecting.  Little did I know my husband to be would propose in December on Christmas day.  When asked about a wedding date we completely dismissed the idea as we figured we would wait until after the baby and settling in at whatever new base we would be assigned to.  Then we’d have a “real wedding”. 

By February I started thinking, “I really would like to be married by the time my son arrives.”  My husband said, “Okay, pick a day.”  I figured we could do it when all of our family was in town to visit for his UPT graduation, but my soon to be husband reminded me that if we are eloping we didn’t need everyone there as the mission was simply to get married.  He was right!  That weekend would have been focused on thirty other things besides the true focus, us.  Two weeks later I purchased a dress that fit my belly, had it hymned (because I’m short), made a bouquet with broaches and pink silk hydrangeas and made a bird cage head piece out of tulle and two bobby pins.  My husband wore his service dress uniform.  Our local church pastor married us since we had completed marriage counselling with him, which is uncommon for most elopements.  After the nuptials we went to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for dinner and some friends joined us.  One even made us a little cake!  This was a “real wedding” and it was perfect.  I remember thinking to myself, “I’d live in a cardboard box as long as it was with you.”  It showed and the few that witnessed could see it.  

Intimate & Personal Experience

There was something magical in those moments when all that mattered was just the two of us.  We later endured the wedding runaround as we wanted a celebration for our family and friends to be a part of.  My dad wanted to walk me down the aisle, for example.  Ultimately, I think we were less stressed over it because we had had our intimate experience via the elopement.  We said several times throughout planning that we wanted our guests to have a great time so the burden of the occasion was lifted.

The intimacy of an elopement is unmatched.  If you choose a Vegas adventure or a backdrop in the great outdoors, the couple has the opportunity to express themselves through their selection without the task of coordinating access for several people.  Think about it.  You can elope in a tropical cave under a waterfall, on the cliff of a national landmark or in any other place for that matter.  Sky’s the limit.  Many assume elopements mean a cheaper option, however that isn’t always the case.  The investment on the experience and details go directly to the couple’s enjoyment.  If they want to each enjoy a five star meal, exclusive photo shoot, personal fireworks show or anything else, they can do so.  You have the unique opportunity to create a once in a lifetime experience for just the two of you and the few you may ask to bear witness.

The must haves!

There are a few things I would definitely recommend when choosing to elope. 

·         Wedding Planner

·         Photographer

·         Videographer

·         Marriage Announcement

·         Wedding Video

·         “After Party”

You absolutely have to capture these moments so a photographer is a non-negotiable to me.  Having quality photos is one thing I promises you will not regret.  You can used them when sending your wedding announcement, which is another must do.  People should be informed of your new chapter and it’s nothing to hide or down play.  Eloping is a momentous occasion because it’s all about the marriage.  A videographer is a close second.  You will want to share the footage with those who weren’t there as well as reflect back on it for years to come.  Of course I’m going to tell you to get a planner.  I know, I know… I’m required to say that, but seriously!  A planner knows your location, has relationships with venues and knows policies or restrictions that may be vital to pulling things off with a short timeline.  I list this first as the planner can match you with an amazing photographer and videographer that fits your style.  Last, but not least you should have an amazing “after party”.

An after party can mean a lot of different things to different people.  It could be a honeymoon.  A romantic getaway or staycation that keeps with the idea of the focus being on the couple.  It could be an actual party.  Celebrate with friends and loved ones.  Big or small, whatever fits your taste.  Go to dinner after or do something exciting like bungee jumping or a tour of the local attractions where you eloped.  Either way, ensure that you celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

FAQs for Wedding Planning Tech & Apps

Gone are the days of pen and paper to plan weddings, or at least for me that is.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love to sketch and sometimes I’ll go sticky note crazy if I have a quick thought I need to get down, but ultimately I and other planners and brides are taking advantage of technology and apps that improve the wedding planning experience.  Below are three frequently asked questions I’ve gotten on wedding industry technology.  If you’d like to know more, simply email me or leave a comment.  Cheers!


How has technology evolved the wedding industry and wedding experience?


