COPYRIGHT 2019 Lauren Swanson Wilmington, North Carolina



The Crow-Groose Love Story.

February 6, 2019






    Bridal makeup as always been something that I love so much. I love the glamorous looks I create and the boost of confidence that my work gives my clients. I always look forward to meeting my brides on trial day. Because for the most part we communicate electronically. All I know about my brides prior to meeting them is their email and the information I ask to generate a contract. So on trial day it's always exciting. The moment I met Kelsey and her mother I instantly was so comfortable with them. As if we've known each other for a very long time. Besides I think we were all excited about playing with some prestige makeup. So when a new client sits on the directors chair I like to ask a couple questions prior to getting started...


1. Any skin allergies, or skin conditions that I should be aware of. 

(I want to make sure you're going to be comfortable and not have any reactions) 


2. How is your skin ( Dry, oily or combinations)?

(I want to property treat your skin so we can prevent breakout, dry patches, etc.)


3. and finally What type of look are we trying to achieve today?

(I want to you give you what you wan only better with suggestions and tips)


...believe it or not these questions are extremely important as a makeup artist because I want to make sure that the makeup going to stay on as long as possible and not give you or your skin any complications.


    Kelsey wanted a simple blushed look with a nude lip but but too nude, I like to remind my clients that If you go too nude on the lips your lips disappear in photos. While playing with prestige makeup brands and creating the look and of course having great conversation about being from California and being a military wife, mom and all the things I take on. When I completed the look Kelsey loved it. We then went to talking about skincare because let's admit NO ONE has perfect skin. Don't you wish we did tho, we wouldn't have to wear much makeup to give us the illusion of flawless contoured skin. I get this quite a bit where my brides will ask for skincare recommendations, and I share with them everything I know and the products I love and use everyday. I used to have horrible skin and its not at its best now but its done a 360 compared to where it was before. As someone who does glam (my makeup) everyday skincare is extremely important to me because aging, breakouts and all that jazz is not our bestfriend.  So I want to make sure I'm prepping my skin for the makeup I'm about to put on. My first blog post I knew I wanted to share skincare tips because Its a topic that I get asked a lot about.  I wanted to prep my brides to get a clean flawless canvas for the glam on wedding day. You can read that in the blog section. 


   The drive to Silver Hearth Lodge was amazing, what I love the most of the Roanoke and surrounding areas is the 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge mountains. Driving up to the venue on wedding day I was first blown away of how high were driving up. I remember looking over to my husband and the first thing I said was these photos are going to be amazing. As we got closer to the property the personality started to come out you would come across little signs here and there, benches in the most perfect places. When we arrived to the main part of the property, I myself prior to arriving had a vision of how the property "looked". I do this all the time when I'm going somewhere I've never been my mind paints this picture for me. It never really is the same, but one of the first things I noticed was that The Silver Hearth Lodge was one NOT a Barn. I feel like out in the east coast, southern states. Barn weddings are a popular demand and that is ok. I love rustic barns! My husband and I actually want to open our own wedding venue when he retires from the Marines. Back to the Lodge, when we arrived we had some extra time (I love arriving early, I Hate being late). We had the opportunity to scout the property and experience it for ourselves. That is one thing that I love about being a Wedding Makeup Artist, you get to see so many beautiful venues, and meet some amazing vendors and people. As we walked through the property we instantly fell in love with it, every place in the venue indoor and out had something different and unique. If you haven't visited The Silver Hearth Lodge please do you'll love it inside and out besides the backdrop of mountains for photo ops.


  On Wedding day I was so excited to glam up these ladies. Kelsey decided to change up her look from the look that we did on her trail and that's ok. I get brides that do this all the time and I love it because we get to do something that they're not typically 100% comfortable with on a daily basis but they fall in love with it on wedding day. We went for a chili red lip and I loved it it complimented the decor and especially the time of the year. Can you noticed that her lips didn't disappear in photos? As you look through these photos I hope you find inspiration whether its for your wedding, your friends, sister etc. A quick shoutout to Anna Bowser a vendor and professional photographer, amazing to work with and so easy to talk to. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing photos with me! She simply captured the beauty, and Kelsey and Rich's love story.  


