Category: Beauty

Real Oregon Wedding: Brittany and Doug at Castaway

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Real Oregon Wedding: Brittany and Doug at Castaway

Brittany and Doug were married at the gorgeous Castaway Portland. While they had a few rain drops on their wedding day, you would have never known it by the brightness of their smiles and their infectious happiness. It was a beautiful day and every detail came together beautifully.

I love the personal details they included in their reception, including the use of Doug’s family plaid. It was the perfect Spring wedding!

We have included a complete list of vendors at the bottom of the page for your reference. All were incredible to work with!




Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Make Up & Lashes by Melissa Pope

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Portland Vendor Shout-Out: Make Up & Lashes by Melissa Pope

We are so excited to feature this talented lady! And yep, this photo below is of HER…not a model. She is gorgeous inside and out. You will absolutely fall in love with Melissa and be blown away by her talents in the make up and lash department. If you are in Portland and have a wedding (or any special event coming up) you need this awesome gal on your team. She will make you look and feel your most incredible.  Meet Melissa! And check her out at!

                                    Melissa Pope, photographed by: Sara May Photography


AOW: Where are you originally from? And how long have you been in Portland?

Melissa: I am originally from Huntsville, Alabama and have lived in Portland for 4 years now.

AOW:  What is your favorite thing about Portland? 

Melissa: The food, the people, the constant fluorescent greenery, so much! I love this city so much.

AOW: What is your favorite spot or thing to do in Portland?

Melissa: My favorite spot in Portland is probably Washington Park, there’s just something magical about it.

Photo credit:  Danielle Elizabeth

AOW:  How long have you been working as a professional make up artist?

Melissa: I started working as a professional make up artist 6 years ago and an eyelash extension artist 1 year ago.

AOW: What people/training/experiences/opportunities led you to this career path? 

Melissa: Make up I fell into as I was pursuing a modeling/acting career years ago in Los Angeles. I learned tips from other artists and the more I did my own, the more I started doing my friend’s and I started to see a possible career path. Then I took a bridal makeup artistry class from celeb makeup artist Jena Perry which took my skills to a new level. Training with her was a game changer.

AOW: How would you describe the importance of your role & why do you feel a couple should hire a professional make up artist for their wedding day?

Melissa: There are so many aspects to a professional, competent makeup artist. Makeup artistry is of course key but what I find to be of equal importance is the presence they bring to the day. Weddings can be chaotic and emotional and my job is to infuse calm and make that bride feel like the most beautiful girl on the planet. Then of course showing up on time, (which means early) fully prepared and getting the job done perfectly and within the time constraints. That’s what you get when you pay a professional.

Photo credit: Sara May Photography

 AOW: What is the best part of your job?

Melissa: When the bride is all done with hair and makeup and puts on her dress. I’m usually cleaning up/getting ready to leave, but I always take a moment to watch her family and friends have a meltdown over the bride.

AOW: What do you find most challenging about your specific line of work or weddings in general?

Melissa: Clients not knowing what they want can be very challenging. But that’s why I require bridal trials, we figure it all out long before the big day so we go in with a game plan.

AOW: Do you work solo or do you have a studio and/or team?

Melissa: I work solo but am hired on by other artists as needed and vice versa. I have a great community of artists and we’re all very supportive of each other.

AOW: What do you attribute to your success as a wedding make up artist? What do you think makes you stand apart from others in your field?

Melissa: In terms of artistry, my focus is always on enhancing the natural beauty. My brides still look like themselves and I’ve built up a little reputation for being more of a “natural makeup up artist”. But don’t be fooled, I can slay a smokey eye too. In terms of experience, I really take the time to get to know my brides and connect with them. Many of them become friends and I then watch them go on to have babies, it’s a beautiful thing.

                                     Photo credit: Andrea Zajonc

AOW: At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

Melissa: I get hired on average 6-9 months before the wedding day. Portland has a somewhat limited wedding season so I recommend snagging the artist you want ASAP.

AOW: Where do you draw inspiration? Are there any current trends you are excited about?

