Secret Garden

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Jacki Jacobs from Jacki Jacobs Photography about her unique project “Secret Garden”, we’ve had several occasions where we worked together and I must say Jacki is one hell of a photographer, she knows what she wants and how she wants it. Her sense of humor has a lot to do with how beautiful her work is, she really knows how to bring a smile in you “no matter what you’re thinking”.

The reason I took the time to interview Jacki and in a few you will read why I love this women and her ideas, is because I have such interest in following her art I am sure once you’ve read this article you will be following her as well.

When did you come up with this amazing idea of transforming people into flowers? 
I first came up with the idea…well it wasn’t really an idea so much as the birth of my fantasy into a tangible medium.
I have a pretty big fantasy world going on inside my head. Sometimes its hard to remember what stuff is real. lol.
What inspired you to create this project?
Things that inspired me or rather helped in the creation of this really vivid fantasy life I live, the art of Brian and Wendy Froud heavily influenced it, especially when they worked with Jim Henson on the movies The Dark Crystal and The Labyrinth.
In my youth I had a pretty rough childhood, so I escaped to my room a lot, pair that with the regular migraines I kept the room dark and my eyes closed, but as you can imagine that gets pretty boring. So one day I just tried seeing what was out there in the darkness, and well the rest is slowly entering the real world through my art.
The first creature I encountered there was a purple octopus named Oscar who protected me while I slept and took care of me when I was sick.
What do you wish to accomplish in the near future with your “Secret Garden Art”?
My future wish is to continue to bring these creatures a little more into the world and show people who the phrase “living in a fantasy world” (something I was very often accused of many times in life) is to be taken more as a compliment than a curse. These creations, have taught me quite a bit about the nature of people. For example Oscar was the embodiment of what parents are to children, protection and nurturing. It is what I base my ideals of parenting on. I am not a parent myself but I someday hope to be. There are no monsters under the bed. There is only what you chose to believe living under there. I chose to believe in hope and protection, the complete opposite of what we are led to believe lurks in the shadows. Life is what we believe it is, what we manifest it to be. As far as being an artist, it wasn’t necessarily my intent but if that is how people see me then it is a badge of honor I will wear.

I heard you already have an amazing event coming up to make your first “Secret Garden” appearance, when and where will this take place? You must share, we all need to know and give you full support.
I have few events already on the horizon. Starting in September my work will be on display in Shear Xtreme in Northampton and for sale both online and at Heartfelt Fine Gifts in Springfield MA. And at the Brueggers Gallery in Northampton starting in November.
I hope to start each of these events with a celebration to thank those who have helped and encouraged me along the way as well as those who can help me spread the message that my project carries.
And that message is, when life gives you weeds: grow your own secret garden. in other words. life is what you make it.
Hey, but this doesn’t end here lol, as I was wondering and researching I also saw you have a fundraising tool to help you with expenses would you mind sharing a link of where we can read more and go to help you raise and reach your goal?
I started a Indiegogo Campaign to help me raise the money for prints. I have put up approximately $700 towards prints and events.
I have bought a few 11 by 14 gallery wraps but I need about 7-14 20 by 24s for the Bruegger’s Gallery and that is quite a bit pricier.
People can contribute by going to my Indiegogo page. We are offering some really great perks for people’s contributions, including signed postcards and first prints of some of the works.
How do you find it when it comes to transforming one person into an instrument of Garden?
When I start a piece I usually start by taking pictures, pictures of flowers and trees and moss and garden walls. Then I take pictures of people or pictures I have previously taken of people. I try to match the curves and the lighting, from there I let the story tell itself. If I  try to force it or I try to match a face with a flower that doesn’t feel natural then the work feels forced and in-genuine. The story isn’t there. This is why I don’t do custom work in the traditional sense. But rather take photos of a person who volunteers to be a part of the project and see where those take me. What comes out might not be exactly what the volunteer is looking for but the work is more honest and chock full o’ story.
Now I personally know Jacki and she loves and feels passion for her work, so maybe this question can be hard but not limited, Jacki share at least three images you consider can be some of your favorite.

