Vendor Spotlight: Dhalia Edwards

Hey friends!!  Today I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my most favorite wedding vendors in the whole world!  Dhalia Edwards is an incredibly talented makeup artist serving Hampton Roads & beyond.  She’s done my makeup a few times and I swear she’s actually a magician.  She’s also the very best mix of sweet & sassy and I always end up with a stomach ache from laughing too much whenever I sit in her chair.  She’s just THE BEST.

Read on to learn a bit more about Dhalia & her thriving business!

Tell us about Dhalia Edwards!  How long have you been operating?
I’ve been operating over 8 years.  My first job in high school was at Walgreens in the cosmetics department and I’ve been in love with makeup ever since then.

How would you describe your style?
Simple, basic, classic, and timeless

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
Running the Virginia Beach Town Center Fashion Show

Photo Credit: Sarah Street
 What are your top 3 tips for brides choosing a makeup artist for their wedding day?
Research the artist - Social media, website, & reviews.
Make sure you go with an artist that you’re comfortable with and that is able to listen to your needs.
Make sure you have a bridal trial to go over your desired wedding day look.

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
I would have to say my growth throughout the past 2 years.

What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to stay consistent, and continue providing the best makeup experience that I can.

What kind of future do you see for Dhalia Edwards?
I always see more growth on the horizon for DE.  We’ll just have to see.  ;)

Photo Credit: Andi & Zoe

Ladies, I’m so very serious when I say you should book an appointment with Dhalia.  Whether you are looking for someone to doll you up on your big day, or you just want someone else to fuss over your makeup for date night….Dhalia is your girl!

Vendor Spotlight: Chelsea Anderson Photography

Hey friends!  I’m so excited to introduce you to one of my very favorite vendors in the area, Chelsea of Chelsea Anderson Photography!

Chelsea and I have worked together on numerous projects over the past year and I’ve loved getting to know her a bit more.  She’s so crazy talented and such a total sweetheart.  She spoils her couples like crazy and has a way about her that always makes people feel like they’ve met a lifelong friend.  I just love her to pieces and can’t wait for you to meet her!

Tell us about Chelsea Anderson Photography!  How long have you been operating and what made you go into photography?
Chelsea Anderson Photography began as Chelsea Batey Photography in January of 2012.  I had been photographing since 2006, in love with the idea of photographing people and landscapes while writing about my adventures.  In the process of interviewing someone in college who was employed as a photographer at Virginia Tech, I realized that working for National Geographic wasn’t really in the cards {they have a very small photography staff}.  Therefore, I knew I could possibly make a career by photographing people, and eventually, weddings.  I actually photographed my first wedding in 2009, but photographed my first wedding as a business owner in 2013.  I fell in love with weddings, the couples, and their stories and realized that this is where my heart was.  I wanted to photograph people and tell their stories for as long as I could.  The craft of photography was my first love, but led me ultimately to photographing weddings, which is my current love.

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as authentic, colorful, and joyful.  Visually, I love images that have high contract and beautiful colors that could also be described as “art”.  I also try to use morning or evening sunlight as much as possible in photographs because I believe sunlight brings out the truest and most beautiful colors.  I always pose couples to try to get to know their personalities best and display them on camera, leading to the “authentic” nature of my style, but also LOVE capturing those genuine smiles that communicate how happy and in love the couples are contributing to the “joyful” part of my style.

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
One of the reasons that I fell in love with my husband was because of perseverance and his life story.  One critical part of his life story is how he lost his high school girlfriend to a car crash.  It was totally unexpected and out of nowhere that he lost the girl that he loved.  I heard him tell that story and how he overcame grief through his belief in God during my freshman year.  What I didn’t know is that he had since become estranged from the family for some silly reasons.  Three years later, we fell in love, and got married.  Last year, my husband {who is usually my second shooter} and I got the honor and privilege of photographing the wedding of the little sister of his high school girlfriend.  It was amazing to be reunited with the sweet family, hear how much they loved Scott, and worship with them.  It was a huge testimony to God’s goodness, my sweet husband, reconciliation, and the beauty of marriage bringing people together.  Want to read more on that story?  You can visit:

