Guest Bloggers

Your Wedding Day Hair and Makeup: Tips From a Professional

If you have been following along on our journey, then you know that sometimes I like to feature guest blog posts from other rad wedding vendors. These posts help to give my readers (that's you!) a little insight into other aspects of the wedding planning and wedding day process. Today's guest vendor post is from the beautiful and talented Ashyln Landrum, Owner & Head Stylist at Transformations Artistry, an on-site hair and makeup boutique. Read below for her professional advice and tips on how to prep and plan for your wedding day hair and makeup. Enjoy!

In all the flurry of wedding preparations and endless to-do lists, you may find it difficult to remember to plan for your own pampering services on the big day. You’re constantly planning for your guests and your bridal party, but are you thinking of how you’ll organize YOUR time -- those precious final moments before you waltz down the aisle to your happily-ever-after? Setting aside time to relax, get pampered, and soak up a few joyous hours with your favorite ladies is vital to having a flawless wedding day! Creating a schedule and finding your glam team is where your wedding planner comes in. She will guide you through the process of locating your ideal stylists who will then give you a time estimate for the services needed so that you don’t have to think twice about whether or not you’ll be finished on-time.

Coming from the perspective of a stylist who has been involved in hundreds of weddings over the past 4 years, I wanted to share some advice and a few tips with you on how to set aside that time for hair & makeup on your wedding day.

1.)    Know your style: Everything you use to create the atmosphere for your wedding is considered when choosing your day-of look; the color of the flowers, the venue, the dresses, the lighting, etc. A seasoned stylist will incorporate all aspects of your personal style and wedding theme into your hair/makeup look; whether it is laid-back and casual which might include light, flirty makeup & a fun braid, romantic and garden-themed which suggests gentle curls, wisps, & rosy cheeks, or chic and structured where a dramatic smoky eye and sleek chignon may be recommended. Have a few photos of looks that you like, and your stylist can suggest edits or improvements to those looks to best suit you and your style.

2.)    Plan a hair & makeup preview: The best way to plan ahead with beauty services is to schedule a hair & makeup trial with the same artist who will be available on your wedding day. This gives you the opportunity to test out the looks you’ve been eyeing as well as time to get to know your stylist, personally. We want nothing more than to understand you as a person and to make you look your best! Many of my brides plan their trials on the same day as either their final dress fittings or during their bridal portrait session so that they get a chance to see the look in its entirety.

3.)    Be sure your stylists have a team: Whoever you choose to do your day-of hair & makeup, remember to ask them if they can service the size of your bridal party. If you have a bridal party of 8 and they all want hair & makeup done, that’s a total of 16 services plus your own hair & makeup, and a single person or even a team of 2 wouldn’t be able to service everyone in a timely manner. If only you and 2 other bridesmaids are receiving styling services, then a single person may fit perfectly! The artist(s) needs to be able to bring along assistants or expand their stylist numbers to best suit your party.

4.)    Over-estimate time needed: On average, it takes a stylist from 30-40 minutes to complete a service (hair or makeup) on clean, dry hair and a bare face, so they should give you a time-frame needed to complete everyone in your party. Say you have 4 bridesmaids who want hair, 2 of whom are requesting makeup, and you are getting both services done as well. That’s 4 x 30min, 2 x 30min, and 1.5hrs. for you total. Altogether, that’s 270min. or 4.5hrs. For a single stylist, that’s absolutely doable, but if you wanted to cut your prep time in half, 2 stylists could finish your group in less than 2.5hrs. To be on the safe side, I’d recommend expanding your single-stylist’s prep time to 5hrs and your pair of stylists’ prep time to 2.75hrs. This is just a cushion in case of a late bridesmaid, damp hair, or last minute adjustments to either hair or makeup that aren’t factored into the initial equation. It’s better for the service to be completed early and have extra “chill”-time than to be rushing around and trying to get in your dress while someone’s putting lipstick on your lips!

