Longtime Married Readers, We Want to Hear from You! Introducing The Sophia Series.

Sophia is the Greek word for “wisdom.” With marriage comes an unveiling: emotional, physical, spiritual. The raw of who we are. And in that vulnerability, we are given the grace of a holy wisdom, born of experience and time. We invite you to share yours.

Sisterhood, community, and honest dialogue have become cornerstones of the Spoken Bride community, with all thanks to the Father and to your authenticity and sincerity. In that spirit of honesty, we know that behind every picture-perfect wedding photo is an imperfect bride and groom, striving always to live out free, faithful, fruitful, and total love. The Sophia Series will feature testimonies from longtime married women (five years or more) who have endured the fire of purification in their married life and emerged transcendent.

Maybe your purification has involved conversion to the Catholic faith, infertility, loss, addiction, or illness. Maybe your relationship has been tested by your own weaknesses or by others’ involvement. Here is a place for giving voice to the redemption of these trials. Our goal is that this series feels like sitting down with a friend, sharing in truthful, humble conversation and ultimately affirming the reality and goodness of Catholic marriage.

There is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion. The path to heaven comes only by way of Calvary. Yet there is never a doubt that suffering has meaning and purpose; that the Father never leaves our side and that through every cross, grace abounds. We hope you’ll trust us with your experiences and we pray your witness bears fruit for other brides--women who, like you, are on a lifetime pilgrimage in this vocation of marriage.

Feeling called to share your story of triumph from hardship? Submit your Sophia Series submission below.

Submissions are continually accepted and considered.

Name *
Headshot, Wedding Day, and Current Photo of you with your spouse and/or family. Must be at least 950px. Please give credit for any professional photography.
Must be married for AT LEAST 5 years.
We're eager to hear your story of a cross that has ultimately strengthened and affirmed your married life. Please include how you met your husband, details about your courtship and discernment of marriage, the issue that brought difficulty to your relationship, its resolution or outcome, your takeaway from the experience, and any other relevant info you feel called to share.
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Lent, From Victim to Hero



I sit, next to a tax document I was almost too lazy to search for and print out--in a business center of my apartment. It is quiet, and the task utilitarian enough, to make me ponder the big questions. That’s what quirky people like me do when confronted with drab walls, clacking keys, and low toner beeps. They try to think deep thoughts.

Sadly, I haven’t whipped up a beautiful poem from these deep thoughts, but I have had a recent epiphany about my marriage,and, I daresay, marriage in general.

It is the season of Lent and my life reflects that  right now. With so much in my life to feel thankful for, I feel insecure about voicing my struggles, fearing that I present myself to the world as whining wimp with a bunch of first world problems. I struggled with what to give up for Lent this year. I do love me some chocolate, but honestly, I have pretty good willpower and after having my third baby, some extra weight loss wouldn’t exactly be penance.

Eventually I decided to give up my victim tendencies--that is, my habit of feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in hopelessness when circumstances don’t go according to my ideal--for these 40 days. It has been the most liberating thing I could have done for myself and my marriage; it has truly brought me closer to God.

Let me set the scene: a frazzled mother of three waits on pins and needles for her knight in shining armor to get home. Normally, I most anticipate seeing my husband at the end of the day because I need the help. I need more hands! Someone hit someone. What the heck is in the baby’s mouth? The kids ate their vegetable and protein, but I forgot to make a starch. I really should read them a book.

The inner mistakes and guilt trips prevail, putting me in such a state of confusion, irritation, and desperation that I decide to jump down my husband’s throat when he arrives  home twenty minutes later than he planned. My reaction of the cold shoulder and wounded heroine routine feels both obvious and justified as I imagine him out doing things like enjoying a novel and latte at a ski lodge. Oh, wait a second. I recall that in reality, he spends his days busting his butt at work and finishing up his dissertation, all the while being a present and loving husband and father.

So I decided for Lent, I’d slay that tiny, whining, victimized dragon--the scaly, ugly monster who whispers, He just doesn’t care. I bet he was late because he was yukking it up with his coworkers. Does he even know how many disasters have happened today? To my surprise, silencing these thoughts has been easier than I anticipated.

