This Las Vegas Elopement Was Complete With Tattoos, Killer Fashion, & Portraits on The Strip

June 9, 2023 | Kamilah Kirksey

Liv and Jas ditched a traditional wedding and opted for an intimate Las Vegas elopement that they could do their own way. Even though it was just the two of them, the couple hired their close friend and Junebug photographer, Andra–the owner of Apollo Fotografie (where Liv also happens to work as a photographer–to follow them around the bustling city as they celebrated the start of their new life together. From the edgy fashion to the laid-back timeline, choosing to elope was the ideal choice for these lovebirds. 

The day started with the pair getting ready together, where they slipped into two chic all-black ensembles. They then drove over to the famous Little White Wedding Chapel in a sleek white convertible to say their “I do’s.” Following the ceremony, the pair drove off in their dream car to a tattoo session to commemorate their big day and ended the day with dinner for just the two of them. 

Choosing Vegas to sport their rock-and-roll fashion and exchange sweet, laid-back vows couldn’t have been more right of a choice for the newlyweds. It’s not often that we get to share our vendors’ very own weddings, so we couldn’t be more excited to share this one. Keep scrolling if you’re itching to ditch tradition and elope in an epic location, just the two of you.

The Couple:

Liv and Jas

The Wedding:

Las Vegas, United States

Memorable Phone Calls With Family + Cake Tastings

The most memorable moments for me were a sweet phone call with my dad the morning of our wedding, along with just the whole feeling while we were getting ready together–it didn’t feel real.  Secondly, we had a break between tattoos and dinner at the restaurant, where we stripped down and just took a breath. We tasted our vegan wedding cake made by Fox and Fawn, and it was just us. 

How Their Las Vegas Elopement Came to Be

Just days after Jas and I started seeing each other, I said that I would marry her tomorrow. We love to travel, and in July 2022, we started chatting about how easy it is to get to Zion National Park by way of Vegas. We began planning our trip to Under Canvas–said we would fly into Vegas, rent a car, and drive to Zion for a long weekend. Somewhere along planning our route, Jas teased, “We could just get married while we’re in Vegas.” That joke quickly became a reality as we started planning our intimate elopement. We both knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding. I’m a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll, and she is most definitely a spritely free spirit.

Advice: Get a Planner and Make the Day About You

I run a wedding photography company, so if you’re asking for advice on planning a full-on wedding, it is to get a wedding planner! If you’re asking me, as someone who just got married, I would say ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you doing it for yourself or to please someone else? This is your day. It’s about your love and your marriage. The wedding should be secondary to what you feel like with your partner.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Apollo Fotografie
Cake – Fox & Fawn
Bridal Attires – Rag & Bone + Mango
Bridal Accessories – Christian Louboutin


Cheers to Liv and Jas’ incredible Las Vegas elopement and the start of a new life together. We’re so glad Junebug member, Apollo Fotografie, was there to capture every beautiful moment. You can view more of their stunning work by visiting their profile in our directory of wedding vendors, featuring all of our highly-vetted wedding talents.

If these two have inspired you to plan your own unconventional wedding, you can start your planning by looking at these unique wedding venues we think are ideal for couples looking to forgo the traditional wedding route. 

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How To Make The Most of Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial

June 9, 2023 | justine

Keep reading for everything you need to know the ace your wedding hair and makeup trial. Image by Adrian Steinbach.

All eyes are on you on your wedding day, so it’s important to look and feel your absolute best. And that all starts with the prep work before the big day–aka your wedding hair and makeup trial. Whether you’re going for a glamorous or more natural look, a test run is always a smart move. It helps you and your beauty experts get on the same page and allows you to see how your dream style holds up throughout the day.

This pivotal pre-wedding appointment is an exciting sneak peek at your bridal look and sets the tone for your overall beauty on the wedding day. So, when should you mark it on your calendar? Keep reading for all the answers to your questions, including booking tips, preparation advice, and insider tricks to ace your wedding hair and makeup trial.

Image by The Godards. See more of this real wedding here.

