The Big Day – 15 tips for getting ready on your wedding day.


All of those months of preparation have led to this very special day. Here are a few tips from previous brides (and some of my own) to help make your wedding morning preparations organised, relaxed and fun.

Before the Big Day:

1.       The biggie: Write out a timeline for everyone to use. Make sure that your family and bridal party know when they are expected to be available for make-up and hair, and when to get dressed.
     Once you know what time you’ll be leaving your preparation room/venue, work backwards from that time when writing out your schedule. If your photographer will be taking some pictures of you and your bridal party when you are fully dressed, work that into your list. Then give yourself 15 to 30 minutes to get into your underwear, dress, shoes, jewellery and veil. It’s up to you whether you have your make-up done first or last, but the later it’s applied, the longer it will last. Add some ‘buffer’ time into the list. For example:

  • 8am         bridesmaid 1 hair-up and make-up
  • 9.15am    bridesmaid 2 hair-up and make-up
  • 10.30am mother of the bride blow-dry and make-up
  • 11.30 am *buffer time*
  • 12noon   Bride hair- up and make-up (photographer arrives 1.15pm)
  • 1.45pm   Bride gets dressed
  • 2pm         Bride veil and finishing touches
  • 2.15pm   Photos with mum and dad and bridesmaids
  • 2.45pm   Leave for wedding venue
  • 3pm        Wedding ceremony


2.       Make sure that you have snacks prepared for yourself and your bridal party to nibble on while you are getting ready. You may not have much time or inclination to eat during your reception and you’ll need something to keep you going.


3.       Have your Maid of Honour or your mother come along to your final wedding dress fitting so that they know how to help you into your dress on your wedding day. I have often been asked to step in when the lacing up is complicated or taking too long. If you have a lot of small buttons, you may need a crochet hook to avoid damaging beautifully painted nails!




4.       Chose a getting-ready room with plenty of space and light, if possible. If you have two rooms available, use both – one can be the ‘social’ room and the other the hair and make-up studio. That way you can have some peace and quiet when you need it. Good natural lighting is ideal for your make-up artist and your photographer.

 

5.       Have your nails done a day or two before your wedding. Gel nails are a great option as they don’t chip very easily – one less thing to do on your wedding morning! Remember that your nails will be photographed when your ring is on your finger.

 

6.       Have a Wedding Day Survival Kit prepared:  deodorant, tissues, wet wipes and a list of your vendors' phone numbers. Other things you could add are aspirin/ibuprofen, antacid, dental floss, sewing kit, first aid kit, tampons or pads, toothbrush and toothpaste, mirror, band-aids, baby wipes, stain remover, safety pins, hand sanitizer, scissors, ear buds,extra panty hose and anenergy bar.
To help your look to last all day I will provide you with a tiny pot of your chosen lipstick, a lip brush, shine blotters, tissues, a mini hairspray, hairpins and mints. If you plan on switching to flip-flops or ballet pumps during the reception, remember to bring those as well.
 

7.       If any vendor is to be paid on the day, be sure that their payment is ready in an envelope with each company’s name on it, to avoid scrabbling around for your cheque book or cash!

 

8.       Have some ‘getting ready’ clothes packed. A dressing gown or a white men’s shirt are both good to wear while getting your hair and make-up done. They don’t need to be pulled over your head and look great in photos!

On the Big Day:

9.       A decent breakfast is essential, even if you don’t feel very hungry. This also helps you to feel calm.  Make sure that you have some healthy slow-release carbohydrates to last your through the morning. Eggs and toast, cereal and yogurt, peanut butter on a bagel or a thick smoothie.

 

10.   Have one of your bridesmaids screen your phone calls - she can field questions from your great aunt who can't find the hotel and the co-worker who wants to know what time the wedding starts (yes, this actually happened to one of my bridal clients!). If there are vendor calls (the caterer wants to know where the table numbers are, the DJ wants to talk to someone at the reception site) ask your mom or maid of honour to deal with them if they can.

