10 Tips for Great Bridal Hair

Following these top ten tips for perfect “I do” hairdos.

1. Six months before the wedding, have a major consultation with your stylist of choice. Bring along the headpiece and a picture of the dress if possible. The more the stylist knows about the mood of the wedding, the better he or she can create the perfect hairstyle.

2. Do not use the portrait session as the “dress rehearsal.” There should actually be a “test run” for the portrait.

3. During the “test run,” walk around with the hairstyle you plan to wear to determine its comfort level. A good rule is: the simpler, the better, since pins can hurt, and intricate styles are often delicate.

4. Consider the time of day and type of wedding when choosing a style. Loose styles are appropriate for informal or daytime weddings, while updos portray a formal, evening look.

5. Remember that some hairstyles can add inches to a bride’s height, and shorter brides may want to use this to their advantage.

6. Do not have any chemical treatments the day of the wedding. That is not the time for surprises!

7. Hair color looks its best its first two weeks, so have hair colored a week to two weeks before the wedding.

8. If a permanent wave is necessary, have it done a month prior to the wedding.

9. Hair that is too fine and over-conditioned does not style well, so deep conditioning treatments should not be used within four days of the wedding. For best styling results, shampoo hair lightly the day before the wedding and, if possible, do not wash hair the day of the wedding.

10. Stylists and makeup artists do their best work in their own environments with their own tools, so have your wedding party meet at the salon a couple of hours before they need to be at the ceremony for pictures. This increases efficiency, (and usually costs less!)

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5 Wedding Day Hair Styles

Bridal Hair Styles: Classic Bridal Updo

Classic Wedding Updo

Sophisticated updos are always a popular choice, with curls and twists providing a desired bridal look, especially for more formal weddings.

This style is best for hair that is medium in length (chin length or longer) and is straight and medium to thick. If you have fine hair you might be able to create the updo by using a pin-on ponytail or add-on extension.
Bridal Hair Styles: Modern Wedding Updo

Modern Up Do

The modern updo takes the very formal classic updo and adds a softer, more romantic look.

This tousled style can be achieved with hair of all lengths and textures using tiaras, combs, or hairpins. A good hairdresser always helps too!

Wedding Day Tip:
Always be sure to bring along extra bobby pins in case some hair falls out. If you start to comb it or use more hair spray, you will likely make it worse!

Bridal Hair Styles: Leaving it Long

Another popular trend is to wear your hair down in a sleek shiny look – straight or with romantic curls. Pull your hair half back in a “half-updo” for a more formal look.

A classic headband style tiara may be chosen for simple elegance, while many brides choose just a veil. A traditional bridal look can be achieved by combining a graceful tiara or headband with an elegant wedding veil. The veil can be easily removed after the ceremony.
Bridal Hair Styles: Short Styles

Short Wedding Hair Style

Brides with short hair used to struggle with elegant and creative wedding day hairstyles, but no longer! Fun, sophisticated and unique looks can be achieved with the help of some simple accessories.

Short hair looks stunning in a soft bob that is highlighted with a tiara, headband, or jeweled barrette. A beautiful and timeless look for short bridal hair is hair that is accentuated with well placed finger or Marcel type of waves.
Bridal Hair Styles: Curly and Wavy Hair

Curly Wedding Hair Style

Brides and attendants with naturally curly or wavy hair can adopt any style. In some cases, they will need to temporarily straighten their curls first in order to re-create the look.

The Double Asian Knot and Simply Elegant Updo could also be created, in a modified form without any special straightening for naturally curly hair.

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Tips for Dressing Your Bridesmaids

The bridesmaid dress is an area of delicate negotiation. Finding the gown that works for all concerned parties takes some give-and-take from everyone. Try these helpful gown-hunting tips that are sure to keep everyone smiling.

DO: Be considerate. While it’s an honor to be asked, being a bridesmaid is also an obligation of several hundred dollars. Talk to your friends about a dress budget and stick to it.

DON’T: Try to make your maids look hideous just so you’ll stand out. You want your friends to look stunning in their own way so you’ll have gorgeous pictures and happy memories.

DO: Put yourself in their shoes. While dress shopping, ask yourself: Would I wear this? If the answer is no, put the gown back.

DON’T: Think all your bridesmaids have to be dressed alike. These days, many brides will pick a color that they would like the gowns to be in and let each bridesmaid pick the style (usually from the same designer) that she wishes to wear. This way, each person is wearing a dress that complements their shape and shows off their best assets.

DO: Have a brainstorming session. Let your bridesmaids voice what they will and won’t wear. Look over some bridal magazines to see what styles appeal to them. Then plan a shopping date. Take everyone, if possible. If you have out-of-town maids, make sure they are included by either scanning in dress images you like or finding them on the designer’s Web site and e-mailing them.