 Simply knowing and believing that the man I married is trying his best, and holding myself accountable to do the same, has freed me from tendencies to blame and wallow. If you’ve ever felt the same mentality as mine creeping in, strive to stop worrying about what is fair and what he should do for you because you already did x and y for him. Give like there isn’t a bottom of the barrel. Love like a hero who doesn’t need rescuing!

About the Author: Sarah Sliviak Sabo is a mother of three beautiful girls pretending her tiny, overpriced apartment is a log cabin. Most of the time it works. She is the owner of Be Not Afraid Learning LLC, a tutoring business.

Genevieve + Dalton | Holiday Rock 'n' Bowl Wedding

Genevieve and Dalton met through mutual friends, in a van on a group trip to Disney World. After a bathroom break, the group members chose new seats. A copy of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce sat on Gen’s new seat and she asked who it belonged to. “This is a great book,” she said.

Dalton’s deep voice answered form the front: “Mine.”

From the Bride: I knew right then that I was in trouble.

Dalton and I were the only two on the trip who drank coffee in the morning. Each day, we walked to the food court alone before going out to the parks with everyone else. One morning, after making small talk while pouring the coffee, I looked at him and impulsively said, “You’re a good human being.” It was a very out-of-character move for my normally introverted self. He looked surprised and embarrassed. I just made this awkward, I thought to myself.

Things were indeed awkward for a while. We got home from the trip and began communicating in typical millennial fashion: over text and Facebook. Our first date was to see a production of The Screwtape Letters.

I learned over time that Dalton was indeed a good human being, perhaps the best I had ever met. He was kind and thoughtful. I never had to wonder if he liked me, or if I might do something to make him suddenly lose interest in me. From the beginning, he made it clear that he dated with the intention of finding someone to marry. I found his openness to be highly attractive, very masculine, and utterly refreshing. We started dating on March 19th, St. Joseph’s feast day. Dalton proposed on my birthday at St. Joseph’s Church, the place we would be married about one year later.

From the Groom: For me, I think it was the Boba Fett headphones Gen was wearing on the way to Disney World that had me smitten when we first met. There's a whole canyon between that first feeling and getting engaged, but in the interest of brevity, I'll just say we had lots of coffee dates and stargazing in my red truck, making it the best seven months of my life to that point.

I was so nervous the day I proposed. My brother was helping me orchestrate everything, and he went to the wrong church. St. Joseph really came through for me. I proposed in front of a statue of him, and the basket of petitions at the statue’s feet gave me a great segue into the proposal. All of my nerves quickly went away after she said yes. (continued below)

Genevieve: At our rehearsal dinner, I looked around at our family and friends laughing, eating, and talking with one another. Jesus' comparison of the kingdom of God with a wedding banquet suddenly became so real to me, and I was overcome with a desire for heaven.

That joy and peace continued into the day of our wedding. I wore my godmother's Juliet cap, which my grandmother had carefully saved. My mom gave me a pair of opal and blue topaz earrings--my birthstone and Dalton's, respectively. After a beautiful morning spent getting ready with most of the closest women in my life, I arrived at St. Joseph's Church and walked down the aisle to "The King of Love," a song which has been special to me in moments of great joy and of great sadness.

I tried to sing, but I got teary. On my arm, I saw that my dad was teary too (which, of course, made me even weepier.) I also didn't know where to look: at the tabernacle or at Dalton? There was just so much love coming from both places.

Our wedding Mass was a small taste of eternity. We chose familiar, simple Mass parts to encourage our guests to sing. The priests and altar servers were all dear to us, including Fr. Brent Maher, who had been with us on that group Disney trip. Surrounded by our family and friends and in front of God, we said our vows and became husband and wife. Receiving the Eucharist at our wedding Mass was a moment I hope to remember forever. We placed flowers in front of the statues of both Mary and St. Joseph, in the same place Dalton proposed.

Our reception flew by. It was a whirl of dancing, toasting, and red roses. We chose to have our reception at Rock N' Bowl, a New Orleans favorite combining a bowling alley with a live music venue, primarily because we knew how fun it would be. But also because Dalton is a great bowler. Our wedding colors were red, navy, and copper in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.

I was especially happy with a few particular reception details. The first was a vintage cake topper I found online and re-painted to look like us, Juliet cap and all. The second was a selection of our favorite poems and songs, used as table centerpieces. After our wedding, I arranged all of the papers into a large frame which now hangs over our fireplace.