Melissa: I follow a lot of artists on Instagram and of course YouTube. I’m currently a sucker for dewy skin, soft eyes and a bold lip.

AOW: What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

Melissa: I’d say it’s less about asking them questions but more about seeing their work and making sure you like their energy.

AOW: What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Melissa: Take your time to find the vendor that suits you and your needs.

AOW: Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?

Melissa: I think that about covers it!


Thank you Melissa! We love your work and will promote you every chance we get! Here is her website again:




Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

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Raindrops and Rainbows; Spring Time Wedding Inspiration

Everyone knows it rains a lot in Portland. While outside folks think that is a negative, us locals know it’s the raindrops that give us the beauty our region is known for. However, raindrops on your wedding day can so often bring about a frown. But don’t let it make you too sad. In addition to being good luck, raindrops often lead to beautiful rainbows. So if you are getting married in the Pacific Northwest, always have a solid rain plan, a few clear umbrellas on hand, and keep your eyes open for a beautiful rainbow. It could be the start of your happily ever after!

This inspiration shoot is the perfect way to celebrate the raindrops and rainbows that are so prevalent in springtime weddings in the Pacific Northwest.

A big thank you to the vendor team who put this beautiful shoot together:

Venue: Scandinavian Heritage Foundation
Catering: Broder
Photographer: Klover Studios
Coordination/Design: Your Perfect Bridesmaid
Flowers: Milwaukie Floral
Stationary/Paper Goods: Colleen Schwab
Dessert: Petunias Bakery:
Dress: Ania Bridal
Rentals: Classic Vintage Rentals

Truvelle’s 2017 Bridal Gown Collection – Sneak Peak

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Truvelle’s 2017 Bridal Gown Collection – Sneak Peak

We are excited to share with you something that came across our desk recently. The release of lovely wedding gowns for 2017. This collection is simple yet elegant and we hope you enjoy it and get ideas for your wedding day.
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Unlike any other collection the made-in-Canada brand has designed thus far, Truvelle’s 2017 line takes the perception of a wedding gown to all new heights. This season, Creative Director and Founder Gaby Bayona explores a more flirtatious side of her bride with low-dipping necklines and an emphasis on backless details, all the while staying true to Truvelle’s effortless charm.
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While the authenticity of Truvelle will forever remain in the brand’s designs, the new collection truly sets itself apart with bolder cuts and geometric features that cater to the modern bride. The Carrall gown, predicted to be a top-seller for 2017, features a deep-V bodice met with a criss-crossed taupe satin ribbon leading the eye to the gown’s noteworthy back. The colours used this season are both subtle and sultry, combining mochas and pearls with fresh shades of white for a stand-out dress. 

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Truvelle 2017 will offer a sigh of relief to brides searching for design-forward details that are both feminine and unique, remaining true to the bridal brand’s mission for careful, quality craftsmanship. The new collection is sure to make past brides carefully consider renewing their vows that much sooner for a chance to wear Truvelle all over again.

Photographer : Kristy Ryan of Blush Wedding Photography
Hair & Make-Up : Emily Cheng

Photographer : Kristy Ryan of Blush Wedding Photography
Florist : Days of May
Hair & Make-Up : Emily Cheng


Best Gentle Exercises To Shed Some Weight For Your Wedding

Beauty General tip

Best Gentle Exercises To Shed Some Weight For Your Wedding

As you look through the wedding clothes catalog and your special day draws closer, do you find yourself wondering how you could lose a little weight?

We all know the camera can make us appear bigger still so it’s time to get realistic about your goals and timeframe. You can get in the best possible shape just set reasonable expectations.

Being in great shape is not about being on a diet. Conventional yo-yo diets are not a sound approach. The diet ends, the weight piles back on and then you inevitably return to another diet…

Make lasting changes to the way you eat instead. Choose to eat better, healthier foods on an ongoing basis. Eat more protein and less fat.

It’s the same with exercise. Too many people flit in and out of different workouts and exercises without really sticking at anything.