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Trend Alert: Brooches, Really?

About 2 years ago, when my supplier asked me if I wanted to see some brooches, I said, “Are you kidding? Brooches for weddings?” When I thought of brooches I imagined some ugly, tacky, dusty pin my grandmother would wear (sorry grandma). I don’t even know how to spell the word “brooch” or is it “broach”? Let alone be caught dead wearing one.

Ok, so I admit I didn’t see that fashion trend coming. But, it is here now and I’m hooked. I love brooches for weddings and everyday fashion. Now, when I leave the house, I don’t feel completely dressed without a cool, vintage-looking brooch pinned somewhere on an article of clothing.

Now, these brooches are not your grandmother’s brooch either. They are big, small, modern, trendy, vintage or glitzy, whatever fits your style or mood.

When it comes to weddings, I love adding brooches to bridesmaid dresses. It gives the dress a personal and fashion forward flair. It makes a great gift for bridesmaids and one that they really have fun wearing again. You can even select a different brooch for each girl, depending on their personal style.

It’s so fun… are you feeling it?

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Maid of Honor (MOH) Responsibilities

Your Maid of Honor should be your closest friend – many times, a bride will choose her sister. Some brides will choose to have both a Matron of Honor (a married woman) as well as a Maid of Honor (an unmarried woman). And, some choose to have more than one Maid of Honor.

The main role of the Maid of Honor is to help the bride with the wedding planning… this can include shopping for dresses, addressing invitations, putting together favors and just being there when the bride needs some extra help, support or someone to talk to.

Traditionally, there are some specific duties that the maid of honor is to perform:

* Host the bridal shower. Today, this is usually done with the help of the other bridesmaids.
* Helps the bride get dressed on her wedding day.
* Adjusts the bride’s veil and train before she walks down the aisle and during the ceremony as needed.
* Holds the bride’s bouquet during the wedding ceremony.
* Holds the groom’s ring wedding ring until the exchange of the rings, if there is no ring bearer.
* Witnesses the signing of the marriage license.
* Helps the bride bustle her gown prior to the beginning of the reception.

If you are a Maid of Honor, the most important thing is to continually offer your assistance and support to the bride throughout the entire wedding planning process. We all need our friends – but during those stressful times of wedding planning – you need your best friend even more!

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Including Older Children in Your Wedding

Inviting children to take part in your celebration can make it even more special and is very important for second marriages when you are trying to bring together a “new family”.

There are many roles children can play:

* Flower girls and ring bearers are so adorable and are usually between the ages of 4-7.

* Junior bridesmaids are typically between the ages 8 & 12.

Here are some other roles and responsibilities that older children (6 and above) can be given to take part in your wedding celebration:

* Hand out wedding programs at the ceremony.

* Ask them to do a special reading or prayer during the ceremony.

* Watch over the gift table. Give them a role of scotch tape and ask them to make sure all cards are securely fastened to each gift.

* Help set up or decorate the reception or ceremony site.

* Help set up the reception location with favors, place cards, guest book, toasting flutes, etc.

* Help transport the ceremony flowers to reception.

* Hand out the wedding favors to guests. Have someone walk around with a basket or tray and hand out the favors to each guest at their seat or from a designated table.

* Manage the guest book. If the guest book is left unattended, many guests will forget to sign it. So, ask someone to walk around with the book and ask the guests to sign it.

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TREND ALERT: Bouquet Jewelry

Throughout her 14 + years in the fashion industry, bridal-stylist Dareth Colburnhas helped thousands of brides to look their best on their wedding day. Through her retail sites, Dareth sells over 1,000 styles of tiaras, veils, jewelry, gloves and handbags. Dareth hand-selects all of the items in her collections, and is at the forefront of fashion trends in the bridal industry.

Bridal Stylist Dareth Colburn Identifies Hot New Trend for Bridal Bouquets

Trend Alert
Bouquet jewelry is the latest trend! Adding the glitz and sparkle of bouquet jewelry to your bridal style sets off your look and adds a touch of glam.

Very popular are the monogrammed “Crystal Bouquet Jewelry” pieces. Customization with initials is SUPER trendy, and these pieces are the perfect way to personalize the bridal bouquet!

Gorgeous crystal accents – strategically placed in a bridal bouquet – add sparkle and shine that will keep everyone’s eyes on the bride!

Available now at USABrideWeddings.com!

Sales of bouquet jewelry in 2009 are up 72% over 2008, with items being shipped all over the world!

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To Glove, or Not to Glove? That is the question….

Many brides love the look of bridal gloves with their wedding gown. But – how do you choose the right glove for your gown? And beyond posed photos, many brides are left to wonder – what to do with the gloves when it’s time to place the ring on my finger, or in the receiving line? Bridal stylist Dareth Colburn, founder of USABrideWeddings.com, shares her tips for bridal glove protocol.