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding day?
  1. Do your research!  Make sure you are not only familiar with a photographer’s style, but also their personality and previous reviews.  I’ve had friends hire wedding photographers just because of their style and price, but actually not get along really well with them and it’s caused them to remember their day with a little negative light.  Your wedding photographer is the one person that you’ll probably spend the most time with on your wedding day, so it’s worth it to spend the extra time either making sure you are a good match in a meeting or even just reading reviews to make sure that other brides have been happy with choosing them.
  2. Don’t completely eliminate photographers who are above a certain number pricing wise.  Your photographer will probably be one of your biggest investments in your wedding day.  Keep in mind that a mom, grandma, aunt or uncle may be up for helping you afford someone that you really are in love with.  Also, most photographers can work out some kind of payment plan to make the cost a little more manageable.
  3. Start looking and inquiring as soon as you have a venue or wedding date.  Photographers tend to book up almost as quickly as venues!  Make sure to ask your favorites their availability as soon as possible.  If you have ONE photographer in mind, go ahead and ask them before you pick your wedding date!

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?  What’s your biggest goal?
My proudest moment is honestly whenever my clients are served and happy after the wedding day.  Customer service has been extremely important to me ever since my very first job as a coffee shop barista!  What is the point of selling a product if you’re not going to ensure that your client is happy?  I try to ask each of my clients if there is something that I could do better or improve upon for future clients, and make sure the clients and their families are happy to the best of my abilities.  I have two big goals I’d like to share, the first one being to impact someone’s marriage in an extremely positive way.  I’m not sure if that would be through prayer, through photographs, through a relationship with wedding or anniversary clients or something else, but I honestly want to make a difference in a positive way in the marriage of my clients.  As a business, my biggest goal would be to eventually be at a place financially where I could support my family and work from home so that I can watch my baby grow up rather than have to look for childcare.  Being with my family is extremely important to me.

What kind of future do you see for Chelsea Anderson Photography?
As for the future, I don’t have any crazy things like a goal to be nationwide, or a popular destination photographer, travel to Europe or anything like that.  Those things would be fun, but the future that I would be happy with is a stable business that serves marriages through beautiful and timeless wedding images or anniversary images.  I would love to have half of my bookings come from anniversaries and for the general population to believe that anniversary images are fully worth the investment.  I believe this with my own heart, and have already invested in anniversary photography myself!

Chelsea, thank you so much for sharing!! And thank you for being such a wonderful, kindhearted friend. <3 font="">

Vendor Spotlight: Hair by Stephanie B

Hey friends!  I’m so excited to introduce you all to one of my very favorite hair stylists of all time.  Stephanie Boyce of Hair by Stephanie B is one of the sweetest and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.  I’ve loved working with her on both weddings and styled shoots and I can’t wait to work with her again.  Read on to learn a bit about her business and hear some advice she has for brides.

Tell us about Hair by Stephanie B:
I have been a licensed cosmetologist for 14 years.  My hair career started in Washington State and I moved to Virginia Beach 6 years ago with my husband who is in the United States Navy.  I work out of Metamorphosis Salon and Spa and I travel to style hair on location for weddings.

I began styling hair at a young age, my mother would always buy me fashion magazines and I would cut out all the pictures save them in a notebook.  I spent so much of my time as a teenager styling my own hair and my friends’ hair just for fun and when school dances came around, everyone would come over.  I got so much joy and fulfillment from seeing the look of excitement and the love in their eyes over their hair.

The first time a bride asked me to style her hair for her wedding, I was shocked!  Not because I didn’t think I was good enough; I just couldn’t believe she chose ME to be a part of her special day.  The amount of honor I felt was indescribable. When she surprised me with a photo of herself in her gown, I may have shed a tear or two.  My heart was filled with love and joy knowing that I helped her feel beautiful on one of the most memorable days of her life, and that the hair I styled would forever be in her history.  From that moment on I can say I truly found my calling in my professional life as a bridal hairstylist.