Today we’ll look at 3 great, easy ways to get in shape. These gentle, low-impact exercises are a wonderful way to complement a smart eating plan so you can look your very best on your special day.


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This is something we could all do a lot more of.

Walking is a free activity which can help you to work your cardiovascular system and burn some calories into the bargain.

You can easily add some intensity by picking up the pace, walking up hills or even carrying some light weights with you.

Make sure that you wear some decent, supportive footwear. Properly hydrate yourself as with all exercise.

Aim for 10,000 steps daily. This is not as tough as it seems. Most people get through 3000 – 4000 steps anyway so ramp it up a little and watch those pounds drop off.


exercises for the bride before wedding day

Cycling is a fun and effective low-impact exercise.

If you are already fairly fit, an indoor cycling class could add some vigor to your routine. You could burn through around 500 calories in a thirty-minute class. This is a significant chunk if you are looking to drop a dress size.

As well as enhanced cardiovascular fitness and weight loss, cycling is also great for toning. Look the best you can for your wedding day while enjoying the route to great shape. Life is about the journey not the destination so make the most of getting fit.

With cycling you can reap all the benefits of working out without damaging your joints.


exercises for the bride before wedding day

If you want to give your body a truly comprehensive workout, any form of swimming ranks highly. You will work all major muscles without any jarring impact from pounding the sidewalk.

The key to sustainable weight loss is a combination of healthy foods you enjoy married to an exercise regime that you do not dread. So, if you are at home in the water, take full advantage and start swimming some laps.

There are also plenty of courses if you enjoy exercising as part of a group so head to your local pool and get started today. You need nothing but a costume so there is no need to splash out on expensive equipment like inversion tables or weigh benches.


With all the stresses of organizing a wedding, make sure that losing some weight does not also become something which raises your blood pressure.

Eat well – you do not need to focus only on eating less – and make sure to get plenty of cardio through walking, cycling or swimming.

It’s not rocket science but a simple equation: expend more calories than you take on board and watch the weight start sliding off.

The added bonus is that you will have a healthy, sustainable lifestyle in place to help you through a long, happily-married life!

Real Wedding: Rochelle + Nathan

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Real Wedding: Rochelle + Nathan

We always get excited when a real wedding comes into our inbox and this one doesn’t disappoint. In the style of a “Big Greek” Wedding this couple wows us from start to finish. Rochelle’s gown is stunning and you can see how happy they both are together. Enjoy the images below and thank you to Rochelle & Nathan for the submission.

Dress: Jason Grech
Shoes: Ninewest
Bridesmaids Dresses: Swish
Accessories: Just Me Jewellery
Photograph: Eye to Eye Photography
Wedding Movie: C2 Films
Stationery: Adorn Wedding Invitations
Ceremony Venue: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Reception Venue: Crown Towers
Makeup: Martina
Hair: Hue’s Hair
Flowers: Kitsa’s Flowers
Cake: Abfab Cakes

How did we meet?
Nathan and I have actually known each other since our early twenties, however didn’t really get together until a few years later. We both worked for the same company out of uni and we’d always chat (even though I remember him being so nervous around me) however at the time I was in a long-term relationship with a guy from high school, who I was certain that I’d marry. When that didn’t pan out and we broke up, Nathan and I spent more time together and started getting a lot closer.
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It’s still crazy to think that Nathan has been in my life for so long and I could have easily missed out on something so special. I was so devastated when I broke up with my previous partner as we’d been together since we were 15 years old, but there really is a silver lining to every cloud! I couldn’t imagine my life without Nathan now.

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How did he propose?
Being the hopeless romantic that he is, I don’t think Nathan could help himself with going all out on the proposal.

Nathan said that he had a work conference at Melbourne’s Crown Towers (If you know Crown Towers, you’d know that it’s the most glamourous building in the city!) So he recommended that we book a hotel room and go stay over for the night. I remember we were sitting in the hotel room about to get ready for dinner when he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. As it turns out, there was of course no conference and we woke up the next day to a gorgeous brunch on the waters of Southbank and later just dawdled around the city in pure bliss.

