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

Angry Brides vs Rude Guests

Although the spelling is very close, ‘Angry Brides’ are quite different from the wingless birds of the game variety. They are both of varying sizes, they are both on a mission  to accomplish their task. Fortunately, there are no brides ( no matter how angry) that explode upon contact. So, as a guest, how can you avoid being the giant pig in a hard hat? Here are the top six things that can really get under a bride’s skin:

1) RSVP. The reply card should already have a stamp so, send it as early as possible and don’t make any changes like adding a guest when one is not invited… and don’t change it after the RSVP date or (God forbid) just show up. How hard is that? Do that for every wedding related event and you will be just fine.

2) Put a card on the gift. If the gift has no card, how is the couple supposed to know who it is from? To be safe, always enclose a small card inside the wrapped gift. If it is being sent directly from a website or store, bring a card to the reception that indicates a gift was already sent. “Best Wishes on your wedding, I (we) hope you enjoy the ________ that was sent previously from ________”. This way the bride and groom know a gift was sent, where it came from and if it didn’t arrive, they can let you know.

3) Don’t inundate the bride with tons of questions about the wedding. Cost, number of guests, what kind of flowers, location, date, ring, gown, etc. Most brides are very excited to talk about their wedding but, asking too many questions all the time may seem intrusive and is downright rude. Furthermore, the cost of things is no one’s business unless the couple  publicizes it and then it is equally tacky.

4) Don’t show up late or not at all. Whether you are a vendor, a bridesmaid or a friend; showing up late, missing important appointments and forgetting wedding related events is out of the question. If you have a problem attending, let the bride know as soon as you get the invitation, not ten minutes before. See #1.

5) Don’t ask to alter the menu. If you have severe food allergies, inform the bride right away so concessions can be made on the menu, or decline the invitation. However, be prepared with an epi-pen just in case, since no matter how hard you try, mistakes can happen. Some allergies are severe enough to be triggered by the smell of the peanuts, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Keep in mind – food allergies are a lot different from food preferences. Your preferences are not the bride’s concern but, your health should be.

6) Becoming inebriated at the reception. Have a drink or two, unwind a little, have some fun – but, end it there. If your speech is slurred, it is time to stop drinking alcohol and go home.

As a guest, attendant or family member at a wedding you aren’t required to make sure every detail is executed flawlessy but, it is your job make sure your conduct is on point. Try to remember how much planning, expense and stress is involved and be mindful of your place in the wedding.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago