Where Did the JOL Philosophy Come From?

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We recently had a family from church over that we just started getting to know. As we exchanged "how we met our spouse" stories over pizza and beer, we then moved on to "what we do."

It's so much easier for people who've known me for years to understand what it is my Team and I do, and why. They've seen it all evolve. But it can be really difficult to concisely explain to those not in the wedding world, why we hold to the philosophy we do, and refuse to offer our brides any less than the services that come as a result of that philosophy.

I shared with our new friends that having done Hair + Makeup for weddings for years, my Team and I would so (so SO) often hear the same thing from brides, moms, and bridesmaids in regards to past Hair/Makeup experiences when we asked: 

"I'm sure the Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist did a great job...it just wasn't me."

or

"I'm sure it looked great, I just didn't feel like myself."

And since we are committed to being dedicated listeners, and bettering our services each and every year...the negative past experiences of our clients is what has continued to fuel our passion for getting to know them, their styles, their preferences, and what makes them feel beautiful.

I honestly can't get over the fact that SO.MANY.BRIDES in the world have HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of professional photos they spent thousands of dollars on and in every.photo they don't "look/feel like themselves." We think there is something SO WRONG with that!

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I'm not sure where this, "technically it was great, but I sort of hated it" attitude (that I happen to think is incredibly gracious, by the way) comes from. Maybe it's because sadly, many in the Cosmetology industry can have pretty big egos. (Did I just put that in writing?!) And, I've witnessed it: the big ego can translate into a condescending, "You have no idea what you're talking about" tone with clients. An, "I know best." attitude.

Now. Are there times it is clear that our Cosmetology knowledge and experience allows us to better understand how styles and looks work, causing a need to educate the client? Of course.

But as one bridesmaid shared a past experience...you will never hear someone on our Team say anything along the lines of, "You look exotic. We'll give you an exotic look." 

What is that?! Assigning someone a certain Hair + Makeup style without their input at all? Who is wearing this all day, anyway?! (Can you tell this is a hot button for me?!)

Weddings are once in a lifetime. They are the most photographed day of someone's life. And it's with this in mind, that we emphatically refuse to provide Hair or Makeup Services without getting to know our clients first!

Images compliments of Alison Dunn Photography and Kristen Kiraly Films

What Makes Up a Janelle on Location Bride?

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Having been in the industry for so many years (this year makes my 17th of doing weddings!) I have noticed similarities in our brides. Especially these last years as our branding has become clearer, and our process always more stream-lined to make the most out of the JOL experience.

Here are some common attributes of JOL Brides:

Love for Friends + close to Family.

We are regularly amazed to find that our brides are incredibly intentional about their friendships and relationships. We so often hear a desire to use their wedding as an outlet to bless, pamper, and love on others, even when they are the ones being celebrated. 

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Thoughtful.

Whether this is expressed in the sentiment of wearing a re-purposed veil or dress, or teeny-tiny pieces of the day that are intentionally thought out to bless those around them, our brides are SO.THOUGHTFUL. And in their thoughtfulness, unbelievably kind.

Detail Oriented.

Whether they're planning everything to a "T" themselves, or have hired a Wedding Coordinator or Planner to do it alongside/for them, our brides care about the details. The decor, the timeline...what they look like and how the day feels!

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Self Awareness.

Knowing what they like, and don't like is key. Being comfortable in their own style and skin, they are an expert on "them." We are experts on hair and makeup. Together, we are experts on hair and makeup for them. This self awareness doesn't have to be immediate at the outset, sometimes it grows in the journey and discussion. But our brides aren't afraid of identifying things that "aren't them" and pointing to things that are when we suggest them.

Trust.

When we explain options in achieving various looks, our brides trust our experience and education. Often, we find that brides will ask for our input about head pieces, extensions, their need for false lashes, or what application type of makeup we think would be best for them. 

Sweetness.

I have no idea why. I have no idea how. I don't have an "answer" for this. But we seriously work with the SWEETEST brides. They send us hand-written thank you cards, write meaningful and encouraging emails that make our hearts soar, ask about OUR food allergies so THEY can serve us food at their Trial Run or on the Wedding Day...the list is endless. Maybe its because they feel like genuine friends by the time their wedding rolls around...I'm not sure. But we certainly love and appreciate it, and feel completely spoiled by them!

Images by Lauren Fair Photography and Alison Dunn Photography

Team Tuesday: Meet Janelle

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Last year, I introduced our Hair + Makeup Team: Rachel, Sara, Lindsay, and Nicole (we've added one more since then: another post to come!) At the time, it felt really silly to "introduce" myself since I feel like I'm everywhere. In our video you hear and see my passion for the industry, it's my words on our website and all throughout the Styling Guide we send to each #jolbride , etc. etc. You guys already know me, right?

