The Douglas J Beauty Team’s 10 Tips for Brides

We’re privileged to be the beauty team that has made countless brides look and feel stunning on their most special day. It’s impossible to spend that much time with brides without picking up some invaluable tips along the way … so here are our Top 10 pieces of advice for brides on their wedding day.  

1. Choose An Appropriate Hairstyle

You don’t want to show up at the altar looking like someone else — your goal is to be a polished, glamorous version of you. Choose a hairstyle that looks like YOU, and one you’ll be comfortable wearing all day. (One caveat: if there’s a chance it will be humid or rainy on your wedding day, and you’ll be outdoors … wear your hair up. There are a bazillion updos that can suit your personal style, and all of them look better than loose goddess waves that have gone frizzy or limp.) Pro Tip: Wash your hair the night before—rather than the day of—your wedding. The natural oils will give your coif way more staying power than squeaky-clean strands.

2. Treat Your Trial Run Like the Real Deal

Remember that things can only get better the second time around, so we like to aim for perfection on the first attempt. Bring visual aids to the trial session, including photos of the dress, veil, and accessories, as well as images illustrating your hair and makeup likes and dislikes. If you’re planning on faux-tanning for your big day, have it done before your hair and makeup trial, too. We need to know exactly what your skin is going to look like on your wedding day. A surprise tan can seriously compromise the makeup shades and application techniques chosen during your trial.

3. Schedule Extra Time For Hair & Makeup

Studies show that brides are interrupted approximately 5,397 times during hair and makeup (okay, we made that up, but that’s what it seems like). Answering a million questions, helping to locate the flower girl’s shoes, and giving directions to lost caterers has a tendency to throw you off schedule. Ask your beauty team to show up 30-45 minutes earlier than you think they need. The worst thing that can happen is that nobody will bother you, and then you’ll have some free time to relax.

4. Talk To Your Beauty Team As We’re Working!

Don’t wait ‘til after your hair is in an elaborate updo to tell your stylist that a hairpin is painfully jabbing your scalp, or that you’d been hoping for more lift at the crown. It’s easier to correct little missteps during the process than after it.

5. Eat & Drink

Whether it’s from pre-ceremony jitters, excitement, or wanting to fit into the dress, a too-common mistake among brides is to skip eating. On your wedding day, eat a healthy, hearty breakfast (and lunch, if it’s an evening wedding) and drink water. Being underfed and/or dehydrated while having to move, walk, stand, and dance is a recipe for disaster. There’s nothing cute about a bride who’s fainting, feeling sick, or getting too drunk. Also, if you can’t get into your dress without skipping a meal, it’s too tight (also not cute).

6. Pose Like A Model

This will be your most photographed day ever, so be mindful of two simple things you can do to enhance yourself in every picture:

  1. Lengthen your spine. Be conscious of pulling your shoulders back, lifting your chin, and straightening and elongating your spine, all day long. You’ll look slimmer, taller and more graceful in every photo.
  2. Occupy your hands. Hands just dangling there can make a photo look forced and awkward. When you’re not holding your bouquet, engage in some activity: play with your hair/ straighten his tie/ toy with your dress/ wave at someone off camera/ make a gesture. It can turn a photo from good to great.

7. Plan Time To Yourself

On your wedding day, you’ll be in the spotlight for several hours. Everyone wants to talk to you, pose with you, dance with you, take your picture, and hug you … and it’s great, but being ON at all times is exhausting. Every couple hours, plan to disappear into a quiet private room alone for a few minutes. Check your makeup, sip water, and enjoy a few meditative minutes where you DON’T have to talk or smile or be the center of attention. It’s amazing how this can recharge your batteries.

8. Be Prepared, But Don’t Go Overboard

You need a lovely handbag for the reception (but not a backpack). Here’s what you should stash in it:

- Douglas J’s Touch-Up Kit (complimentary to all our beautiful brides)

- Breath mints

- 2 or 3 bobby pins that match your hair

- Stain remover (like a Tide Pen)

- Band-Aids (for potential blisters)

- Travel sewing kit with safety pins, needle & thread

- Travel packet of tissues

- Tampons

- Concealer pencil

Note: the tissues are for blotting, makeup fixes and small repairs, but you should be dabbing your happy tears* with a pretty handkerchief. It looks far more classy than crumpled tissues. Wrap your hankie around your bouquet for use during the ceremony.

9. Bring Comfortable Shoes.

Yes, even if you just dropped $3000 on wedding-day Manolos and you’re vowing to wear them ‘til the bitter end … have a pair of backup flats or flips on hand. Never underestimate the amount of time you’ll be spending on your feet today. Also, your photographer might want to bring you someplace unconventional for photos, and killer stilettos are not exactly all-terrain footwear.

10. Thank Your Vendors

Last but not least, showing a little love to the vendors that helped make your day is classy and polite, and also smart! If you’re happy with your vendors — not just your beauty team, but your florist, band, photographer, and others — let them know. Better yet, write a glowing review on their website or an online review site. You’ll be doing them a great service, and forging a solid ongoing relationship for your next big event (maybe a baby shower?!) …

To book your wedding hair and makeup with the Douglas J beauty team, send us a message!

* And on that note—if you’re a crier, make sure to bring your waterproof mascara of choice, as Aveda does not currently offer one. Raccoon eyes have a way of clashing with bridal gowns. 

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