5.)    Come prepared: The best thing you can do to ensure everything runs smoothly and in a timely fashion for your hair and makeup team is to have dry hair, a bare face, and everyone’s services pre-planned. There’s nothing quite like having a room full of damp heads that weren’t expected, having to wipe off old makeup, or two extra hair styles to create that weren’t on the schedule. It’s also best to chat with your bridal party to determine who’s covering expenses so that there isn’t confusion during payment time at the end (e.g. – you’re covering payment for everyone’s services, they are paying individually, or you’re covering just hair/makeup, and they are covering the rest)

6.)    Relax: It’s finally here! All the months of plotting and planning have come to a beautiful conclusion! You’ve done all you can do to prepare, and now it’s YOUR time to sip on something delicious and laugh the day away with your dearest friends and family.

Well folks, she said it perfectly: know what you want, do a trial, have enough people, allow for buffers, and come prepared. If you follow these tips, then you will find that getting ready on your wedding day will run much smoother and you can enjoy the process with much greater ease. And most of all: have fun with it! I mean how often do you get dolled up by a professional? 

To see more of Ashlyn's work or to book her for your upcoming wedding, visit her website below:

Thanks for stopping by! Happy planning!

~Maggie ♥

Delicate Designs: Wedding Floral Preservation

Today, we are featuring our guest blogger for the month of December! Ashley Church of Delicate Designs is here to educate brides (and grooms) on preserving their wedding day flowers. If you have already started planning (or even if you haven't yet), then you may have realized that florals can take up quite a bit of the budget. So why not preserve them and have them to enjoy for years to come? Read below to learn a little bit about Ashley, how she started her business, and some things to keep in mind if you are considering wedding floral preservation!

Flowers: Coleman Brothers Flowers

Hello! I'm Ashley, Owner and Floral Preservationist for Delicate Designs, a custom floral preservation business located in Richmond, VA. Sometimes I still can't believe it when I hear it. I started my business 2 years ago when my son was born but have been preserving flowers for about 5 years now. I took a leap 2 years ago and quit my day job and followed my heart. I started Delicate Designs full-time so I could also be a stay at home mom too. I've worked harder than I ever have in my life these past 2 years but at the end of the day it's worth it. I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I am a big believer in do what you love and enjoy every moment of your life now because you only have one. And guys, life is just too short.

Onto A little bit about my roots, I am originally from Poquoson, VA- most people have no idea where that is nor can they pronounce it. It's a small town east of Richmond near the bay, and thats pretty much it. I moved to RVA in 2001 to attend VCU where I received my BFA in Photography and fell in love with my husband and Richmond and never left. I love the city and everything about it but I really am still a small town girl at heart. I like things simple and I'm very sentimental. I love collecting found treasures from places I travel and saving them or making something out of them. Usually it's at the beach and it's sea glass or whatever else I can find. And gardening. I can't get enough of my garden. I guess my love for flowers and gardening and all sentimental things pointed me directly to being a floral preservationist. 

How adorable is Ashley's family?

My interest in preserving flowers really started when I got married in 2008 and wanted to save my wedding bouquet. I have always had a love for flowers and I didn't want my bouquet to die and then be forced to throw it away or in a shoebox underneath my bed just to collect dust. So then began the creation of Delicate Designs. I started preserving every flower I could get my hands on just to see what it would do and began falling in love with flowers and preserving them. My method of preservation is Silica Gel. The Silicia takes the moisture out of the flower while still preserving its shape and similar color. It's a delicate, tedious process and I love it. Delicate Designs started when I was getting contacted for my friends' preservation needs and I realized, I really do love doing this and wish I could make it my job. I can't even explain to you how much I enjoy creating these keepsakes for people. When I open a box of preserved flowers it's like opening a christmas present every single time. It's so exciting to see how they turn out because each one is just so different. And then on top of that I get to take these beautiful flowers and create them into a piece of art and give them to someone knowing how much it means to them. I mean come on. It doesn't get much better than that! I have learned a lot about myself over the years and it's taken me awhile to figure out that I find my own happiness and self worth in doing for and helping others. It just feels good to make someone else feel good.