   I asked Kelsey some questions and this is what she had to say..




I know your wedding was a “Destination Wedding”. What was the biggest challenge while in the booking process?




I was not the type of girl that had her wedding all planned out as a little girl, so there were a lot of challenges for me in this journey, though the biggest challenge for me was finding a venue. Due to fall being one of the biggest wedding seasons in Virginia, I wanted to make sure I booked a venue before it was too late. I used countless wedding websites to hunt for my ideal venue. There are so many gorgeous wedding venues in Virginia, but they all come with a price. Having set a budget for all things wedding, I couldn’t bring myself to use it all on the venue.. I was able to narrow my venue search down to four based on online pictures, reviews, price, and location. I didn’t have the luxury of being able to come down from Chicago to visit the sites, so I trusted my mom to visit the sites and pick the one she thinks is the best. My mom only ended up going to two out of the four because she fell in love with Silver Hearth Lodge immediately, so we went ahead and booked it. I signed the venue contract without ever seeing it, it wasn’t until a couple months later when I was able to. Since the venue is such a huge part of your wedding and budget, that this was the hardest part for me. Also, it was a bummer that I didn’t get to experience venue tours as a new bride since I was so far away. 


On the other hand, the easiest part of planning a wedding from far away was picking my photographer. There was one picture of Anna Bowser Photography’s work that caught my eye when I was searching through online wedding sites and I knew I had to have her photograph my wedding. I immediately reached out to her and was so glad she wasn’t booked for my date. Since we were not going to have a videographer, I wanted to have the best photographer available. 





What was your favorite part of your wedding day, besides marrying your honey?




So cliché, but I loved having all our friends and family around us. We kept our guest list small as to only invite people that meant something to us. It was great that people were able and willing to make the journey from near and far to celebrate Rich and me.My family is spread across the United States, so we do not really get to all be in one room at a time. My grandma had actually passed in August, so it was a little bittersweet. 




What advice would you give future brides who are also planning a destination wedding? 





Number one piece of advice I would give any bride, not just to one planning a destination wedding, would be to go with the flow. I am usually a control freak, but I had to be aware that I can’t control everything when it comes to a wedding, there is just too much to take care of. For example, you cannot control the weather, there is no sense in checking it every day leading up to the event. The morning of my wedding I woke up and it was sunny out, but just as I was about to walk down the aisle it started raining. Essentially, don’t worry yourself sick with things out of your control. 


One piece of advice I would give to destination brides specifically would be to include all guests in the rehearsal dinner event, whatever that may be. We had an I Do BBQ at one of the conference suites in our hotel. Luckily for us, all of our wedding guests stayed at the same hotel, so it was easy for everyone to attend.  This allowed for all those people that are already nervous to be in a new place get to know some friendly faces and it made for a much more relaxed wedding. Rich and I were able to thank everyone for attending our wedding weekend at the I Do BBQ, which left us more time to enjoy the company of all our guests at the wedding since the formalities were out of the way. Also, since everyone knew each other from the night before, our dance floor was poppin’, is that a word that the kids still say?





What was your inspiration?




As mentioned previously, I didn’t have a wedding binder hidden under my bed since I was seven, so I really didn’t have any inspiration for the style of my wedding. I was more inspired to have a wedding that people remembered, not for things like the table settings or the décor, but more for how it made them feel. I wanted my guests to wake up the next morning and say “Dang, what a hell of a night!” So, I went through the wedding planning process with that in mind. The greatest compliments I received after the wedding were not about how pretty I looked or how cute Rich and I were, but those that described how much fun they had. 







Venue: Silver Hearth Lodge

Photography: Anna Bowser Photography

Videography: N/A

Coordinator: N/A

DJ: RSP Entertainment, LLC

Florals: Bloominous

Hair: Adorn Salon - Mary

Make-up: #MakeupbyLaurenSwanson

Dress: Willowby by Watters Caterer:

Center Stage Catering Donuts: Krispy Kreme  



Thank you for taking the time out your day to read what I get to do for a job that I love so much. I hope you found inspiration for your event whether your a bride to be a planner or simply love weddings. Thank You Anna Bowser again for photography and Kelsey for taking the time out of her day to answer the questions I had for her. 



Until Next time. 








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