Don’t Let This Happen To You – Common Grooming Mistakes

It is common knowledge  that everyone wants to look good for their wedding and that good grooming is  a must. While grooming typically refers to bathroom activities such as  cleaning and styling the hair, getting body, face or groin hair removal and getting nails done, some people become so over-obsessed with grooming that they go a bit too far. How could taking too much care of yourself possibly be a bad thing?

Mistake #1)Mother of the Groom – November 2000. Weeks before her son’s wedding my friend wanted to look her best so she began tanning (tanning bed) and planned a quick trip to Florida to add some sun to the tanning bed color of her skin. My friend also thought this would be a good time to rejuvenate her skin a little and invested in some light Botox treatments. Sounds okay, right? Actually, she came to her son’s wedding unrecognizable. Her dark brown skin was extremely puffy, blotchy and there were spots of mis-shapen skin around her eyes.  There was no solution, there was no way to disguise her awkward appearance and this is still the only thing I remember of her son’s wedding to this day. The problem: too many different treatments too close to the wedding. To avoid this:  decide which is more important – tan or wrinkles!

Mistake #2) Groom – July 2005. About six weeks before the wedding, the groom decided to thin out his eyebrows a little. He figured this would be enough time to decide whether or not this was right for him and also be able to return to the salon before the wedding for a touch-up. The initial visit went great, his eyebrows were thinner and looked more controlled but not too severe. A week before the wedding, he went for his touch up and came out looking like Joan Crawford. Again, there is no solution since you cannot re-grow hair in one week. The problem: he went to a different stylist who was not familiar with what he wanted and went too far. To avoid this: always see the same stylist and take pictures of what you want to look like. Leave nothing to the imagination. This can happen to women, too! Remember  whether you are shaving, plucking, tweezing or threading, it will take a month to re-grow to their natural state. Of course everyone is different and it could take longer or never grow back at all. 

Mistake #3) Bride – October 2008. The bride  decided to go for a salon makeover just days before the wedding.  Unbeknownst to her, she had very sensitive skin and for whatever reason the products did not agree with her. She came home looking great and loved the makeup but, the next day when she awoke she was puffy, red and completely covered in bumps. With only two days to calm her skin down, the solution included a trip to a dermatologist and a prescription. The problem: trying out new cosmetics only days before your wedding. To avoid this: never do anything new to your hair or skin or nails within two weeks of your wedding. If you are going to try new skin care products or makeup, do it at least a month in advance. All makeup is not created equal and the price is not always the problem.  Plan early and have a makeup trial as far in advance as possible.

Mistake #4) Bridesmaid – July 2010. Not wanting to look pale and pasty on her BF’s big day, a well-intended bridesmaid decided at the last minute (literally hours before the wedding) do do a little self tanning. She sprayed self tanner all over her chest and face and arms and then immediately dressed and prepared  for the wedding. She was streaky, orange, smelled of product and (according to her) stained the lapel of at least one male guest who hugged her. The only solution in this case is photoshop for the pictures.  The problem: self tanners are messy and hard to apply properly, they have a distinct odor and should never be tried out this close to an event. How to avoid: Don’t bother with self-tanner. Ask any professional photographer and they will tell you that dark tans do not look good in wedding pictures. Self tanners last  about five days and spray tans can  last up to 2 weeks so, if you get the wrong color, it will require some effort to remove it from your skin. Ask the spray tan specialist  for  the best color for you. Specialist is the operative word – ask the manager or owner or another informed consultant at the salon.

To comlpetely avoid any and all grooming diasters, here is the  best advice you will ever hear :

Don’t try anything new less than a month before your event.



Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Creative Illumination – Lighting Your Wedding With Style

One of the most effective things you can do to transform a standard room into a stunning masterpiece is to incorporate  ‘creative illumination’. The right lighting, using various colors and angles will create a look that can be achieved no other way.  You can turn any venue into a showplace with the right lighting, photographs will look better with the right lighting. Forget photo-shop, you can take 10 years off of almost anyone’s age with the right lighting! The best part is that it can all be changed to completely alter the mood; cranked up for some serious dancing at the reception, diffused and toned down to enhance the romantic first dance.

According to internationally acclaimed event designer, Preston Bailey, “You need to take advantage of the effect color can have on the atmosphere by changing the shades through the course of the night. For example, if your cocktail hour starts around sunset, you can splash your room with golden tones. During dinner, consider soft lighting that will mimic flickering candlelight. As the party progresses, I would change the lighting to something a little bit more exciting. Making this transition is simple, with intelligent lighting (which can be programmed to coordinate the whole lighting setup). With the push of a button, you can change the mood of the room,” Bailey says.
Make sure your lighting specialist has credentials. Ask to see photos, videos, ask for references and recommendations. Meet with your lighting designer at the venue so you can go over every single detail in person and make sure someone from the venue also attends the meeting so they can answer questions about power usage, wattage, voltage and backup plans. If you decide on this type of lighting, it will play a major role in the event, as much as the flowers and centerpieces. As a result, you should be on top of every detail and not leave anything to the imagination.
Don’t forget accent lighting as well, this is especially true for outdoor weddings. Chinese lanterns, colored bulbs and multiple strands of twinkle lights can add a touch of elegance, whimsy or sophistication depending upon the lights used and the desired effect.  Again, always ask for pictures.
Creative Illumination will define the mood for the entire event, it will make or break your photos. Most of all, it can turn your already beautiful wedding into and unforgettable paragon of style and beauty!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago