Make sure your wedding day look is truly you, only more beautiful. Check out these three amazing before and after transformations.
The Princess Bride
Rachel: Age 28
Wedding location: A Philadelphia ballroom
Focus on: This girl's curls
Lately recent grad Rachel hasn't felt regal in any sense. Someone who wears minimal makeup and comfy, casual clothes to class and work, she hasn’t exactly focused on a fairy-tale wedding. But when we saw her perfect, frizz-free ringlets, we knew we could achieve this look with minimal effort. Vetoing a blow-dryer, we worked our magic to make the most of her incredible tresses. Even if there's moisture in the air, it's perfectly fine to keep your curls flowing on the wedding day.
What we did: Rachel usually wears her hair in a basic ponytail, but we wanted to make the style a bit bolder. As a compromise between her everyday look and a super-styled updo, we simply gave her hair some height and lift but left it down. A bit of shine serum added definition (and a hint of glitz) before we finished off the look with a tiara (a must for any princess!). To keep all eyes on her hair, we kept the makeup simple with just a bit of a gleam. Using bronze shades all over and a highlighter for her lids, we were extra careful to add shimmer, but not sparkle, to the eyes. (We'll leave the glitter dust to Tinkerbell -- a subtle shine is much more sophisticated.) With her waves flowing, Rachel is ready for the mane event.
What she wore: An ornately embroidered cap-sleeved gown from Kleinfeld was only appropriate for our princess bride. We kept the jewelry simple -- Robert Coin stud earrings and an M+J Savitt necklace. A gorgeous, bejeweled Thomas Knoell tiara placed atop her flowing waves added the finishing touch to her majestic look.
Her reaction: "This is the first day I really feel like a bride. I really do feel like a princess." With a winter wedding and a regal new look, what could make for a better fairy-tale ending?
The Blushing Bride
Amy: Age 30
Wedding location: A Virginia botanical garden
Focus on: Her sweet cheeks
With a summer southern wedding in the works, an intense job with grueling hours, and an easygoing approach to style, Amy was a bit resistant to the idea of a makeover. After all, with her all-American good looks, excellent bone structure, and naturally blonde hair, what's to change? So working with her simple chic look, and making the most of her high cheekbones, we kept Amy's face soft and clean and gave her cheeks a pop of color.
What we did: According to our makeup artist, applying blush in a rounding motion on the apples of the cheeks is like giving an instant face-lift. The trick is keep the color sheer and then blend, blend, blend (you don’t want your blush to look like it has an outline). To keep the rest of Amy's face looking natural, we used a sheer lipstick and light gloss for subtle color and rich shine. We left her hair smooth, pulled it back, and added a full, plain white veil.
What she wore: We paired Amy's simple, scoop-neck gown from Kleinfeld with a delicate Mimi So choker and her own classic diamond studs.
Her reaction: "I love this look; it's not too bold, and I still look like me." Clean and beautiful with minimal fuss? Sounds easy enough to us.
The Beach Bride
Kathleen: Age 27
Wedding location: Rustic seaside yacht club in a resort town
Focus on: That gorgeous, glowing skin
Inspired by childhood summers spent on the shore, Kathleen, weddings editor at The Knot, didn't take long to decide on a late afternoon beachfront wedding. Kathleen's style is best described as city chic-meets-suburban prepster -- classic clothes paired with funky accessories and usually requiring minimal makeup. We decided to play up Kathleen's radiant skin by giving her a siren-like glow. Beautifully bronzed skin and sun-kissed cheeks -- the perfect complement to a summer wedding.
What we did: To create Kathleen's luminous look, we used a liquid bronzer to amp up her glow, and a shimmery peach eye shadow on her lids. Eggplant-color mascara kept the look soft (black would've been too harsh for Kathleen's fair skin), while a mix of matte and sheer peach lipstick and sheer gloss picked up the shadow, giving her irresistibly kissable lips. We used a curling iron and a healthy dose of mousse to attain beachy (but not messy) curls with staying power, and dressed up her tresses with fresh orchids tucked behind the ear.
What she wore: This A-line Peter Langner gown in silk mikado was made for our beach bride. Not only does the strapless gown suit Kathleen's uncomplicated style perfectly, but it also matches her tranquil locale. The chiffon ruffles along the neckline beautifully mimic the ocean's waves. Because the dress looked so good by itself, we skipped additional accessories altogether.
Her reaction: "I wanted my look to say 'beach,' but I’m not exactly California blonde. This look is perfect for me: relaxed and sexy."
On Rachel: tiara, Thomas Knoell Designs; necklace, M+J Savitt; earrings, Robert Coin
On Amy: earrings, her own; necklace, Mimi So.
Gowns and veils: Kleinfeld Bridal
Rings: brides' own
Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Makeup: Sue Devitt Studio; Vivienne Duebbert (assistant: Patrick Dumorne)
Hair: Reiko Love
Styling: Susannah Cahn
Photos: Eddie Collins
See More: Bridal Beauty Secrets