What is a Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial?

Imagine your wedding hair and makeup trial as a practice run, like a dress rehearsal before the grand show. Skilled professionals will work their magic, transforming your locks and applying the makeup style of your choice. It’s all about giving you a sneak peek and seeing how your chosen look comes together. This way, you can avoid surprises on your wedding day.

How Much Does a Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial Cost?

The price of wedding hair and makeup trials can vary depending on the vendor, timeline, and number of trials you opt for. The cost can range anywhere from being completely free to equaling the amount you’d pay on your actual wedding day. More commonly, the trial cost is a fraction of what you’d pay for the wedding day services. 

Some hair and makeup professionals follow a general guideline where the trial or preview is priced at around half of the cost of the actual wedding day beauty services. However, keep in mind that these prices can differ depending on your location and the experience level of the artist. It’s always a good idea to ask about their rates before you book the appointment to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

When Should You Book Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial?

To ensure you have plenty of time to try and perfect your dream look, it’s best to schedule your wedding hair and makeup trial three to six months before your big day. Usually, one trial is enough, but you can schedule more if you’re unsure about different looks or want to try new things. This helps calm your nerves and gives you more chances to get to know and trust your beauty experts.

Image by Sean Bell Photography. See more of this real wedding right here.

Wedding Hair And Makeup Tips

Date, Venue, And Style Considerations Before Booking Your Trial

Before booking, there are a couple of essential steps to take. First, make sure you know the date and venue of your wedding. The location and season, like a summer beach or a winter ballroom, can influence the best looks for you. Also, choose your wedding dress and look at accessories like veils, headpieces, necklaces, and earrings. The style of your dress can help you decide how formal or relaxed your hair and makeup should be, and your accessories can determine if you should go for an updo, curls, braids, or a softer or more dramatic makeup look.

Call Ahead of Scheduling Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial and Ask About Pre-Trial Prep

Prepare for your hair and makeup trials by chatting with the beauty pros beforehand. Many are happy to hop on a call. Some even offer free preliminary consultations. This conversation serves two purposes: building a connection with you and understanding your vision to provide valuable insights for your planning process.

For a successful trial, follow the instructions from your stylist or artist. They may ask you to wash your hair or leave it for a day and have your skin untouched or moisturized. If you plan to have a spray tan or tinted brows on your wedding day, try to get them done before the trial. Also, keep your hair in a similar length and condition to what it will be on the big day. This way, you won’t surprise your hairstylist with sudden changes like new bangs or freshly colored hair.

Recommended Reading: Your Official Wedding Beauty Timeline To Look and Feel Your Best

Consider the Weather on Your Wedding Day

Consider the weather when discussing your hair and makeup plans with your stylist. For example, warmer seasons may require more maintenance for down styles. If your hair doesn’t hold curls well, you may want to avoid them when the weather or season is unfavorable. For summer weddings, preventing makeup from melting is crucial. Prepare with sweat-proof makeup tips to ensure your bridal beauty lasts throughout the day without mishaps.

You can also have your hair and makeup team with you throughout the wedding day. This allows them to help with touch-ups and handle emergencies, ensuring that your hair and makeup stay beautiful and your look stays consistent throughout the event.

Research and Create an Inspiration Board

Deciding on your wedding hair and makeup look can be challenging, which is why we recommend creating an inspiration board of beauty looks you love. Label specific elements you admire, like bangs or a particular color. Share the private album or Pinterest board with your stylist, including snapshots of your dress and flowers. Keep an open mind during your appointment and be willing to change your initial plan based on the trial. Trust your stylist’s expertise and use the photos as inspiration.

Recommended Reading: 5 Steps for Making a Wedding Mood Board

Take Note of What You Didn’t Like About Past Looks

If you need help expressing what you want, describing what you don’t want can be just as helpful. Reflect on past experiences where you didn’t like your appearance, such as being part of a wedding party. Share these details with your stylists, explaining why you felt that way. This will make your trial more efficient as they’ll know what to avoid, saving you from waiting until each look is finished to figure out what you don’t like.