Our "guestbook" was a Christmas tree covered with wooden ornaments that our guests signed. We now place them on our family tree and pray for our guests as we do so. The cake pulls--a Southern tradition--were small lockets shaped like books. Inside each locket was a quotation about marriage, travel, babies, or friendship.

Dalton's groom's cake was a pile of Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts, another Louisiana tradition. Several people confessed to me that they ate one before we did the cake cutting, which, in my opinion, was exactly the right thing to don. The toppers for that "cake" were Superman and Belle, our wannabe alter-egos.

The morning after our wedding, Dalton and I went to Mass and then hopped in the car for another road trip to Disney World. This time was better--it was our honeymoon.

Dalton: The day of our wedding...how can I summarize this in a couple of sentences? I didn't sleep the night before. I picked Gen's brother up from her house where she was getting ready, and I just wanted to run in and grab her and get married already.

Ever since our wedding Mass, I feel like I understand the Eucharist just a little bit more. The sacrificial love of Jesus became even more real that day.

At our reception, I just remember standing in the middle of the dance floor, incredibly happy. It was the best day, but they only get better.

Genevieve: Our wedding was the best day of my life. It’s true that the dress, the dancing, the flowers, the music all helped to contribute to the beauty of the day. But what really made it so wonderful was the glimpse of the eternity it provided. Surrounded by loved ones, full of joy, in front of God--it was a foretaste of heaven. Dalton and I are pilgrims on the road that leads there, bound by the vows that we exchanged on our wedding day. And donuts. There were donuts.

Genevieve's sister, Katherine, also had a beautiful New Orleans wedding! See her celebration here.

Photography: Marroquin Photography | Church: St. Joseph's Catholic Church - New Orleans, LA | Wedding Reception: Rock 'n' Bowl | Videographer: Randy Diddly | Liturgical Music: Kathleen Lee, Eric Wilkes and James Rosenbloom | Reception Band: The Boogie Men | Flowers: The Crystal Vase | Cake: Haydel's Bakery | Groom's Cake: Mr. Ronnie's Famous Hot Donuts | Dress: Willowby by Watters | Shoes: Modcloth | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Weddington Way | Men’s Suits: Tuxedos to Geaux | Handkerchiefs for parents and grandparents: Larkspur and Linen on Etsy | Bridesmaids’ robes: ComfyClothing on Etsy

5 Ways to Incorporate Ethically Made + Eco-Friendly Products into Your Wedding



Pope Benedict XVI said, “Purchasing is always a moral—and not simply economic—act.” As an newly engaged couple, you and your fiancé have a unique opportunity to many options for including service to others in the material preparations for your wedding and marriage.

The purchases you make for your wedding and reception reflect your values. From your dress to the flowers, there is a person behind each product. And just like you, they have a story to share. These creators' stories become part of yours. So, consider choosing ethically made, fair trade, vintage and local sources to carry out your commitment to service in your celebration.

Here, five ways to incorporate ethically made and eco-friendly products into your wedding and reception:

Jewelry: vintage, fair trade and conflict free

Vintage rings are great for those who love stories from the past. When you buy a vintage ring—or, if you’re lucky—have one handed down to you, you preserve past memories and prevent the ring from being tossed out or forgotten. If you prefer a new engagement ring or wedding bands, consider purchasing rings that are certified fair trade and conflict free. Either way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re not unintentionally funding child labor or violent conflict—and you’ll be helping to protect the environment from pollution caused by conventional mining practices.

Wedding gowns: vintage, fair trade, and repurposing 

Like vintage rings, vintage gowns are a great eco-friendly option. You can have fun searching for just the right gown that reflects your style or pays homage to a particular era. I personally love the style of Grace Kelly’s iconic gown and was thrilled to see that Kate Middleton, now the duchess of Cambridge, chose a similar style when she got married.

Fair trade wedding dresses are growing in popularity. Handmade by artisans in developing countries who are paid fair wages, these dresses are crafted in safe conditions that also respect the environment.

After the wedding, it might be hard to imagine parting ways with your beloved gown, so consider these ethical alternatives to preserve it: upcycle your dress into christening gowns, or donate it  to an organization that provides for brides who might not be able to afford a new (or even a used) gown. Which brings me to my last idea: you can sell your dress to a consignment shop to be loved by another bride.  