Okay, so enough about Ashley ☻. I would like to share a few helpful tips with you if you are considering preserving your wedding bouquet (or any of your wedding flowers)! 

1. WHITE FLOWERS. I know that WHITE flowers can be a popular choice because they are very traditional for a wedding bouquet. But in reality they just don't preserve that well. They turn a bit yellow instead of white and it's a yellow that's just not that pleasing. Consider using other colors in your bouquet or only using white as filler flowers.

2. HAVE A BOUQUET CARETAKER. Delegate someone ahead of time to be in charge of your bouquet during the wedding so it doesn't get set down somewhere and become damaged. This person should have a vase with water ready to go for your bouquet to rest in during the reception. You may also want to designate this person to be the one to take your bouquet home with them after the wedding. Have them cut the bottom of the stems off an inch or so and then put them back in the vase with water and bring them to me the next day so you don't have to worry about it.

3. LET'S TALK GREENERY. Dusty Miller is my absolute favorite and is so pretty preserved in an arrangement. But if you don't want Dusty Miller then just make sure you have some hearty green leaves in your bouquet; it adds so much more to your arrangement. Eucalyptus, succulents, and sage are among the popular choices right now.

4. HAVE A SEPARATE TOSS BOUQUET. Do not throw your wedding bouquet, have a separate toss bouquet for your reception. If you throw your actual bouquet, it can become damaged and is then harder to preserve. 

5. PRESERVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN. You can bring me more than just your wedding bouquet. Bring me the groom's boutonniere, the mother of the bride's corsage, the centerpieces, the bridesmaids' bouquets, and anything else floral you can think of! You can always decide later whether or not you want to use them, but it's good to have extras just in case. I also offer ornaments and smaller sized boxes if you want to give them as gifts.

I hope you will consider floral preservation so you can cherish and enjoy your wedding flowers for years to come! Please check out my website Delicate Designs and follow me on Instagram and Facebook @DelicateDesignsAshley if you would like to see more examples of my work.

Thank you and Be Well!

Thank you, Ashley! For more information on floral preservation, please contact Ashley! Interested in learning more about Maggie's Misc? Engaged and need some planning help! Visit the link below to schedule a complimentary consultation!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy planning!

~Maggie ♥



English Tea Paperie: Bespoke Wedding Invitations

It's the first of the month so that means another Maggie's Musings guest blogger! Today we have Chloe Minyon, the Owner of English Tea Paperie, a custom wedding invitations and paper company, chatting with us about her services and the unique value she offers every single client! I had the pleasure of meeting Chloe back in January and saw right away that she's easy to talk to and is someone you could grab a cup of coffee and chat with for hours (and that ridiculously charming English accent doesn't hurt either!). I have since had the opportunity to work with her on three separate occasions: two styled shoots and a graduation, the latter of which she offered up for free in order to support a local non-profit. Chloe is bright, charming, and full of life! She is truly an artist at what she does and provides a unique and fun experience to clients during a time that can otherwise be somewhat stressful. When you book Chloe, you are sure to get a unique, one-of-a-kind design from start to finish! Read below to learn more and to hear from Chloe herself on what she does and what you need to know when ordering invitations:

Photo by: Shalese Danielle Photography

"Hey guys, my name is Chloe Minyon and I’m the Owner and Creative Director of English Tea Paperie. I create custom designed wedding invitations and papers, based in Richmond, VA, by way of the United Kingdom. I began designing invitations over 9 years ago, when I struggled to find something I truly loved for my own wedding. I created my own invitations and then opened English Tea Paperie to help other struggling brides create theirs. Many couples have a hard time finding unique and meaningful papers for their wedding, so that's where I come in! Today I will be answering the top 5 most frequently asked questions about custom wedding invitations!

Why choose a stationery designer and custom invitations?