 

11.   Don’t worry about what your groom is doing (not a whole lot!) He and his groomsmen have a lot less to do than you do, so focus on enjoying your morning with your friends and family.

 

12.   When should your bridesmaids get dressed? Before you do. What about your mother and father? Same answer. Ideally, about half an hour before you do. When they are gathered around while you’re getting your dress buttoned/zippered, they’re not in their jeans and old t-shirt  in the pictures. And so that when you father sees you for the first time in your dress the photographer can capture Dad’s reaction while he’s looking his best. And, most importantly, so that once you are ready everyone else is too!

 

13.   Warning: Toilet talk. Take off your dress to go to the bathroom. Your Maid of Honour can unzip your dress, you step out of the dress, she holds the dress up like you are still in it, you use the lavatory, wash your hands, jump back into the dress, she zips you up! SO much easier than having 3-5 bridesmaids hold up your dress while you pee. This tip works best if you have a dress you can easily get in and out of.

OR

If your dress is not easy to remove, face the cistern when you sit on the toilet. This is especially useful if you have a full skirt or a train. Much better the squishing your big dress behind you!

 

14.   If you’re ahead of schedule your photographer can get more bridal shots of you or photos of you and your bridesmaids.  It’s always best to be ahead of schedule rather than behind schedule.  But remember, if you are running late don’t freak out too much– they can’t start without you! Don’t live in fear of what could go wrong on your special day.  Just be prepared to roll with the punches: when you’re flipping out because your florist used roses instead of peonies for your bouquet, just know that your friends and family won’t even notice!

 

15.   Remember what it’s all about! The two of  you obviously know that you want to be together for the rest of your lives, your wedding day is your way of telling everybody else how you feel and celebrating that great journey together!

 
 





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How to choose your wedding hairstyle


So it's a few months away from your Big Day, you have your venue, your photographer, your dress...what you need is your crowning glory, your perfect hairstyle!

The first thing to consider is your dress – has it got a beautiful neckline that would be hidden by having your hair down, or enhanced by having an up-style? Is it sleeveless and you'd prefer your hair down or half-down to feel less exposed? Perhaps it's a period style of dress and would be wonderfully complimented by a hairstyle that's also inspired by the same period, 1920's, 40's, 60.s?

Start a pinterest board : Here's a link to my pinterest wedding hair board or collect pictures in a sketchbook. Look in bridal magazines, wedding catalogues, celebrity pictures, photographers albums and other people's pinterest pages. This way you can collect your ideas in one place and it's handy to be able to show your hairstylist,  make-up artist and whoever else needs to see your ideas.

hair and make-up by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.mikiphotography.co.uk
Now that you have a look in mind, consider your own hair length and texture. Is your hair long enough? Is it thick or wavy or straight enough for the look? There are many ways to enhance your hair, using clip-in or semi-permanent extensions, bun-rings and other padding. This hairstyle was created with the assistance of a piece of wadding:

hair by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.monicadart.co.za
Is your hair texture able to hold your style in place all afternoon and evening? Even if it's windy or extremely hot and humid? Some hair textures will last better if the hair is all up (this is especially true if your hair is naturally straight and you'd like it curled).Other hair types may be better down all day.

It is possible to have your hair styled in such a way that it is up for the ceremony and meal, but you can take some pins out and it's half-down for the evening.

Have you considered hair accessories? Other than a veil, you have a wide range of choice, from fresh flowers, fascinators, cage veils  to tiaras, diamante pins, vintage combs and clips. If you choose to wear a veil, consider if it would be best further forward, or back, even below the main part of your hairstyle.