Come Alone (or With One to Two Trusted VIPs)

While bringing your entire wedding party to your beauty trial may be tempting, it’s best to keep it intimate. Instead, consider bringing along one or two trusted individuals who can offer their support. By keeping it small, you can focus on your thoughts and preferences, making confident decisions that reflect your style and vision. Opt for trusted individuals like a parent, sibling, or maid of honor to provide support and create a harmonious atmosphere.

Recommended Reading: Common Wedding Fights And How To Resolve Them

Dress the Part: Replicate Your Dress Color and Neckline

Choosing the right outfit for your trial can make a big difference. Try to wear something similar in color to your wedding dress, as it helps you see how your makeup will look next to the white or off-white dress. Also, consider replicating the neckline when styling your hair. Whether it’s backless, strapless, or off-the-shoulder, matching your hairstyle to the dress neckline gives you a better idea of how everything will look on your big day. 

Image by Apollo Fotografie. See more of this real wedding here.

Bring Your Makeup Bag and Go-To Products

To get ready for your hair and makeup trial, you can bring your own makeup bag with your favorite go-to products. This helps your artist understand your preferences and the specific items you like to use. They can then suggest similar alternatives that are better for long-lasting wear. Artists also consider your comfort level when making recommendations. Even if the artist has their own products, using what you’re familiar with will boost your confidence and make you feel more relaxed on your special day.

Recommended Reading: Professional Makeup Artists Share Their Favorite Wedding Day Makeup

Bring Your Hair Accessories and Extensions

When getting your hair styled for your wedding day, remember to bring any accessories you plan to wear, like veils or combs. This helps the stylists understand what they’ll be working with. If you want long, thick hair but have shorter or thinner hair, you can consider using clip-in extensions. These extensions blend with your natural hair and make it look fuller and more voluminous. Another option is to try beautiful bridal headbands, which add elegance while keeping a relaxed feel. These accessories can be special keepsakes from your big day.

If you haven’t chosen your accessory yet, bringing something similar can give the stylists an idea of the look you want. During your trial, take photos of each hairstyle from different angles so you can make an informed decision. This way, you can carefully choose the hairstyle that compliments your overall look the best.

Have Realistic Expectations

When browsing social media and Pinterest for hair and makeup inspiration, it’s important to remember that many of these photos are staged to showcase hair from the best angles, with filters to hide imperfections. Comparing your natural hair to these images can lead to unrealistic expectations. Instead, bring pictures you like to your stylist and listen to their honest feedback on what can be achieved based on your hair’s length, fullness, and texture.

Similarly, when it comes to makeup, remember that real skin has texture, and that’s beautiful. Embrace your own unique features and trust your makeup artist to enhance your natural beauty. By having realistic expectations and working closely with your stylist and makeup artist, you can achieve a look that makes you feel confident on your special day.

Recommended Reading: Wedding Skincare Routine Leading Up To The Big Day

Take Down Notes and Ask Lots of Questions

Make the most of your hair and makeup trial by taking notes and asking plenty of questions. This is your chance to experiment and find the perfect look for your wedding day. Jot down the best products and techniques for you, and consider getting miniatures for your day-of kit. Don’t be shy to ask your stylist for tips, product recommendations, and advice on preparing your hair and skin. They can also suggest products to keep you looking fresh throughout the day.

Also, use the trial to talk about timing and logistics. Note how long your hair and makeup takes, and discuss the schedule with your stylist to ensure everyone gets ample time. Ask about space requirements, lighting preferences, payment methods, and how much time they will spend with you and your bridal party. Take this opportunity to ask any lingering questions so you’re well-prepared and don’t need to chase them down later. The more you communicate, the smoother and more enjoyable the experience will be.

Give Honest Feedback

Embrace the opportunity to share your thoughts during your beauty trial. Remember, it’s all about finding the perfect look for you. If there’s something you’re not completely satisfied with, politely express your preferences to your stylist. They are there to make you feel amazing. Open communication will ensure a positive outcome, whether minor adjustments or major concerns.

