The Saldarriagas Take Newport

After our wedding Stephen and I drove to Newport, RI for an amazing week of sunshine, seafood, and relaxation. It was one of the most romantic, yet low-key weeks ever and we loved every minute of it. Let's just say, we fell asleep around 8:30 the first two nights from wedding day exhaustion. From great food and cute shops to beautiful views of the harbor and the ocean, it was wonderful.

Stephen surprised me by taking me to an elegant lobster bake and beautiful sunset sail!

Stephen surprised me by taking me to an elegant lobster bake and beautiful sunset sail!

Initially, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to plan a big trip somewhere far away. Although we definitely want to do some traveling in the very near future, we also wanted to be smart with our time and our money. What we assumed would be a little trip, turned out to be perfection.

Our view during our first lunch in Newport.

Our view during our first lunch in Newport.

 

We went to some really great shops including Shore Soap Company and ate at several restaurants along the harbor. One of our favorite places was our morning spot, The Coffee Grinder at the end of Bannister's Wharf. The owner was super friendly and the array of baked goods and coffee drinks was beyond impressive... but a small iced mocha was my favorite.

To end our week of trips to the beach, drinks by the pool, sailing and exploring Cliff Walk, we had dinner at the breathtaking Castle Hill Inn. It was a very special restaurant with gorgeous views and impeccable food. It was like a movie. We couldn't have had a more romantic end to such a special week. 

My advice to New England brides getting married in the summer... go to Newport. It is easily accessible; there is a variety hotels and inns at multiple price points; there is so much to do and it is truly stunning. What we saved on airfare and travel insurance (August is hurricane season in many places) we spent on having fun and saving for a home. So, break the rules, do what's right for you, and enjoy every minute!

Sneak Peek from Sweet Lady Jane Photography

On August 15, 2015 I became Mrs. Julie Saldarriaga! I can't even begin to describe how incredibly special our wedding day was. It truly was the outward expression of love from each person in the room that made it so unforgettably perfect. We could not have done anything with the support of our family and friends, specifically my parents, Michael and Phyllis and our Maid of Honor, Korinne. So many people helped to make our dream come true, including our fantastic team of vendors.

One sweet lady who we want to give a shout-out to is our photographer, Katie Hammond of Sweet Lady Jane Photography. Her patience, vision, and heart made us feel so at ease. She captured our day so beautifully. Although we haven't seen the full collection of images just yet (trust me, there is a lot for her to get through!), this sneak peek really touched our hearts. We hope you love it, too.

"Stephen and Julie's Sneak Peek"

I look forward to sharing more photos, inside details, how-tos, and stories from our Big Day. Here's to the next chapter!

Bach Party Weekend

My beautiful sash from my MOH made by  Hop Studio  on Etsy!

My beautiful sash from my MOH made by Hop Studio on Etsy!

This weekend, my fiancé and I celebrated our bachelor/bachelorette party with members of our wedding party. It was the most memorable weekend ever! Sure, some may disagree, but for us, experiencing the weekend together was super special! Here are my top 3 reasons why you should consider a "bach" party with the bride and groom-to-be!

My Maid of Honor setup her room to be "Bach Party Headquarters" and it was so fun!

My Maid of Honor setup her room to be "Bach Party Headquarters" and it was so fun!

1. The more the merrier
It was so fun getting the chance to spend the entire weekend with our wedding party in Maine this past weekend! We had some amazing meals, enjoyed time at the beach, and went out dancing. On Saturday, the guys went go karting and out for a few beers, while the girls did some shopping and relaxed on the beach.  We then piled in a large taxi and headed to Portsmouth for an incredible dinner and a night of dancing! There was so much laughter and we loved celebrating with everyone together. 

We had so much fun celebrating with both the guys and girls!

We had so much fun celebrating with both the guys and girls!

2. Best of both worlds
My fiancé and I really wanted to spend time with both sides of the party, so this was a perfect solution. This was the first time we were all able to go away as a group, which was really cool. Our wedding party was able to bond and we had the opportunity to spend time with each person. Our Best Man lives out of state and is in the military, so unfortunately, he wasn't able to make it, but our Maid of Honor, our bridesmaid, and both of our groomsmen were there for the festivities and it was a blast!

3. Better together
When my fiancé and I talked about what we wanted to do for our bachelor and bachelorette parties, we realized that many of the activities were the same. Plus, we've been together for so many years that we really prefer to experience things together. We wanted to go to the beach, indulge in great food, and spend time with the people we love... so that's exactly what we did. Now, we'll have these memories for years to come!

The bachelorette and her bachelor ready for a night out on the town.

The bachelorette and her bachelor ready for a night out on the town.

