This Guide is written to help make all your preparation easier and less stressful so you look terrific on the day, and have time on your hands to help others. Plus, if you are part of several events around the wedding day, giving you an idea of what else to wear for those. Essentially, it’s all in the planning!
In this Guide, I cover:
- getting the best outfit for you (for colour, style, weather and uniqueness);
- transporting your outfit;
- ensuring your outfit looks its best on the day, (ironing and not forgetting anything);
- your hairstyle, make-up and nails.
You are already getting anxious about the big day, because so much is at stake: you want the bride and groom to have the best day ever, but you will be a key part of it, and want to look your best for the photographs and/or video. But you don’t want to let your stress get the better of you or impact others.
YOUR PREPARATION IS KEY
You can do a lot of preparation yourself. I would recommend not leaving your outfit to the last minute, hoping you’ve lost weight, or waiting for new things to be available. You may be disappointed with what is around when you start to look, so if you are now up against the clock, you may have to settle for something less suitable. Also, there is some other preparation involved once you know what your outfit will be (for example, knowing your hairstyle if you are wearing a hat – see below).
The first consideration is the weather. If the wedding is in this country it seems wise to plan for almost anything with the way the weather is these days! So, layers could be ideal. If you have a jacket or top that you can take off, what does the underneath look like without the jacket (in other words, will your arms be covered if you would want that?)
If you get your outfit in time, you could think about having some sleeves added if there are none, and this may make your outfit look different, should the worst happen and a guest turns up wearing the same.
You can find wind-proof umbrellas, which are see-through and lower around your head. It might be a good idea to invest in one of these in advance of the day, just in case! And, perhaps you need to think about a coat or lightweight mac, if heavy rain is predicted, although in that circumstance you may not be outdoors too long!
What is your budget, if there is one? If you have more of a limited budget, there are ways of maximising it, one of which is to find an “end of season” bargain. For example, source your outfit as soon as you are settled on your size and know the colour scheme for the bride, groom, bridesmaids, and best man, rather than leaving it to a last minute panic.
Please note I work with your budget, whatever that is, and aim to maximise what you can do with it.
COLOUR & STYLE
If you haven’t had the input from someone like me, obviously this would be a good idea if you are making an expensive and important purchase (that will be in forever photos). You want to look your absolute best, and an impartial advisor will help you achieve more than you might on your own. I personally have a money-back guarantee, so that means there is no risk. If I can’t help you get something better than you would yourself you can ask for your money back. (So far, in my six years of operating Your Colour & Style, no-one has requested their money back, but it is there as my reassurance to you of my service.)
If you do not think this is for you, I would urge you to look through your wardrobe and remember items that you have been particularly complimented in, and make you feel wonderful. This could indicate that either the colour is flattering to you, or the style, or both. This would be a good place to start when thinking about your wedding outfit. Whilst doing that, is there anything you already have that would be suitable for the other events around the wedding that you will be attending, or do you wish to get some other new items?
If you have plenty of time, and cannot find what you want, you may like to consider having something made just for you. I would be happy to advise the cut, colour, material and patterns. At least you would have exactly what you wanted, and it fit, and be confident no-one else would be wearing the same.
Of course your outfit needs to fit, but if you lose weight significantly and the outfit that you already have is perfect for you, you could have it altered. (It’s easier to make an outfit smaller generally, but it is also possible to have an outfit cleverly altered if you need more room.)
Your best JEWELLERY will also be affected by your colour and style knowledge: whether gold or silver colours look best on you and the size and type of jewellery. Then, you also need to factor in your particular outfit and the occasion. The jewellery can make or break the look in my opinion, so it needs to be just right.
If you would like advice just on this aspect, I would be very happy to help.
SHOES and BAG
Shoes, again, need to be appropriate for the occasion, and comfort may be important, as well as colour and style, and working with your outfit.
I am a shoe-aholic myself, so this is my particular specialism. See Gill’s storyhere.
TRANSPORTING YOUR OUTFIT
If you need to pack your outfit, depending on the material and how you pack it, you may need to iron it at the destination. Firstly, check there is an iron and ironing board at the destination. Secondly, you may like to pack a tea-towel to use between the iron and your outfit. (On the eve of my wedding I ironed some underwear with an unfamiliar iron, and ruined it!)
My next tip is to carefully roll your outfit, in something like a plastic cover or light towel if it is delicate and you don’t want to use plastic, to avoid anything catching it, including the case zip! And, do not put any liquid type things in the case with it (like perfume bottles, cans of hairspray etc) no matter how well sealed or wrapped they are!
As you put your outfit together, make a list of everything, down to the last detail, to ensure it is taken to the venue if it needs to be transported. No point getting to the destination and realising in the last minute panics of everyone that you’ve forgotten an essential item: it could spoil your enjoyment of the event.
YOUR NAILS, HAIR, MAKE-UP
As soon as you know the date for the wedding you can plan in your appointments to ensure you get what you want, when you want, and where you want. I would advise speaking to your beautician to get the best advice, and maybe have a practice so you know what to expect, and how long it will take. This would also be a good idea if you are using a new salon or person – perhaps in a different part of the country (always good to get a recommendation – perhaps the other party’s family can give you some ideas). The salon will produce a better result if they have got to know your preferences, skin/hair type and how it reacts to things in advance, if possible. If you are having false eyelashes for the first time, you will need a patch test to ensure you are not allergic to the glue, and that needs to be done at least 24 hours in advance of the treatment.
For my wedding I decided to have acrylic nails. It was the first time I’d ever done that, and the girl said “are you sure you want to do this because your nails are lovely and I’ll have to buff them to make the acrylic stick”. I replied that knowing my luck I’d break one before the day, so we went ahead. Although I did have great nails for the day, the process did ruin them and they took at least six months to recover. Also, they took some getting used to, and I couldn’t wait to return from honeymoon to have them removed.
I now regularly have gel nails – much kinder to your own nails yet still as durable. Certainly worth having a trial before the day, so you know what to expect and are happy with the result. Normally salons have a lot of colour choice – this will need to be thought-through to work with your outfit too.
Planning your make-up before the day, to work with your outfit and skin and eye colouring will also be a good idea. You too can have a trial, or make-up lesson, to ensure that when the heat is on you are able to do (or have) your make-up finished quickly and with a great result. This is another area I can help with, if you would like to know more.
On the day, don’t forget to take a few things in your bag as well as the confetti: safety pins (in case of an emergency) and make-up refresh items, like foundation powder and lipstick.
If you know someone getting married, and you think this article would be helpful to them, please feel free to share it.