Here's What I Learned after doing Makeup on a Thousand Brides

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Brides have always had a special place in my heart and they always will. Being a professional makeup artist has been my second career but even as an amateur with a special interest in makeup I dabbled in doing wedding makeup for friends and family before it was common to have a beauty glam squad come to do your makeup and hair for your wedding day.  While it's true that every bride is unique in her tastes, after doing a thousand brides and bridesmaids in my 17 year plus career in makeup, I've seen a lot of what goes on behind the scenes.  Wedding days are more alike than they are different and I've been a part of great days, and some pretty awful stressful out ones where I went straight to a bar to have a drink to calm down. A wedding is a huge life changing event.  Even if you think you are going to be a cool, calm and collected bride, come the wedding day morning you may feel emotions that you never knew you had.  Here's what I learned and some of my "do"s and don'ts for a happy wedding day start. My wish for every bride on her big day is to have a wonderful happy day from the minute you get up all through the last dance of the evening. These are my suggestions to Make it Go Right!

DO Eat a healthy breakfast ~ even if you don't normally eat breakfast, EAT something with protein in it.  It's not the time to diet.  What you eat on your wedding day is not going to effect how you look in your dress.  You need that fuel to get through the whole day and night.  I've seen too many brides faint right before walking down the aisle.  They were too nervous to eat or didn't drink enough water and were dehydrated. 

If you are getting ready in a hotel or a venue and not in your home, pack a week before and write out and use a checklist.  Forgetting something at home that is important to the wedding day such as the license, a bra, shoes, the veil is very common.  I've seen too many brides cry and get very upset and then want to run home to get the item.   As a makeup artist, having a bride cry unhappy tears while in my makeup chair is also upsetting. If you aren't good at packing or organizing or too time stressed to pack, have a member of your bridal party, your mother, your sister or anyone close to you who is good at  to make sure you have what you need.  It'll make you calmer and the day will go smoothly. 

DO Start two hours earlier than you think you should ~  You won't believe how many disruptions you'll have that day.  You'll get calls from people you haven't heard from in years, people will be late and there will unexpected delays and snafus. The time will truly fly that day and you will run out of time and feel stressed and be late if you don't start extra early. You want to avoid this from happening and it happens way too much.  It's also a good idea to tell your wedding party to get there earlier to help things stay on schedule. 

DO Have lots of food around.  People get cranky and anxious when they are hungry or nervous..  Food makes people happier and calmer. Have a variety of foods: fruit, veggies, sandwiches, snack foods, coffee and lots of water ( I need gluten free for me)  Happy people means you'll have a smoother start to your wedding day.

DON'T drink too much or stay up too late the night before ~ I can't remember how many times I've had to wake up brides at their hotel room which made the whole wedding day be late because they were hungover or just dragging and tired.  It's harder to make someone look fresh and young and pretty when you're dealing with dehydrated skin, red eyes, and a queasy, cranky, tired bride.

DO Keep your favorite people in the world close to you that morning ~  I'd say this is KEY.  Anybody who makes you feel supported, loved, protected and wants YOU to be truly happy is who should be with you that day.  DON'T invite anyone who who have any angst with as any issues you have with them may get amped up. I've seen too many family fights break out on the wedding day or an underlying tension.  Weddings are stressful enough for a bride and the last thing you need to add to the mix is having people's issues of jealousy, divorced parents who don't get along, or sibling rivalry rear it's ugly head.  The less people around the better; keep it to 3 or 4 good friends or favorite family at most.  The more people around the more personalities and opinions will abound.  It's your special day - take control of your getting ready time and keep your circle small and tight. 

DO Have extra cash on hand ~ Just a good idea.  I've seen too many brides have to stop everything and go to the ATM on the wedding day.   Not all vendors want to take checks or credit cards, plus gratuities for exceptional service are always appreciated in cash.

DO Trust your vendors to do the job you hired them to do.  If you trusted them to hire them and you confirmed all details and handled the pre-payments, try not to worry and lose sleep about them showing up.  They are professionals and they will be there!  Offer them food or a drink once they get there. Showing them respect and a little gesture of kindness will go a long way in the extra service and perks you may get.  

DO Plan on having the photographer come earlier than they say they will.  More times than not, the photographer comes at least a half hour to an hour earlier than they tell.  As soon as the photographer comes, the mood will change drastically, believe me.  It becomes REAL!  The party atmosphere will start to change to OMG! It's crunch time. Instant nerves will appear.   So know that going into it.  Don't forget to bring your wedding invitation with you.  The photographer always wants to shoot that along with your shoes, dress and rings and it's often forgotten and throws a wrench into your plans.

I hope these tips and the wealth of my experience help make your wedding day "behind the scenes" go smoother. 

Wishing you love, wishing you a beautiful life!

Jill Harth





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