Committing to the Glove

Let’s face it, we don’t typically get dressed in the morning and put on a pair of long, white satin gloves. So for some, wearing gloves may feel a bit uncomfortable. However, bridal gloves really add mega-style and elegance to your bridal ensemble. Satin, silk, lace, beaded, fingerless, opera – there’s a wide variety of bridal gloves and options available. But how to choose the best pair for your big day? First, choose a glove style to match your gown color, fabric and design as closely as possible.

How High or Low Do you Go?

When choosing a glove length — the more formal the wedding, the longer the glove! For a daytime or garden wedding, choose a wrist length glove. But, if it is a large formal evening wedding, go for a dramatic look and choose opera length! When it doubt, choose a glove that hits just above or below the elbow, as those lengths are the most versatile and compliment most gown styles.

With This Ring

During the reception, your husband-to-be will of course need access to your ring finger! One option is to “slit the seams” on the ring finger of your glove. Then just push the material back during the ceremony. Post-ceremony, swap those gloves out for an “un-slit” pair. Alternatively, you can choose to remove your gloves during the ceremony and hand them to your honor attendant. Ask your Officiant to give you a moment to remove your gloves with the back to the crowd to avoid the appearance of a strip-tease!

On or Off?

It’s hard to know the right times to keep the gloves on or off! Here are some tips – while greeting guests in the receiving line, it is appropriate to keep your gloves on. While you are eating – your meal, and during the cake cutting – you should remove your gloves. At all other points during the reception – from your entrance, first dances, during the bouquet toss and beyond – feel free to wear your gloves!

It’s a Glove Party!

Don’t leave your bridesmaid out – if the bride is wearing gloves, they can wear them too! Just make sure they have a unified look – their gloves should all be the same length and match the color of their dresses. One rule for bridesmaids — be sure their glove length is shorter than the brides. For example, if you choose opera-length gloves, your attendants should wear gloves that fall just above or below the elbow.Another great idea is to only have the Maid of Honor wear gloves—really let her stand out!

Go Fingerless

More and more brides are choosing fingerless gloves. They are available in many different styles, so that your groom can easily slip on your wedding ring during the ceremony, and you can keep your gloves on throughout the entire affair – from dinner and cake to dancing and beyond!

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Choose a Tiara According to Your Face Shape

A tiara should draw attention to your face by framing it, not draw attention away from it. The wrong shape tiara can make your face look too long and thin or too short and full. Here is a guide:

Roxy Feather Comb

Round/Full face:
To make your face appear longer, choose a tiara with some height or one that has a peak.

Long face:
Choose headbands or tiaras with little or no height that extend over your head from one side to the other at an even height.

Oval face:
Avoid pieces with a peak at the top, which will make your face appear longer. Choose a headband, side hair comb or hair pins.

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20 Weight Loss Tips for Brides

Include two fruits or vegetables in every meal or snack. You’ll feel fuller and cut back on calories from other foods.

Eat breakfast. You’ll be less likely to overeat later in the day.

Snack every four hours (try oranges, apples, pretzels, string cheese).

Eat at regular intervals.

Know your portions: 1/2 cup of rice is the size of your fist, an ounce of cheese is a large marble; a 3-ounce serving of meat is a deck of cards. Divide your plate: 3/4 with vegetables, grains, beans and fruit; 1/4 with extra-lean meat or low-fat dairy products.

Make room for cravings. Have a cookie now and then; just drop something else that day.

Drink water–a glass every one to two hours will keep you full.

Eat slowly.

Cut 100 calories a day (replace that candy bar with an orange and banana) and lose a pound a month.

Buy pre-cut fruit and veggies: You’ll be more likely to munch on them for a snack or make a salad for dinner.

Go for the less processed food (potato versus chips, whole-wheat bread over doughnuts.)

Don’t eat on automatic pilot (i.e. tasting while cooking, noshing from the serving bowl.)

Limit alcohol to special occasions. Not only is it highly caloric, but it also stimulates appetite and obliterates willpower.

Brush your teeth after eating.

Eat beans: add a handful to salads and soups to curb hunger pangs longer.

Sweeten with spice. Add spices like cinnamon and vanilla to desserts versus sugar.

Try a new food each day. The flavor will save you from dietary boredom (add mangos to a chicken dish, jalapeno relish to your sandwich, winter pears to salad.)

Go spicy. Get a hot flavor boost with chilies, salsa and curry instead of by overeating. Don’t even open the menu.

Resist temptation by just ordering the steamed veggies or something else low-fat like a grilled chicken salad or a soup and salad combo.

Try an herbal supplement to help curb your appetite and give you more energy.

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