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How did you choose your wedding dress?
Every bridal gown I’ve ever seen at a wedding that had made my jaw drop was a Jason Grech design, so I knew that as soon it was my turn, I’d know exactly which designer to turn to! All of his pieces are so elegant and classic, and when I saw my gown – I knew it was the one. I couldn’t believe how well it fit me even before alterations, and because it was silk, it was so comfortable to wear all day. It also had gorgeous embellished detailing down the sides which matched with a stunning Capulet that could be removed. So comfortable and functional!

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What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Nathan comes from a traditional Greek family, so it was a given that we incorporate his family’s traditions into the ceremony. However, I still wanted to inject some modernity and a bit more glamour into the event. This is largely why we chose Crown as our venue space (amidst the fact that our proposal took place there.) The views from our reception venue were absolutely stunning and we loved the fact that it overlooked the skyline of the city. When choosing my bridesmaids dresses, my own dress and the ceremony décor – I wanted to go for a timeless glamour feel to contrast against the modernity of our reception décor and to still tie in with the traditional Greek elements of the day.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Luckily, we both managed to take quite a bit of time off for our honeymoon and we fit in two trips! We headed to Bali for ten days to relax, came back for a week (possibly the hardest working week I’ve ever done) and then we jetted off to Europe. We met up with Nathan’s family in Greece and met up with a couple of my sisters as well. Afterwards we also travelled through Spain, Italy and Croatia. 

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Thank you to Rochelle & Nathan for submitting their elegant and beautiful wedding day photos. What an amazing day the two of you had! I hope they inspired another couple planning their big day.

What to have your wedding day featured on our blog and social media? Just click here for the info we need to feature your wedding day. It’s as easy as that! Cheers – Alexis

Real Wedding – Luke & Madeleine

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Real Wedding – Luke & Madeleine

When a real wedding comes into our inbox we get giddy. There is so much beauty and love in weddings which is why I think we heart them so much. When we saw the images from Luke & Madeleine’s wedding day we were swooning over her stunning gown, glam shoes, soft lilac bridesmaids dresses, and the absolutely gorgeous flower wall for the ceremony! This couple is so pretty you can’t take your eyes off of them and we take take our eyes off of all the beautiful details from their wedding day. Grab your tea, sit back and enjoy!

Below is a list of their vendors from their wedding day.

real weddings

What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together?
Luke and I are high school sweethearts! We’ve had eyes on each other since we were 15 years old and we’re each other’s best friends, we know absolutely everything about each other and we’ve shared so many amazing memories growing up together. I remember sitting in class with him (he was always the class clown) and he would just make me laugh so much! I suppose nothing much has changed though. To this day, I don’t go a day without him putting me in hysterics.

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How did the proposal go?
We absolutely love travelling and being in the outdoors, and we were in Bali when the proposal happened. I remember he took me down to the beach for a sunset stroll and I didn’t really think much of it. It was a gorgeous evening as well; the weather could not have been more perfect! The tide was out and the sun was almost setting behind the water and that’s when he surprised me by getting down on one knee and taking something out of his pocket. It completely caught me off guard! I had tears welling up in my eyes the whole time, and even now when I look back on it I can’t help but tear up a little.

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How did you choose your dress?
I knew that I wanted to have some input when designing my gown. I had a really clear picture of what I wanted so I didn’t want to buy a gown off the rack. Luckily, I found Jane Hill and it seemed like we were absolutely perfect for each other! She loved my ideas for the dress and I also completely agreed with all of her input. It was my idea for the extravagant and billowing pleating at the bottom but Jane recommended that we make the bottom pleats completely detachable and this was the most perfect idea because I was actually able to move and dance at the reception!

real weddings art of weddings

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Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences – how would you describe the look and feel of the day, the vibe:
Our wedding was absolutely perfect. It was timeless, elegant and classic with just a touch of glamour. Ever since I could remember – I had always envisioned having a traditional wedding with an understated but elegant and romantic theme.

