While I was planning, I spent so much time describing to you my process with the dress, that I never really shared the rest of my bridal look with you! I figured I’d let you know how I came about my bridal “look.” It’s interesting how, in the planning of this wedding, I drew my inspirations from soooo many different places.
In general, my look evolved quite a bit. Originally, I was thinking to have an outdoor wedding, with a form-fitting lace dress and my hair down with a flower in it. This look is captured pretty well by America Ferrera’s character in Our Family Wedding, actually (well, at least on the cover—savvy readers know that in the actual movie, her hair is up):
photo property of 20th Century Fox
photo from VivirLatino.com (which has a pretty good & insightful review of the film)
But you know what happened to those plans. We shifted to a formal, black tie wedding, so I changed my look to fit that—and I’m so happy I did!
I initially planned to wear my hair down, but started freaking out about potential humidity or heat ruining it and having my curls fall out (which always happens). I couldn’t deal with the uncertainty of that; also, I really, really love the “classic” bridal hair bun. My hair isn’t quite long enough for that, but I showed my hairdresser some inspiration photos anyway. We contemplated adding a hairpiece, but my hairdresser said I could trust her, and she’d figure it out.
Here’s the inspiration for my hair: something formal, but loose enough to be “romantic.” These photos are from Project Wedding.
photo from projectwedding.com
This is a pretty contentious issue. I plan to write more about this later, but my time spent trying to find a makeup inspiration was the time I came face-to-face with the lack of ethnic representation in bridal magazines. Sure, I could turn to Essence or something for some photos of black women in beautiful makeup, but that wasn’t the point; and besides, most “celebrity” looks don’t come close to being what I call “bridal.” I wanted something very subtle, not too colorful, and very elegant. Here is what I came up with:
If you are going to find a celebrity whose makeup you want to emulate, it helps to find someone with a similar skin tone and eye shape to yours. My hairdresser (who is also my makeup artist) thanked me profusely for finding a celebrity who looks, at least on paper, similar enough to realistically imitate.
My accessories were very special to me, especially since, aside from my ring, I only had two of them. My idea was to have a beautiful dress, one pair of spectacular earrings, and some kind of flower. I remember staring at this photo for a long time, and it was a prominent image in my mind when I was finally putting together my wedding look. Except, I wanted the earrings to be larger—I have a larger head!
I do believe it completes the bridal “look” to wear something on your head. Here we have the bridal veil: the timeless symbol of innocence, the veiling of the bride, the…whatever, I so don’t care about any of that. I wore a veil because it photographs well. Shallow? Maybe. But it’s true; I only thought of a veil after seeing photos like these:
These two are from our photographers, David Wittig Photography:
We originally planned to add some beaded lace to the edge of the veil (as shown in one of my favorite dresses), but the sparkles ended up being too heavy. So we went to my other inspiration, which was this beautiful drop veil worn by Anne Hathaway’s character in Bride Wars. I’ve watched that scene where she walks down the hallway so many times!
© 2008 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises
This veil is incredibly simple; it just attaches to your hair with a pin. No pleats, no sparkles, and it’s most formal when it’s very, very sheer. You can find beautiful drop veil examples all over Weddingbee… but the most famous “drop veil” bride right now is probably this person.
I had a pair of cute bridal shoes, but during my bridal portrait shoot, they were so unbelievably painful that I ditched them. I spent several weeks trying to find shoes that were in my size, comfortable, and the exact heel height as the first pair (because the dress was already finished by that point, and it was made to go with those original shoes—learn from me, and think of this before you have your dress hemmed!).
It was an arduous search, but it turns out that a pair of black espadrilles in my closet were not only the exact perfect height, but were comfortable enough for all-day wear. However, they are made of straw and canvas and look ridiculous, so there are no photos of them. I changed into a pair of Born brown leather sandals for dancing. You have to do what makes you comfortable!
So there you have it, The Look. After the wedding, I have this whole file folder full of photos, marked “Wedding Beauty & Fashion.” It has been so much fun to compare and contrast this with how I actually looked. With so much time gone by, it’s amazing to me how much time and effort I spent on decisions that seem like no big deal…but it was all worth it!
How did you find your wedding inspirations?