Thanks to our incredible Maid of Honor (who organized the entire weekend) and amazing wedding party, we had the best weekend of our lives. At the end of the day, you have to remember, do you. Don't give in to pressure to stick to the conventional. Throughout this process, we've been doing what feels right for us, and it's been an unforgettable journey. 

Here are some more fun pics from our Bach Party Weekend:

Super cute bridal party shirts that our MOH had made for the girls!

Super cute bridal party shirts that our MOH had made for the girls!

Had to take a selfie with my beautiful bridesmaid.

Had to take a selfie with my beautiful bridesmaid.

My MOH knows I love a good margarita.

My MOH knows I love a good margarita.

Proof of a successful party weekend!

Proof of a successful party weekend!

TSO Loves: Natalie Shafie

Image courtesy of  NatalieShafieMakeup.com

Image courtesy of NatalieShafieMakeup.com

As any good Stylish One knows, makeup is a key part of your bridal look. With all eyes on you, and hundreds of photos being taken, it's important that you look and feel your best. I was fortunate enough to find a makeup artist who not only understands the various elements of bridal makeup (weather hazards, flash bulbs, etc.), but also wanted to truly understand my vision... meet, Natalie Shafie!  

The moment I met Natalie Shafie, I knew she would be the makeup artist for me. She came directly to my home, had an amazing toolkit and even brought her fancy makeup chair. She listened intently, was willing to make adjustments, and was so easy to talk to. I loved the advice she had to offer and the insight she had into the whole wedding makeup process. As a fellow beauty junky, I knew we'd make a perfect match.

I recently did a fun Q&A session with Natalie where she shared some incredible insider tips and advice for brides. Check out what our Big Day Beauty Guru had to say:

How long have you been doing makeup professionally? 
I have been in the makeup industry for 12 years.  I started working for MAC Cosmetics in 2003 and I worked for the company for about 8 years. During my years with MAC, I was constantly inspired by the artists that I worked with. And with Pinterest and Instagram I am still getting inspired. It's not just makeup that I follow to get my creative juices flowing... I love photography, fashion, art and music. The type of makeup artistry I do ranges from commercial and production work to editorial, photo shoots, and of course... weddings. 

What is your favorite part of a wedding?
I love going on location on a bride's wedding day and being a part of the whole "getting ready" process. Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and being around that energy is amazing. There is so much excitement in the air!

What should a bride do to prepare before her trial? 
Get on Pinterest and create a board with bridal makeup looks that you love and inspire you so you can show your makeup artist what style you're going for. Exfoliate your skin the night before and make sure you are consistently hydrating. During the trial, I do offer suggestions, but I want to get a feel of what you envision for your wedding day. It's definitely a collaboration and a bride should look like the absolute best version of herself.

What is one thing that you wish all your brides knew to do for their skin before their Big Day?
In the months leading up to the wedding, I recommend regular facials. I love microdermabrasion, It gives your skin a beautiful glow. But definitely stop all facials 3 weeks before your wedding day. Also, Drinking 2-3 liters of water daily makes a huge difference in the way your skin looks and in the way you feel. Makeup looks so much better on skin that is hydrated and exfoliated. Lastly, one of the key things to do is to perfect your brows. Get them shaped professionally and maintain them. Brows frame your face and are so important! 

Do you have a go-to beauty product you love to use on brides? 
I have many ! I love to hydrate and prep the skin with Lait-Crème Concentrè and Radiant Eye by Embryolisse. These are cult favorites among makeup artists. I also can't live without TEMPTU airbrush system. It really makes skin look flawless. 

What beauty trends are you seeing for this season's weddings? 
I'm not big into trends, I like to do timeless looks. You should be able to look at your wedding pics 10 or 20 years from now and think your makeup looks gorgeous. I love glowing, radiant skin and luscious lashes using individual false lashes. A thin slightly winged out black liquid or gel liner is a look that will never go out of style.

What is your biggest bridal "don't" before the wedding? 
I know weddings are a time for celebration... and celebrations call for lots of alcohol. However, I think brides should be mindful of the amount of alcohol they consume at their rehearsal dinner. I have seen the negative effects that alcohol has on the skin after having a few too many glasses of champagne the night before the wedding. Have one and refill your flute with seltzer water. Trust me, you will look and feel better the next day. Also, no brow waxing up to a week before the wedding and no facials or chemical peels up to three weeks before the wedding. 

If a bride could only have three items in her bag during her wedding what would they be?  
A makeup touchup kit is important. I always suggest having your lip combination (lip liner, lipstick, and lipgloss) blot powder to keep shine at bay, and lash glue. 

Needless to say, I will be following all of Natalie's great advice and can't wait for her to do my makeup for the most special day of my life. I know my mom and my girls are going to love her, too and I can't wait to show you our Big Day beauty looks!

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