                                  hair by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.saraholivierphotography.com/

Start early with planning your cut and colour. You may like to have a few deep conditioning treatments leading up to your wedding to enhance the shine and help it to grow healthily. Make sure that your colour is done at least a week before your wedding to avoid the 'just coloured' skin staining or streakiness. If you have highlights, consider whether you'd like to have some on your nape hairline so that it's not too dark if you wear it up. Any change to your colour should start a few months before the wedding as most colour changes take time to perfect. Also think about whether you would like a fringe and if so, how long it should be.

hair and make-up by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.redsnapperphotos.com

 A hair (and Make-up) consultation about 3 months before your wedding can help you reach all of these decisions. Good luck and enjoy all of the planning!

Fran
 







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Cape Town Wedding - an overseas trip!

It was a wonderful adventure to do Anna's hair and make-up for her wedding to Dave in Bishopscourt, Cape Town, South Africa.Cape Town Wedding Photographer, Monica Dart, Anna and Dave's wedding

Of course, it also took careful planning to bring just the right amount of kit over with me, and to pack it in such a way that it didn't get damaged in transit. The hot weather was also a concern - would my MAC Paintpots sweat'? I spent quite some time browsing online resources for tips on how to pack powder make-ups to avoid cracking (cling film, bubble wrap and socks!), what to take in hand-luggage vs. hold suitcases(most of it!) and how to transport liquids (decant into smaller containers!).

Anna had a trial about a week before her wedding, where I made detailed notes for what to recreate on the big day.
On the Big Day, Anna's adult bridemaids joined her in a large room away from the hustle and bustle of the reception preparation taking place in the garden.

Anna is a up-and-coming jewellery designer, featuring regularly in national fashion magazines. She designed her own jewellery and hair accessory for her wedding. Anna used her grandmother's coral hat pins and broach with her hair accessory to great effect, matching her earrings.




 
The bridesmaids wore lace blouses made by Anna's mum, who wove the lace herself,
theit belts were made by the bride and the skirt designed to match the green of the bouquet.
One of the two flowergirls had a bruise under her eye, so I camouflaged it with the help of my Bobby Brown concealer palette.
 
And some more pictures of the wedding and reception for your inspiration...
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Anna and Dave's Wedding, Fine art wedding photographers
Cape Town Wedding Photographer, Monica Dart, Anna and Dave's wedding
Stunning marquee, with tables cleverly arranged at curves.
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Anna and Dave's Wedding, Fine art wedding photographers
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Fine art wedding photographers, South African wedding photographers
 All photographs were taken by Monica Dart, a very well-travelled wedding photographer. Monica has photographed weddings internationally, recently in South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, France Sweden and the UK. A link to her website: Monica Dart Photography
 
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1950's retro seaside theme celebration!


 Anna and Katie chose such a fun, happy theme for their Civil Partnership ceremony - The Big Gay Bandstand! Brighton and Hove's bandstand was an ideal location for a retro, 1950's-style ceremony, with just enough room for friends and family to join in the fun!



Anna is a hairdressing client of mine, with naturally tight curls. She still wanted curls for her Big Day, but was hoping for a more relaxed curl, to fit the theme of the wedding. We used the traditional (and extra long-lasting) method of wet setting!



Anna's hair took an hour to dry and she drank copious amounts of water whilst sitting under that heat! But it was all worth it, as she put it afterwards, 
"I have fairly unruly curly/frizzy hair normally and knew I wanted something completely different and glamorous on my wedding day! We had a 50's theme going so I came to Fran with some ideas and after a few hrs in rollers and under a old fashioned hair dryer she created my perfect 50's look - smooth, big curls and it stayed in place all day despite seafront breezes and dancing all night! Thanks Fran, I loved it!"

  Below are some more of Anna and Katie's inspired ideas : red petticoats for both Anna and her bridesmaids, cute red t-shirts for the ring-bearers, red buckets for the confetti and seaside-themed table decorations.



I think you'll agree that this was a beautiful, bold and VERY Brighton celebration, and I wish Anna and Katie all the best for their bright future together.




 All of the wonderful photographs, except Anna under the dryer, are by Emmest Photography and the CP has been featured on the Love My Dress blogsite .