My three favorites at the moment, that IS a tough one. My newest image that I’m in love with is titled “Passion” I think the inspiration for it is all in the eyes. They really pop in the photo. Plus the edges of the flowers fade off in such a way that its really ethereal and romantic. Its hard to say what I don’t love about it. lol
The second one would be “Daydream”. I just love the story that emerged from this photo. A constant reminder for me to keep looking up and reaching further.
And my 3rd choice would have to be “Where my Love Grows” because that’s just it really I feel like this whole project is where my love grows. I have never been more fulfilled than after I create a piece that I love. It feels like falling in love, and I get to do it everyday. It is amazing and humbling and beautiful and makes me feel content.
Once you’ve accomplished your gallery and who knows where your art will be next, what is next for Jacki Jacobs?
Well, I’m sure I will find a new piece of my fantasy world to show people, the hardest part is accurately conveying it to print. For example, mermaids live there, but I haven’t found a non cheesy way to replicate them. But I might go next into some of my fairy tales, or another project I’d like to do is “the spirit of” which could be another article entirely.
If you love the work and want to take a little bit of it home we do have some products available for purchase: such as buttons and mugs and a small selection of tote bags, which were chosen by the fans of the art, through daily interaction on my facebook fan page: where a new piece is posted daily.


Jacki is amazing and I believe in her, I think we should all gather our trust and help another small business. Let’s help Secret Garden come to life!!

Written & Interviewed by Jessica Ares


Wedding Financial Responsibility Chart

Who pays for what?,  is the question we all have when it comes to wedding planning. Traditionally, wedding expenses are divided among the brides and grooms families, the bride, the groom, the wedding party, and out-of-town guests.

The Bride’s Family:

  • Engagement Party
  • Wedding invitations, announcements, and enclosures, including the mailing costs
  • Bride’s wedding and attire and trousseau
  • Rental fees for the ceremony site
  • Incidental ceremony expenses, such as the fees paid to the organist, soloist, and sexton
  • Ceremony and reception photography and videography
  • Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception sites for the female attendants
  • Entire cost of the reception
  • Bouquets and corsages for the bridesmaids, maid or matron of honor, and flower girl
  • Flowers for the ceremony and reception sites
  • Flowers sent to all hostesses who entertain the bride and groom
  • Their own wedding attire

The Groom’s Family:

  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Travel costs and accommodations for their out-of-town family members
  • Their own wedding attire
  • Additional expenses, as decided

The Bride:

  • Wedding gift for the groom
  • Groom’s wedding ring
  • Hair stylist and makeup artist to do her hair and makeup
  • Accommodations for her out-of-town attendants
  • Presents for her attendants
  • Personal stationery and thank-you notes
  • Keepsake accessories

The Groom:

  • Marriage license and any other legal fees
  • Brides engagement and wedding rings
  • Honeymoon trip
  • Officiants fee
  • Floral corsages for both his and the brides mother
  • Boutonnieres for his attendants and himself
  • Brides bouquet
  • Wedding gift for the bride
  • Corsage for brides going-away outfit
  • Corsages for honored female guests, such as grandmothers and godmothers
  • Gloves, ascots, and ties for his out-of-town attendants, if these items wont be rented
  • Accommodations for his out-of-town attendants
  • Shipping the wedding presents to his and his wife’s new home
  • Bachelor party, if no one else pays for it
  • His own wedding attire

Although this list has been created, many couples have changed the way they pay for their wedding, some couples are paying for everything equally especially now when they both have a full time job, only the traditional family will still use the similar list above.

You do not have to separate lists if you both create a budget and work it wisely.

Bridal Beauty Trends 2014

Bridal Beauty Trends 2014

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The 2014 bridal look is all about natural beauty, subtle glow and barely there nude lips with a touch of color.

To start with, the real key to this wedding trend is naturally beautiful skin.


Skin care should be at the top of list for every bride. Exfoliation is important to rid the skin of any flakiness along with proper moisturizing to keep the skin glowing. If you’re prone to breakouts, it’s a good idea to start with monthly facials six months before the wedding to keep breakouts in check and have the perfect canvas for your bridal makeup.


Foundation: with everything being in high definition, the last thing you want to use is a heavy opaque foundation that covers the skin completely. The camera see’s everything! You want to see the natural glow of your skin. 
For this reason, airbrush foundation, when applied properly is the best way to achieve the flawless natural look. Why?  Because it mixes tiny dots of makeup with your own skin showing through giving minimum coverage with maximum results.


