Protect your jewellery from chemicals
Whatever you are putting in your hair, be it a tiara, comb, band or hair slide, it must be covered with cling film to protect it from the products hairdressers are putting in to your hair.
At your hair trial and on the wedding day, you must make sure that only after ALL the hairdressing and spraying is completed that the cling film be removed.
Hairspray dulls crystals, turns pearls yellow, tarnishes metal and is virtually impossible to remove with a cloth.
Having smooth, soft, shining hair on the day is every bride's dream. Why then do so many spend so much of the build-up to the big day compromising their hair?
Whatever is at the roots of your hair now will be half way down your hair as the day approaches. The more you colour, bleach, perm and, worst of all, straighten your hair between now and the wedding day, the more damaged it will become. Try to leave it alone and grow it out.
I know it may be difficult, but it is well worth it, as you will have great hair to work with and any treatments will be evenly spread throughout and not sitting on top of old treatments.
If your hair is fine, please ditch the straighteners. They stretch and break the shafts and damage the follicles, leaving you with limp, dry, thin hair and uneven “bottlebrush” tips.
Freshly washed and conditioned hair
Newly washed and conditioned hair is very difficult to work with as it is too slippery and soft. Whatever you put in your hair will slide out and any style will droop before the end of the day unless glued stiff. It is better to wash your hair the night before using only a small amount of conditioner so it has a bit of grip to it.
Hairstyles are very personal and change with fashion. Because wedding photos will live long after the event it is better to go for something classic and simple to avoid those "Good God what was I thinking...” thoughts later on.
Half up half down down.
This is the most classic and suits most people. It settles whatever is in your hair, be it a tiara or band but you should make sure the tiara or band goes in before the sides are taken back to avoid the “plonked on top” look. This style keeps the sides back and away from your face (much better for photographs) and you don’t spend the day with your hair hooked behind your ears.
Bun or chignon.
Always a classic. Easy, elegant and chic. It suits low tiaras, bands, side pieces and combs.
I think a low bun or twist at the nape of the neck looks best as it avoids the hair looking pulled up and scraped back. Think about the neckline of the dress though. If it is strapless and comes up over the bust, close portrait pictures can make you look naked particularly if you are wearing little or no jewellery.
These look better with drop earrings, combs and slides giving a relaxed yet elegant look. Make them a little softer in shape than you normally would, with one worn towards the back of the head. Do not go for squiggles or bits of hair around the face, it can look rather contrived particularly if the rest of the hair is smooth. They also lose their curl unless rigid with hairspray and get in the way as the day goes on only to get hooked behind your ears (or droop flat if the weather is warm).
Tiaras and face shapes
Although there are no hard and fast rules to the styles that suit certain faces, here are a few rough guides that may help.
Oval faces generally suit a tiara that is raised in the centre, sometimes coming to a point, as it lifts the eyes and the direction of 'visual movement' of the bride.
Round faces tend to suit slightly squarer shapes, as the more curved the top line of the tiara, the more it over-accentuates the roundness of your face.
A long face often looks better with a band-shaped tiara, because a pointed style will only emphasise your chin.
Many people say “Oh, drop earrings don’t suit me.” I find that this is probably more due to the fact that they have yet to find the right pair to suit their face.
Look in a mirror and see where your jaw line is at its widest point. Choose a pair which, when worn, have their widest point sitting either above or below your jaw line. Earrings that sit with the widest point on the same level of this line will widen your face visually.
Drop earrings should follow your jaw line, not work against it.
Too little jewellery
Over-doing the jewellery is one of the bride’s biggest concerns. But under-doing it should be as well. Insignificant or tiny accessories will allow the dress to dominate you no matter how simple it is. The lack of earrings or a pendant on a strapless dress will make you appear naked in portrait photographs, particularly if you have your hair up.
Don't forget that it is your special day and you need to shine a little. Don’t worry, you will not look like a drag queen.
Try not to buy sets of jewellery that identically match. It can look as if you bought a job lot and that very little thought has gone in to choosing the pieces. Jewels that compliment each other are often better as each piece is slightly different and makes for a little extra detail.
As the popularity for vintage accessories grows, caution should be taken when purchasing pieces to ensure you are not sold rubbish at over inflated prices.
Many items I see called “Vintage” should really termed be “Secondhand”. Descriptions given on some pieces as “Antique”’, “Art Deco” and “1940’s” are often in fact from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s or are a modern reproduction. Be sure they mean “Vintage” and not “Vintage style” when using terms like Antique, Art Nouveau or Art Deco.
If viewing the pieces online or in your hand, check that the stones are in good condition. If any are a pale dusty yellow or cloudy grey be aware that overtime they may blacken further. If there is any hint of 'greening' on the piece, particularly on earrings, bracelets or necklaces. this could indicate nickel plating that can cause a rash on sensitive skins as this was often used on older pieces.
Always a hotly debated topic! I am not going to go into what to eat and what is best, but I do offer the following tips for looking good on the big day:
- Do not go on a crash diet two months before the wedding as it will soon go straight back on again. You will be stressed in any case, and with all the planning and rushing around the pounds will probably fall off by themselves.
- A gym routine planned a few months in advance together with going steady on sugar, wine, pasta and bread will see you shed the inches. (Try two weeks without bread and you will see what I mean.)
- If you diet frantically you could look gaunt on the day, the dress will not fit correctly and hang off you as your bust will have vanished! Your hips, tummy and thighs tend to be the last place the pounds go from, whereas your face, shoulders and bust tend to be the first.
Breaking in shoes
This is vital, as you do not want to end up with throbbing, pinched and blistered feet.
If you are unused to wearing high heels you will need to get used to them for you may be wearing them for eight hours or more and you could end up with calf-cramps and burning balls of your feet.
One of the best ways to break them in is to wear them while doing the ironing! (boring I know!)
As you are standing in them, the fabric will ease up and fit to your feet better. This is a better way to break them in than walking in them - as the movement can cause creases to appear in your new shoes and there is always a chance you might scuff or mark them while walking around.
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