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Wedding Resources 

ALL BRIDES ARE BEAUTIFUL

Looking Your Best on Your Wedding Day

by Coco Petit

There is a well-known proverb that states that "all brides are beautiful". This is certainly true for most brides - the glow of happiness is never more evident than on your most special day. But, while this may be a lovely sentiment, it isn't a certainty! For sure, every bride must plan and strive to look her best at her wedding by helping nature along.

The key here, as in all other aspects of wedding planning, is to set a schedule and stick to it. In this article, we'll try to point out the most important aspects of your trousseau and styling so you'll look - and feel - your best on your wedding day.

GOWN SIZE

You would not believe the number of women who actually order their gown 2 (or even more) sizes too small because they "plan to lose before the wedding"! Ask any dressmaker how many emergency refittings they've had to undertake because of unrealistic goals set by well-meaning brides.

If you feel you should lose a certain amount of weight before the wedding, that's great! But this requires very, very careful and long-term planning. Begin at least a year before the wedding by choosing your gown and determining your "perfect" size. Find out exactly what the deadline is to set a final size and strive to reach that size by the ORDER DATE. If you have not reached your weight goal by then, do not expect to be able to reach it during "countdown" time. Just think of all the temptations during the last few months before a wedding: parties, dinners, fast-food stops while running around, quickie meals on-the-run, sampling the food from the caterers, etc., etc. In addition, nutrition is most important: you don't want to be rundown and malnourished as you approach your wedding date. And remember, you became engaged at your current weight - your fiance thinks you're beautiful now!

HAIR STYLING

Another common disaster in wedding day planning! Your hair style is part of your everyday appearance and your fiance and others find you attractive as you are now. The easiest way to deal with this is to "refine" your current style and plan to have a fresh cut (and/or perm and/or coloring) just before your wedding day.

If you feel you'd like to change your hair in a drastic manner, this, too, requires very careful and long-term planning. Begin about a year (or however long you've determined it takes for your hair to "grow out") before the wedding by selecting a new style and having it done. If it works, you simply need to maintain it until the wedding. If not, you have time to return to your "normal" or regular style. Do not - we repeat - DO NOT plan to get a brand new hair style just before your wedding. This can lead to disaster!

If you're determined to change your hairstyle, perhaps it is because you're regular cut is not the best choice for you in the first place. Begin by "playing" with your hair using this checklist:

ROUND FACE
- DO: Part your hair on the side - it helps to make your face look thinner
- DON'T: Part your hair in the center, especially if your hair is short - it accentuates the roundness

V-SHAPED FACE
- DO: Wear an updo - it accentuates your cheekbones, especially if you have the sides hanging freely which provides a frame for those features you wish to accentuate

- DON'T: Wear short hair - this will draw attention to the pointed characteristics of your face and draw the eye all the way down to your chin!

SQUARE FACE
- DO: Wear your hair UP! This will soften the outline of your face and accentuate the rounder and softer features on the face
- DON'T: Wear it shoulder length - this only helps to "block" out your face even more

Check through beauty, bridal and other magazines for tips and current styles and pick a couple of looks which you think will work for you. THEN GO TO A PROFESSIONAL. As they say, don't try this at home, kids! Your hair stylist will assist you in your final decision and make the actual cut. Don't cut it yourself - you'll be flirting with disaster.

MAKEUP AND NAILS

This is an easier aspect of your planning: during the months before the big date, experiment with your current look. For makeup, try refining your regular approach with an eye to the formal. Or maybe try a makeover - it's fun and not too expensive! Once you've hit on the perfect combination, all you've got to do is remember how you got there!

Nails are just a little trickier. If you're used to shorter nails (or, God forbid, you're a nail-biter), don't just plan to grow out your nails or get overlays. Go to a nail salon and try them out - take them for a test drive, if you will. You don't want to have trouble eating and drinking at the reception or break one off because you're not used to the extra length. Be realistic. Plan the color around your gown, flowers and makeup: your nail color and style are subservient to all of the above. Have fun with it, but once you make a decision, stick with it.

LAST MINUTE PREPARATIONS

Once you've achieved your final look, you'll need to make very, very careful plans to take care of things just before the wedding - either by yourself/with your wedding participants, or by securing the services of the specialist as fitted to your schedule. Here's some tips - ask yourself the following questions and set a schedule for the easiest preparations possible:

GOWN

Can you get dressed alone? Will you need some help from a friend or relative?

Will you need any final fittings or last-minute adjustments by the dressmaker or tailor?

HAIR

Can you do it yourself or with the help of your mother, honor person or another trusted accessory?

Can you have it done the day before? The night before? Or do you need it done JUST BEFORE the wedding?

MAKEUP

A definite last minute undertaking. Can you do it yourself or with a little help?

Do you need your makeup artist on hand just before you leave for the ceremony?

NAILS

Still the easiest - for your normal look, a day before. For something more complex, the evening before, or the morning of - if you've got time.

As always, careful planning is the key to wedding day beauty. It can be a stress-free experience to remember for life. And don't forget all the cameras and camcorders: your appearance on your wedding day is for "posterity", if only within your own family. The goal is to look the very best you can, possibly the very best you'll ever look, and that is, of course, to look the way YOU feel best and most comfortable.

Just remember that old proverb, if everything goes perfectly, or you hit a snag or two, "all brides are beautiful".


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