Transform Your Bridal Style: Love Your Look From Ceremony to Reception

I was the makeup artist on a team that photographed a wedding themed styled shoot in Hudson, New York. We told a vintage inspired wedding story featuring our bride who changed wedding looks from ceremony to reception. We shot at the awe inspiring Tiger House located at 317 Allen Street.

Switching ceremony attire to a party friendly look is the perfect opportunity to change makeup and hair too. Many brides request natural makeup for their ceremony. The reception can be an ideal time to amplify the look. Day makeup easily transitions to evening. ​ Changing lip color or adding smoky liner can achieve a vibe shift. Likewise one can wear an updo at the ceremony and loosen up into something softer at the reception. Alternatively hair worn down all day can be fashioned in a secure chignon to manage any frizz exacerbated by summer humidity.

A just married couple stand under the outdoor archway of one of Hudson, NY's grand mansions.
A stylish couple stand on the stone walkway of one of Hudson, NY's historical mansions.

Two makeup looks…

I wanted the two makeup looks to work in the openness of Tiger House’s interiors and with the warmth of its wood paneling. Our photographer, Erica Leman of Sweet Alice Photography, captured the natural light streaming through the mansion’s large windows. I’ve learned makeup doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The environment and lighting affects how looks are perceived.

A newly married couple stand in a library.
A bride wearing a backless wedding gown stands before a mirror.
A bride adjusts her wedding ring.

Inspired by the works of Tamara de Lempicka…

Our dresses both had vintage qualities reminiscent of the 1920’s and 1930’s. For further vintage inspiration I turned to the works of Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish artist who painted during the 1920’s and 1930’s. I love the depth and dimension of her portraits and wanted to reflect it in the makeup design. I didn’t want these looks to explicitly be a literal translation of early 20th century makeup trends though. 

On makeup…keep the skin real.

We shot a gown by mother-daughter wedding fashion designers WTOO by Watters with patterned white lace and cap sleeves as our first look. Our hairstylist Emi Lockheart perfected a loose chignon but one with less of a Boho vibe. I wanted to keep the skin as realistic as possible and with our model Jaime that was easy to achieve. She has such even toned, smooth skin that it didn’t make much sense covering it up with foundation.

Enhancing the glow.

For a makeup base I started with a glow enhancing primer. Its creamy texture melted into the skin leaving a glow that looked like healthy skin, not glittery or shimmery in any way. Its light coverage evened out what little redness Jaime had and then I added just a bit of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer under the eyes, around the nose and on any spots. Following that to amplify the skin’s glow I layered Benefit’s Watts Up! Cream Highlighter on the high points of the face like the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and so forth. ​

A bride puts on earrings.

For the eyes I smudged a deep dark brown liner into the lash line and finished by curling the lashes and topping with black volumizing mascara. For lips I used a classic “my lips but better” shade. It’s actually lip liner over balm to get more of a stained effect. Unfortunately it’s a discontinued color from Makeup Forever.  I thought this makeup perfectly complemented the loose updo as well as the style of the white lace wedding gown with its geometric lines. 

Smokey eyes and red lips. A makeup don’t, or is it do?

Our second look was a stunning dress from family owned and operated bridesmaid dress company Bari Jay. The sleeveless gold sequin dress featured a v neck and low back with fitted and flared mermaid bottom. It was flexible in terms of its styling due to its vintage yet contemporary feel. Emi dropped the hair down into long waves and I added a smokey eye AND red lip. That’s right, I chose both bold eyes and red lipstick. Typically advice is to avoid wearing strong makeup on more than one part of the face. A key aspect to making this type of look work is to choose colors that are in harmony with each other. Also, because I started with sheer textures on the skin I could add more makeup without it looking too heavy.

A couple feed each other wedding cake.
A couple toasts with two glasses of champagne.
A couple embrace on a lawn.

The Sleeping Girl, 1930 – Tamara de Lempicka

Satin and creamy textures.

For the eyes I added satiny Kiko Milano Long Lasting Eyeshadow Sticks. They are creamy easy blending eyeshadow sticks that set to a long wearing waterproof and smudge proof finish. Cream eyeshadow sticks exist from both budget and premium brands and these belong right beside the more expensive ones but at a more affordable price. I used shades light taupe which has been discontinued and dark taupe. The cool neutrals paired well with the bold lip. The red liquid lip color is light in texture yet full of rich pigment. This lip product lacked a super matte texture which can suck the life right out of lips leaving them looking desiccated and flat in photographs. To mimic the depth and dimension reminiscent of de Lempicka’s paintings I blended a little cream blush in a neutral rose tone to very slightly sculpt the cheeks.