But, then I started thinking: I'm not just the owner of Janelle on Location. I'm the Senior Stylist, too. And, as a Stylist, I figure, I should probably introduce myself. So. Here goes!

Hi! I'm Janelle. I'll be 32 this month- the day before Valentines Day. I've been married for 6 years (by the end of February) and we have two adorable kiddos: a 2 year old girl, and a 3 month old boy (and their oldest sibling is in Heaven.) My little family moved to South Carolina last year, where I run Janelle on Location and am stoked about expanding to Charleston this year. Also. We travel a LOT. It's worth the work that travel is with kiddos to have our windows open with warm, fresh air starting in JANUARY. Not exaggerating. The weather here is GLORIOUS!

After watching my aunt do hair for my cousin's wedding, I did my first updo when I was 13. It was for a friend who had a piano recital. And then in typical 13-year-old-fashion, when you do one "updo" that gets compliments...you're dubbed as the friend who "does hair." Hey, I'm not complaining. That reputation spread fast, and I had so many guinea pig volunteers who were an incredible asset to gaining the unheard of hands on experience I had at such a young age. Some of this I alluded to in my recent post about "The Beginning" of JOL.

At 14, two girls in my Study Hall (who were two years older than me) asked if I'd do their hair for prom. PROM, you guys. I was so nervous. But I love a challenge...so I said yes! They went to prom, got lots of compliments, and their friends freaked out that they got their hair done...by a Freshman. The next year...and I'm not exaggerating...I was booked from like 8am to 6pm for updos in 30 minute appointment slots. I think I gave myself a lunch break- but it was 15-16 heads of hair in one day. AS A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD. I was EXHAUSTED. And loved every second.

My parents were really strict that I not charge anyone un-licensed. So. After losing money buying so much hair spray and so many bobby pins out of my hard-earned babysitting money, I asked for Homecoming that the girls bring their own supplies. Cue: my first lesson in learning the VAST differences good and bad hairsprays make! OH MY WORD!

I was booked for multiple school's dance-dates every Homecoming and Prom throughout High School. I also did my first wedding at 15, and had done ten weddings by the time I was 17. After that, I lost count!

Fast forward through getting my Cosmetology License before graduating High School, working a Disney World internship to learn about Customer Service, moving to Florida, and loving "formal" styling WAY more than ANY other service I offered working in a salon there...I moved to Wales for a mid-term Mission's Trip. Yes, the country. And no, it's not "in" England. And yes, the Welsh are offended by that question. ;) Wonderful experience. Hard year. Life-changing in amazing ways.

I came back to the States and make Janelle on Location official. With literally $18 in my bank account. Eighteen. One-eight. No zeros. I've worked extremely hard and sacrificed a ton over the years for Janelle on Location to be debt free- even since it's inception. Busting my butt doing haircuts and highlights throughout the week, I FINALLY started specializing in weddings, (then added Curly Hair as a specialty a month later). I wanted to focus so hard on what I was best at, and what my passion was.

Oh my goodness, I worked so so hard those years. Before sunrise to after dark. Getting up crazy early to do hours of admin, reach out to local vendors via email, schedule appointments, write out directions from one client's house to the next while I saved for a GPS because I had a dumb phone (and then friends surprised me with an iPad for Christmas!)...doing confirmation calls while in the car between appointments, and I took clients alllll day, to come home and do hours more of admin responding to those who emailed me back during the day. I was a one woman show! Maybe circus?! This went on for years (though, after the first year I had an iPad and a Scheduling Coordinator-- which were SO NEEDED to take the edge off of my many responsibilities so I could business plan better, providing a bit of momentum.)

Met the hubs (at a wedding, no less! He was truly the Best Man ;), got married, moved to PA, and ONLY focused on Hair + Makeup for weddings. Best decision. Why do other things when you can do what you LOVE?!

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And now, as my family actively grows, I personally take a small number of weddings and continue investing in the absolutely incredible Team God has blessed me with. You guys. I am not exaggerating when I say they are the best. They are THE.BEST. There is such affection in our friendships, and camaraderie in sharing our passions serving brides. And we manage to work with such incredible brides! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! We genuinely think they're the best in the world. True relationships that are long lasting are born from this journey of getting to know each of them, and helping them come up with the best Bridal Look for their day.

This adventure has had it's fair share of sleepless nights, and tears. But not even close the amount of excited squeals and enthusiasm it's given me. I simply wouldn't want to be doing anything else!!

Photos by our amazing and talented friendor, Alison Dunn Photography

A JOL Reference Page: What You Need to Know

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We know we're different. We don't solely offer Wedding Day Hair + Makeup (far from it!) and that throws a LOT of brides off. There's almost a learning curve to understanding our philosophy and process because we differ so significantly in our mindset and services to others in our industry.