How would you describe your style?
Honestly, I’m mostly concerned with everyone else’s style and helping them bring their vision to life.  Truly listening and absorbing all the information and ideas brides and clients have is what’s important to me.  I have been blessed with a huge amount of patience and understanding, but I believe that really comes from my passion for styling and my determination to give my very best and to make sure someone feels confident and beautiful.

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
My most memorable event was last year when I traveled 6 ½ hours away to style hair for Shari’s wedding, October of 2015.  The location was Meadows of Dan, Virginia at Chateau Morisette on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I brought my best friend Andrea with me and it was a drive we will never forget.  Once we got off the highway and left the town of Floyd, we lost cell phone service and didn’t have any for the next 3 days, not even a radio signal.  We got lost numerous times, our GPS went in and out and constantly warned us about unmarked roads  At one point when we were climbing the mountain to our destination, we came to a long line of traffic.  To our astonishment the road had started to fall off the side of the mountain!  A tractor had to guide ten cars at a time to the top.  Our journey, or should I say adventure, was one of the most beautiful car rides I had ever been on in my entire life.  The scenery was gorgeous, we stopped at all the look out points and took pictures.  It was the heart of the fall season so all the leaves were bright and colorful, it looked like endless hills of fire.  We stayed in a cozy little cabin for the weekend on a Christmas tree and lavender farm with deer and bunnies.  The morning of the wedding the fog was so thick that when we were driving to the winery I could only see 10 feet in front of me.  The fog cleared and a beautiful day was given to Shari and Chris on their special day.

What are your top 3 tips for brides when choosing a hairstylist for their wedding day?
One. Find a hairstylist that has experience in bridal styling and has a real passion for it.  Styling is different from cutting or coloring.  Up-styling and formal hairstyling are very different from everyday looks.  It’s important to build a proper foundation in the hair for longevity and to use the correct hair products.  It’s my job to make sure every hair is in place and looks flawless.

Two. Consultations are so important!  It gives us a chance to meet and get to know one another face to face before the wedding and to work out all the details.  When meeting for the first time it’s important to voice your style to me and the look you are aiming for on the day of your wedding.  Tell me about your venue, bring me pictures of your dress, as well as a picture of the bridesmaids’ dresses so I can help guide you with your decisions.  All of this preparation makes for a smooth morning the day of your wedding and ensures that you can sit back, relax, sip a mimosa, and I can take care of the rest.

Three.  The myth about dirty hair and updos….I can’t tell you how many times I am asked “How dirty does my hair need to be for you to style it?”.  Ladies, you CAN wash your hair the day of or the night before.  The worst is when someone takes that old wives tale too far and not even an entire can of dry shampoo will absorb that oil.  Hair products have come such a long way over the years that I can control exactly how I want the texture of your hair.  More than likely I will ask that everyone come to me with clean, dry hair {blown out, not air dried} that has not been flat ironed and does not have any heavy or oily products in it.  Be assured that I can smooth out and volumize any mane!

What is your biggest goal for Hair by Stephanie B?
My goals are simple things I live by and are key to my everyday life and the future of Hair by Stephanie B.  If I pay attention to the present and continue to improve, what comes later will only be better.  I like to surround myself with like minded individuals who are inspirational, talented, and willing to share & teach so we can all grow & support one another.  “If we surround ourselves with the best, we will become the best.” {One of my hair heroes, Kris Sorbie said that at a Redken learning seminar I attended in Las Vegas}  I am a firm believer in continuing my education as a hair stylist in this endlessly evolving business so I can provide current information, techniques, and trends to my clients and brides.  I am open minded and hopeful to expand Hair by Stephanie B and to find other passionate stylists that enjoy the wedding industry as much as I do.  It is important for me to share everything I have learned through these years since I have a had strong, talented, and loving mentors throughout my career.  I would like to pay it forward.

