Living in the south means you could have a 65 degree day of holiday entertaining on the porch one day, and an ice storm the next. It keeps things interesting (and planners on their toes) for sure! I enjoyed teaming up with the lovely and talented Nashville event and wedding planner, Molly Sohr of The Cedarlane and Elle Worsham of Gracious Garlands for this holiday shoot. Follow Molly’s blog and Instagram for more entertaining inspiration. Cheers!
You know that feeling when you immediately like a people the minute you meet them? They make you feel so comfortable and as if you’ve been friends all along? That was exactly my experience with the aesthetician team at Nashville Cosmetic Surgery and Dr. Don Griffin’s office. A mutual friend connected us when I expressed to her that I needed an aesthetician. She could not say enough good things about NCS, and after meeting them I now know why. They are truly the sweetest people and so knowledgeable about skincare. I’ve been using them since my move from Birmingham to Nashville and I trust them completely. They are also clients and I’ve enjoyed having their beautiful faces in front of my camera!
One of my very favorite products they introduced me to is Revision Intellishade Tinted Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum 45 SPF. It’s a light coverage with great protection, which is perfect for me since I spend a great deal of my time outdoors working and running with my chocolate lab. And, it blends with whatever skin tone you have. Brilliant! No wasting a tube going from summer to winter skin tones! In addition, I love NCS’s own line of Koji Pads for high potency skin brightening. They’ve also recommended BBL laser treatment to help reverse the signs of sun damage from all the hours in my youth I spent in the sun (regrettably). Can’t wait to try it.
Here is the advice Dr. Griffin’s team shared with me…everything from non-surgical facials, peels, lasers and injectibles to surgical enhancements, if that’s what you desire. Plus, NCS is including some amazing discounts just for mentioning Heather Durham Photography, PLUS an Instagram GIVEAWAY! How’s that for some holiday cheer!
SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL DISCOUNT!
NEW NCS CLIENTS MENTION HEATHER DURHAM PHOTOGRAPHY TO RECEIVE 20% OFF
ANY LASER, FACIAL OR PEEL PACKAGES, PLUS… $65 OFF FIRST BOTOX OR FILLER,
PERFECT FOR MOTHER OF THE BRIDE! PLUS…
ENTER INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK CONTEST AND FOLLOW RULES FOR A CHANCE TO WIN GIVEAWAY WHICH INCLUDES A FREE GLOSS PEEL AND NCS SKINCARE FOUNDATIONS PACKAGE, WHICH INCLUDES A FACE WASH, RETINOL, CE FERULIC, MOISTURIZER AND SUNSCREEN. A $550 VALUE!
FOLLOW OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES IN POSTS ON INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK AND ENTER BY DECEMBER 20TH AT 11:59 PM. WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 21ST.
For Brides and Mother of the Brides, we understand that your wedding day is a day you will remember for the rest of your life. It is important to look and feel your best so that you can cherish the wedding photos for generations to come.
9 – 12 MONTHS OUT
It’s important to identify any issues that you want to address to have you feeling and looking your best.Whether your issues need to be addressed surgically or with non-surgical treatments, giving yourself plenty of time to plan for and recover is most important.Our team at NCS is here to help you explore your options.
Start with scheduling a consultation.
We recommend a complimentary consultation for both the bride and the mother of the bride so that we can identify your goals and come up with a game-plan that has you looking your best for all of the events leading up to the big day. Many of the brides that we see are interested in filling out their wedding dress confidently with a breast augmentation.This procedure has a fairly quick and easy recovery, but you want to make sure that you have this completed before your final dress fitting.So allowing plenty of time to plan and recover is paramount.The same holds true for mothers, we typically tell our (mother-of -the-bride) patients who want to be completely recovered from a facelift or eye lift, they are going to need at least 3 months to look their best. Many brides and mothers of the bride will start with a surgical option and follow-up with treatments like lip fillers, Botox, lasers and facials to complete their plan for a confident and glowing appearance.
And even if your goals are just for a luminous skin, remember flawless, glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. The 12 month mark is still the best time to begin.
If you need to address pigment a photo facial (BBL) 3 treatment series spaced several weeks apart or Melanage Peel will reverse the sun damage and help even out skin tone. If you have never tried Botox or filler before, now is the time to discuss your plan for that. One of our providers will also assess your skin and recommend any products that will help you protect and maintain your results after treatment.