Consider this blog post (right here, that you're reading!) your cheat sheet! The big pieces of who we are, what we do, why, and what that means for you...all in one place.

Maybe you want to know: Who is Janelle on Location? or What Are Our Team Dynamics Like?

Maybe you want to know What to Expect at Your Trial Run or you're eager to get the most out of your experience by Investing in Our Relationship and Process.

Sometimes Brides aren't sure how to Choose the Right Hair + Makeup for themselves. Or they forget we offer Massage Therapy Services at any time.

Perhaps you want to start off by learning a bit about your Lead Stylist: Janelle, Rachel, or Sara.

If you're lost on even HOW to look for inspiration hairstyles, get our guidance here and here.

And if you'd like...you can get Five Tips to the Perfect Wedding Morning just for kicks!

Always feel free to comment or email with questions!!

A Sincere Bride: Beautifully Herself

When a bride starts her description of the desired "feel" for her wedding day with words like, "sincere" or "heart-warming", "sentimental" and "light-hearted"...basically, we're hooked.

Well, that was Jaime. A #jolbride we won't forget. With an absolutely KILLER gown from Klienfeld Bridal  (the most amazing illusion neckline!) and wedding inspiration that echoed the warm, genuine, thoughtful description of the desire for her wedding day, we just loved being a part of it all.

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For Jaime's hairstyle we played around a lot at the Trial Run with various types of structured and unstructured curls within the side-updo to make sure we got the perfect texture for her style. A side part, with soft pieces framing her face, and the style itself visible from the front below her ear, I just love what we landed on.

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For makeup, we kept things consistent with the tones and product types that Jaime typically wears, while highlighting and drawing more attention to her beauty by taking everything up a notch. Stunningly herself: that's always our goal.

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And when a Bridal Party's timing and service needs call all JOL hands to be on deck...we tend to have that much more fun!

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Thanks, Jaime, for inviting us to be a part of your spectacular day! It was wonderful meeting your family after getting to know you, and seeing all of the different styles and personalities of your sisters. Wish we could do it all over again!

Makeup Tip Monday: Touch Up Service and Re-style

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Listening to our bride's needs is something we take extremely seriously. So a few years ago, after receiving requests for Stylists to stay on site for touch ups and/or complete Bridal Hair + Makeup re-styles...we added it to a Collection we offer.

Whether you're changing into a surprise dress, or want your hair down for the ceremony but up for the reception...or, maybe you're thinking a neutral palette is best for daytime, but you want a bolder makeup look for the evening...we've got you covered! Have one of our Team Members stay on site-- available for touch ups in between photos and available to completely change your look to surprise everyone if you want!

I also can't help but include this totally embarrassing picture of myself because it is just THAT hysterical- I am sure it'll make you laugh! This is from a workshop in France with Lauren Fair and Julie Paisley in August. Our beautiful model, Julie, had something in her eye and I was trying to help find it. But oh my goodness...the squat, the hand on the hip, the squint, the pregnant belly...its just absolutely hysterical!! I burst out laughing the first time I saw it!

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Photographer: @kir2ben
Models: @juliannaleemurphy and @shane.m.murphy
Gown: @clairelafaye
Florals and styling: @oleandercurated
Hair and makeup: @jol_stylist
Ribbon: @honeysilksco
Paper goods and invite: @prettyininkshop
Tie: @neckandtieco
Shot at @laurenfair and @juliepaisleyphotography Provence, France Workshop. #LandJworkshopabroad

The Knot Fall Issue!

We are so thrilled and honored to be featured in print for the first time alongside such phenomenal vendors! Keep an eye out for these gorgeous pics from Jessica Cooper Photography in the Fall issue of The Knot! We absolutely LOVED working with Lindsey and her ladies. Lindsey has an eye for detail, and a vision for beauty like no other. Mulling over her Wedding Vision was breathtaking at every.single.point. Her wedding day was thought through so meticulously, and with such care. It was a tremendous privilege to work with her!!

Vendor team:

Ceremony & Reception site: Smithville Inn, Historic Smithville NJ
Videography: Martin's Accent Wedding Videos
Planner: Kyle Michelle Weddings
Flowers: Vault & Vine
Gown: Sweet Caroline
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Wedding Rings: Harry Merrill & Son Jewelry, Inc.
Engagement Rings: DeSumma and Wexler Fine Jewelry
Hair & Makeup: Janelle on Location
Stationery: Pippa & Fig
Cakes&Pies: Queen Bee Pastry
Favors: Ever Laser

Investing in Our Relationship + Process

As everyone knows, relationships go both ways. It takes two to Tango.