Vendor Spotlight: elovephotos

Hey friends!  I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and was able to really take advantage of the insanely spring-ish weather we’ve been having here in Virginia.  I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Emily from elovephotos.  Emily is one of the sweetest people I know and I got to work with her on a stunning styled shoot back in the fall.  I can’t wait to share that shoot with ya’ll {it involved a donkey named Gus}, but until then I will let Emily tell you a bit about elovephotos and offer up some advice on choosing the right photographer for your big day!

Tell us about elovephotos!
Hi there!  I am a destination wedding and portrait photographer based in Virginia Beach, VA.  I’ve “officially” been in business, in the state of Virginia, since 2013.  Prior to photography, I was an elementary school teacher for 5 years before making the decision to stay home with my daughter in 2009.  I’ve always been a creative person who likes to stay busy.  Once I made the decision to stay home full-time, I needed something to fill the void in my creative little heart that teaching used to do!  I do what I do because I value and cherish memories.  The fact that I have the opportunity to document important moments in people’s lives is what fuels my passion.

Who knew a simple online photography class would lead to a career that allows me to be creative, help others, and stay at home with my children!?

How would you describe your photography style?
My photographic style can be summed up as bright, colorful, and classic!  I strive to create images that are real and genuine.  I’m a huge fan of the in-between candid moments.  I love for my clients to have fun and feel relaxed while working with me.

What’s the most memorable event you’ve ever photographed?
I’m horrible at answering “favorite” type questions because I love so many things.  I honestly consider every wedding that I get to be a part of MEMORABLE.  There is always something that happens on a wedding day that makes an impact on me.  Once a bride’s grandfather danced with his sweet wife who had Alzheimer’s while she sat in her walker.  I was bawling as I photographer this, knowing that one day they would be gone and this photograph would live on.  I also had the opportunity to photograph a family, where their 25-year-old son unexpectedly passed away 9 months after their session.  I was devastated for their family and grieved along with them.  The mother told me over and over how grateful she was to have the photographs of him.  Every event and moment that I photograph is significant to me, because it turns into a cherished memory for my clients.

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding day?
  1. Look for someone who has a consistent style.  Take a look at their portfolio, social media, blog, etc. and see images that they take.  You will get a good sense of the type of images you will get by fully investigating their style. You should never force a specific style upon your photographer because both of you will be unhappy.  Look for a photographer whose style WOWS you!  :)
  2. Find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable and fits your personality.  Out of all the vendors on your wedding day, your photographer will most likely be with you the most!  You can usually tell from the first phone call or email interaction whether or not you “click”.  Check out their “about me” section of their website or social media accounts to get a feel for who they are.
  3. Look for a photographer who can give you an “experience”.  Are they attentive?  DO you feel connected to them?  Are they organized?  DO they ask the right questions?  Do they help guide you along as you are planning the timeline of your wedding day?  Do they make you feel like you are more than just a paycheck?  A photographer who gives you a wonderful experience from the first email to the final delivery of your images is what you are looking for.  Go and read reviews on your photographer’s website, vendor websites, and social media to see how past clients’ experiences with them were.

What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?  What’s your biggest goal?
My proudest moment as a small business owner has been when my clients are so happy with their images/experience that they refer others to me.  This validates me and strengthens my desire to give my clients a wonderful experience!

My biggest goal in my business is to specialize in weddings!  I would like to reach a point where I take a limited number of weddings a year and really make those brides feel special!

What kind of future do you see for elovephotos?
I see elovephotos streamlining into what I mentioned as my biggest goal.  I see it becoming an exclusive type of photography for brideswho value photography and my photographic style.  And of course, I would love to do this all while still maintaining my balance as a wife and mother.

Thank you so much for sharing Emily!!  Make sure ya’ll follow elovephotos to see lots of pretty!

