And the bride wore…

Flowers in her hair

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It all seemed so simple at first: a low-key wedding with a handful of guests, a simple, sleek dress. On the day, I’d do my own hair and make-up. But oh, how even the best laid plans go awry.

You see, when you work on a fashion magazine – one that is producing a wedding biannual at that – it is easy to get carried away. This time last year, I’d adamantly sworn that I didn’t care about weddings, only to find myself, a few months down the line from my engagement in February, getting excited about bridal accessories I previously never knew existed: Juliet caps! Vintage combs! Pillbox hats with veils! What fun! It threw me off course, to say the least.

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So, to get myself back on track, I set up a few hair trials on a visit to Edinburgh a few weeks ago. We were going up to see the venue for the first time (the amazing Prestonfield House. Thankfully, we loved it), meet the florist and do general wedding admin. I needed to take stock and figure out exactly what I wanted; what kind of bride I was going to be.

The first trial took place at vintage salon Miss Dixiebelle, where the stylist created an expertly-set 1930s-style updo. It was perfect, just not on me. I felt stiff, and my husband-to-be laughed as soon as he saw it because I looked so unlike myself. Not the reaction any bride is going for.

My saviour came in the form of freelance hair stylist Anne-Marie McElroy. She came round to my mother-in-law-to-be’s house for tea, cake and a consultation; to get to know what kind of person I am and how I usually wear my hair (natural waves, fuss-free, relaxed). I showed her my Pinterest board (every bride to be should have one) and we took it from there. The end result was pretty much exactly what I wanted: a textured, loose updo with plaits and twists running through it, with a few wild flowers pinned in. I felt beautiful, yet effortless.

During our meeting, Anne-Marie shared her tips for fellow brides-to-be. Take note:

1. Have a consultation beforehand. Your stylist needs to get a sense of you as a person, so that you can look like the best version of yourself; not like you in fancy dress.

2. Show them your dress, and also any accessories you plan on wearing on the day, such as a veil on hairpiece. That way, you can build the look around them. You can also go home with your ‘do and try on your dress after, to see if they work together.

3. Try a few different hairdressers and styles, to see what works best for you. After all, how do you know what’s right if you don’t know what’s wrong?

4. Wash your hair the day before, or on the morning of your trial if it gets greasy fast – your hair should be clean and free of product. It should also be as close to the length and cut it will be in on the big day. Don’t turn up on the morning of your wedding with a fringe if you didn’t have one on the day of your trial!

5. Be honest. If something isn’t working, tell your stylist and work together to create a look that you love.

Read our guide to doing your own wedding make-up

For more wedding hair inspiration, click here

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