6 MONTHS OUT
If you haven’t already started a series of BBL photofacials, now is the time to get that correction going for glowing skin. Laser services are a great option for any bride. Broadband light treatment (BBL), also known as a photofacial, is going to be your greatest ally to help even out your complexion, getting rid of brown or red spots, and stimulating collagen production to give a flawless, airbrushed look!
Start Laser Hair Removal.Many brides are starting to think of how they want to look on their honeymoon and oftentimes that answer is laser hair removal. 6 treatments of laser hair removal will get rid of any unwanted hair without the painful, unsightly bumps from shaving or waxing.
Start Injectables. Botox and filler treatments will smooth wrinkles help to address any volume loss and bring a youthful radiance to your look. By starting these treatments at 6 months, you can give yourself time to adjust to the treatments and tweak as needed.
Start Latisse. This is also the perfect time to start your Latisse treatment to bring out those long, beautiful lashes! And the month before your wedding, be sure to come in to tint your lashes to finish out the look!
3 MONTHS OUT
You are almost there and it’s crunch time.This is the time to finish up your series of laser treatments or peels.If you’ve not already done so, address any filler needs such as lips or if you have never tried Botox before now would be the time.
1 MONTH PRIOR
Schedule that last facial or a mild peel to put the finishing touch on your glowing skin.We have many brides that want an additional BBL or peel for their chest and back to ensure glowing skin all over.
Dermaplane or Microdermabrasion 2 weeks prior.
Last Laser Hair Removal: Finalize your laser hair removal treatment to smooth every area.
Injectable Tweaks: Schedule a final look over to tweak any botox or filler to give the exact look for your most confident self.
YOUR WEDDING DAY!
Look in the mirror, appreciate your natural radiance, confidently walk down the aisle in a dress perfectly tailored to your most confident form, and say “I Do” to your most beautiful you!
Thank you to Nashville Cosmetic for their skincare advice and for being a part of HDP’s Ask the Pro Series! Make an appointment for a complimentary consultation…You will be so glad you did!
I met Dawn Ann through a mutual friend. She’s this super cool, urban cowgirl with her own flair and spin on refined western style. She’ll even trick out your Louis Vuitton by adding some fringe.
Dawn Ann recently moved to Nashville from their ranch in Montana, with her musician husband and their daughter. Dawn Ann, a model and actress, owns Moo Country in Red Lodge, Montana and just just opened her second store here in historic Leipers Fork, Tennessee. Much of what she sells are her own designs. Check out a few items from Moo Country featured in the gift guide in the current issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine [December 2018].
Ahhhhh Fall! Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkins and mums on porches, firepit gatherings, s’mores, cozy sweaters, leather jackets and boots. All of these things make me extremely happy. I want our home to be a place that is warm and welcoming; however, Fall is also my busiest season, so I don’t have time for much fuss. I try to take what I already have and fill in with mums I purchase from our high school cheerleaders’ fundraising project and pumpkins from the little market down the street. I always lean towards minimal styling and non-traditional, greyed down colors. And, there always has to be shades of blue/green in my world…even for my pumpkins! Years and years ago, my hand tinting instructor told me “Always add a little blue to your image. It gives the eye a place to rest.” This is so true for me! Blues are peaceful.
Bright orange, black and purple for Halloween isn’t my jam, and red and green at Christmas is just a little too expected for me. Have you noticed the “other orange” pumpkins? They are a bit more subtle and go beautifully with the autumn colored mums that aren’t exactly yellow or orange, but have a hint of both. I plan to purchase a few rectangular lanterns like these, to add some flicker at night and a different shape to go with all of the round pumpkins.
Here are few vignette shots of my front porch and foyer table. Minimal. Nothing fussy, overdone, or even expensive. There’s nothing difficult about throwing mini white pumpkins in a unique bowl. If I had found where I put my pheasant feathers, I would have mixed those in with the pussy willow branches. Pheasant feathers are one of my favorite things to use in the fall because the colors and texture are amazing. My husband brought back real feathers from a hunt in North Dakota, but you can also purchase them online. I’ve included a link at the end of this post. Ostrich feathers and raw cotton branches are beautiful too!
I love to eat pumpkin spice and cinnamon flavors, but do not like for my house to smell like it, unless it’s the real bread or cake coming out of the oven. Sweet smelling candles give me a headache, so I go for more masculine and earthy scents in the fall like the Le Labo Santal candle shown here, cedarwood, tobacco and leather, etc. Locally, I purchase my candles at Two Old Hippies and White’s Mercantile, two of my favorite Nashville shops.
