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Planning

After the excitement wore off (not really), we were bombarded with questions like:

"Did you set a date?"

"Where are you having your wedding?"

"How many guests?"

Whoa! I hadn't done any research or even thought about the plans. One thing we did know was that our date would be set for 2020. After consulting with one of my bridesmaids, Sandra (she was a pro, she jumped the broom last year), she quickly advised me that I needed to plan for my engagement shoot. 

Being a brand manager for a beauty brand (Indique Hair), planning shoots have become my favorite past time. Initially, we wanted to have the shoot in Colorado because we needed snow, we wanted mountains, and we thought that our wedding venue would be there. That plan changed fast. All of the factors that were listed could be accomplished in Georgia, the Blue Ridge Mountains to be exact.

I started to call all of my photographer friends. Some don't do brides, others were based in other cities. I really didn't want them to have to fly down for a one day shoot. I decided to take my efforts to Instagram. I stumbled across one of my favorite shoots, Letoya Luckett's Bridal photos and found that her photographer is based in Atlanta! 

Photographer & Venue:  Will Sterling's work is amazing. He has a creative eye and can make your images move! We contacted him and secured the date asap. In terms of the venue, we found a lovely cabin on Air BnB (never used them before but decided to take a chance). The cabin had everything we needed, it was private, had a great landscape, and the interior was super cute. We added a few home decor pieces from Rich and Lex to add our own personal touch. 

Hair: Next steps were to secure hair & makeup. From working with Indique, I 've learned to use units for hair. It's easy and saves time. I had three units prepared for my shoot. One was styled by Metowi of Bleu Topaz Hair Boutique and the other two I styled myself. 

Makeup: Selecting the right makeup artist is key to your overall look. I worked with Martine Dulce in the past and knew that she would be able to transform me without making me look overdone, and she is quick!

Wardrobe & Jewelry: Looking back, I would have definitely hired a wardrobe stylist. Having a wardrobe stylist helps to take the burden off of you having to try on tons of dresses and being able to pull expensive pieces without the huge price tag. I discovered Anastasia (Icon Stylist) too late and had to go with Rent the Runway. Rent the Runway has an unlimited program and I was able to select 3 looks for $150! You can't beat that. During the Black Bride Bridal Show, I met my fairy godmother of jewelry, Idunnu Ademola-Tomori! She owns Misayo House Jewelry and specializes in occasion pieces. I selected (with her help) the perfect jewels for my looks.

Concept: My fiance and I both have creative backgrounds so coming up with ideas for this shoot was a lot of fun. We know we wanted to capture a Game of Thrones moment as well as some of the essence of Coming to America. We created vision boards for three looks and placed it into the hands of Will Sterling. 

Stay tuned for my next chapter in wedding planning! #winteryroadtorichards