From the dress and the ring to getting the best photographs, here’s our go-to-guide to looking your best on the big day.
Hair Stylist Katie Olivas fills us in on how to leave the salon looking picture perfect.
A good stylist can help you determine what will look best, but go in with an idea of what you might want. Tear out pages from magazines and save ideas on Pinterest. Do you want an updo? Do you want it half up, half down? Do you like curls or braids? “It really helps if you bring in a picture of your dress so we can determine what style is going to work best with the neckline,” Katie advises. “Knowing what jewelry you’ll be wearing can also make a difference. And of course, if you are wearing a head piece we will need to know how to incorporate that.”
Consults and trial runs are absolute musts for wedding hair and makeup. Most stylists and salons will include them in a wedding package. Schedule those early, especially if you are planning on including other treatments like waxing and facials. Those may need to be scheduled two weeks or more before the wedding to allow for redness and inflammation to go away. The salon staff will be able to assist you with that timeline during a wedding consultation.
The same goes for hair coloring and extensions. “If you have a regular stylist whom you are comfortable with and you know their work, you can get your hair colored up to a couple of days before the wedding,” Katie notes. “But if you’re using someone for the first time and aren’t sure the color is going to be exactly what you want, do it two to three weeks before. That’s going to give you time to make some adjustments, but not so much time that new growth will be visible. Hair extensions will probably need to be cut to blend with whatever up do or style you have in mind, so that needs to be done early as well.”
As for 2016 trends, Katie says relaxed, less formal styles with braids and loosely pinned curls are super popular right now: “Every once in a while we get a bride that wants that regal, top-bun look, but most are looking for that loose, natural, and relaxed feeling. We have a lot more requests for all down styles too.”
Look Your Best in 1, 2, 3 …
Photographer Jesse Ramirez of La Foto Bella shares his top tips for looking great in every shot.
Do not have your bachelor or bachelorette party the day before your wedding! Let me tell you what happens: Morning rolls around and you or your fiancé have gotten little sleep, is possibly hung over, and it’s going to be a long day. This makes my job a little more difficult, but most importantly, I have seen fights between the bride and groom because of this situation. Please promise me you will avoid this situation.
Remember to smile! It seems ridiculous to say, but there is a lot of pressure and stress. Do not let it get to you. For us photographers, there is nothing we like seeing more than a glowing, smiling bride on her wedding day.
Makeup 101: Hire a professional hair and makeup artist who is familiar with what will look good on film. If you need a foundation, choose one that matches your neck color. Use a matte finish makeup and lipstick. Matte shades absorb light and help reduce shine. Use water-resistant mascara. It is a wedding after all!
The Can’t Miss Shots
“I tell clients, I’m only one person, I can’t get shots of every cousin and acquaintance,” Lisa says, “but these moments are special and we never miss them.”
- Ring Exchange
- First Kiss
- Cake Cutting
- First Dance
- Father Daughter Dance
- Bouquet and Garter Tosses
Stress Free Dress Shopping
Roxanne Kidd, owner of Renee’s Bridal, shares her best advice for getting just the right dress.
“Most gowns take four to five months just to make, so start looking pretty early on in the wedding planning. This generation of brides wants to make sure they’ve seen and tried on everything. Most don’t make the decision on their first visit. We usually see a bride three or four times before they make the final choice. Also factor in at least two weeks for alterations.”
“More often than not a bride ends up with a dress completely different than the one they envisioned themselves in. It’s helpful to look ahead of time and have a starting point, but also be open to new ideas and try on different silhouettes, textures, and body styles. Everything looks good on a model in a magazine, but you don’t know until you try on what’s going to work best on you.”
“We usually like to see brides come in with three people at the most. A big group with lots of opinions can be overwhelming for the bride. It’s hard to make a decision that way. Be selective about who you bring along. Pick a small clique of close people that are going to give you honest feedback on what looks good on you.”
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses
“A lot of brides are just telling their bridesmaids which color, fabric, and designer. From there, the attendants can pick whichever style they’re comfortable with. That way they know they look good and they can potentially wear it again. Plus, it takes some pressure off the bride; she doesn’t have to worry if someone is going to complain or not want to be in the wedding because of the dress.”
Novel Ideas for Finding the Perfect Ring
Picking the all-important ring is never an easy task. Getting something the bride will love and feel comfortable wearing well, forever, is a lot of pressure. At The Cutter Gallery, artist and jewelry designer Jo-Ann Smith can meet with clients to custom create a ring or a complete wedding set. “She goes through our jewelry cases with them to get ideas about what they like and then she sketches and draws a design that the couple can change to make their own,” Glenn explains.
For those that want their fiancée involved in picking out the ring, but still want to keep the proposal a surprise, Keith recommends proposing with the diamond, not the ring. “Have a diamond set in a traditional Tiffany-style, just the stone on a band. Then, if it’s a yes, come in together and pick out the wedding set and we can set that diamond you proposed with in it.”
And don’t feel limited to just diamonds. If you’ve got a girl that’s got her own flair, gemstones are appropriate for wedding sets. You can thank Princess Di. Her sapphire engagement ring turned heads back in 1981 when she married Prince Charles and again in recent years when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with it. “The diamond is the most traditional, but all gemstones are fair game,” Keith says. “Just make sure it’s a gemstone that’s going to last. If you go with a pearl or amethyst, just know you’re eventually going to have to replace it. Sapphires and rubies are the hardest stones after the diamond.”