Ask the Expert: Dawn McDuffie | Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain

We spoke with Dawn McDuffie from the Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain about brides, grooms, and wedding parties that visit the spa in preparation for their big day.  She gave us helpful feedback on everything from hair and makeup prep to treating you and your wedding party to a day of relaxation. You'll be craving a day at the spa for yourself after reading this!

When approached by brides, what are some of the things you recommend that they keep in mind?

As far as preparing for the actual wedding day, the day before is good for relaxation and any treatments that take longer like nail shellac application.  On the day of the wedding I recommend that they have hair done first and then makeup, mainly so that the hair is out of their face.  Trial hair and makeup appointments for the bride are often made anywhere from 6 months in advance to a couple of weeks before the wedding, and it's okay to have more than one trial.

Are there any things that Brides and Grooms don't consider, or services they should ask about when planning their spa visit?

Most brides know what they want before coming to the spa, but it's helpful to be aware of all of the options that are available so don't be afraid to ask! The spa also works with you to help make the day run smoothly by organizing when each member of the wedding party will have their appointments throughout the day.

The spa seems like a great place to take your bridesmaids before the wedding, do you have many bridal parties come in for that reason?

I'm working with a wedding party right now that has an amazing spa experience planned.  They've rented out a group room where they'll be able to rest and relax between treatments.  Throughout the day, they will be treated with sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and a catered lunch.  They each have manicures and pedicures scheduled, and some have planned facials.  The Spa also has a wet room that offers the European Spa bathing experience.  A hot tub, sauna, and steam room are available with recommended cool showers between each. It's all about having a pampered day for you and your wedding party and plenty of relaxation!

What are treatments that the Groom and his groomsmen usually enjoy?

The full menu is offered but most men opt for a massage before the wedding.  Little do they know if they tried a pedicure once, they'd be hooked!

Thank you so much Dawn for answering our questions!


How do you plan to relax before your big day?

SBW Vendor Spotlight: Pavlova European Spa & Salon

From one lady to other, we all know how important it is to feel pampered on your wedding day or wedding weekend for that matter.  Let me introduce you to one of our newest vendors, Pavlova European Spa and Salon.  A reputable Downtown Traverse City business, Pavlova has been pampering the ladies of Northern Michigan for years.  Operating day to day as a salon and spa, they also offer both in-salon and on-site bridal services.  Give your hair, nails, skin and body the special treatment they deserve by calling Pavlova to schedule an appointment, and be sure to check out Pavlova's Vendor Profile under the "Health & Beauty" section of the Vendor Guide.

Photos courtesy of Pavlova


Ask the Expert: Susan Ruoff | Venus Owner and Makeup Artist

This week's Ask the Expert is a bit different as with it, we are incorporating a GIVEAWAY!  We know how much our readers enjoyed the last one so today Susan Ruoff, Venus Owner and Makeup Artist, has so graciously donated a basket full of goodies as well as her professional input on each of the products within the basket.  Enjoy reading through the post and continue on to the bottom of the post for the GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

Book - Makeup Makeovers: Weddings

This book will give you so many beautiful ideas for makeup and hair for the entire bridal party.

Hollywood Fashion Tape:

Don’t worry about hems falling or unmentionables showing. These easy-to-use double-sided tape strips can be applied wherever a little extra wardrobe help is needed. Made with hypoallergenic, residue-free ingredients, they’re safe for both sensitive skin and delicate fabric.

Stila sparkle waterproof liquid eye liner in Starry:

Get stunning, look- at- me eyes. This gorgeous eye liner is infused with pearlized micro-glitter (read: not in-your-face sparkle), these liners work for both day and night. The pen-like applicator makes it easy to apply the waterproof pigments, while a unique polymer keeps the colors vibrant for hours.

Smashbox Limitless Longwear lipgloss in Endless & Enduring:

We never let a bride leave our makeup chair without  long-wearing lip gloss. It gives you nonstop gorgeous color and shine for up to 6 hours, while SPF 15 protects your lips. The luxurious formula with vitamins A, C & nourishes lips for a silky-smooth texture that's never tacky or dry.

