The Ultimate Wedding Day Guide For Brides of Color

Every Bride regardless to her ethnic background is beautiful in her own unique way. From her personality to her unique features, that's what sets her a part and makes her shine bright on her special day. No Bride (realistically) looks exactly alike, but to a Bride in planning seeing another Bride's wedding can inspire her and ultimately help her with planning. So, where did this topic come from? It was inspired by an email that I received from an inquiring Bride. She had been following me for some time on Instagram, and in her email she expressed a heartfelt statement that made me stop for a moment. I'm about to share that with you. (Sidenote: This goes to show that people can have a connection to your brand before they really get the opportunity to work with you. As a well-known Photographer and Entrepreneurial Coach once said, "The power of 1:1 connection is really powerful.")

THE EMAIL: "I really love your work. I have been following you on Instagram for some time now and I'm so excited to reach out to you about your wedding photography. I love how beautifully you photograph ALL of your couples and Brides, but being able to see myself in one of your black-Brides really makes your photography stand out. I don't want to sound weird, but being African-American sometimes it's hard to see yourself in Brides (featured in magazines, television, or online) that don't look like you. Being of a darker-tone it's even harder. Seeing a Bride that is my exact skin-tone and how beautiful she looks in your photographs; I felt like I had a place. Like I belonged. I could see myself in her wedding photos, and that made me smile." - Inquiring UI Bride

When I first received her email I wasn't expecting this type of message to be included. Most Brides start off with their wedding day and then begin to inquire about my Collections. Yes, sometimes they do share feedback about my work, but this one was different. It was different because she shared her heart and how my imagery was directly effecting her in a positive manner. It was knowing that a photograph I captured of my beautiful UI Bride, made another woman feel even more beautiful about herself. It was knowing that my work can speak to any Bride, and remind Bride's of all colors that they are beautiful. It was knowing that a woman who may have had negative thoughts about her skin color or perhaps others have attacked her for her skin tone -my images let her know that none of that mattered. After reading her message, while I was happy that she contacted me to shoot her wedding I wanted to respond to her message about being encouraged through my photography. I wanted her to know that she was beautiful and that her darker skin tone IS beautiful. I wanted her to know that she can be herself with Unashamed Imaging, and that as her wedding photographer my goal is to bring out what she already embodies, and for her to embrace it.

I want to give Brides of Color some resources that my beautiful Black Brides can use to bring out their inner and outer beauty regardless to the hue of your skin-tone. Below are three categories that I want to share with you if you're a black-bride, and no worries if you're not a black-bride, you can use these too.: I: BRIDAL MAKEUP AS A BRIDE OF COLOR {Real Wedding: Ceaser Wedding | Photography by Unashamed Imaging of Professional ​Makeup Artist Bethmaylynes}​

Book A Professional Makeup Artist When it comes to Bridal makeup for Brides of Color it's important that you stay hydrated to reduce dry-skin, choose colors that go with your skin-tone and enhance your features. Choose a Professional MakeUp Artist that knows how to do makeup for a B.O.C. A great way to gauge their skills is to look at their portfolio and look at previous B.O.C. within their portfolio. This will help you to assess if they are the right fit for you. If you're looking for some referrals here are a few that I have worked with who are amazing.

Makeup Artist Referrals:

Looks of Vanity- Erwin Artistry-

Joanna- In2YourBeauty

Carissa Mosley-

​Bethmaylynes- @Kuwbinc​Kyra

Kyra- Glammed By Kyra

Let me also add that these makeup artist are not all African-American and that's what I love about working with this list of amazing professionals. They are professionals which means they know how to 'glam' any Bride; regardless of skin-tone.

{Real Wedding: Sierra Wedding | Photography by Unashamed Imaging of Professional ​Makeup Artist Erwin Artistry (Left)}

{Real Wedding: Sierra Wedding | Photography by Unashamed Imaging of Professional ​Makeup Artist Erwin Artistry}

Headshot by Harmony Lynn Photography

Makeup shot by LabelleMooi Photography II: BRIDAL HAIRSTYLIST

Professional Hairstylist When it comes to Bridal hairstyles and hairstylist for B.O.C., it's important that you hire a hairstylist that knows how to deal with your hair texture. We all have different textures of hair. If you're hair is anything like mine, the center of my hair is thicker than the edges of my hair. I found this out from my hairdresser and because I know this, I know how to care for my hair as a whole and try to avoid doing things that will damage either section from neglecting the other. My hairdresser also educated me on how to treat my hair and this is key. Knowing how to treat and care for hair makes a difference; a huge difference. A hairstylist that knows how to do your hair and your Bridesmaids hair is a big plus! All of you will look glamourous. ​ {Photography by Unashamed Imaging}

​​ A knowledgeable hairstylist will know how to treat and style your hair, but I also believe that if a professional doesn't know how to treat and style your type of hair, they will also admit this and may have some great referrals for you. Being able to see B.O.C. wedding-day hairstyles will help to inspire you. You can also use blogs and resources to find hairstyles that match your hair length and type. I will hone in on this in Category III: Resources. Professional Hairstylist Referrals: Crystal Williams - Elite Hair Care Joanna- In2YourBeauty Mia Farah Beautique- Pamela Hall

Here are some images from real weddings captured by Unashamed Imaging of Bridal Hair/Hairstyles featuring B.O.C.