When you opt to use a stationery designer, you get complete design control. You will work from a blank canvas and build up to your dream invitations, choosing your favorite colors, fonts and embellishments. A designer acts as a paper stylist and will custom create something just for you. Most designers will rarely repeat your design in the future, so the likelihood of you ending up with a one-of-a kind is pretty high!

Photos by: Shalese Danielle Photography

Why not just use one of the big online retailers?

Just as you would choose a photographer, caterer or wedding planner, your invitations deserve the same amount of thought and selection. Finding someone you connect with, admire and trust will result in a design that speaks your story. Many of the big online stores have amazing options, but the paper quality is not always the best, or colors cannot be altered. Plus, you run into the possibility of seeing your invitation show up in your mailbox for someone else’s wedding!

What can I expect when booking a stationery designer?

Every designer operates differently, but when a couple contacts me, we typically meet over coffee to chat about their big day and to get to know one another. I listen to their ideas and go over my portfolio. I spend time asking questions to figure out what they are hoping to say to their guests through their paper products and then we start to plan!

Once a custom order has been placed, I create a vision pdf of everything we discussed and this is the first step in the design process. I compile color boards, font pairings and hunt out the perfect accessories (ribbons, jewels etc). Sometimes it can take days, other times weeks to get to a place where the couple are completely and utterly in love with their custom creation. Once we hone in on the perfect pdf design, I pop a physical sample of the invitation in the mail and this becomes the final proof. Upon approval, the custom invitations are ready to be made!

Photos by: Shalese Danielle Photography

How can I make sure I am getting the most out of choosing custom papers? 

  1. Create a vision board. Pinterest is an amazing tool to use when planning a wedding and will give your stationary designer great insight into what you are hoping to see. 
  2. Do not think something is impossible. Want an apple shaped RSVP to go with your orchard themed wedding, a raven carrying a scroll to represent your Poe Museum venue, or a message in a bottle to hint to your love of travel? Nothing is impossible! Tell your designer your wildest vision and he or she will help you figure out a way to create it in a tangible way.
  3. Tell YOUR story. At the end of the day, the goal is to try and stay true to who you really are. When you look back in 10 years, you may regret going with "trendy". Everything about your day should reflect you and your groom; your love story. The goal is to look at your invitations and instantly see your whole wedding day come to life. 

Photos by: Hillary Gaskins Photography

How far in advance should I begin the design process? 

I always recommend at least six months before the wedding. This allows you time to really fine tune your vision and allow for edits. Once you have your date, venue, and style board, you can start the process!"

Photo #1 by: Shalese Danielle Photography | Photo #2 by: Tiffany Heidenthal Photography

Thanks, Chloe! Doesn't that sound lovely? My husband and I did not use a custom designer for our wedding, instead we ordered everything separtely online. While the final product turned out nice, I think it would have been fun to work with someone from start to finish! The other nice thing about working with a designer is that each piece with compliment each other and flow with your theme. Everything from the initial save-the-date, to the final rsvp card will fit within the "look" you are going for. For more questions, or to book a consultation with Chloe, you can email her at: or visit her website at:

As always, thanks for stopping by!



Shalese Danielle Photography

Hey guys! Today, I am featuring my second guest blogger to Maggie's Musings, Shalese Kocher of Shalese Danielle Photography! Shalese is a Richmond-based wedding photographer that I had the opportunity to work with on our "Day at the Derby" styled shoot (she even snuck in a few head shots of me beforehand ;-)). Shalese has a very polished, bright, and clean aesthetic and is here to share some tips with you when you are thinking through your wedding days photos and selecting a photographer. Enjoy! 

Hello, hello!  My name is Shalese, and I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, VA.  After doing a lot of commuting, I moved to Richmond in December 2013, and while I love all there is to do in the city, I do miss the mountain views of my home in Orange, VA.  The Blue Ridge Mountains definitely have my heart!

