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Weddings are beautiful, magical…and stressful. After fifteen years of working behind the scenes with hundreds of brides planning their special day I can tell you that weddings are a lot of work and full of a lot of unpredictable challenges. In the midst of planning guest lists, table settings, and a menu, hair may seem like a small piece of the puzzle, but hairstyle and makeup are actually two of the most important factors in your special day. Get them right and your gorgeous look will hold through hours of hugging, crying, and dancing. Get them wrong and your tumbling strands and smeared lipstick will make every other problem seem worse. Learn all about creating long lasting bridal beauty in the notes. ––  Laura Martin

Plan: A hair and makeup trial is an essential piece of the wedding planning process. Bring pictures of styles you like, any accessories you plan to use, and a camera or smart phone. Just as with your dress, even if you love the first style, try a few variations. When you find the perfect look, take lots of photos; capture every angle.

Make time: On your wedding day, make sure your hair and makeup artists have as much time as they need (usually around 3 hours). Don’t rush them. Do bring photos from the trial to make sure everyone is on the same page. Resist the urge to make any last minute changes. Have a friend nearby for instructions on removing your veil, or touching up your lipstick.

Be realistic: If you plan gong wild to your favorite techno DJ, a soft tumble of curls probably won’t hold up well, even if your hairstylist is a wizard. Plan for wedding you’ll have, and make sure your look is both beautiful and functional.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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