Vendor Spotlight: Ro & Co Designs

Hey there friends!  I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day weekend!  Who got engaged?!  I'm a huge sap for engagement stories, so if you want to gush to someone, I'm your girl!
Ok back to business.  What better way to start off this week than to share a vendor spotlight with ya'll?!  I'm so happy to introduce you to Rosalie of Ro & Co Designs. You might recognize her name because I say it quite a bit around here.  She is a 2015 JDE Bride and she also did all of JDE's rebranding. I basically hit the bride jackpot when she booked with me.  Not only do I absolutely adore her as a person and friend, but I respect her so much as a fellow vendor.  Read on to learn more about Rosalie's company!

Tell us about Ro & Co Designs!
Ro & Co Designs is a boutique brand and stationery design business founded by me, Ro! I specialize in creative event & business branding, custom wedding stationery, and all things paper goods! When it comes to weddings, the invitation sets the stage for the big day and I just love working with couples to create a look that is original, timeless, and uniquely them. I love working alongside my longtime love and husband, Troy, who handles the business side of things... as well as my four legged soul mate, Reggie, who keeps me focused with his rhythmic snores while soaking up the sun next to my desk. Together we are Ro & Co!

How long have you been operating?  What made you go into graphic design?
I've been operating as Ro & Co Designs for about a year, but I've been designing for many! For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed art and had a love for making things look pretty... in fact, I was that student who couldn't pay attention to anything in school aside from the doodles and designs in my notebook. When I went off to college, I decided to follow my heart by studying art and design with a concentration in graphic design. I've been taking on freelance projects ever since but it wasn't until I got engaged in December 2014, and obsessed over every design aspect, that I found my passion for this particular industry. That's when I decided to turn my passion into something more.

How would you describe your design style?
My design style can be described as finding the beauty of simplicity and adding a touch of whimsy. Inspired by romantic fonts, natural elements, and soft pops of color, I truly believe less is more and that's where the essence of my style can be found in every piece of my work.
What's the most memorable event you’ve ever contributed to?
Of course I would have to say my own wedding! Those are the memories that inspired me to do what I do and being able to add that extra bit of joy to an already beautiful time in someone's life makes me so proud.

What are your top 3 tips for couples choosing a designer for their wedding stationery?
- Opt for a custom design. The invitation is the first glimpse into your wedding day that your guests will see. You want it to match not only your wedding theme, but also to reflect you as a couple and showcase your personality! By choosing a custom design, you can cohesively weave your look throughout every aspect of your day... Plus, it will be unique to you and only you!
- Relationship. You want your designs to accurately reflect your personality so you will want someone who is going to invest their time in getting to know you.  Building a relationship with your designer is crucial in order to curate a design that "fits". All of the details like how you met, what you like to do together, if you have pets, children, favorite music, etc. - they all inspire the designer to turn your love story into something visual!
- Communication. Of course you should go with a designer that has the style you are looking for, but clear communication is the biggest thing in the process. Make sure your designer is open to your input... and it is OK if you don't necessarily have a clear vision of what you want, that's why you chose a designer after all! But if you can describe what you are looking for, be specific! As long as your communication is clear, the design process is so much fun and the results will be everything you've dreamed of... it's a win win!


What has been your proudest moment as a small business owner?
One of my very favorite things is hearing how my designs helped make an event so much more special. And even more than that, getting referrals from past clients! It really is the best feeling in the world... proud would be an understatement. This adventure has been incredibly self-fulfilling and I feel humbled and more even more inspired than I ever thought possible.
What’s your biggest goal?
My biggest goal is to grow my passion into a full time family business. I know it will take many years to get to that point, but I'm still young... I am confident it'll happen one day. But until then, I'm focused on working harder, facing new challenges, meeting and working with new people, and delivering quality designs and paper goods :)

What kind of future do you see for Ro & Co Designs?
2016 is going to be a big year for us! I'm currently working on my website launch and I've got some big ideas to implement over the next few months! I don't want to give away too much... just stay tuned!
Thank you so much for sharing Rosalie!!  Everyone be sure to follow Ro & Co Designs to see what big things she's got in store!