Discover the best ’do for ‘I do’

When a bride puts her best face forward on her wedding day, it’s not without some due consideration toward style and a bit of pampering along the way.

Once a bride has determined the overall look and atmosphere for the occasion and settles on her gown, she can then explore beauty options with the input of a professional. When consulting with a stylist, the more visual guides to help in the process, the better.

Nicole Reynolds, bridal coordinator for Blake & Co. Hair Salon & Spa in Front Royal, said some women come in with a set hair or makeup style in mind that doesn’t always work well for their face shape or overall look. But the bride can figure out a great style that works – and avoid potential disasters – by sitting down and discussing what she’ll be going for with a professional beforehand.

“They’re going to want to know what style they want, they’re going to want to look for someone who specializes in that style,” Reynolds said.

While tighter and more formal updos have given way to popular relaxed looks, beachy waves and tumbling curls can still look elegant for those desiring a more refined feel at their wedding overall. Reynolds said extensions can provide some extra fullness to more dramatic ‘dos. But long and luscious locks shouldn’t distract from dramatic or embellished backlines – which is when bringing in photos of the dress come in handy. She also suggests bringing in a simple, straight on-face photo so stylists can get a better feel for the ideal look.

The veil is also a major factor to take into consideration when exploring style, and brides can bring them in to appointments for a full preview. From there, other ornaments like small flowers and jewels can add some extra glamour to a hairstyle if desired.

Reynolds said that any vendor worth their salt will sign a contract to ensure service on a customer’s wedding day. As a rule of thumb, hair and makeup should be allotted an hour each before the ceremony, and she recommends any consultation appointments take place a few months beforehand, with any cut or color plans kept in mind.

Along with more relaxed hairstyles, understated makeup can go a long way in accentuating natural beauty, and finding a suitable daily skin routine to keep will provide the smoothest, softest canvas. Keeping a workout regimen and drinking enough water can also help to shape up the complexion – along with the host of other benefits from simply living healthy.

“If your skin is healthy, your makeup goes on easier and has a tendency to stay on longer,” Reynolds said.

Even for those with acne-prone or problematic skin, Reynolds said the right appointment or facial can help anyone look their bridal best for their big moment.

“Hope is not lost,” she said. “A good esthetician can really do wonders.”

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or