Bridesmaid dresses: fair trade

We all want our closest friends—our sisters—to feel confident, comfortable and beautiful in their bridesmaid dresses. My friends have always been so thoughtful when choosing dresses, and I’m grateful for the time and energy they put in to choosing a dress that would flatter me and work for my budget. Fair trade bridesmaid dresses are becoming easier to find and, just like fair trade wedding gowns, are handmade by artisans in developing countries who earn fair wages. And their prices are very comparable—and sometimes less—than similar bridesmaid dresses.

Flowers: local, seasonal and fair trade

I’ve always enjoyed seeing seasonal flowers at weddings: sunflowers in late summer, daffodils in early spring, or flowers not native to my Maryland home when I’m attending a wedding out of state. Local farms and florists will let you know which blooms are native to your region and will be available during your wedding month. By choosing native flowers that are in season, you support your local economy.  

Fair trade flowers are another option worth considering. Although they may be shipped from overseas, fair trade flowers can set your arrangements apart. They are produced by workers who earn fair wages, and come from farms that use sustainable practices.

Gifts: fair trade registries and donations

You can include fair trade options on your gift registry, too. From kitchenware to other home essentials, fair trade products add special meaning to gift giving. And if there’s nothing you really need or want, consider giving guests the option of donating to you and your future spouse’s favorite charity, instead. As someone who never knows what to get as a gift, the option for a donation is always welcome, and it gives me a glimpse into my family and friends’ particular hearts for service.

I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for your wedding. You truly have an opportunity to be a witness to your guests on your wedding day, and the products you choose to use can be a powerful way of showing your commitment to service and responsibility.

About the Author: Erin Mackey is a young professional who strives to live out her faith by seeking a simple, sustainable and conscious lifestyle. She loves discovering new ethical companies that are changing the world and believes business can be a force for good. She currently serves on the Ethical Trade team at Catholic Relief Services and in her free time enjoys tea dates, exercise and listening to podcasts. Erin has contributed to The Catholic Woman and appeared on The Catholic Feminist and Leah Darrow's Do Something Beautiful podcasts.



How to Support Your Fiancé's Growth in Spiritual Leadership



You close your eyes, fold your hands, and let your chin fall, ready to pray for the first time with your beloved leading. You wait for his words to come. With every passing second, you realize you might have just asked him to do something he’s never done out loud before, especially not in front of his fiancé, whom he is desperate to continue to impress until she says I do.

If you have ever felt like you and your fiancé’s prayer lives are on opposite ends of a spectrum, know you’re not alone. Many times in the Catholic faith, we are used to reading pre-written prayers or praying silently along as someone else leads. There are few times we are asked, or encouraged, to lead a prayer without any sort of prompt.

But now that you’re engaged and starting a journey toward the aisle--and heaven--with a partner, there are bound to be more occasions of unscripted, and it may be a first for you. As women, we often desire concrete spiritual leadership, i.e. a man tuned into his loved ones’ spiritual welfare.

For many men, this is something new to grow into during engagement--not as the result of any weakness or deficiency on their part, but simply as a result of this being unfamiliar territory. There’s a new, more serious call to spiritual strength in engagement and marriage than in just friendship or dating. That means that the firsts he will experience will be as your family’s spiritual leader, as he prays around the dining room table or at the beginning of a meal while you are on a double date.

While your fiancé experiences many firsts in his spiritual life during engagement, you will, as well.

In marriage, men and women are each called to lead in different, unique ways.

Invite each other to pray when you’re together, prompt one another with prayer ideas, and ask your love to pray for you in specific needs you have. I also encourage you to pray, both silently and aloud, for your husband-to-be. Use the resources around you to pray for his career, friends, faith, health, and priorities.

Praying in front of one another does not always come naturally. As you become husband and wife, I challenge you to pray daily for your marriage, friends and relatives, and specific needs you personally have. A nightly routine will bring fruit in engagement and set up a firm foundation to cover your marriage, family, and friends in much needed prayer.

When you do finally make your way down the aisle and find yourselves praying before meals, at bible studies, and passing accidents or emergencies while you’re in the car, I challenge you to use both the pre-written prayers of our Church and spontaneous prayers of your heart. Because as you grown in your shared prayer life, and as your husband grows as a spiritual leader, the most powerful place to be is on your knees.

