First, Some Background On This Project… See, I Was Desperate. I was desperate to connect more people in my new community. After all, moving to a new country with a new language isn’t the easiest thing to do. Especially when it comes to re-establishing a U.S.-based business abroad! Making new friends and relationships as an adult is hard. Work schedules, kids, travel schedules, I mean — everyone is always SO busy. So I did what I always do, figure out a way that works for me. And that involves hair + makeup. My comfort zone!
So I thought it would be fun to do my first ever model call and glam up some beauties who need a little extra TLC (after all, so many trailing spouses are in the same boat as me!). I thought it’d be fun to see who a) has their wedding dress here with them in Germany b) who can still fit into it and c) who’d be interested in a free bridal glam sesh and photoshoot.
I couldn’t believe there were so many women who met all the criteria! I mean, I don’t even meet a & b! So I hurriedly drafted a short questionnaire asking for wedding planning advice, regrets, marriage advice, and some personal stories. They were all so wonderful and all of the women were winners in my book!
In typical Natalie fashion, I had jumped the gun. I came up with this amazing idea and thought I’d just snap after pics with my DSLR that I have NO clue how to use (automatic mode baby!) and that’d be it. But these ladies deserve MORE. Some of them haven’t been pampered since their wedding day! Some have been homebound raising kids while their husband’s are away working or on military deployments.
So, I reached out to Bogi, of Bogi Photography. And sure enough, she loved the idea as much as me and well. The rest is history, right? No. I’m not going to gloss over Bogi’s participation in this shoot.
As a professional makeup artist (who occasionally does hair styling too), I always prefer to work directly with photographers. As a matter of fact, the first thing I do when I move to a new place is makeup relationships with local photographers because they see the value in my work (just like I see the value in theirs). It’s this unexplainable but obvious relationship… Digressing. I had worked with Bogi in the past on some projects and she is one of those photographers that really, really captures anyone she photographs in their element. She gives just the right amount of coaching and gives everyone the confidence to be in front of the camera. (Trust me, I’ve worked with SO many photographers, she’s a consummate professional & so talented).
So the two ladies I selected were Acsa and Angel. They became models for a day. Hair, makeup by me…and a professional photoshoot in their wedding dress by Bogi. The results as seen in their pictures are (in my humble opinion) simply stunning. They are set in the beautiful spa town of Wiesbaden, Germany at the majestic Kur House. Both of these ladies were seriously amazing, considering it was below freezing temperatures during their shoots. (I originally had three ladies lined up but the temperatures were just TOO cold and after Acsa’s shoot, I couldn’t in good faith ask another lady to model in below freezing temps, rain and wind, in a strapless gown.)
So I hope you enjoy reading their wedding stories and “updated” bridal photos as well as advice shared from several other brides! If you know anyone who is getting married and may need some real, authentic, and unsponsored wedding planning and marriage advice, they’ll love this article!
So sit back, relax and enjoy this amazing project that has evolved into something so much bigger than hair and makeup.
Signature Grill Venue, Virginia Beach
We had a mermaid theme because our venue was on the beach. Our colors were teal and aqua
Jan Casper Photography took our wedding photos and I had my hair and makeup done by a friend.
Our first dance as husband and wife. Everything was done and over and we could finally relax!
My ceremony started late because some of the guests were late and I decided to wait for them. Now I kind of wish I would have just started without them!
Get organized! Buy a notebook or binder and save everything in there. It makes for a great memory book to look at years later. Don’t just rely on Pinterest. Just in case they magically shut down someday- my biggest fear losing my boards. Lol
It’s okay to disagree and argue but it’s never okay to fight or hit. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you will always agree on everything, you are first individuals and then a couple. It’s totally normal and no need to panic that it’s not what you expected it to be. Arguing and discussions are normal healthy things to do.
Thanks so much for participating in this project, Acsa. I wish you and your beautiful family continued success and adventure! I really enjoyed meeting you!
Acsa is a mom/lifestyle/travel blogger. You can follow her blog at www.lifewithvida.blogspot.com or on Instagram @acsaharper.