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Vintage bridal photoshoot

I am so proud to show you the results of a beautiful bridal vintage photoshoot I worked on a short while ago. I hope that you enjoy the results!


 Photographer Sarah Olivier gathered a small crack team of us to help create some atmospheric photographs to showcase designer Sarina Poppy 's bridal designs. Ellen Bridger recreated the 1920's make-up look and I did the hair styling. It was a lovely morning and we have had the wonderful pleasure of having our work published in Vintage Life magazine !(The October 2013 Edition).
We were at a beautiful Sussex flintstone church in Barcombe,near Lewes, on a lovely sunny summer's day.



L to R: AvelynRuby Heels and Jessica Burchett .




If you would like to see more of the Photographs from this collection, see the album on my facebook page
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How to choose the perfect flowergirls hairstyles

 
Your bridesmaids styles depends on the age and hair length of your bridesmaids. And of course, your wedding theme too!
 
A child from age 6 upwards is more likely to sit still long enough to curl a while headful of hair, so you'll have a fair amount of flexibility with styles. Any child below the age of around 12 is very likely to have a run around or play energetically at some point, so the simpler the style the better! Plaiting is a great option for particularly lively children.
 
 Any half- up hair style is a good way to plan for short bobs to long hair, as their hair is off their face, but no as likely to fall out as quickly as a hairstyle that's all up. The hairband is then a great place for a flower, ribbon or pretty hair clasp.
 
Your easiest option for all ages below teens is the simple flower garland - it fits like an alice band. To get the best fit, it's a good idea to ask the child's parent for an alice band with a good fit, to give to your florist. Also , be sure to ask for flowers that aren't too heavy, especially on fine hair.
 
 
Any child below the age of 5 is quite likely to find the weight of hair accessories quite annoying, so you could explain to their parent that you need the accessory on for the ceremony and the pictures, but they are welcome to remove them after this. Then leave the bribery method up to them!

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I've been published!

I recently wrote an Article for the ABC magazine. I thought that it might be fun to write about older brides, or brides who have already had children before their wedding. The expectations of their wedding guests of how they should dress and how the ceremony should be held!






 
 


 


It was fun to write and I will be writing another article soon!
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Bridal skin and hair prep

Your wedding may be months away, but did you know that it's never too early to start preparing your skin and hair for the Big Day?

FACE
I am often asked if a facial the week before a wedding is a good idea for clear skin and a healthy glowing complexion. I'm afraid that's a big 'no'! Harriet Al Saed, beauty therapist at Beauty at the Salon, Hove, says, "It is worth having a full skin analysis at least 3 months prior to your wedding. This will allow enough time to address any skin issues you may have before your big day and to establish a good home skincare routine. Have a couple of facials eading up to your wedding so that the therapist can see how your skin responds to the treatment and to make sure that the products used agree with you."

Naturally, drinking water regularly is your skin's best friend, for the best radiance and glow. Speaking as a make-up artist, the better prepared  your skin is in advance, the less make-up you need on your Big Day. I will only need to enhance your features - your skin will have a natural dewy look.

LIPS
Your lips will also look their best with some preparation. Use a lip balm with sunscreen to prevent cracks and sun damage. Exfoliate them once a week for  kissable smoothness. Use a product like Clinque All About Lips or Philosophy Kiss Me Exfoliating Lip Scrub, or simply use a clean toothbrush and warm water, rubbing gently back and forth over your lips.

BODY
If you will be getting married in the summer time, ensure that you use enough sun lotion in the months beforehand, to avoid odd tan lines that don't match your dress shape. Remember to keep your heels soft with regular pumicing and applying foot cream generously at night.

 
HAIR
Your hair will thank you for eating lots of vitamins A (dark vegetables,carrots, meat) B( Fish, eggs nuts and  E(Spinach, tomatoes, beans, nuts) in the months before your Big Day. They all help to develop healthy hair from the inside.

But what can you do to maintain those lovely locks to keep them strong and shiny?

