So, it’s the one day you just want everything to be perfect – the day you’ve worked so hard for, the day you want to feel amazing, the day you want to look your most gorgeous, and the one day you don’t want a beauty crisis of any description. Well, after being at more than 250 wedding mornings, let me break it to you – sometimes things aren’t perfect (I know – I’m sorry!) Now it would be easy for me to say that these little things don’t matter, and maybe in the grand scheme of things they don’t, but at the time to the detail-orientated they can feel like a pretty big deal, so here is some of my accumulated wisdom for what to do if the worst (or what can feel like the worst!) happens on the day. Remember try not to fret – stress will only make things worse and I can promise you it really won’t be a big deal once you are off to marry your beloved, looking of course, beyond amazing.
My fake tan has gone blotchy and uneven
If you do decide to tan, ensure you have a trial run a few weeks before the wedding to check you are happy with the colour and finish, and then book with the same person at the same salon a few days before the wedding. It’s about getting that balance when it has faded a little so it looks natural but not so much it’s begun to look patchy, so see whether you prefer your trial tan at day 2 or day 5. If it does look patchy before the wedding, exfoliate the night before as much as you can – but if you are really worried (or if you can be comfortable with it), I’d say embrace the true you and go au natural.
I have a bruise
This sounds like a random one, but it does happen occasionally – mostly legs, sometimes arms (and once an inadvertent black eye, poor girl!). If you do bruise easily be careful when lugging around boxes and furniture the day before setting up at the venue, and pop some Arnica or witch hazel in your overnight bag just in case. Your makeup artist should be able to help you cover any bruises – if you are doing your own makeup ask one of your girls to carefully conceal it but only once you are in your dress so you don’t get makeup on it whilst dressing. I have seen bruising happen once or twice from poor waxing (shocking, I know!) – I would always say make sure you have any facial waxing at least 3-4 days beforehand anyway as freshly waxed skin does not receive foundation very well, so you can get an uneven finish with makeup. Head to a waxer you trust too!
I’m worried my hair won’t stay in
Ensure you stick with the same products in the run up to the wedding, and avoid heavy masks or oils which will weigh the hair down and make it behave differently than before your trial. Listen to the advice given by your stylist, whether that is washing it on the day or the day before – neither is wrong or right, it’s a styling preference which will vary depending on hair type, styling needs and how your stylist works best. Ask your stylist to show your bridesmaids how to remove your veil to ensure your style stays perfectly after it comes out, and keep a few grips in your bag just in case. Ensure you are guided by your stylist to ensure you choose a style which works for your hair type, and pick an established bridal hair stylist who knows how to make sure hair lasts! That itself is an art which not every stylist may have mastered, and if it doesn’t stay in after your trial, consider your options and make sure you speak to your hairdresser about it beforehand. Don’t fret about it silently until the day ~ check out my hair and makeup trial post for more here.
I’ve chipped my nails
Plan your manicure for as near to the wedding as you can – maybe just two days before hand to make sure it looks as fresh as possible. Gel or Shellac shouldn’t chip anyway so are a great option for your wedding, but it’s probably wise to keep a colour as close to your nails as possible in your bag for the wedding day just in case and nail glue is always a handy thing to have for emergencies – I keep one in the car for just in cases (and it’s stuck many sixpences in many shoes too!)
My lips are dry
I usually lightly exfoliate a bride’s lips on the day if they are a little flaky with a lip scrub, which will ensure lipstick looks it’s best, and I encourage them to purchase something like Dr Lipp or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream and apply it overnight in the run up to the day. If your lips are still dry and flaky on the day, consider a natural shade of lipstick with a glossy or sheen finish, as this will disguise texture more than stronger, more matte colours.
I’ve broken out
This is the big one – the one everyone is plagued with worries about! Believe it or not, it actually happens pretty rarely. My best advice if you wake up to a spot, or even a few of them, is to not panic, and then to do your absolute best to leave them alone as much as possible – the hardest skin to cover is broken , weeping or bleeding skin, so aggressive squeezing or picking is only going to make life more difficult for your makeup artist. If it’s underneath the skin it really shouldn’t be too much of an issue as redness is easy to cover, so I wouldn’t try to bring it out the night before with anything astringent – again because you run the risk of a head which you’ll then want to squeeze. If you are doing your own makeup, I’d begin with a colour correcting primer to take down redness such as my favourite Smashbox Colour Correcting Primer, which will also help to even out texture, followed by a highly pigmented concealer such as Mac Studio Fix in a colour which exactly matches your foundation. Apply a very small amount which a detail or lip brush, and build up product a very small amount at a time – however tempting it may feel, slapping on a ton of concealer won’t fix anything, and will be far more likely to slide off throughout the day. Ensure you blend the concealer around the area so it blends in with the rest of your foundation, powder to set, and then leave it alone as much as you can!
I’m feeling emotional, and I don’t want to ruin my makeup
It’s absolutely fine to feel like this – virtually every bride I’ve ever worked with has had a least one small wobble on the wedding morning, and a few tears are a natural part of a very big day. If your makeup artist is on hand then don’t worry – not only should everything be waterproof but they should be with you for long enough to touch up if needed. I do usually encourage my clients to do potentially emotional things like opening cards and presents before their makeup, just in case your other half has written some emotional words for you (and so he should have!) If you are doing your own makeup ensure everything you can is waterproof or at least water resistant, and if you can catch your tears in a tissue before they go sailing down your face then even better. But don’t worry too much – if you feel really overwhelmed by it all, I’d suggest taking a few minutes to yourself – a lot happens on a wedding morning and it may feel like a whirlwind at which you are the centre, so don’t be afraid to take time to yourself to breathe.
I’m tired and my eyes are puffy
Do your best to drink as much water as you can the day before – dehydration is the main cause of puffiness, as it’s usually fluid retention. When you wake on the wedding day, apply a little eye cream around the eyes using a light tapping motion with your ring finger – this will help with lymphatic drainage and discourages puffiness. You can also pop your eye cream in the fridge the night before so it has a cooling effect when you put it on. If you have an early start time, you may look tired when you wake, but remember you have lots of time for your face to wake up before the wedding! If you do decide to drink the night before, try to have a pint of water before bed – remember both alcohol and excess salt can cause puffiness, so if this is something you worry about, try to cut both out before the big day.
Here’s a little list of things to take with you for the day for just in case ( or to have in the house if you are at home!) ~ because in my experience, she who is the most prepared, is the most relaxed! ~
Crochet hook (makes doing up the dress much easier), plasters, Party Feet, nail glue, allergy tablets, paracetamol, Tit Tape (does this have a better name?!), makeup for touch ups, your usual skin care, your usual hair care, body lotion, hair grips, tampons, safety pins, spare tights, paper or electric fan (even in winter – if you find yourself heating up in stressful situations, these are a godsend! I always keep a stash in my kit), nail scissors, hand cream and mints.
Remember don’t sweat the small stuff – no problem is ever insurmountable, and just because you notice the finer details, I promise you absolutely no one else will.