Try warming up your complexion with tones of peach, coral or pale rose on your cheeks depending on your coloring.   Choose slightly transparent, fleshy reds, browns, or pinks for your lips.  Open your eyes with perfectly groomed eyebrows, accentuated brow bones, and defined curled lashes frame the eyes like a beautiful picture frame accentuates a painting. 
Many brides are using false lashes. I caution on this. Have a professional apply them if you are. Done properly this can give a beautiful big wide eye, if applied incorrectly it can give you more of a costume look.

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Eye Shadows should be in the neutral pallet. Avoid heavy frost in your shadows. The camera can distort this look and take away from the beauty of your own eyes.


Although there are many trends, from retro bride to the smokey-eyed bride, always keep in mind that you will be forever immortalized on film. Timeless beauty is always best!

Lynn Tassinari Wegiel has been a leader in the makeup industry for many years. Her work has been recognized internationally in the media and print.  You can view her portfolio at


Why escort cards are important?

Believe it or not, escort cards are really important at any event. It defines etiquette, coordination and above all order. When brides ask me if they should create escort cards or just let her guests sit where they want I say absolutely not!, because giving the guests the opportunity to sit anywhere they want can really create chaos,. You will find yourself looking at empty tables, mis counted chairs and spaces and I am sure you as a bride do not want this.
Make sure you write clearly or use your computer to print out full names and last names, make sure your escort cards matches your list, the last thing you really want is someone sitting in a wrong chair with strangers. Be creative when making your escort cards, if you do not want to make them or don’t have time ask your wedding planner she must be able to make them, I know I love making them and always end up helping my brides.


By Jessica Ares
Elite Wedding & Events

Pictures taken by K&C Photography



When it comes to wedding I always ask my vendors, what is your passion about working with brides? I had the wonderful opportunity to network and meet Brenda Fuller, since I loved how she has that passion for brides skin, I took the time to feature here on our blog. Be on the look for her participation on our “Bridal Bootcamp”

Timeline To Make Your Wedding Day Blemish Free
6 Months-See your dermatologist to discuss any skin issues-such as wrinkles, sun damage, acne, or irritated skin.
5 Months-Start a skin regime to clarify your skin issues.
3-4 Months- Consider using Micro dermabrasion paste once or twice a week to shed dead skin cells and stimulate collagen production.
2 Months- See your dermatologist if you still have stubborn skin blemishes.
1 Month- Do your professional facial treatments at least one month before your special day.
Wedding Day- Keep Rodan & Fields Unblemish Blot Papers handy for last minute oily skin disasters.

A little bit about Brenda Fuller

I have been an independent consultant for Rodan and Fields Dermatologists since 2012. I am proud to be representing a company founded by Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields, the creators of ProActiv. Rodan and Fields Dermatologists skincare line launched in high end department stores in 2002 and quickly became a top seller. In 2008 the company moved into direct sales market.

I love that the products are made in America and are FDA approved. They are multi-med therapies-just below prescription strength.

I love having the opportunity to help people have the best skin of their lives. Even more excited to have the chance to share a business opportunity with people, one that could change their future completely.

I love helping Brides to get the best skin possible for their Wedding day. I help them to look good and feel confident that their skin is glowing and gorgeous for their picture perfect day.

Brenda Fuller
Independent Consultant
Rodan & Fields Dermatologists

You can visit her site here

In the eyes of a wonderful Makeup artist

Pamela Dintzner is not only Elite Wedding & Events vendor, but one of the best makeup artist we have ever met and gues what? She is a soon to be bride.

Pamela expressed to stay on top of trends for the season she always resorts to the latest trends from fashion week and all of the fashion magazines. She also follows the blogs of many industry professionals. Her favorite Spring/Summer 2013 trend is PINK this season, I am seeing it on lips, lids, lashes, its not just for cheeks anymore, says Pamela. Lashes are in and the longer the better. Colored mascaras are making a come back from the 90’s. NEONS are being used with strategic placement. For example neon green eyeliner, on a minimalist nude face. All of these trends make me wanna SPRING into Spring….but my favorite trend is nude brows! Why is this you ask? Because my brows are naturally nude, lets face it practically invisible. As a creative person, what are some other creative things you like to do? It is rare that I ever get the time to do this, but I absolutely love to paint. I started painting as a Senior in high school. My grandparents got me an easel and a tackle box full of acrylic paints. I used a Bob Ross book as a guide, you know the “happy tree guy”. I used to watch his painting shows as a small kid and knew one day I wanted to paint just like him. I guess watching all of his instructions paid off because I ended up duplicated a few of his paintings, says Pamela with excitement in her eyes. She is really someone you not only see in her face the love for making brides beautiful on their special day, but someone who loves to work hard learning colors, meanings and importance in each tone.