What about you? What do you do to keep your fall decor simple, yet interesting? What is your go-to color palette? Leave a comment here or on my Instagram! I want to hear from you! Happy Fall Y’all!
I’m so excited to share with you the first issue in my new Ask the Pro editorial series, where experts in their field share inside tips and how to’s with HDP so I can share them with you! I’ve been very selective about my partners in this series because I want you to hear from the very best in the business! Most of these partners are based in Nashville and Birmingham, the cities where I’ve lived and worked the most. However, their reach extends much further.
First up…Brownell Travel. I’m thrilled for you to get acquainted with this company (if you aren’t already), the leading upscale travel firm in the Southeast since 1887. Brownell is a member of Virtuoso, the world’s oldest and most prestigious leisure travel association. Less than 1% of America’s agencies are accepted for membership in Virtuoso. These select agencies must be able to offer clients extensive knowledge and wide-ranging experience on travel throughout the world. Virtuoso travel consultants create experiences, not just trips or vacations.
Brownell Travel is based in Birmingham, AL, but has experienced advisors all over the world. So, no matter where you call home, they have knowledgeable pros to help plan your perfect honeymoon, destination wedding, vacation or trip to just celebrate life!
“Travel, it leaves you speechless
and then turns you into a storyteller.”
— lbn Batutta
Haisley Smith, CTA is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Brownell Travel. Haisley joined Brownell in 2005 as the Director of Marketing and now serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Development. She set her sights on a career in the travel industry after studying anthropology abroad at the University of Innsbruck in 1998. Through her position at Brownell, Haisley is able to combine two passions – seeing the world and promoting the amazing travel experiences Brownell can offer.
Haisley promotes Brownell by highlighting travel advisors’ expertise, access to authentic experiences, legendary personalized itineraries, and travel perks that come from Brownell’s strong reputation and relationships with other Virtuoso travel providers. In short – “Travel Beyond Your Expectations.”
Haisley and I have known each other since 2000, where we worked together at a magazine publishing company. We’ve stayed in touch ever since, working together on various projects for Brownell over the years. I’ve even photographed her two beautiful daughters and watched them grow up through my lens. Brownell has also planned amazing trips for me, including Paris and Mexico. Next up on my list is Italy! Haisley has never met a stranger, is passionate about her job and is truly an exceptional person. Here’s what she had to say in response to our honeymoon planning questions.
Q&A with Brownell Travel:
What makes Brownell Travel the best option for all my honeymoon planning
Connections and Experience. We’ve been in business for more than 130 years and we’ve worked with hundreds of resorts since they opened their doors and that opens (otherwise closed) doors for our clients.
What is the best advice you could give newlyweds on finding their perfect honeymoon destination?
Your honeymoon should be as thoughtfully planned and as personal as your wedding. You wouldn’t duplicate your friend’s wedding, why would you duplicate their honeymoon? The perfect destination and honeymoon is uniquely yours. Use an expert to help you uncover what that is.
What are ten things you need to know before planning your honeymoon?
1. If you didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding, a cookie-cutter honeymoon from the Internet is going to disappoint you.
2. Prices for the same room at the same resort can fluctuate by several hundred dollars per night depending on the time of year.
3. The day after the wedding is not always the best time to depart for your honeymoon. Delayed honeymoons can be even better because you have the luxury of anticipating the trip instead of worrying about wedding details.
4. All-inclusive resorts are not always a great value, but many fantastic resorts have all-inclusive packages they don’t promote to the public.
5. Domestic honeymoons are often overlooked but can be magical with the added bonus that they are easy to return to for anniversaries.
6. Don’t be fooled by pretty pictures on the Internet. If sugar-white beaches and turquoise water are important to you, work with an expert who knows what the destinations actually look like, season by season.
7. Talk through your expectations of what you want to experience on your honeymoon with your fiancé. You may picture yourselves on a beach under an umbrella all day, but he may be expecting rock climbing and kayaking!
8. Be wary of travel advice from well-meaning friends and family. Their ideal is probably not yours, even if they are great spokespeople for their favorite destinations and resorts.
9. Agree on a budget and be transparent with your travel advisor. A professional travel advisor will not try to “upsell” you and will be very candid about what kind of experience you can expect with your budget.
10. Even though you may be excited to use your new name, don’t book your airline ticket in your married name!
What are the top places to honeymoon in Europe?
