Hi, I’m Brenda, the owner and lead hair and make-up artist of On-Site Bridal.
Born and raised in the Metro Detroit area, I am now a thrilled transplant to the Northern MI scene. I have been in the hair and makeup industry for 14 years and am so happy to say I get to do what I love for a living. I love to laugh and have a good time whenever possible. So, naturally, socializing in the wedding world and being with clients on such an exciting day is my kind of adventure! I love to be outdoors, and living in Traverse City certainly has no shortage of opportunities! When I’m not busy pampering my wedding parties, I spend my down-time with my husband riding bikes, going for a jog to the beach, or having friends over.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
Two years ago I decided to combine my love for hair and makeup with my passion for the wedding industry. I was nervous and excited to take that leap... I am so happy I did.
I started On-Site Bridal in order to give brides the experience I had on my wedding day! I had been working in a salon for 11 years and doing as many weddings as I could in the summer. Finally, I got to a point where I was so busy with weddings and so enjoying that avenue of service, I chose to dive in and start OSB.
I feel that having your hair and makeup services held in your choice location and avoiding the stress of arranging for driving, timing, and the public nature of a salon makes for such an intimate and stress-free experience. It makes me so happy to offer this luxury experience to my clients and, of course, always consider it a privilege when they select us to be a part of their day!
How would you describe your style?
My style is very bohemian and natural. I always tell my clients, don’t choose a style because you feel you should look “different” on your wedding day, choose it because you would feel beautiful, confident and because it feels like YOU! I love natural, tousled, wispy hair-styles that look intentional, but effortless--not too placed. That’s my absolute favorite! When a bride looks romantic and soft, I feel that is the way a groom envisions his soon to be wife walking down the isle. Of course we do everything from sophisticated and polished to vintage finger-wave curls! We are happy and able to create any style, as our portfolio demonstrates.
I have the same vibe with makeup. The wedding day contends with long hours, harsh photography flash, and weather elements. Your makeup has to last through all of it! Although wedding makeup is required to be slightly heavier then the day to day, this doesn’t mean it should be cakey or make you feel like you can’t recognize yourself. My goal is to always wow the bride and her girls. There is a skill in making a bride look like herself on her wedding day and translate in photography. I use a signature style of application that shows off the brides natural beauty and lasts the whole day. An overall look that will be natural and yet be the best version of themselves... Making that happen is a magical feeling!
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
My favorite part of a wedding is to observe just how amazing it is when two people share with their family and friends all the love, happiness, joy, and excitement they feel as they start a beautiful new adventure and create a new life together–from the magic of the ceremony, right down to the party at the reception!
What are some of your favorite trends from this wedding season?
Umm everything!! Hahah... I loved this season!
In my category, I LOVED braids and flower crowns this season. As for the rest of the wedding planning details--seeing the use of metals for accents, calligraphy style invites, gorgeous bouquets that looked extravagant but natural, and thinking out-of-the-box for venues-it was all so great! I am sooo excited to see what 2016 has in store!
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a hair/makeup artist?
Beauty services can tend to be considered a small area on the wedding planning checklist. However, this is an integral part of the day. It is what everyone will be looking at for hours-YOU! Booking the venue, photographer, and florist all take a measure of priority. But the moment you walk through those doors, all eyes are on you... And will be over and over when looking through your wedding photos. My advice is to not let this part of your day fall to the wayside. It is important to remember that although gorgeous flowers, decor, and the right venue all make this day come together to form the vision, if the bride does not look and feel the way she envisioned, then it will affect the rest of the evening. Also, it is key to remember just how crucial selecting the RIGHT vendor is.
Think about what you are looking for - do you have any requirements the vendor must meet? Are you interested in a full-service experience? Is budget the primary concern? Consider this- you can set a Michael Kors bag next to a knock-off and they may seem comparable. However, you can always distinguish the quality of the designer bag, know it will have longevity, and be worth the investment, making you confident in your purchase. The knock-off may give you a look-a-like feel, but you are not getting the same thing and likely know it will not provide you what the designer bag will. Selecting the right vendor is much the same. If a vendor’s portfolio and reviews demonstrate that they provide everything you are looking for, then you can be confident that you will receive your investment in full! Quality services, experience, education, and application that will last all day is an investment–both in self esteem and in gorgeous photographic memories.
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
It is never to soon to book! We strongly suggest a year in advance. We are already double-booked for most of the 2016 summer wedding season and nothing breaks my heart more than telling a frantic bride 2 months before her event date that we have nothing available:(
What advice do you have for couples about the planning process?
Don’t become over anxious! Weddings are a beautiful and amazing milestone in a couples life. So when tiny speed bumps in the planning process start to surface, remember that hardly anyone will ever know the difference except yourself and your planner. You don’t want small things to rob you of the joy that your special day will bring. You are getting married and that’s the most important part! However, planning ahead and having experienced wedding-industry vendors on your side will minimize these hiccups.
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
How do I choose? Being from downstate, everything is so different. Living in Northern MI is such a cool experience! I love the tight-knit-community. Seeing other entrepreneurs supporting and cheering each other on, riding my bike downtown to grab coffee and do meet-and-greets with brides, taking a break and going for a hike at the Grand Traverse Commons–there is so much I am thankful for. Also, I would have to say that being a transplant to the area, I was incredibly nervous as to the reception I would receive when we made what was, for my husband and I, a gutsy move. But I could not be more grateful and happy to have met so many wonderful, talented, helpful vendors and friends who continue to extend their support to us newbies:)