So, a little background about me before I get into some tips for making your photography experience awesome.  I’ve always loved having a camera in my hands, but when I was a sophomore in college, I fell in love with wedding photography.  It combined everything I wanted my life to revolve around: people, love and raw emotion.  Wedding days are always the best opportunities to capture true, candid moments, and that’s what I live for.

I shot my first wedding in August 2012 and have never looked back.  Since that August, I have shot or second shot 65 weddings.  Phew!  I can barely believe that number!  After being a part of so many weddings, I’ve gathered some tips that I hope will help brides and grooms make the most of their wedding photography experience.

And I say experience because that’s what I hope to give to my couples.  I never want to be just a check mailed out and contract they sign. I want to help them create memories AND preserve them.  Your engagement session with me won’t be a lot of “And look at me and smile,” and your end result won’t be “Here’s a gallery of your images, have a great life!”  My goal is to have my clients leave their engagement session feeling like rock stars. I strive to have my couples leave our portrait time on their wedding day feeling more lucky to be in love than ever.  The highest compliment I’ve ever received was when the groom looked at me during our wedding day portrait time and said, “You know, in all the rush of this whole wedding day, taking pictures with you has been the most romantic we’ve felt today.”  Because when you look back at your photos, they should make you feel more than “Isn’t that a lovely photo?”  They should transport back to the most joyful, fun, wonderful, romantic day of your life.

Yes, I can get a little carried away when I’m passionate about something! Let me stop there and get into some tips for making sure you get the wedding photos you’ve been dreaming about!

1) Determine Your Style.  Honing in on what type of photos you like will help you narrow down the sea of photographers out there.  This is the only time I’ll tell you to use Pinterest for anything photography related!  You should create a board and just pin, pin, pin any kind of photos that you like.  Don’t think about it too much, just pin it if it makes you FEEL something!  Then, see what similarities are jumping out to you when you look at the board as a whole.  Is there a softness to the photos?  Are there a lot of black and white images?  Do you like images that are candid or photos that look more posed?  Use this to narrow down some of the photographers you’ve been searching through.

2) Meet in Person.  It is so important to meet with the photographer you want to hire before you sign a contract.  I always tell potential clients that you’ll probably be seeing me more than your significant other on your wedding day, so it’s very important that our personalities mesh well.  Plus, the in person meeting is a great time to ask lots of questions, see album samples and generally just gush about your wedding day.  

3) Consider a First Look.  First Looks (the bride and groom seeing each other in a private moment before the ceremony) often yield some of the best and most candid moments!  I love First Looks for so many reasons.  It gives us extra portrait time, it usually allows us to finish family photos so that everyone can enjoy cocktail hour, it SERIOUSLY relaxes the bride and groom, it’s private and intimate, and on and on!  It’s definitely something to talk about together, even if you think you’re set on the traditional “end-of-the-aisle” first look.

4) Make Time for Sunset Portraits!  I like to add 5-10 minutes into my couples’ timelines so that we can sneak away for some extra photos during Golden Hour.  The light is amazing, and it’s our last bit of sunlight to use! 

5) Get Ready Somewhere Pretty.  This may sound strange, but it is so important to get ready in a space that is large enough for your wedding day entourage AND has plenty of natural light.  The getting ready images are often my absolute favorites because there is so much excitement and joy in the air.  If you’re getting ready at your venue, be sure to check out the bridal space they have well in advance.  If there aren’t windows, you may want to consider getting ready in a nearby hotel suite.  Hotels will usually give brides a royal treatment, so check out their bridal suites to make sure you’re getting the best getting ready images possible!

To see more wedding tips every week, be sure to keep up with my blog or follow me on Instagram at @ShaleseDanielle!

So there you have it. I hope you find these tips useful as you think through selecting your wedding photographer. The one thing I always tell my clients when they are thinking through where to spend their money is that they won't regret spending money on a good photographer. After the big day is over, your photos will be one of the precious memories that connects you back to that day over and over again! If you are interested in connecting with Shalese, you can email her at: Also, if you are interested in becoming a guest blogger for Maggie's Musings, please email me at:

As always, thanks for stopping by!