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What was important to you about your wedding- what were your priorities from the very beginning?
The most important thing to us was having a wedding that would survive through the decades. We wanted a ceremony where we could look back on the photos in years’ time and not cringe at any of our choices from the wedding dress to the décor! Hence why we kept the theme timeless and classic. I really think that when we’re flipping through our wedding album, we’ll be able to look back on these photos and still adore them!

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What made your venue “the one”?
As soon as I walked up to see the Luminare Skydeck – the view of Melbourne city completely took my breath away. The skyline of the city was absolutely stunning and the gorgeous décor inside only complemented the stunning views outside. We also loved that the venue was so private, and guests weren’t restricted to their table as there were bars situated around the dancefloor where everyone could mingle. The sky deck had a beautiful colour theme of neutral greys and whites which I knew would be perfect as I could add my own special touch with the décor but the style was also very modern with hints of art deco just adding that little bit of a special touch.  The staff were also amazing and so helpful, and the food was done by the Big Group who I know have the most delicious catering!

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What made the day really special and personal to you?
My bridesmaids were absolute angels and really made sure that everything went smoothly! I literally did not stress throughout the whole day because of how well they handled everything. My mum and sisters kept me sane and calm the whole day so I could just enjoy myself. My mum also made the day so special for me. In the morning, whilst I was getting ready, her and dad gave me a little white box. Inside were the most beautiful pair of earrings I’ve ever seen. I want to give them to my little girl on her wedding day, and hopefully this can be a new tradition for my own family.

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What advice would you give to brides and grooms planning their day?
The best advice I could give to brides and grooms would be to take some time out for yourself right before the big day. It can get so stressful with all of the planning and finalising the smaller details so it’s important to remember why you’re doing it – to share a lifetime with the one you love! Go for a dinner and have a nice stroll with your partner and don’t mention the wedding, this will help to ground you both and de-stress you.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Luke and I both share a love for travel so we’ve visited some amazing places together, but our Honeymoon has truly been our favourite holiday together. We took a month off and went travelling Europe from London to Paris to the warm beaches of Croatia. Stunning night time dinners and strolls through Paris would have to be my favourite memory though. The city truly is for lovers.

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

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Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

Our interview series continues with Coreene Collins. Take a moment to learn more about her and what she does and any trends she see’s for the upcoming wedding season! Enjoy.

make up and bridal hair

1. What do you specialize in? I specialize in Bridal Hair and Make Up.” 

 2. How many years have you been in business?
 “I have been in the beauty industry for over seven years. I have been in the bridal industry for five years.”
3. How did you get started in the wedding industry?
 “For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the bridal industry. In highschool, I wanted to be a wedding dress designer. The love for hair and make up came naturally. I was late to all the highschool dances because I was the one doing all of my friends hair and makeup. When I realized my love for hair/ make up, I decided to decline a private college scholarship and attend the local beauty school.
After beauty school, friends and family were asking me to do their hair and make up for their weddings. I became fascinated with updos and everything bridal. I decided that “Bridal” was going to be my specialty. I attended many advance hair and make up education courses before I created my own bridal business. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I have been honored to receive the Weddingwire Couples Choice Award 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for my talent and customer service. I can honestly say, after five years, I still love what I do.”
4. Any trends you are seeing within your field for 2016?
 “Yes! Every year brings new ideas to the beauty industry which, in turn, flow into the bridal industry. For hair, I am seeing more messy fishtail braids incorporated in up/down dos. For make up, I have been seeing more highlighted”glowy skin” than harsh contouring. Depending on the season, brides will be wearing nude glossy lips or berry colored matte lips.”
5. What advice would you give a couple who is planning their wedding day?
 “I have been happily married for five years, but the memories of planning our wedding seem like yesterday! I would tell couples to take time out of their day and NOT talk about the wedding. Just be yourselves, enjoy the engagement period and have fun. This will help the both of you refocus and help keep your sanity before the wedding day.” 
Thanks to Coreene for taking time out of her day to talk with us. Head over to her website for more info and to see more images from past weddings. You can follow her on twitter @coreenecollins and Instagram @coreenecollinshair.
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