It's important to us that each #jolbride be on the same page with us about the importance of our communication, dialogue, and process. The REASON that's important, is because without it, we can't offer the best service. And we refuse to offer bride's anything less!

In the JOL experience and journey, we want to discover (together) THE PERFECT Bridal Look for each of our individual Bride's style, taste, preferences, comfort level, wedding vision, and personality. Feedback is essential. Storytelling about horrible Prom experiences, or the makeup you loved from your brother's wedding last summer...the more information, the better.

While we have countless examples of this, #jolbride Stephanie is a shining example. What a joy and privilege to journey with her together as a Team!

Stephanie was faithful and committed to processing with us. Open to dialogue, trying new ideas, exploring various options, keeping us posted on head piece changes and adjustments, and so importantly...trusting the process.

While many Hair + Makeup artists can feel threatened by any kind of request for "tweaking or adjusting" after they've completed their work...we are the complete opposite.

Not only is it welcome, it's INVITED. "How can we make you love it MORE" is the theme and song, and until the sentiment is, "Nothing, it's perfect! I couldn't possibly love it more!" we don't consider our work done ;)

Stephanie and Ryan tied the knot in June and I am dying to see what M2 Photography captured for their day! I am swooning over the amazing Engagement Session they did together that our Team had the privilege of doing Hair + Makeup for. (All photos in this post are from that incredible Session!)

The joy and love in their faces, demeanor, and Stephanie's obvious comfortability in feeling "herself" is everything to us. THIS is what we strive for! Completely YOU. At your very best.

Stephanie, you have been an utter delight. Thank you for the honor and privilege it is and was to adventure along with you in these months leading up to your wedding. We can't wait to see how your vision came to life! We know M2 is phenomenal at capturing raw, candid emotion and I am on the edge of my seat to see the beauty that unfolded! Thank you for diving in, head first, to our relationship-- it made it even more of a joy to serve you! CONGRATULATIONS!!

Timeless Beauty and Naturally Elegant Engagement Session with Emily Wren

One of the things we like to encourage immediately post-Trial Run, is having something to do or go to. Brides always feel like a million bucks with their Hair + Makeup done, and we love it when they feel like they can get "use" out of it.

Whether its a Bridal Shower, a date with your fiance...or better yet, something that will be professionally photographed like an Engagement Session! Our wonderful #jolbride getting married in August, Lauren, decided to maximize her time with us, AND her time with Emily Wren, her wonderful photographer.

Classic, timeless romance with a flair of elegance defines Lauren's style perfectly. She has seriously the sweetest relationship with her mom, and just WAIT til you see her unbelievable wedding dress-- its to die for! (You'll have to wait til August! No spoilers here!)

Speaking of dresses, does anyone else want to purchase this incredible navy lace dress Lauren is wearing IMMEDIATELY after seeing it on her?! I absolutely do. Maybe because blue is my favorite color. Maybe because I'm obsessed with lace. Maybe because it fits her like a glove. Whatever the reason...get this dress in my closet!

We think Lauren's soft, seemingly "accidental" waves and enhancing makeup really make her natural beauty "pop" in these awesome photos from Emily. And isn't "looking like yourself" the WHOLE GOAL of photos anyways? Yourself at your best, of course.

We are so excited to celebrate with Lauren and Alan on their Wedding Day! 

What to Expect at a JOL Trial Run

Our Team's perspective of Trial Runs is that they're meant to be exhaustive. That doesn't mean we want you to feel exhausted by the time we're done ;) We just want to explore all of your Hair + Makeup options so that you are confident you're not settling for anything less than what's absolutely best for your Bridal Style. 

Your Wedding Day is likely THE MOST photographed day of your life. And as obvious as it might sound...what you look like...is in all of the photos. And, as you look back at the photos, you will also remember exactly how you felt about what you looked like. And isn't the point of framing pictures that they evoke happy, good emotions and memories when we look at them?!

So! That is why, we get to know our brides really well even PRIOR to the Trial Run. We are weeding out Style options that aren't "them." It matters. It helps us be efficient with our time, and also offer the most helpful suggestions and tips as we guide you through the process.

Having already perused through your Wedding Vision and talked on the phone about your favorite Hair + Makeup inspiration photos, as well as learning about what makeup you wear everyday (if any) and what your hair typically looks like (so, what feels "you") we take all of that into account as we're working towards the best look for you. While of course brainstorming together as a Team and taking TONS of notes-- because we completely believe that two heads are better than one.

After your Lead Stylist reviews the information we have for you about your Style, Wedding Vision, and the "plan" for your Trial, we get started. It's most common to start with "down" styles first, and then "work our way up"-- whether that's half up, all up, or both options. 

