Girl Crush: Jeanne Ciasullo, Founder of The Anti Bride

29 July 2013

First, allow me to apologize for the radio silence.  I’ve been travelling in Italy and opted to unplug. Well, that’s not entirely true, you see the wi-fi just wasn’t playing on my team so I welcomed a digital detox.  I travelled to Palermo, Sicily to celebrate the marriage of my dear friends Marisa & Alessandro. Let me just say this, it was beyond the most beautiful wedding that I have ever seen.  Seamlessly orchestrated, yet not over the top with the utmost attention to detail.  What I admired most was their respect to cultural traditions without the obligatory hokiness. 

Which makes for the perfect segue to the newest Ocean Violet Girl Crush, Jeanne Ciasullo, Founder of The Anti Bride.  Jeanne and I ran in the same circles in high school, but never really knew one another.  She was the type of girl a girl stalks from afar. I can admit it, I’m fine with that.  She had that certain “variable X” that you can’t quite explain.  Perfectly messy French hair, without being French.  Part admiration, part adoration topped off with utmost respect, it’s a phenomenon every girl (whether they want to admit it or not) has experienced = the Girl Crush.  You’ve met her before, she’s got “it” but you can’t define what “it” is.  She’s inspiring, relatable, ambitious and kind. You want to be her friend, scratch that… you want to be her best friend.

In an ongoing series here at Ocean Violet called “Girl Crush,” we’re going to try to figure out “who” she is and “how” she got where she stands today.  Jeanne is an incredible photographer capturing perfect moments that pass the common eye.  Like the soft pelt and underbelly of a dog, an aerial view of a backyard picnic, or the glance from one lover to the other.  I admired her from afar and when I saw she launched The Anti Bride in Jacksonville, Florida,  I jumped at the chance to have her virtually sit down with me for a few questions.

 

the anti bride jeanne ciasullo

Name: Jeanne Ciasullo, Founder of the Anti Bride
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Instagram: @theantibride
Website: TheAntiBride.com
Facebook: The Anti Bride

Q: What exactly is an “Anti Bride?”

A:  I love to hate weddings and love working with brides that get nauseated over the same stuff I do. You know who you are. When I was trying to decide on a business name,  I kept thinking back to the type of brides that gravitated towards my work.  During my consultations, so many of them would say the same things,  “Weddings make me gag” “every vendor I speak with is cheesy” “I don’t want a typical wedding.”   I kept thinking about the word “anti.”  It’s bold, fearless, straight to the point, cutting out all the bullshit.  That’s what I really liked.

jeanne the anti bride wedding shots

jeanne the anti bride wedding shots

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jeanne the anti bride wedding shots

Q: You seem to be a Jill of Many Artistic Trades: make-up, event-planning, painting, floral design, what do you like doing best?

 A:  Art was really the only thing I was ever good at, so I didn’t stray from it in anything I do today. Whether it’s creating a beautiful bouquet, styling an engagement shoot, or doing a bride’s makeup.

“I was the art teacher’s pet, and no one else’s.”

Q: How did you get your start?

After graduating from Ringling School of Art and Design with a focus in photography and illustration I had a couple of choices: work in a coffee shop or put my studies to good use.   I started shooting weddings, engagements, portraits and  then moved upstate to Jacksonville, Florida. I wanted to continue with the photography but jobs didn’t just roll in, so I became a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics.   It was a perfect blend for me to use the face as a palette and naturally I started adding makeup as an offering to brides.  Then randomly a wedding planner friend had a bride whose vision wasn’t “blooming” with her florist, so they asked me to do the arrangements.  I gave it a shot, the bride couldn’t have been happier and I fell in love.  Everything fell into place.

“I’m a romantic at heart.  Weddings bring all the things that are important to me together at once: family, friends, love, food, music, visuals + commitment. Weddings have the potential to be the greatest day of someone’s life.  I’m able to be a part of that glimmer in a couple’s lives, it’s a rare level of reality.  You look your absolute best and you’re with everyone you love under one roof.  And most importantly, you’re saying to someone else I want to love you forever.” 

Q: Where are some of your favorite locations to shoot?

A: I’m always drawn to decayed walls and mind-blowing nature.  If I can’t find either, I’ll head to the “wrong side of the tracks”  and find the dirtiest wall available with the best light.

Q: If you could build your “dream team wedding crew” who would you enlist?