Make Plans After Your Wedding Makeup and Hair Trial

Don’t let cost hold you back from the trial. Instead, find the positives it brings. Schedule it when you have another special event, like an engagement shoot or bridal shower. This allows you to test the longevity of your look and capture it in photographs. You can make any necessary adjustments and ensure your hair and makeup stay flawless throughout your wedding day. 

Image by Savanna Sturkie. See more of this real wedding right here.

Now that you’re ready for your wedding makeup and hair trial, take a moment to explore the latest makeup and hair trends for inspiration. Find ideas that match your style and make you feel fabulous. And, of course, don’t forget to check out our official beauty timeline and skincare routine, packed with helpful tips to achieve a flawless look on your special day. Your wedding day is your chance to shine, and with the right inspiration and guidance, you can create a stunning bridal transformation that truly reflects your beautiful and unique self.

Image by The French Wedding Photographer. See more of this real wedding here.

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Three-Day San Ysidro Ranch Wedding Inspired By Nancy Meyers Movies

June 8, 2023 | kailey

Sometimes one day is just not enough time to celebrate a special bond like Cortland and Jared’s. So when it came to planning their San Ysidro Ranch wedding, they opted for an unforgettable three-day affair rather than a traditional one-day celebration. And with the help of wedding planner Orange Blossom Special Events, they pulled off the ultimate weekend wedding filled with love, laughter, and florals that’ll have you picking your jaw up off the floor.

Tucked away in the leafy foothills of Santa Barbara, San Ysidro Ranch made for the perfect outdoor space to kick off their wedding weekend. They transformed the garden area into an ‘I do’ worthy location by lining the aisle with lanterns leading to the pop-of-color floral ceremony arch by Knot Just Flowers. The grooms and their loved ones then enjoyed a stunning luncheon under a ceiling of greenery and twinkle lights—but the fun didn’t stop there! 

They wrapped up their epic weekend wedding with an intimate rooftop dinner party at Hotel Californian. The space was filled with reception tables dressed in black linens, brought to life with deep floral arrangements and tapered candles. And after dinner, when the sun went down, they got down on the dance floor with custom headbands, cutout heads of both grooms, confetti bombs, and so much more, all of which was captured beautifully by photographer Heirlume Photography.

The Couple:

Cortland and Jared

The Wedding:

San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California

Advice From The Newlyweds: Schedule Alone Time in Your Wedding Timeline 

Making sure we had time alone together throughout the weekend was extremely important to us. We didn’t want it to be one thing after another and feel rushed or feel like we didn’t have time to breathe. Having a smaller ceremony helped with that a LOT.

Taking Time to Take Deep Breaths Together to Stay Present for Their San Ysidro Ranch Wedding

We held each other’s hands, looked into each other’s eyes, and took three big deep breaths before walking out to the ceremony. We did this throughout the weekend whenever we were about to step out to see our guests. Those were easily the best moments because it was us confirming to each other, “We’re here, we’re present, we’re starting our family, and we’re together.” It really helped keep us grounded.

How To Avoid Wedding Planning Burnout 

Decision fatigue is a real thing. Get the big stuff done first (venue, vendors, etc.), and then worry about the smaller details. Also, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your vendor team, so make sure you like them. We got very lucky in that regard.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Heirlume Photography
Event Planning – Orange Blossom Special Events
Ceremony Venue – San Ysidro Ranch
Reception Venue – Hotel Californian
Floral Design – Knot Just Flowers
DJ – Dart Collective
Live Music – Bob Gail Higher Ground
Videography – Atomic Tangerine
Rentals – Archive Rentals


Congratulations to Cortland and Jared on their San Ysidro Ranch wedding. And big thanks to photographer Heirlume Photography for capturing every detail that made this three-day celebration worthy of sharing. And if you, too, are feeling inspired to extend your wedding, you’re not alone. 

Nowadays, more couples are opting to extend their special day into a multi-day wedding weekend. And if this sounds like something you’re interested in, kickstart your planning process by reading our how-to guide for planning a weekend wedding itinerary.

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