We always recommend brides wear a white or light colored top or dress with a similar neckline to their wedding gown. The color helps best picture Wedding Day Makeup, and the cut of top enables you to better envision the Hairstyle with your dress.

In one sense, we're not easily pleased ;) Our Stylists will be regularly asking how we can make everything and anything better. We feel the "weight" of these decisions with you, and want to make sure we've done everything in our power to make sure the direction you choose to go makes you feel absolutely gorgeous while also feeling completely yourself. You can't afford to sacrifice either one!

We continue enjoying getting to know you, take notes on every little detail we've landed on together for your Style Direction, and even follow up later to see if you've had any updated thoughts on adjusting/tweaking anything. (Most brides do!) By the end (if not sooner) you feel like a close friend and we are absolutely GIDDY about your Wedding Day!!

Because we are so committed to the Brides who book with us in our attention, priority, and schedules, we organize Trial Run appointments after the Wedding Date has been reserved with us.

We know that can sound scary because of HOW MANY Hairstylists and Makeup Artists in the world do not share our personalized philosophy, spend NEARLY as much time emailing or chatting with brides prior to, during, and after the Trial Run, nor offer the patient, team-like manner in which our Trial Runs take place.

Yet, because we spend extensive time getting to know our brides vision and personal style,  when we do a Trial Run...we are there adjusting and tweaking until we get it perfect with a clear direction for the Wedding Day! And we love every single second of our process!!

Romantic Garden Party: Melissa

Well, our #jolbride Melissa was beautifully articulate about her wedding vision. During my phone call with her, she told me that they were going for an intimate, romantic garden party that was soft, natural and organic. She described it like a bouquet of flowers: not tight or strict. Lots of movement. How incredible is THAT?! WOW! And. That's just what it was.

One of our FAVORITE things is hearing a bride's dream and vision, journeying with them through the wedding planning process, watching the pieces being pulled together and then seeing it all COME TO LIFE on the day of the wedding! Melissa's Hair + Makeup by Rachel on the Big Day was the perfect compliment to her wedding dress, and overall Wedding Day vision.

An asymmetrical updo with softness around her face and clean, big movements to the style...her hair was flawless. Gorgeous little glitz in the back, too! Stunning, natural makeup that's soft, with warm browns and pinks fit the bill.

Isn't Tim's reaction every bride's dream for a First Look?! I love it!! THIS is the woman he fell in love with: looking like herself, at her best.

Hear what Rachel had to say about the delight Melissa was to work with, and then scroll through our Styling favorites of she and her wonderful Bridal Party. The fantastic Brittney Kreider captured Melissa's incredible style and vision all day long! We love how it fit so well with her personality! Check out more on Brittney's blog post featuring Tim and Melissa!

"I had so much fun working with Melissa- from finding her perfect wedding day look to spending time with her on the most special day of her life! At her trial run we played around with a couple of options in order to find exactly what she wanted but when we did she absolutely lit up and we knew we'd found it! She and her bridal party were so much fun to work with and the morning was so relaxed. It is such an amazing thing to see her wedding pictures at the end of it all and see how her hair and makeup tied in so beautifully with the entire wedding and to see her vision come to life." -Rachel, JOL Lead Stylist

Congratulations Tim and Melissa!!

JOL Team: Meet Nicole!

This past Thursday, we had a #jolteam building day, and I feel freshly thankful for each and every one of the amazing professionals on this Team. Working so wonderfully together, with so much encouragement, and positive collaboration-- each Stylist is genuinely passionate about brides having the best experience possible as they seek to land on the perfect Bridal Look for themselves. We are all so thankful for what we do. Having met our Lead Stylists Rachel and Sara, and our Lead Makeup Artist Lindsay, I am so excited for you to meet our wonderful Assistant, Nicole. While a lot of her care for Leads and Bridal Parties may often be behind the scenes...we literally couldn't do what we do without her.

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When you met Sara, you learned that she's a Cosmetology Instructor. Knowing our Team dynamics, she saw something in a student of hers that resonated with what we do and why we do it, along with exceptional skill and a natural eye for enhancing beauty. So when she finished school, we snatched her up! We are SO thankful Sara introduced Nicole to us!! Nicole is extremely articulate and a phenomenal communicator. Two assets when it comes to the personalization of Hair + Makeup Services! Her love for meeting new people and an excited eagerness to learn and be of Service in whatever ways possible, make her so incredibly valuable to us.

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Nicole is a go-getter. She's proactive, extremely motivated, a life-long learner, and unbelievably passionate about the industry. Watching her love for weddings and being a part of making a day unforgettable only grow and grow--which, of course, just makes her that much more treasured on the #jolteam as we serve each #jolbride!