A:  I’ve found a great team of people to work with here in Jacksonville.  When I meet a bride I typically try to get her to use all of them (without being too pushy!) It’s just because they really that good.  I always do my best to work with whatever vendors the bride and groom have chosen, but this is an all-star cast:

  • Cake & Pastries:  Marisa Carta Ratliff of Sweet ‘n’ Flour.   The amount of love time and care Marisa puts into what she does makes me respect her beyond words. Prepare to drool.
  • Music:  Rick Colado who doesn’t have a website but I can get you in touch.  I met Rick at a wedding he DJ’ed (but he’s not a wedding DJ, promise!) and have recommended him ever since.   I kind of force every bride to hire him!
  • Hair: Paper White Salon
hair by Paper White Salon, photography + makeup by Jeanne Ciasullo.

hair by Paper White Salon, photography + makeup by Jeanne.

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Cake by Sweet ‘n’ Flour, photography by Jeanne.

floral design: The Anti Bride; cake: Sweet 'n' Flour.

floral design: The Anti Bride; cake: Sweet ‘n’ Flour.

 

Q: In the hierarchy of cheesy wedding traditions: Garter belt removal by groom’s teeth, the rice throw, The Conga Line/Chicken Dane/YMCA – you get the idea.  But, the downward spiral of cheesiness begins with the obligatory Engagement Photos. But, somehow, Jeanne, you make it look effortless and for a lack of better words, “cool,” what’s your secret there? Let me guess, no matching outfits – right?

A: I try to make things as natural as possible, making them move a lot and keep taking photos when they’re doing things like fixing each others hair or changing positions.

“If people are being stiff and weird I take a break and have them get a cocktail.”

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corsetti jeanne ciasullo the anti bride engagement photos

Q: After a recent cyberstalking of one of your recent wedding shoots and the bride’s pore-less face,  I remember breaking down and just text messaging you about makeup.  Begging the question of what to buy.   You of course came to my rescue.  What are some of your go-to products for every day?  

A:  I’ve worked for MAC on and off again for years. It was always my in-between when moving or starting jobs. I learned different product combinations everyday.  Mostly it’s experimenting.  Once you know how a product reacts with another product it’s like you’ve come up with your own secret potion. Here are my must-haves:

  • Foundation Sponge for Liquid & Cream: Blend, blend blend.
  • Fix+: My favorite product ever invented. I have guys hooked to it as well. Some grooms call it “Jeanne Spray.”  My boyfriend uses it every day & he is not a product guy.  It’s moisturizer in a bottle so no messy hands necessary. Leaves a non greasy look and a healthy glow. P.S: Apply before makeup during makeup + after makeup.
  • Brushes: If you only own two eyeshadow brushes ever here they are. One for packing it on and one for blending it out. I don’t use anything else.
  • “Plush Lash” Mascara: My favorite mascara, it’s not hard ,crunchy or clumpy.  It’s like your own lashes just  darker and thicker. This is not for someone who likes heavy makeup.
  • Studio Fix Fluid:  I try and try to find something else but I always go back to this product.  Use with the aforementioned sponge and you can cover up anything.  Things I look for when testing foundations:  how long does it wear, does it minimize pores, how well does it cover, etc. This one just does everything I need it to do and then some.
  • The perfect palette: you can make your own at MAC.  Here are the perfect colors: Saddle, Wedge, Ricepaper, Blanc-Type, Corduroy, Foile, Goldmine and Naked Lunch.

    convinced every bride must be absolutely beautiful in order to work with Jeanne.

    convinced every bride must be absolutely beautiful in order to work with Jeanne.

jeanne ciasullo makeup kit
like I said, flawless.

like I said, flawless.

Q: Any wedding trends you wish would just die?

A: A puffy dress.

Q: Last but not least, how does a recently engaged girl or guy get in touch with you? Walk me through the process of hiring you? Do you travel?

A: I do travel. Most of the time it’s a simple email. Most people forget to even include their date! It’s usually a lot of back and forth. I text and talk with the bride and groom almost every week until the big day. It’s a lot more personal then a normal vendor/bride relationship.  For the most part the brides that find me are creative or have a great eye to begin with so it’s more like a collaboration. We exchange photos, visions and ideas. They’ll be shopping and text me photos with a yes or no question. Or if I can’t attend when they’re picking out linens we’ll send pics back and forth. If this wasn’t fun for me it would drive me nuts. Luckily I love it so it’s no bother at all.

____

If you didn’t think she could do it all, she can.  It’s all in the details:

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  • Rachel

    I love this Jessica! coffee soon please, you jet setter you

  • Desiree

    I have legitimate girl crushes on you both! Great post.

  • Meredith

    Yes! 2 of my favorite J’s from HS collide! Jeanne is amazing at everything she touches! You describe what you want + she nails it! — J. Arb- so happy to see you chose her as your current “crush” xoxo. So PROUD of both of you! Successful + doing what you love <3 MH

  • Marisa

    This just fill my heart with the warm & fuzzies. Beautiful interview with one helluva passionate and creative lady!