What is your top beauty tip? I have a whole beauty bible full of tips! I would default to saying beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin, but I feel like everyone knows that already. With that said it is important to have a morning skin routine to prep your skin for make up. It is equally important to have a night time skin routine, because at night is when your skin is repairing itself.
Another tip I have is to always use a primer! You wouldn’t paint your walls without priming them first, right? Well its the same with your face. Your foundation will look flawless and will also be longer wearing, when applying a foundation primer first. Same with eye makeup. Apply an eyelid primer or cream shadow first before applying your eyeshadow. You will find the eyeshadow is more vivid, it will last longer and won’t crease.

We needed to ask our beloved artist, how and why did she decide to become a makeup artist?
I’ve always loved makeup! I started wearing it at age 13 and have had black winged liner ever since. I became a professional makeup artist in 2007 when I started working at makeup counter, to put myself through college. I started at Estee Lauder, then became the business manager for Shu Uemura, where I grew a passion for the business aspect of the industry. I ended my retail career at MAC where I became certified and learned so many things that make me the artist I am today. I’ve had my freelance business KiSSandMaKeUp since 2010, where I do makeup for all occasions, was her great answer. What inspires me to bring beauty to brides is a real honor when a bride hires me to do their makeup on their wedding day. That means with all the other professionals in the industry, they trust me to make them look their absolute best on the most important day of their life. After all, the makeup in their wedding photos will be looked at for many years to come. I take great pride in making sure every detail of their makeup is perfect, and I know my brides appreciate me for that.
I’m inspired to bring beauty to brides because it’s a wonderful feeling to be apart of such an important day. Although I am doing the makeup, I always get swept up in the couples love story!




You can learn more about Pamela Dintzner by visiting her Facebook fanpage and website below, make sure you say hi to such a talented women.

Written by Jessica Ares & Elite Wedding & Events

At home parties…..dull?

Ready to have a party at home?, did you know parties at home doesn’t have to be dull, you can have a exciting party at home with any party plan company and make it fun, exciting and having your guests wanting more or book their own parties as well.
Just think outside of the box, Who ever said decorations, cake, appetizers and gifts are only for birthdays and other events. You see, every time I offer myself to host a party at home for someone I make it the best of the best, I decorate, I make appetizers, I serve drinks (wine), and hand out gifts as a thank you for being there and support our consultant.
I hosted a party for Slumber Parties by and it was great, since their colors were red and black I decorated my home with these same ones, I even made center pieces for two columns I ha placed next to the table full of gifts, I served appetizers and nice relaxing red wine. It really brought the best of that night because everyone felt it was not only a party at home where you hear about demos and place orders but a time to relax, talk, share, and interact with other gals.

My party at home list:
Send invitations
Recheck my guest list
Make sure RSVP is reviewed and checked
Pad & Pens (use for signing in and games)
Gifts bags
Inside gifts ( thank you token)
Table covers (if needed)
Create my own center piece according to colors
Balloons (if needed)
Cake (if needed)
Bottle of waters (decorate according to colors)
Name tags
Aromatic candles
Gift for consultant
Decorations and accessories needed according to event done that night.

Your party doesn’t have to be boring or dull, let us help you and bring some excitement to your party, wether its a candle party, Tupperware, Avon, etc, etc… We have all the ideas and we leave the touch. All you have to do is be ready for your guests.

(picture is not mine, this is just an example of the many things we can do to give our guests as a thank you gift)

Remember the first impression is what counts, and when your guest walks in the door to see your party space, they will never think it twice to become part of your next party at home.

Let Elite Wedding & Event Planning be part of your next party @ home, you will never regret it!!!!