All photos by Nicole Allen, unless otherwise noted.
I'm not really much of a girly girl, but I'm not really a tomboy either. My daily routine consists of moisturizer, mascara, and lipgloss. I get my hair cut and colored every six months or so. I sometimes used to get manicures before I had kids, but my oldest is 11, and I haven't had one since he was born.
I figured that I'm only getting married once, so I might as well take the opportunity to get pampered. At the same time, I didn't really want a new or different look -- what I wanted was to look like me, only prettier! I think it worked...
I timed things so my regular hair and waxing appointments fell in the week or so before the wedding. I didn't count them under our wedding budget, since I would have made those appointments anyway.
I experimented a little beforehand with my hair. I thought about wearing it down (Will's first choice) but decided against it, mostly because every female I know told me I should wear it up for various reasons (down would be too hot, it's an occasion that deserves an updo, up will stay looking better through the day and night) and because I loved the clay flowers I got from etsy, and knew they would look better if I wore my hair up.
A couple of weeks before the wedding, my mom and I took a special trip to Sephora to get makeovers, and I ended up buying some primer, eyeshadow primer stuff, tinted moisturizer, and fake eyelashes. I had never used any of these before, but I didn't feel like I was going over the top (even though my debit card was screaming when we left!)
On Friday morning, I went by myself to get a manicure and my very first pedicure ever. This was super fun and relaxing, and definitely worth it!
After the scavenger hunt and lunch with everyone, we came back home to get ready for the photo shoot and the wedding itself. Some people like the idea of a big reveal, where the groom sees the bride for the first time when she's all dolled up. I didn't care a bit about that, and anyway, Will had already seen me in my dress when he walked in our room while I was trying it on one day. His reaction then was quite gratifying, even though I was wearing my glasses and hadn't combed my hair in a couple of days.
I'm glad we didn't try for a big reveal, since I actually really loved getting ready with Will and all the kids and my mom and sisters, with Nicole taking pictures of the whole thing.
My sister Corina and I always laugh sooooo hard together, and we've been getting ready for events together for as many years as I can remember. We have lots of stupid private jokes, and make new ones all the time. You don't even want to know what we were laughing about here! She's amazingly good at everything she does, and has a great sense of style. She came over to our house right after I had blowdried my hair.
I put on my makeup then curled the ends while she did her makeup. I wanted little asymmetrical braids in the front of my hair and a messy bun in the back. I couldn't afford to hire a stylist for the day, and I'm just as glad, because Corina did such a good job!
Once our hair and makeup were finished, we ran off to do the formal family photos, then Will and Nicole and I went all over town taking photos of just the two of us. I was really windblown (no hairspray for this girl!) by the time we got to the church, but Corina fixed me right up again. Check out her headband! I had given her carte blanche to wear any black dress she wanted, and I hadn't given any direction for hair. She had no idea that I was going to wear white flowers, but we thought it was such a happy coincidence!
Look closely at the next two pictures to see the tiny braids. The first one shows the messy bun at the end of the ceremony. Isn't it pretty?! (Nicole didn't take this one)
Proof that Corina did a great job: the next picture was taken twelve hours after she first fixed my hair. Three of those hours were out in the wind, and four of them were spent dancing like a crazy woman.