Nicole has been married to her husband for 4 years this August-- and they have been together for 11 years! She loves sour candy and dark Recees Peanut Butter Cups. Her hobbies include camping and traveling; she's spent time in Fiji, Australia, Jamaica, and Italy! Nicole considers herself a collector of Makeup, and especially loves working with vivid colors. She adores her two pups, Banjo and Penny!

We are so so thankful for Nicole and are thrilled about her future with the #jolteam! Images by the wonderful Alison Dunn Photography.

JOL Team: Meet Lindsay!

So as you know by now, our Team at Janelle on Location is really unique. We have Lead Stylists, who you've already met - Rachel and Sara, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to our wonderful Lead Makeup Artist, Lindsay!

I was really impressed with Lindsay even just the first time we interacted. She is so professional, her own makeup is always flawless, she's friendly, personal, and an incredibly calming presence. (A must for a makeup artist the morning of your wedding, right?!)


One thing that impressed me about Lindsay right away, was learning that she has twin boys...and a daughter who is just 11 months younger. You do the math-- that is THREE children in LESS than a year!! This amazing lady can juggle anything life throws her way and is steady as a rock.

 

Lindsay loves how happy people are, and how good they feel about themselves when they love their makeup and are comfortable in their own skin. She has such an eye for the art, and a heart that is eager to go above an beyond-- the perfect combination for our #jolteam and every #jolbride .

When not working weddings, Lindsay enjoys doing eyelash extensions. She loves her fantastic husband - and they were even High School Sweethearts! Her family of five loves making trips to Disney World for their vacations. 

We are honored that Lindsay is among us on the #jolteam!!

JOL Team: Meet Sara!

If you've been following our little series diving into the Team Dynamics at Janelle on Location and who we are, you met Rachel last week.

This week, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Sara!

I was blown away by Sara from our first interaction. Her passion for Hair + Makeup, in addition to her great love for details still inspires me regularly. This amazing lady could literally teach organization classes-- and even as someone who considers myself very organized...I would absolutely take them! Sara actually uses her excellent communication skills, and her own devotion to being a life-long learner, to teach (not organization classes ;) but Cosmetology! It makes my heart happy to think that there are so many students in the industry learning under Sara's great passion, knowledge, experience, and care.

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Sara is fantastic at asking excellent questions. She thoroughly peruses through images, notes, and details for each #jolbride that is "hers" - soaking in every tiny aspect. Her zeal for each client to look and feel like the best version of themselves is undeniable. She is so obviously excited and eager to do whatever necessary to make each bride (or bridesmaid, or mom!) feel absolutely amazing: enhancing their best features. Sara is determined. A hard worker. Dedicated. And an absolute blast to be around!

Sara loves beach days with her dog, Cooper. On the Sundays she isn't working weddings, Sara can be found catching up with her girlfriends over brunch at local eateries. Her favorite thing to do in the winter is ice skate-- and Friday nights around Sara are movie nights complete with cozy PJs and great snacks!

We are so thankful to have Sara among us on the #jolteam! She is an asset!

JOL Team: Meet Rachel!

At Janelle on Location, our Team dynamics are wonderfully unique and we wanted to take some time to introduce you to each member. First up:  Rachel!

I was so excited to meet Rachel that fateful day in 2014. She'd been recommended for me to consider as a new addition to the Team, and it was evident immediately that she has a God-given eye for enhancing natural beauty. Her eagerness to always learn and grow as a Stylist (which is a requirement for the JOL Team!) was extremely evident, as well as an unbelievably hard work ethic and tremendous dependability.

This past year, Rachel received certification from the Devachan Salon in NYC and is now "Deva Certified!" We are so proud that she's specializing in Naturally Curly hair.

Emails from Rachel are full of exclamation points as her genuine enthusiasm can't be stifled. She is kind, up-beat, steady as a rock under stress, and has a beautiful servant's heart. "Whatever she needs!" is the most frequent response I receive from Rachel as we orchestrate the details of Trial Run and Wedding Day schedules with each #jolbride that is "hers." 

Just recently, I received this sweet email after our #jolbride Nicole and her mom had their Hair Trial Runs with Rachel,

"I cannot thank you both enough.  We just got back from dinner and were both talking about how much we love our hair.  Rachel was amazing.  I really wasn't sure how to explain what I liked (I'm not sure if I even knew to be honest) but she was so patient with me and wonderful to work with.  It made me so excited for what's to come and to have her as part of our big day." 

Rachel loves sushi, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, plays the harp, sings, and is number 8 of 10 kids (yes, you read that right: TEN!). She looks forward to picnics with her husband and her annual family vacation to Maine with no electricity or indoor plumbing!

We are so thankful to have Rachel as part of the #jolteam !

Who is Janelle on Location?