Pictures from our shoot:
When Angelica wrote to me and told me her story, I knew it was one I wanted to share. Recently, her and her husband have had some pretty extreme highs and lows. A military family, they experienced a permanent change of station and seven temporary duty assignments just in the last year.
In addition, they welcomed a baby girl into their family last October, but it came after some pretty scary medical issues during pregnancy that could have easily taken Angelica’s life. Now everything is behind them and they’re looking forward to enjoying family time together, and strengthening their marriage even more.
We got married in Gracey, Kentucky at a picturesque barn and out of season vineyard.
We had a rustic themed wedding and our colors were pink and ivory.
Lunamor Photography did my photography as well as my bridal beauty.
Some of the unexpected faces and photos my photographer captured. Honestly? The gold cart ride to the canola field to take pictures after the ceremony before the reception.(:
My husband had a bit too much to drink!
Probably to limit the ceremony crews ‘open bar’ access, haha!
Be transparent with your spouse. Honesty. Trustworthiness.
Angelica is a Independent Wellness Advocate with DoTerra who lives with her two kiddos in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Pictures from our shoot:
If you read my wordy intro (because you all know I like to talk), you probably wondered what I did with all the amazing responses and advice I received from the applicants! Well, duh! I asked some of the applicants their permission to share the stories and memories they submitted in my questionnaire. Of course, they are amazing humans and are sharing their favorite wedding memories, regrets, marriage advice and of course, then and now pictures. I hope you enjoy!
Our location & our wedding photo shooting!
Enjoy [the wedding] and don’t stress out!
Never stop being kind to each other!
Hummingbird Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Soft Colors in Yellow and Pink, Caribbean
Being with a lot of my new Jamaican Family Members and the beautiful setting and the easy going ceremony.
That my family was not there.
Do not get too many people involed in your wedding plans.
Always try to compromise.
My favorite moment from my wedding would have to be when we read our vows to each other. We wrote them ourselves and they were just so us and weird that they could not have been more perfect. We both incorporated the possible zombie apocalypse in to them as well as superhero references. They are now framed and hung on our wall.
While I loved my friend that we had do our photos he totally dropped the ball big time. Half way through the reception he and his assistant left the venue saying they had a long drive back home and needed to go. We then had to rush to get pictures of us fake leaving while our guests held sparklers, it was still daylight however so it didn’t really work. So only half of our day was captured in photos.
You don’t have to appease anyone. This is your and your soon to be husbands day. Plan your wedding how you want it.
It’s ok to go to bed angry, most times in the morning you will have both cooled off and had a good chance to really think. This will allow you to really work through the problem at hand, and deal with it.
Champagne by the water fountain afterwards
I wish I had a bigger wedding!
Whatever you dream for your wedding make it happen!
Always communicate with each other openly and never go to bed angry.
My dad crying.
No regrets. With the benefit of a little bit of wisdom, I can say, you will be making many more lovely memories.. it’s all relative. I am an American currently in my first 8 months of living in Germany and exploring the culture and travels of my new home and Europe with our 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
The best advice I can give someone is, don’t get lost in the details of the event or over schedule under pressure of putting on a show or entertainment. Leave room for yourself and your groom to enjoy the night.
Stow away as a mental note, that as the years go by, the more important it is to stay true to being that “best friend” he/she fell in love with. Keep nurturing that friendship you both started off with. You can withstand the test of time of you keep being each other’s best friend.
God’s faithfulness, past, present, future. The past was represented by dark red roses colored with experiences; the present boy pink rose; and the future by white roses. Our colors were maroon, pink, and sage greens.
Not kissing longer! 😀
Don’t rush your special day. Remember things WILL turn out, so try to relax and truly enjoy the moment.
Communicate! Find out how your spouse communicates and talks and find ways to make time to talk, and LISTEN a LOT! Rule #1, Don’t go to bed angry, even if it means you have total a break and agree to disagree because you’re both brain dead and it is 3:00am.
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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.