Planning Tip Tuesday: How to Jazz Up Your Cocktail Hour!

The ceremony has gone off without a hitch, and now it's time for your guests to mix and mingle during cocktail hour to kick off the celebration! We've compiled a few things that will help make your cocktail hour fun for guests and uniquely you! 1. Who doesn't love a specialty drink? Whether it's a fun name or cool concoction, guests love to order these up and get the party started! This is also a fun way for you to incorporate something special from you and your groom into the reception, think of the first drink he bought you, or a his and her's drinks to make it unique to you. 0790Cassady Clayton and Joe Hild's wedding at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790,

If you love details, don't forget the specialty straws, stir sticks and napkins!

Kellianne Boyle and Peter Tang's wedding at St. Luke's Chapel and Marion's in Charleston, SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790,© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2014

2. Cocktail hour is also a place to have some fun with your food! Introduce guests to the local Charleston fare, or create a custom menu that contains your favorite foods for guests to enjoy.

© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2014

Kellianne Boyle and Peter Tang's wedding at St. Luke's Chapel and Marion's in Charleston, SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790, ameliaanddan.com0270

3. Who doesn't love games? Most venues are either completely outside or have an indoor and outdoor component, so use it to your advantage! Add some fun to the cocktail hour with oversized lawn games or corn hole.

© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2014A180

4. Entertain your guests! Having a DJ for your reception and want a live music component? Have your ceremony strings or a special musical guest for your cocktail hour. This can help keep costs down if you aren't willing to splurge on a live band for the entire evening.

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5. Join your guests! Consider a "First Look" that way your photos are either all finished or mostly finished before the ceremony. Guests will love to see you and chat before dinner begins!

Liz PRebish and Greg Zinsmeister's wedding at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790, ameliaanddan.comMcMillin Wedding-0260

Wedded Bliss Tip: 12 Makeup Mistakes We Don't Want Our Brides to Make

What could be more important than the dress, the veil, the shoes... nothing right?! Wrong! After spending money on all of these wedding day necessities, not to mention the photographer and the videographer, the perfect look starts with the perfect make up!
1. Book a makeup trial Don't skip scheduling a trial with your makeup artist! This is a very important step in figuring out what look you want on your special day. Make sure you and your makeup artist are on the same page - the last thing you want is a smokey eye for your light and romantic wedding.

2. Looking like someone else Your wedding day really isn't the time to experiment with makeup. You should look like the best version of yourself. Makeup is meant to accentuate your best features, not change your face entirely! You want your groom to recognize you as you walk down the aisle...

3. Skimping on waterproof Just don't. You're hugging, kissing, crying, dancing, and more on your special day so just don't skimp on the waterproof anything! Primer, foundation, setting powder, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, and whatever else you can think of.
4. Keeping makeup looks uniform between you and your bridesmaids As the bride, you should definitely stand out from the rest of the bridal party. You're already wearing a stunning dress so why not continue the trend by making your makeup different from that of your bridesmaids too?! If you don't want to see a dramatic difference, just steak your look a little so that you remain the focus.

5. Using lipstick instead of lip stain Some lipsticks "promise" long-wear coverage that won't come off, but just to be safe, we recommend using a lip stain in stead! We don't want red lipstick on his collar, or worse, your dress.

6. Leaving your wedding makeup look as the last detail you think about Your makeup is as important as your veil - don't forget about it! As soon as you've chosen your gown, figure out what makeup look you want to go for. This can help you create the entire look.

7. OD'ing on highlighter You will be a glowing goddess on your wedding day, we can guarantee it! You don't need to OD on the highlighter or it will leave your face looking shiny and oily, instead of happy and glowy. Apply highlighter only to your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and on the inner corners of your eyes.

8. Trying false lashes for the first time Again, not the time to experiment. If you want fuller, thicker lashes, use makeup to get the same effect or opt to glue on individual lash clusters with clear glue because they're easy to apply yourself. If you're getting your makeup done, practice this with them as well.


9. Plucking your eyebrows the day of It's never a good idea to mess with your face the day of your wedding. If you wax or have your eyebrows done professionally, make your appointment several days before. This way, no rash or unsightly red bumps will appear on your face on the morning of.

10. Getting your first spray tan the day before your wedding Spray tans are practically impossible to remove. If you've never gotten one before, schedule a trial run a month before your date. You can discuss what you want and get a peek at how it'll look beforehand.