Technology has pushed the wedding industry forward by leaps and bounds.  The DIY bride can find tutorials on YouTube, the bride seeking inspiration goes to Pinterest and the budget conscious bride tracks spending using apps.  Industry professionals can extend their reach using video conferencing and virtual offices to conduct business and can increase productivity with management systems that reduce redundancies and keep information safe in the "cloud".  In my opinion apps have improved the wedding industry, but it is still the professionals’ responsibility to educate couples along the way.  One form of education is sharing the realities of cost in relation to the pretty images that are being pinned to boards or training them to use products to create a better service and planning experience.


What apps are changing the game for the planning of a wedding or the day of experience?


Photo Gathering App - Often times during weddings the couple will miss the majority of the moments going on.  The photographer expertly captures the beautiful moments the couple will reflect on, however for a quick glimpse of what's going on. I'd recommend a photo gathering app like wedbox or ceremony!  Guests can simple upload there pictures to your wedding hub and you can view them immediately.  This is great for the couple that may not want everything on social media or don't want to rely on guests using their hashtag when posting.  You even have options to get prints from the app.


Registry & Planning Apps - Big name wedding websites like the Knot, Wedding Wire and Zola now have apps where you can manage your registry, wedding website and even guest list.  These are quick and resourceful ways to have your information in one place and literally in the palm of your hand at any given moment.  Updates are quick and easy so it's a huge plus for planning couples.


How have brides and grooms upped the wedding must-haves by using tech, such as virtual reality, etc. on their big day?


Brides and grooms can now have a virtual reality experience of their wedding right in my office or their living room.  Planning features that I use as a wedding planner like All Seated allows me to do wedding layouts with details down to the napkin color.  With VR Goggles couples can walk through their ceremony and reception spaces and truly get a feel for what they can expect.  This is a game changer for couples who may be planning a destination wedding or are busy traveling.  Trouble shooting items for flow or compliance can result in an overall enhanced guest experience.


3 Fs You Wont Want to Forget!

Working with military and busy couples who want a customized experiences is what I love most, but the most rewarding part of my job is probably bringing to light those common forgotten items that the couple can’t afford to miss.  Think about it.  With so many details to comb through something can easily get missed or overlooked.  What if it’s something near and dear to you?  Or something that can hit your pockets hard?  No worries!  I’ve got you covered.  I love being ten steps ahead of the chaos so my clients can have a stress free and fun planning experience.  I worry about the details so they can focus on what's most important, each other.

In my experience the wedding planning details that most people don't think about are fees, fashion and the finale! 


Fees- When pricing venues and vendors it is common to see eager couples budget for the quoted price and completely misunderstand that that price does not include hefty additional like taxes, gratuities, damage or setup fees.  Always ask for an “out the door” price quote to ensure you are budgeting appropriately.  These fees can be thousands of dollars and nobody want’s that type of surprise weeks leading up to the wedding.


Fashion- I had a couple do a beach wedding in Florida.  The plan was for everyone to be barefoot in their cream tuxedos and ladies wore gold sandals. Great right!  Wrong.  After the beach ceremony was over the reception took place indoors and of course gentlemen wanted to put on their shoes.  Well, ironically no one thought about their socks.  I’ll just say white gym socks and black dress socks didn’t cut it so we evened up purchasing a more appropriate option.  Needless to say, I carry a spare set of socks in my “day of ready bag” and encourage couples to consider fashion accessories and details when gifting the bridal party and families.


Finale- The wedding day ending, the cake has been eaten and champagne is running low.  Success!  But wait, there is more… Who is picking up the ceremony and reception items you’d like to keep?  Are you getting your wedding dress preserved or are you donating it?  Are you having your bouquet dried?  Did you remember to tip your vendors?  Did you order thank you stationary to send to guests?  Name change?  Insurance?  Finances? Everyone plans for the wedding day, but often forget about the post wedding planning, which can be more important. Thinking through these final details can help you reduce stress and set you up for a smooth happily ever after.


You can get some additional tips from wedding industry pros and check out my feature on right here.