You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, I think a quick two minute video is worth a hundred emails, several phone calls, and an "About Us" page on a website! The amazing Kristen of Kristen Kiraly Films put a video together that couldn't possibly more accurately sum up what Janelle on Location is all about. Because it needs absolutely zero introduction...here it is! Enjoy!

What are JOL Team Dynamics Like?

I love everything about TEAM. Collaboration, brainstorming, relying and depending on one another, feeding off of each other's energy and laughter. It goes hand in hand with why I love marriage and weddings so much! Two is better than one.

The way we, as the Janelle on Location Team, work together is really unique to our industry. So I often find myself explaining our "how."

All of the ladies on our Team are friendly, personable, extremely positive, calm under stress, and an absolute blast to be around!

This is how we serve a bridal party on the wedding day: Each wedding is assigned with one Stylist as the "Lead." This Stylist is responsible for focusing on getting to know you and diving into allll of the details. How you wear your hair everyday, what your daily makeup regiment is (if any)-- what your dress looks like and where its from, the overall vision and feel you are going for in your wedding, etc. etc. She's perusing through your inspiration photos and letting her creativity, passion, love for the industry, interest and care for YOU, spark ideas. Thinking through styles that would make you feel comfortable, beautiful, and also be incredibly unique. She's the Stylist you spend hours laughing and chatting with at your Trial Run. (I just had a #jolbride email me that she'd have pizza and beer all set for her Trial Run with her Lead Stylist last week-- I was so jealous I wasn't there!! Trial Runs can be like mini pamper parties!)

On the day of the wedding, other JOL Team members join the designated Lead Stylist to assist. Using their own great skill and experience, Assistants gladly take direction from the Lead in regards to Styling and Makeup. This keeps everything cohesive and consistent with your wedding vision and style, as well as ensuring we are working as efficiently as possible with no rushed time lines or crunched schedules. (Click here for Five Tips for the Perfect Wedding Morning!)

These ladies not only have my respect as professionals, but have become very dear to my heart. I am inspired by their great care for brides, their passion in the industry, and the way they move mountains to best serve others (to name a few.)

From left to right we have Sheila- our amazing Massage Therapist, Rachel - Lead Stylist, Lindsay - Lead Makeup Artist, Janelle (myself) - Owner + Senior Stylist, Sara - Lead Stylist, and Nicole - Assistant.

I'm excited for you to get to know these wonderful ladies more!

Thanks for all of these great Team Shots, Alison Dunn Photography!

A New Space for our Brides

Our brides absolutely become our friends throughout the wedding planning process. We love getting to know each bride's style, interests, wedding vision, and ohhing and ahhing over their dress and details.

Over the years, I often think about past brides and wonder how they're doing; if their husband got that promotion, where they live now, if they're having babies, and generally just what is going on in their lives.

SO! To re-connect with brides from the past, introduce them to current and future JOL Brides, AND to share styling tips and do some fun giveaways because you're "our people"...we made a facebook page...JUST for JOL Brides. We'll start using the hashtag #jolbride on our Instagram Posts, and would love for you to join in our community!

Please feel free to utilize this amazing resource for product tips, wedding planning ideas, and so much more. Welcome, JOL Brides, to our new online community! There may or may not already be a "Spruce up your hair in 2 minutes" Tutorial waiting for you ;)

(Since I have been doing weddings for 17 years, it will definitely take time to invite each special lady individually. Please feel free to help out by commenting here or on Instagram and asking to be added!)

Massive thanks to the wonderful Alison Dunn Photography for these images of us!

Five Tips to the Perfect Wedding Morning

A wedding morning can be a LOT of things. Exciting, stressful, joyous, overwhelming, full of adrenaline, anxiety-inducing...and we want all of our brides to have the most seamless "getting ready" experience possible. Because, let's be honest. A wedding morning is about SO MUCH MORE than just having everyone's hair and makeup done. (Even if that's our favorite part!)

This is your last morning as a single lady. This is a time to celebrate who you are, who you've become, and the amazing ladies who've watched and even helped shape that process over the course of your life.

Which, leads us to our first tip!

Surround Yourself with Your Favorite Ladies

Honestly, this part should be really easy. Because it's highly likely that your favorite ladies are already in your bridal party and will be getting ready with you. But even if you've chosen not to have a bridal party, coming up with this list shouldn't take any effort. Who is in your Recent Calls list? What friends are all over your Facebook timeline? Who have your co-workers heard about and now know by name even though they've never met? Or...my favorite one: What ladies will CELEBRATE with you the most?

You'll want these ladies to be the ones that make you laugh (so hard that you cry), that will shed tears of joy when they see you in your dress. The friends that will, "Remember when" all morning as you tell hysterical stories of your growing up or dating your fiance. All of these things will relax you, and keep you focused on what the day is all about: marrying the man of your dreams!