Firstly, minimise the heat damage to your hair: allow your hair to dry naturally (or even just finish with a hairdryer after mostly drying naturally), use your strighteners and tongs sparingly and use styling products and conditioners with SPF and heat protection ingredients.

Regular deep conditioning treatments will make a real difference to the glossiness and manageability of your mane, try L'Oreal Professional Expert Serie- Pro-Keratin Refill Correcting Care Masque, Wella System Professional Perfect Hair Finishing Care, Kerastase Masque Oleo or try some home made hair asks like avocado and mayo or congnac and egg(google it!).

No matter how much moisture a treatment adds to your hair, it can never repair split ends, so have regular trims for optimum smoothness and healthy-looking hair.

So there you have it, a little planning and preparation goes a long way to helping you to be that bride with the glowing skin and glossy hair!

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First tweet!

I have finally joined the twitter mob and sent my first tweet!

Twitter is a great way for me to stay current with new make-up and hair products, stay in touch with other make-up artists and also local wedding suppliers.

@FranCarterHair

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Tips for the try-out...



A try-out, or trial, should be relaxed, informal and fun. This is your opportunity to try a few hairstyles and make-up colours to see what you’d like best for your wedding day. Here are a few pointers...

·      Bring along any pictures/photos/magazine articles that you love and even those you really dislike! (It's amazing how knowing what you DON'T like helps to understand what you DO like!)

·         Have your hair in its natural state if you can, otherwise have it as you usually stlye it.

·         Wear your ordinary day make-up so that I can see how you normally look.

·         Bring along any hair accessories you already have and your veil if you have one..

·         Bring a photo of your dress if you have one, I will need to know the basic shape of your dress, neckline and colour.

·         Most brides prefer to come alone, but you are welcome to bring your mum or a bridesmaid, for a second opinion or moral support!


Don't worry if you have none of the above, I have plenty of magazines and of course, the internet, to help us to discuss your ideal look. You can also click on the Pinterest link from my website for some ideas.

I will make notes of every successful look and photographs of the same. These will be used to achieve the same look on your wedding day, even if it's a year later!We will also discuss the timings for your day.

A try-out is best done 1 – 3 months before your wedding and during daylight hours.  This allows us to choose the foundation best suited to your skin type and tone. A try-out typically takes between one and three hours, allowing us to take our time to find the look that suits you best. Usually the try-out will take place at my home or yours, but we can arrange to meet at a place that suits you.

Most brides prefer to come alone, but you are welcome to bring your mum or a bridesmaid, for a second opinion or moral support!


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Vintage-inspired bridal photo shoot


These are some of the behind-the-scenes snaps from a collaborative photoshoot in Hove yesterday. Photography by Ant Bliss, Headwear by Lilly Lewis Millineryhttp://www.lillylewis.co.uk/ and a few clothing pieces by Bobby and Dandyhttp://www.bobbyanddandy.co.uk/in Hove.
We were so lucky to have 2 beautiful models who suited their era so well - Ellie has big eyes and lovely hair to fingerwave, sooo perfect for 1920's and Izzy has a perfect heart-shaped face for 1940's/50's hair and make-up.

Strings were pulled and we had the shoot at a gorgeous house near Hove seafront that had massive windows and deco-inspired furniture and loads of space for us to spread of of our gear out - lighting, make-up, hair equipment and 5 people apparently take up a LOT of space! (I think we had a bit of house envy too, as we were sneakily taking snaps of the chandelier in the hand-crafted kitchen)

Hopefully we'll have the resulting official pictures in the next few weeks - very exciting!

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wild curls to smooth waves!



Just because your hair is really curly, doesn't mean you can't have smooth waves to last all day! Here's a civil partnership client having a hair try out, using the wet setting technique which your grandmothers know all about! 45 minutes under the dryer and her hair came out in smooth rolls, ready for a late 1940's/1950's Marilyn do!
(This gave her lots of time to explore the latest mags with a hot peppermint tea!)
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