The Perfect Wedding Won’t Make Your Marriage Better

Imagery courtesy of Taylor & Jordan Snyder

Wives, fiancées, and single romantics: have you ever flipped through a copy of The Knot in an airport bookstore thinking to yourself, “Wow, I wish I had $10 to buy this gigantic magazine so that I could pretend to be interested in it and avoid awkward small talk with the stranger in seat 5A for the next 5 hours?” No? Just me? Maybe you were thinking something more along the lines of, “This is my dream wedding.”

I’m starting to get to the age where more and more friends of mine are tying the knot. And I am so unbelievable happy for them to embark on that journey of love. I was at a party a while ago, and some of the fellow party-goers thought it was really sweet I was already married, and someone asked me, “What kind of wedding did you have?” It threw me off at first, because I couldn’t exactly figure out what she was asking. Did she want to know if I had a big wedding, eloped, was Jewish, did the whole cowboy boots and sunflowers thing or the elegant cathedral, or maybe all of the above? I wasn’t sure. So I told her that I  had a smallish wedding and described my venue and events. She thought it was cute.  We moved on.

But the question stuck with me. I’ve been asked about my wedding many times without being asked about my husband or our relationship—just the wedding. I know some of you are eye-rolling and thinking that I’m reading way too far into the question, which is kind of the truth, but stick with me, because I’m thinking less about the question and more about the wedding culture that has pushed us to have bigger and spendier weddings than ever before. According to The Knot, the average American wedding costs $35,329. THAT IS AN ENTIRE YEAR’S SALARY FOR MANY PEOPLE. On one day. A day that most brides only remember vaguely through the wedding photographs they receive a month or two later.

My wedding was a lot of things, but it wasn’t the greatest day of my life. Yes, I vowed to be a faithful, loving, and humble wife, and accepted my husband’s promise to be those things for me too. But we’d already promised those things to each other long before we dressed up and did it in front of a pastor. Yes, we had beautiful photographs taken (insert plug for Jay and Tay Photography here), celebrated with family and friends, and loved the experience. Those memories are special. I think my wedding was beautiful and I am deeply indebted to all of the wonderful people who tirelessly worked to help me pull it off. But I heard several remarks throughout my wedding planning process about if I wanted to do this, or if I was planning on doing that. How much was my dress, had I seen all of the beautiful weddings on Pinterest? I needed to get my flowers from this place, and my guests would be bored if I played my own music rather than hire a DJ (Because the Cha Cha Slide is so entertaining…eye roll).

The most important thing Alex and I did on our wedding day was get married. And we could have done that in jeans and t-shirts at the county courthouse for $100.

So why did we plan a wedding? Like most people, we wanted to take part in that tradition. We wanted a Christian ceremony. We wanted to celebrate our love with friends and family, and I watch too much Say Yes to the Dress to not have wanted a wedding gown.

My message here is not that you should skimp out on your wedding day if a blow out wedding is what you really want. My point is that you should take a step back from the stress and pressure of planning such a huge party to remember that you’re not planning this party for the future pictures, for the opportunity to be featured in a magazine, for bragging rights, or even for the guests in attendance. You’re planning it for you and your husband (or wife!). You’re planning it because you want to get married. And you can get married anywhere, in any clothes, on any budget, and it’s not going to change how you feel about each other.

You can have the most beautiful, whimsical, breathtaking wedding ceremony in the world and it will not set the precedence for a happy marriage. Because the only things that can make a marriage happy are the two people in it. So drink in all of the fun of wedding planning and the memories that come with it, but keep in mind what’s really important, and hint, it isn’t your wedding, it’s your marriage.  — ♡

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Why I Did My Own Wedding Makeup & What I Used To Do It

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I think most brides have dreamed about their wedding day since they were little girls. They build Pinterest boards and watch entire seasons of Say Yes to the Dress and take 13 months to plan their wedding and it. will. be. perfect. Most brides aren’t me, though, so I planned my wedding in three months, DIYed almost every part of it, never dreamed of my wedding as a child, and ~ spoiler alert ~ did my own makeup. I also may have waited until the week before my wedding to try and find a makeup artist, so that was working against me. I had originally figured that my wedding day would bring imminent floods to my eyes, so I wanted airbrush makeup. Well here’s two things about airbrush makeup: 1. it’s freakin’ expensive and 2. it’s not a very popular trade where I live. I made the executive decision that $200 spent on getting my makeup done would be better spent on an adventure with Alex instead.