A relic of a bygone era…

Tiger House was operating as an inn at the time of our pre pandemic photoshoot. As a lover of history I was curious about the property and discovered a rich historical account. It was akin to many of the Hudson Valley’s other mansions and estates. I consider Tiger House a relic of a bygone era. Built just after the close of the Gilded Age, renowned architect Marcus Tullius Reynolds designed the home according to an archive of the now defunct website for the mansion. Construction lasted from 1903 – 1906. 

A belle of Honolulu…

Morgan Akin Jones and Clarisse Weaver Boedefield Marriage Certificate

It has been reported the home was commissioned as a hunting lodge for Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Akin Jones, heirs to a prominent soap company fortune. These details are a matter of conjecture though. Historical evidence suggests a Mr. and Mrs. Jones didn’t exist when Tiger House was finished in 1906. At least not as these titles would have related to Morgan Jones and a wife. The 1910 census places Jones living at the Hudson, NY address with his mother, sister and a couple of servants. Morgan Akin Jones did not in fact marry until 1911. Genealogical records do not reflect any prior marriages for him.

The name of the woman Jones would come to marry appears with several spelling variations in census, newspaper articles and genealogical records. Clarissa Weaver Boedefeld and Clarisse Boedefeld are some variations. Jones met Clarice Bedefeld, as the spelling was reported in the Hudson Evening Register, on the second night of his trip to Hawaii. She must have made quite an impression because he proposed FOUR DAYS later. She is referred to as a “belle of Honolulu.” They married in Hawaii and then returned to Hudson. One can only imagine what a fascinating love story that may have been. 

The soap company for which it is alleged they were heirs has been reported to be The Sapolio Soap Company, operated by Enoch Morgan and Sons Co. Sapolio Soap was estimated between 1899 and 1905 to have been one of the world’s best advertised products. Although its initial success was largely due to its jingles, the company’s print advertising can be found today in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution

Heirs to a fortune.

Perhaps many believe Morgan and Clarisse stood to inherit this company’s fortune because his mother and the owners of Sapolio, Enoch Morgan and Sons, shared a surname. There’s not much information publicly available about Enoch Morgan and his sons. According to a 1936 Time article the soap company was started by Enoch’s father in law, handed down to Enoch and managed by his three sons.

It took some resourcefulness to uncover any connection to Morgan Akin Jones. His mother, Mary Elizabeth, was a Morgan by birth. I was able to unearth a trove of genealogical information on the Morgan family in the 1911 publication Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia, and Greene by Cuyler Reynolds. 

Coincidently the author of this book was the older brother of Tiger House’s architect Marcus Tullius Reynolds. There is no connection between Enoch Morgan and the mother of Morgan Akin Jones that I can find in this text or in any genealogical records. She is seemingly from an unrelated lineage to Enoch. 

Into the Modern Era.

Over the decades it is alleged the mansion saw its own transformations. One rumor being the mansion became a brothel. At one time the legend of Hudson’s red light district reached Europe with its workers serving as valued members of the community whose industry fostered prosperity within the city. Local law enforcement and public officials turned a blind eye to the sex workers but in the 1950’s the state police operating without the knowledge of the local authorities arrested many of the madams causing an exodus of workers that never returned and a local economy that would be forever changed. Other publications mention the home remained a private residence and then a nursing home. The building became an inn after its purchase in the 1980’s and was operating as such at the time of our shoot.

What better time to experiment with hair and makeup?

With so many choices and price points on the market, wedding day look changes are within reach despite one’s budget. There are no rules and one doesn’t have to limit themselves to traditional bridal choices. Wardrobe changes offer the perfect opportunity to have even more fun with hair and makeup. What better time to experiment than when there are hair and makeup artists at beck and call. Enjoy exploring all the options!

Wedding Vendor Credits
Venue: Tiger House Hudson
Photography: Sweet Alice Photography
Hair: Emi Lockhart
Makeup: Azesha Ramcharan
Jewelry: Bavier Brook
Invitations: Kristal Walden
​Cake: Quirky Kakes 

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