A small word of caution, that while you definitely don't want to feel like anyone is missing from this special group you choose, brides can tend to feel a bit overwhelmed when there's more than about 12-15 people around giving suggestions about the wedding day or your hair/makeup. (For some brides, that number is more like 3-5.) You know yourself, you know your friends-- just consider the space you have and what will help keep you sane, stress-free, and relaxed.

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Food + Drinks

This is where the party starts! Mimosas, the best coffee, pastries and fruit...or even a full-on brunch! Don't skimp-- this is the greatest day ever, after all! From a practical standpoint, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a designated bridesmaid who makes sure you're eating and drinking enough (water!) on your wedding day. Staying hydrated and nourished is so.so. important for all of the emotions and energy needed to greet guests and pour out your heart in front of a hundred people.

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Choose Either a Familiar, or Fun Environment

We recommend having plenty of space for ladies to hang out as you sip those mimosas and chat with one another while they're not in our styling chairs. Consider whether you'd feel more comfortable in a perfectly-naturally-lit hotel room + a front desk to call for any needs, or if the familiar space of your childhood home would put you right at ease, do what's best for you. We will just add, that bridal parties who have only one or two locations to be at for the day, seem a lot less frazzled. Whether you get ready at the ceremony site or reception venue (or both), we've seen a significant decrease in the stress of ladies as they transition from one part of the day to the next, if the final wedding-destination is all in the same place, or just one additional location.

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Choose a Stylist who knows you + will be focused on you

One of many reasons we love getting to know our brides personally, is because after our phone calls, countless emails, a trial run, and Pinterest Board sharing together, we are a familiar face, and calming presence to a bride on the morning of her wedding. We love knowing our brides' likes and dislikes, and being able to focus all of our energy and attention in the right place on her most important day. We are a no-drama, positive, energetic team who absolutely LOVES what we do!

No to-do list

...or a Wedding Coordinator to take care of it! Honestly, though, we see this as a huge area of stress for brides. Any last minute things that need to be handled the day of the wedding often keep them distracted from being in the moment and savoring every single second of this day they've planned so long and hard for. Pass the to-dos onto someone else: brides are just supposed to ENJOY!!

Thank you, Lauren Fair Photography and Kristin Shyla for these gorgeous images!

Choose the Right Wedding Hair and Makeup for You

Choosing your wedding hair and makeup look isn't a small decision. It significantly impacts your confidence for the day, every SINGLE photo, and how you'll remember feeling about yourself as you reflect back and reminisce about the most important day in your life for the rest of forever.

Setting a Higher Standard for Hair and Makeup

While many many hairstylists and makeup artists do fantastic work making women look beautiful...

...the truth is, on your wedding day, you don't want to just look pretty. You want to look YOUR BEST. Recognizably YOU...the very best representation of you. A look that encapsulates who you are, your style, your personality, and puts it on display for the world to see! You want to look and feel the most comfortable you've ever felt in your own skin.

This requires finding a hairstylist and makeup artist who will take the time to get to know you. Check out our guest post on Style Me Prettyfor more tips about How to Look Like Yourself on Your Big Day.

Wedding Hair and Makeup
Wedding Hair and Makeup

More than just pulling off a look

A lot of brides simply look gorgeous in anything. They could pull off any look in the world and make it look amazing. (This is why, if we didn't get to know our brides, we would have NO IDEA how to begin recommending styles!)

Sure, face structure, hair texture, density, eye setting, etc. can "tend" towards looking better in certain ways. But unless a hairstyle or makeup look is representative of YOU...you won't like it, or feel comfortable in it. Or, there could be other styles you like far better, and you just have no idea they even exist.

What does this mean

Here's an example. This gorgeous bride is named Brooke. Chances are, you don't know her. So every reader will have a different opinion about what hair and makeup styles look best on her (trust us- we've heard them all!) And that's because...well, she's beautiful! She looks gorgeous in all of the styles! But to those who know her best, there is only one that's "Brooke."

While Brooke could pull off any of these looks: the flower crown Taylor Swift look-alike, the Icelandic princess, the timeless, vintage, re-purpose-your-mom's-dress look...what's most "her", fit HER personality, HER style, and complimented HER wedding gown...was soft, natural, beautiful waves in her flowing long blonde hair.

Just look at how her face lights up as she feels so comfortable in this look! She's glowing!

All of this is why a Trial Run is so important. In the process of getting to know you, we like to be able to offer helpful tips, suggestions, recommendations, and style ideas you may have never seen before or thought of that might be just PERFECT for you.

A special thanks to Cheryl Dawn Photography for the amazing images from Brooke's stylized photo shoot/trial run, and M2 Photography for these breathtaking photos of Brooks' wedding day. We are honored to work with you both!