I didn’t practice my makeup at all before my wedding day (because clearly that would mean I’d have to prepare in advance for something, and we all know I don’t do that), so, as with most aspects of my life, I kind of just winged it and hoped for the best. I picked up the BareMinerals I Do kit at Ulta for $50, which is actually a pretty great deal for everything that you get, and it was a hookup to have at the chapel for touchups. The only photo I have of my makeup is this really awkward selfie below (you’re welcome and I give you permission to laugh), and I took it after the floodgates had already broken, so it’s a little less than perfect in the eye area. *sniffle* But quite frankly, I felt beautiful, it saved me money, and I find applying makeup to be therapeutic, so it may have also saved me from having a few extra bridezilla breakdowns. (My mom would probably say otherwise. Sorry, Mom.)

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I used a lot of makeup, so I won’t go too into detail on the ins and outs of each product like I usually do, but below is a list of the products I used to create this look. Almost everything can be found at Ulta (which is where I primarily shop), and some of these products will actually be featured in more detail in upcoming blogs. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send me an email and I’d be happy to help!

Products used:

  1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place makeup in 2W1 Dawn – $38 at Nordstrom
    • If you never want your foundation to come off, buy this (exaggeration).
  2. it Cosmetics Celebration Illumination powder foundation in Medium – $35 at Ulta
    • This made my skin look flawless, and added a healthy glow since the Double Wear is so matte – this is especially beneficial if you don’t want to look flat in photos.
    • Note: this foundation is medium/full buildable coverage, so if you are one of those magical fairies with already beautiful skin, I recommend using this alone, rather than on top of a liquid foundation like I did.
  3. Benefit Hoola bronzer – $28 at Ulta
    • Y’all already know I love this stuff.
  4. Tarte Parke Ave Princess Contour Palette v2 – $34 at Ulta
    • This is a recent purchase and I dig it – I only used the highlighter on my wedding day. More to come on this in the future!
  5. BareMinerals Ready blush in I Do (from the I Do kit – $50)
    • If you have fair/light to medium skin, this pink flush will look universally gorgeous on you.
  6. Urban Decay Naked 3 palette – $54 at Sephora & Naked 2, also $54 at Sephora
    • From Naked 3 I used: Nooner, Liar, & Darkside
    • From Naked 2 I used: Booty Call, Tease, Busted
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown – $21 at Sephora
    • My personal favorite brow product.
  8. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara – $23 at Ulta
    • I used this pre-falsies to darken my natural lashes.
  9. BareMinerals Lasting Line eyeliner in Absolute Black – $16 at Ulta
    • I used this on my tightline and outer 2/3 of my bottom lashline.
  10. Stila Stay all Day liquid liner in Intense Black – $22 at Sephora
    • This is amazing, and if you plan on crying, you need to buy it. Now.
  11. L’Oreal Collection Privee lipstick in Julianne’s Nude – $8 at Ulta
    • My holy grail nude-pink! I topped this with Urban Decay Naked lip gloss in Nooner, $20 at Sephora (borrowed that from a friend, but I really liked it!)
  12. Benefit Porefessional primer – $31 at Ulta
    • Not my favorite primer, but I think it held up well throughout the day!
  13. BareMinerals Flawless Definition waterproof mascara in Black (from the I Do kit – $50)
    • I used this to blend my falsies and natural lashes together, and on my bottom lashes. It’s definitely waterproof! It lasted through more tears than I think I’ve ever cried before.
  14. Ardell Natural Lash 110 – $3.99 @ Ulta
    • These are gorgeous and definitely more natural looking than other false lashes. They were also pretty comfortable. I didn’t feel like I had wings on my eyelids, so that was a positive.

I think that concludes the long list of products that I used for the day! I also used the Fake Bake Flawless Darker self tanner (per usual), which you can learn more about here. All in all, I am pleased with my handiwork, and it photographed beautifully! DIYing your wedding makeup isn’t for everyone, but it worked out well for me and allowed me to take control over something on my wedding day. I love makeup, and as much as I would have enjoyed getting it done professionally, it was something unique and special that I did for myself. To all of my brides-to-be, congratulations, and to all of my readers, have a fantasmical day!

Photography courtesy of Jordan Snyder Photography
Photography courtesy of our dear friend and talented photographer Jordan Snyder. Check out Jordan here and on Facebook!