Deciding on the date of the most important day of your life is one of the first tasks you will undertake once you have recovered from the gorgeous engagement ring sitting snugly on your finger. The date is necessary before any other plans can be executed. Most brides select a date based on leave from work, family trips and availability of venues. Many brides also wish to have their weddings during the summer months so that they are assured of no rain. In addition to this advantage is the appeal of long, warm days, the rich diversity of flowers in bloom, and a general sense of carefree summer days. However, their choice of dress and make-up does not always work with the heat of summer, particularly in South Africa, and nervous brides are left sweating and itching uncomfortably.
By selecting the correct style and fabric of wedding dress, the bride can ensure that he is able to focus on enjoying her special day, rather than feeling self-conscious. Light fabrics are best, and include chiffon, crepe, organza, tulle, charmeuse and lace. Even when layered, these fabrics are easy to wear and style, while not negotiating on cool comfort.
Of course, the fabric is not the only deciding factor. The length and style of the dress is also very important. Necklines should be kept as open as possible to avoid feeling claustrophobic in the heat, and sleeves should be short if necessary at all. If your body shape allows, a sleeveless gown would be best as it allows for an open chest, neck back and upper arms while still looking elegant and chic. If you are able to tan without burning, get a bit of colour before the big day for that sun-kissed look.
While the length of a wedding dress is traditionally to the floor, modern norms are not as rigid. Brides are finding it increasingly acceptable to play with the length of their gown to suit weather, body shapes, and wedding themes. Of course, the dress need not be mid-thigh; a tea-length dress ends between the knee and ankle, and looks breathtaking with designer heels and a short veil. Should a train be non-negotiable for you, try and get your dress-maker to make it detachable, so that you are able to remove it after the ceremony and photos for a cooler, less clumsy option.
Summer is a time of life and abundance and the colours, décor and flowers should reflect this sense of flourish at a summer wedding. For the more adventurous bride, you may even consider bringing some colour into the dress, instead of the traditional white or ivory. This is your day, make it as memorable and unique as you desire.
Finally, make-up is of utmost importance, particularly if you need it to last through the tears of the ceremony, and the rigors of dinner and dancing, all the while presenting a good image for the discriminating camera. Your foundation needs to match your skin tone perfectly, should be yellow-based, as opposed to pink-based, and should be applied after moisturising. Use a spot concealer to cover pimples, dark rings under your eyes and other blemishes. Once you have an even complexion, powder over the face with a suitably coloured foundation powder.
Ensure that your eye make-up lasts for hours after the trial to test the quality of the products used. Waterproof mascara is an obvious must. Liquid eyeliner is generally longer lasting. Opt for a powdery blusher as opposed to a creamy one, as these tend to shine more and wipe off easier in the presence of perspiration and tears.
Like never before, you will find yourself kissing family and friends on your wedding day. It is a good idea to colour moisturised lips in with the lipliner to avoid the lipstick bleeding and smudging off. For even more staying power, cover the lips with your concealer before applying the pencil. After all the colour has been applied, glide over your lips with a gloss to protect the stain. Ask your bridesmaid to keep your lipstick and gloss on hand for touch-ups during the reception.
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