Achieving the most beautiful look that suits you perfectly for your wedding day takes a lot more thought and planning than you might expect.
So says a popular Sacramento-area designer who grew up in Hollywood helping her father with his portraits of movie stars. Leslie Berget has spent her life creating dazzling, magical looks in hair, makeup and bespoke custom garments for actors, theatrical enthusiasts and costume players alike. She has imagination to spare.
So many choices
“Every bride wants and deserves to look her best,” Berget explains. “There are all kinds of theories about the best products, colors, shades and tones to use to enhance the beauty of your skin tone, eyes, hair and more.”
One of the first things a bride needs to decide, she suggests, is whether or not she will be doing her own makeup or having a stylist create a look for her?
“Remember that in professional photos, you might look washed out if you don’t have well-defined eyes and lips,” Berget says.
Magazines, Pinterest and Youtube videos are terrific sources of inspirational looks and how-to tutorials. Once you know what you want, that is helpful information to take to your makeup stylist for a test session before the big day.
And whatever your wedding theme is, she recommends you have fun with it, both during the planning and preparation and at the actual event.
To glam or not to glam
Next, figure out if you want to be done up looking a bit fancier than your everyday makeup look? Or are you going for a more dramatic, high-fashion look that is glamorous?
“New brides may be surprised to learn that if they really change up their makeup for the wedding, when they look back at the photos, they may not be 100 percent thrilled at what they see,” Berget says.
Glamour is good, she adds, “but if you don’t look much like that everyday, or even very often for special occasions, you could be disappointed or uncomfortable later when you see the events of the day in photos. There is an expectation that everyone wants to meet, so try to look ahead and consider that you might not be recognizable if you get really fancied up and look very different.”
Of course, Berget works with a lot of clients who want a standout look with unique garments, headdresses, hair and makeup for their events. So she says It’s fun to go with that if this is your theme, such as the Obtainium Cup Rally in the Bay Area, San Francisco’s Edwardian Ball, or Steampunk and Wild West events and the like.
Interview your photographer
A lot the work of achieving a happy outcome depends on the photographer you choose; so make absolutely sure to interview your photographer about his or her work and style.
Ask to see samples of their shots. Especially request some examples with brides who wore simple makeup closer to how they look everyday and of brides who went for high glamour. That will give you an idea what to expect and then you can align your expectations, too.
Practice makeup styles ahead
Don’t leave your makeup decisions until the last minute, Berget says. It’s a great idea to practice applying and wearing different makeup styles well before the wedding.
Have a fun girls’ night with your friends and family to try out different colors, shades and styles. See what works well with the theme you’ve chosen for the wedding. Experiment and have fun together. Be sure to try a simple makeup effect, too.
And take lots of photos so you can see what you like most. The best photos will also come in handy to show to both your stylist and your photographer so they know what they are working with and which look you are trying to achieve.
Coordinate your look, gown
When Dorothy arrived in the Emerald City in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s film “The Wizard of Oz,” she gaily sang, “Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?”
Contact lenses aside, that’s not an option for today’s brides but you can and should consider your makeup choices and overall effects in coordination with the style of wedding gown you will be wearing.
“Personally, I enjoy getting fancied up for the events I attend,” Berget says with a smile. “I often do creative things with my hair or my friends’ styles. And I have no preference between a simple ensemble or an elaborate one. But every bride definitely has her likes and dislikes.”
Berget recommends brides choose a simple, elegant makeup style if they will be wearing a simple gown.
“Keep your makeup choices close to what you would normally wear, in that case,” the designer advises.
It’s all a matter of personal taste, she says. Try different hair and makeup styles well before your wedding day and make sure it all works together, especially with any head or hair adornments you plan to include.
How to keep the stress down
Something that brides and their helpful planners don’t often consider until late in the process, according to Berget, is that there may be unspoken but important preferences to take into account. And not knowing these far ahead can create last-minute stress in your wedding plans.
For instance, a mom or aunt or someone else, may have a heart-felt wish they want to see come true in this wedding, some family tradition observed or some emotional remembrance taken into account. Or someone may have his or her heart set on wearing something specific and the bride might not be cool with it. Talk about things like this ahead of time so there’s time to work out agreements or compromises.
“Try to consider everything you can as early as possible, just like you would when you are shopping for gowns, flowers, cakes, etc. Do not leave it until late in the process,” the designer says. “Plus, this will give you a very good idea of how much time to allow the day before and the morning of your wedding. Everything always takes longer than we think it will and you don’t want to be stressed out or late to your own party!”
For the bridal attendants, moms and other family members helping out on the big day, Berget has additional, excellent advice.
“Remember, even with a lot of help, the bride is going to be interrupted for every big or little thing going on that day,” Berget advises. “She will be busy getting ready and still have to make a bunch of decisions about this and that. Try to manage that stuff so the stress level doesn’t rise too much and you’ll all have a beautiful day!”