Too Faced Beauty Balm in Cream Glow:

Who doesn’t want to glow on their wedding day? Our innovative beauty balm offers multiple skincare and makeup benefits in one simple step. Our powerful, multi-mineral complex instantly achieves a healthy glow and improves skin's overall appearance. Light-diffusing pigments tint and add radiance.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance:

Your eye makeup will never look better. Skin-soothing formula evens out skin tone and smoothes fine lines to create a perfect canvas for eye shadows. Color is intensified and locked down until you take it off. Will never crease or fade.

Stila Convertible color in Peony:

This versatile favorite brightens cheeks and lips with creamy, translucent color. Tap onto cheeks and press onto lips. The sheer tint adds a natural glow of color.

Butter London nail laquer in Pink Ribbon:

This classic french pink is the perfect color for any bride. Butter London is the cult phenomenon of the nail industry and is fast becoming famous for their high fashion, 3 Free (non-toxic) nail lacquers.

BareMinerals blemish therapy:

Every bride worries about that one blemish that will show up on her big day, with this kit, it will no longer be a worry. Conceal and prevent future breakouts with this targeted blemish remedy and brush. This non-irritating formula also helps to minimize the appearance of pores, neutralize redness and diffuse imperfections.

Now for the GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Susan Ruoff and Venus are generously giving away a gift basket filled with all of the goodies listed above.  To enter please leave a comment below telling us what your "go to" makeup product is and if you're planning on DIY-ing your makeup or getting it professionaly done for your wedding day.  Also, head on over to Facebook and “Like” Venus’ page.  The contest will run from 5/30/12 at 10:00am Eastern until 6/6/12 at 8:00am Eastern.  The winner will be announced on 6/6/12 by noon and will be contacted via email so be sure to add to your contacts.

Thank you again to Susan and the staff of Venus for their generous donation.  Next time you're downtown, stop in and check them out.

Photos courtesy of Stila, Smashbox, Too Faced, Butter and BareMinerals

SBW Vendor Spotlight: Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa

It's really easy for outsiders and down-staters to call us crazy for living in Northern Michigan.  I can't tell you the amount of times I've personally been asked the simple question of "Why?" with an "it's so cold/snowy/etc." statement following quickly after.  The simple truth is that in the winter it is cold/snowy/etc., but the beautiful thing about Northern Michigan is that the people who call this area home don't fight against what's natural, they embrace it!  That brings me to one of our newest vendors, Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa- home to well groomed, snowy slopes in the winter, two golf courses in the summer, an award winning spa and host to dozens of beautiful weddings year round! Whether you're looking to tie the knot in the summer, winter or anytime in between, Crystal Mountain has got you covered.  The resort features:

  • Four outdoor ceremony locations
  • Three reception locations
  • Numerous menu options
  • Chairlift rides
  • Onsite guest accommodations
  • Personal wedding coordinator for each couple
  • And so much more!

Be sure to check out Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa's Vendor Profile under the "Ceremony & Reception Locations" section of the Vendor Guide.

Photos courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, Kari Douma Photography and Angel Eye Photography



Northern Michigan Spa Takes Top Honors

Northern Michigan is no stranger to top ten lists or awards, with its food, wine, cheese, etc. all being recognized in the past.  So why not add one more accolade to the list?  Last week, Crystal Spa took home three awards from two premier spa publications.  Spa Magazine awarded Crystal Spa with two Silver Sage Awards (Favorite Hotel Resorts/Spas: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest category and Favorite Green/Eco Spa).  SpaFinder named Crystal Spa to its list of Ten Best Spas for Environmental Practices. Located in Thompsonville at the Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, Crystal Spa opened in January of 2009.  It is one of eight LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) spas in the nation and the only one in the Midwest.  "The 18,500 square-foot facility features 12 treatment rooms, including a dual treatment room and Vichy shower, meditation lounge, outdoor meditation garden with hot tub, locker rooms with infrared saunas and steam rooms, and a manicure and pedicure salon. In addition, the building includes a fitness center with the latest cardio- and strength-training equipment, motion studio, and an indoor pool and hot tub."

Congratulations, Crystal Spa!  I'll be visiting soon!