The hot destinations for honeymoons in Europe now are Greece, Portugal and Spain. Italy and France are always popular and always a good idea.
What are the top places to honeymoon in the US?
Napa/Sonoma Valley, San Francisco, South Florida, Oregon, and New England are great honeymoon destinations.
How would you suggest making the most out of your honeymoon when you only have a few days of vacation?
Choose a destination with a short flight or short drive. No need to waste valuable relaxing time in an airport, on a plane or on the road. Don’t overschedule or over-plan and DEFINITELY don’t over pack. Maximize your time by having a plan and not scrambling for restaurant or activity reservations on site.
What are the top three places to honeymoon in the Caribbean?
It changes every year. My personal favorites are St Lucia, Turks & Caicos and the BVI.
Do all-inclusive resorts actually save you money in the end?
I’m personally not a fan of all-inclusive resorts for honeymoons because the experience can be very cookie-cutter and you become one honeymoon couple among hundreds. The “brand-name” all-inclusives give many of the special, independent all-inclusives a bad name with poor service, poor food, and watered-down drinks. There are some gems out there, but in the end, you can’t put a price on disappointment.
“Wedding season” is May-August which is hurricane month for most of the Caribbean…what are other easily accessible tropical destinations?
There are lots of destinations in the south Pacific, South America and even in the Caribbean that very rarely (if ever) are affected by hurricanes. They are each very different with very different price points.
“We are wanting an adventurous honeymoon in the US”…what are the top places we should consider?
The American West – we love Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona
“I want to surprise my bride with our honeymoon”…How can Brownell help me make sure I include everything she would want?
Brownell has a really powerful tool – think of it as Netflix for travel that helps couples rank and rate their travel styles and wish-lists.
Is there a secret trick to getting upgrades?
Yes, a well-connected travel advisor has access to exclusive preferred partner programs with hotels and resorts that give their clients special amenities, perks and put them top of the list for upgrades – some at the time of booking!
Whether you are a bride and groom planning a Destination Wedding or honeymoon, or Parents of the Bride and Groom needing a vacation after all the busy wedding planning, if this first issue of Ask the Pro doesn’t get you grabbing your passport and online shopping for new luggage, I’m not sure what will! Thank you to Brownell Travel and Haisley Smith for sharing your expertise with us!
I’ve known Melissa for years. We first met because of our mutual love of photography at a professional conference in Las Vegas. She is a sweet soul with the kindest heart and I’m thrilled she has found her soulmate in Taylor! She waited on the Lord and he gave her the desire of her heart.
Melissa and Taylor traveled from Birmingham to Franklin a few weeks ago for their Engagement Session and we had the best time catching up! I’m looking forward to their intimate wedding in Birmingham on December 1st.
It was “June Gloom” in La Jolla, CA, but we brought our own sunshine (hello flowy yellow dress) for Hannah & Dean’s session on the cliffs of Torrey Pines. What a stunning couple! [And, Hannah’s doppelganger is Kate Beckinsale, am I right?!] My bags are always packed for a shoot on the California coast.
The absolute best part of my job is the couples I meet. I’ve been blessed with the kindest brides, grooms, families and wedding parties who make the day so much fun.
Francie and Smylie met when they were 15 and 16 and have the sweetest story. They are both from Vestavia Hills (Birmingham AL), where my family lived for 10 years before moving to Nashville, so we have lots of mutual friends. Smylie grew up on Vestavia Hills Country Club golf course, learned how to play the game there and now plays on the PGA Tour. I’m always excited when I can photograph a couple where they have a connection to a place that holds so many memories, so I was thrilled we were able to do their First Look and portraits at VCC.
Francie worked with Mariée Ami to plan her wedding with an amazing vendor team (see complete list at the end of this post). She was such a pleasure to work with from day one; and when the wedding day weather forecast included a tornado warning and her portraits were interrupted by thunderstorms, she was calm and full of grace, without even one word of complaint. She radiated joy all day, from getting ready at her family’s home to their sendoff at The Club in a golf cart, of course.
Francie has a lifestyle blog and Instagram account @Fairwayfinds. Follow along as she shares travel adventures and healthy living finds while on the PGA Tour with Smylie. Francie signs off with each blog post “Always finding joy,”. Yes, she is, and her wedding day had so much of it!
Francie and Smylie, thank you for choosing me to be a small part of your beautiful wedding day! Best wishes for a lifetime of health, happiness and birdies!
You can also see their wedding published on Brides.com.