About the Author: Sinikka Rohrer is a Christian wedding photographer and Spoken Bride vendor on a mission to encourage brides with practical and spiritual encouragement on the way to the aisle. She is a lover of all things healthy, early morning spiritual reads, and anything outdoors.


When Your Reception is "Just" In the Church Hall

In a culture awash with Pinterest-perfect images, it’s easy to feel inadequate about having a relatively simpler wedding. In a word, don’t.

Reception venues, in particular, can help convey the desired theme for your day, from a rustic-chic barn to an elegant ballroom. But what if these locations just aren’t in the cards for you?

Couples on a budget frequently turn to parish halls and event spaces for their receptions, and truly, they are as worthy a dwelling for your joy as anywhere. Even without certain amenities, your church hall reception will be beautiful, because at its heart it will reflect the love between you, your new husband, and your shared love for Christ. Consider these ways to embrace your reception situation.

No need to apologize.

Knowing you and your guests might have attended more elaborate wedding venues in the past, you might be tempted to apologize for “just” having a church hall reception. But there’s no need.

As much as guests might appreciate certain glamorous elements, it’s not the glamour they’re attending your wedding for. It’s you. And being there for you on your big day involves enjoying any and all offerings, from food to favors to music, with gratitude. You, your beloved, and your parents are the hosts of your day, and it’s gracious for hosts to embody poise and self-assurance, rather than self-consciousness, in their choices. Your guests will follow your lead and, in all likelihood, will be so happy to share in your day that anything besides your union with your new spouse will be secondary.

In the mid-twentieth century, many city parishes held weekly dances for young adults, as well as meals and shelter for those going without. The hall was a central part of parish life; in holding your reception in one, know that you’re taking part in a long tradition of Catholic culture. Additionally, there are the benefits of little to no travel time between your Mass and reception, allowing for more time for photos and with guests, and of knowing you’re making a financial contribution to the Church.

Cultivate creativity and confidence.

If your hall is simply arranged, consider it a blank slate and, if it's a priority for you, find ways to maximize the setting. Adding in ambient lighting to offset overhead bulbs, renting pretty chair and table covers, and using blank wall areas for décor can all help enhance your space.

What’s more, trust in your wedding vendors to help you maximize your resources. Coordinators, for instance, are familiar with working in a variety of settings. Photographers have trained themselves in using natural and artificial light to its best advantage and to prioritizing tighter, close-up shots when a location calls for it, all to produce beautiful images that capture the spirit of your day.

Remember it’s the experience that will linger.

Wedding photographers frequently say that no matter how well-dressed their clients are for a session, or no matter how beautiful the shooting location, if the clients feel stressed or awkward they won’t look at their final images with fondness. In other words, people generally remember how they felt more than what their surroundings were like. So strive to create a reception atmosphere that’s relaxed and festive, filled with affirmation, warm greetings, and dancing. When you and your guests look back at your wedding images, you’ll remember that palpable sense of joy more vividly than any other aspect.

The weddings we’re honored to share with you in this ministry range from elaborate to simple, with a variety of aesthetics unique to each of our brides and their beloveds. We love getting a glimpse of your hearts and hearing your stories, knowing you share with us a love for the good, true, and beautiful. And we know that you know it’s not about the material trappings of weddings: what shines forth most brightly, what makes a “Spoken Bride wedding,” and what we are here to share above all, is that a love rooted in Christ is the ultimate source of immense beauty in and of itself.

Editors' Picks | Vol. 10: Beauty Favorites

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

When held in the proper perspective, makeup, hair, skin, and nail products are a fun part of femininity that can enhance, rather than be the source of, your self-worth. Today we’re sharing our favorite beauty products, for both wedding events and for everyday.

Andi, Business Director

Trader Joe’s Face Mask Trio: Available every holiday season until it’s gone, my favorite mask of this trio is the exfoliating pineapple one.

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Mudslide: This is my everyday shade of lip gloss. One tube lasts me almost a full year, and the shade is neutral with just a hint of shimmer.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar: Blush is the one beauty item I use almost every day. It helps break up the tans and browns in my complexion and hair color with a tiny pop of pink, and I find I’m a little perkier when I apply it. This shade works on a variety of skin tones and doesn’t look like a fake shade of pink.