11. Caking on foundation because you think it'll make your skin look better in photos No one looks better in photos with more base makeup on. Use waterproof foundation base only where you need it. Too much makes brides look like they're wearing theater makeup - unnatural, and caked on.


12. Go bold or go home! Play up one area of your face - your eyes, your lips, whatever - just do it! Choose only one feature to accentuate and then balance out the rest of your face. Whatever you decide, you will look beautiful!

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Wedding Bliss: Top 5 Tips for Rain On Your Wedding Day

Create Your Own-2 In the weeks leading up to your special day, it's easy to turn into a meteorologist - watching the storm that may or may not hit the coast or constantly checking the temperature. Even if you're not worried about it, maybe your mom is, or that one bridesmaid won't stop notifying you every time she receives a weather update. Our best advice? Don't worry about it! There's nothing you or anyone else can do to control the weather; your special day, when you get to marry the man of your dreams, will happen - rain or shine! Keep reading below for our top five tips for rain on your wedding day!


1. Don't Panic

You may have known the rain was coming, or it could be a freak Charleston downpour that will only last 30 minutes. No matter the circumstance, don't panic! Your discomfort will be apparent in each and every photograph.  You look beautiful, you're about to marry your best friend and you're surrounded by your closest family and friends. A little rain can't stop you from enjoying this very special day.

2. Find Ways to Work Around It

The only thing you can do in this situation is be flexible. Maybe you'll have to do a first look because it will be storming after the ceremony, or you may have to spend a few extra minutes taking photos during cocktail hour because you couldn't do that first look. No big deal, right?! If you've known about the rain for quite some time, invest in some cute umbrellas or rain boots for your bridal party. Find ways to work around the rain and don't let it ruin your photos! You won't regret it if you try!


 3. Trust Your Photographer

We can't say this enough - trust your photographer! They are professionals and they know what they are doing, rain and shine! Discuss a rain plan with your photographer beforehand and ask what they typically do on rain days. A bride and groom can find comfort in the fact that there is a plan no matter what. Discuss some photograph ideas with them that you can only do in the sun, and come up with some creative ideas for pictures you can only take in the rain! A lot of photographers will even tell you that your pictures will turn out better when it's rainy or hazy out.

4. Let Us Come Up With Your Plan B and Trust Us On It

You have to trust us too! Discuss your weather concerns with us ahead of time and we will walk you through a step-by-step plan for what we do if it happens to rain on your special day. If we have to put a tent on a rain-hold, we will. If we have to have side-panels for the tent due to wind, we'll make it happen. We are here to make your day as perfect as possible! We want all of our Pure Luxe couples to love Plan B as much as they love Plan A.

5. Embrace The Rain!

Our last piece of advice to all of our Pure Luxe couples is to just embrace the rain! Have fun and remember what the day is about - LOVE! Relax, trust the experts and smile.

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Pure Luxe Bride's Wedding Week Do's & Don't's

Pure Luxe wants to share with all of our brides the do's and don't's of your wedding week. Make sure to review all of these tips and tricks; one of them could be the one that saves the day! DO touch base with your planner. The best way to put yourself at ease to talk it out: go over all of the details (again), discuss the timeline (again), and take a breath. Have faith in your planner and/or vendors to make your day as special as you’ve always imagined.

DON’T turn into a weather woman. Let us track the weather and come up with plan B for you. Chances are if you look at Charleston weather 5-10 days out, it's going to change before the big day.

DO delegate. Speaking of the in-laws, sisters, uncles and cousins, have them help you with all those last minute errands and details. They’re going to be constantly offering so why not just let them make that call to the officiant or schedule that appointment for you to get your mani/pedi.

DON’T forget to pamper yourself during your wedding week - or even for a couple weeks beforehand! We know you’re getting your hair and makeup done the day of, but why not schedule a massage, mani/pedi and a facial?! Squeeze some last minute relaxation in. Go with your mom, your maid of honor or just take some time to go by yourself.

Cassady Clayton and Joe Hild's wedding at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790,

DO make a plan for the end of the night with your planner, family members and bridal party. It’s important to have a plan for all the items that need transporting at the end of the night. Your bags, veil, any leftover food and decor items you may have brought need an exit strategy - just like you! Don’t forget to pack your overnight back as well!

DON’T wear too much makeup. Do a trial run with your makeup artist beforehand and remember to not wear anything you normally wouldn’t. The last thing you want to do is look back at your wedding photos and wonder what you were thinking.

DO get a spray tan - but again, do a trial run. It is recommended that spray tans get done roughly 2-3 days before your special day. Plan accordingly!

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DON’T ignore your final payments! Typically, during the week of, or even on the day of, your final vendor payments will be due. Absolutely do not forget to make these payments and balance your checkbook before leaving for your honeymoon.

DO take a few days of work during your wedding week. It’s enough having those last minute errands and details to cover, but to do it all with your in-laws, sisters, uncles and cousins hovering or staying in the guest room, work is going to be the last thing on your brain.

However, DON’T take the entire week off. You can use work as an escape from all the craziness: a reason to leave your house, a reason to dodge a lunch date with ALL of the future in-laws, or just a reason to focus on something other than the big day!

DO go to the gym. Take a yoga or zumba class with your bridesmaids. Get moving, get sweating and get those endorphins pumping! No reason to be cooped up all the time stressing about those last minute details. Get your mind off of the wedding and take a moment to laugh with your ladies about how inflexible you all are…

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DON’T show everyone what you look like in your wedding dress before your special day. We understand how exciting it is, but trust us - it’s more special when you wait until the day of.

DO get your groom a little something to open on your wedding day. Write him a card or buy him a little something to remind him of how much you love him. His pre-wedding jitters will definitely calm at the sight of something that reminds him of you.

DON’T freak out if things don’t go as planned. For example, if the cake doesn’t look exactly how you want it to, remember that it tastes good. Take the day as it comes and just have fun!

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DO be a guest at your own wedding! Be in the moment on the day of; trust us, you won’t want to miss a thing. All of your planning, anticipation and excitement all comes down to this one day so stop worrying about each and every detail and just enjoy yourself. Enjoy the celebration, the guests and most importantly, your new hubby.

DON’T forget to love your family. Thank them for everything they have done to make this special day possible. No matter how stressful your parents have made you the weeks, months and year before, on the day of your wedding, you’ll be so grateful to have them with you.

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How Much Does a Charleston Wedding Really Cost?


The reality of budgets and vendor costs can be easily forgotten in the midst of all the excitement of planning your special day. To help our beautiful Pure Luxe brides stay on track, we've created the budget guide above! We calculated these ranges based on averages from our most frequently used vendors and venues. With over ninety weddings per weekend in Charleston, one can only imagine why the prices must remain competitive between the different vendors and venues. Charleston has a lot to offer its brides, but like with any destinations, it has a price.

Couples that choose Charleston as their wedding destination strongly believe that the event was more fun and lasted longer. Essentially, our couples have invited their closest family and friends to go on a mini-vacation with them; what could be better than that?! But like we said, this comes at a price not only for the bride and groom, but for guests too. Hotels, transportation and food increase in price for guests, like at any wedding where travel is involved. In exchange for the additional arrangements that must be made, guests get to enjoy a true Charleston weekend - and we can guarantee it'll be one they never forget!

Fabulous Friday: Vendor Spotlight on Mackenzie Image Consulting

Mackenzie Image Consulting offers services in wardrobe consulting and personal image transformations both in the Charleston are and around the country. Nichole Dunst, of Mackenzie Image Consulting, recently reached out to Pure Luxe Bride to introduce a new package they are offering, exclusively for Mothers of the Bride. Often times, the mother of the bride gets caught up in taking care of the daughter during the wedding planning process that their day-of wardrobe becomes an afterthought. Mackenzie Image Consulting has created a package to ensure the mother of the bride’s day is just as special and flawless as their daughter’s. The package includes:

The hunt for the perfect dress: Leave it to our team to find the perfect MOB dress based on your budget, personal style, skin tone, and body type. We will also set you up with a tailor if needed, to make sure your dress is the perfect fit.

Accessories: Your dress isn’t complete without shoes, jewelry, a matching handbag, and the necessary scarf, cape, or jacket to keep you comfortable and warm in the case of a cool weather wedding. The perfect complementary accessories will help pull the entire look together.

Undergarments: The perfect foundation garments will ensure that you feel beautiful and confident on the big day.

Hair & makeup suggestions: We will work with you to put together a hair & makeup plan to bring to your hair stylist and makeup artist. If you are still in need of a makeup artist, we have one on staff for an additional charge.

Pasha Belman Photography Copyright © 2013

If this is something you’d like to offer to your brides as a gift idea for their mom, we’d be happy to offer a discounted package price for being a promotional partner of ours. By working with you, they will get a discount, making this is a win-win opportunity.

Package Total: $350