OPI Nail Polish: I tend to go with extremes with nail polish, my current favorite being white for my toes, especially in summer. Come fall and winter, I love navy blue or black. I find OPI has the longest wear, and I don’t have use as many coats for full opacity.


Jiza, Co-Founder + Creative Director

ACURE Organics Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub: It’s important to take care of your skin daily, especially as your body undergoes the stress that comes before your wedding day. A good skincare routine not only keeps your skin healthy before the big day, but allows you to get into the everyday habit of simple self-care. Pair a facial scrub with your daily cleanser and moisturizer 2-3 times a week, and it will help deep clean the pores of your skin. I love ACURE’s mission with their plant-based products. Not to mention, this scrub makes me think of the beach every time I use it!

YETI The Rambler 30 oz. Tumbler: A water bottle or tumbler isn’t a “beauty product,” per se. However, keeping your body hydrated is important when it comes to beauty. Bring a reusable vessel with you to work, school, vendor appointments, and marriage prep classes; by drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, you help keep both your hair and skin looking and feeling healthy. I love a good stainless steel tumbler (easy to clean, easy for travel, and hard to damage), and the YETI now comes in pretty colors like pink and seafoam!

Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon: I am picky when it comes to my lip products and the way they feel on my lips. I like a nice color, but I don’t like anything too dry or sticky. I love this lip crayon by Honest Beauty, the new line by Jessica Alba and the Honest Company). Their antioxidant blend of jojoba seed oil, murumuru butter, and shea butter is so moisturizing and soothing on my lips, I wear it almost every day. This demi-matte lip crayons include a range of perfect colors for women going for a soft,  more natural bridal look!

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: For easier styling purposes, a lot of brides won’t wash their hair a day or two before their weddings. If this is your plan, but you don’t want your hair to get too oily or dirty in the meantime, dry shampoo helps keep it clean while also creating good texture and some volume for styling. I absolutely love Klorane’s dry shampoo! With oats organically harvested in southwest France, this dry shampoo gently cleanses my hair without weighing it down in residue.


Stephanie, Editor in Chief + Co-Founder

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum: After a ferocious battle with cystic acne a few years back (so painful inside and out), I now prioritize skincare in my beauty routine and try to keep my complexion clear enough to go foundation-free. Vitamin C is known for its ability to even skin tone and, when paired with SPF, its benefits of extra protection from sun damage. When researching options, I learned Vitamin C is considered most effective in concentrations of 20% or more; some luxury brands don’t meet that standard, but this no-frills serum does. It’s significantly lightened my old acne scars and noticeably smoothed and brightened my skin. When I do wear foundation, I use the original Bare Minerals formula for how natural it looks and for the fact that it lets my freckles show through.

Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Topcoat: Like Andi, I love dark nail colors. Chips drive me particularly crazy with them, though, because they’re so much more visible than when I wear paler shades. This topcoat takes care of things and could last you from your rehearsal dinner all the way through the first few days of your honeymoon. It’s thick and shiny like a gel, dries nails to the touch in 60 seconds, and helps my manicures endure almost a week with minimal chipping.

Flower Beauty Glisten Up Highlighter: I love the look of fresh, glowy skin. I’ve tried a few other highlighter products, but too often, “glowy” translated to “sparkly,” which just isn’t my preference. This stick version truly lives up to its name, imparting a pretty, glistening effect that doesn’t glitter, but beautifully enhances the radiance you already possess. For your wedding day look, a subtle highlighter like this would look lovely not just on your face, but on the collarbones or shoulders, as well.

L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara: Featuring a primer on one end of the tube and color on the other, I’ll be forever loyal to this two-step mascara that provides significant volume, doesn’t smudge thanks to “tube” technology that wraps around lashes instead of adhering to them, and rinses off with warm water; no remover required. While it’s true that tears are technically warm water--hello, wedding emotions--my secret is to avoid rubbing at my eyes when I get weepy, and the product stays put.

We love chatting with you about favorite things like these cosmetic items. Chime in with your favorites in the comments and on our social media! If you're planning on doing your own bridal makeup for your big day, don't miss our video tutorial with professional makeup artist Nicole Caruso.