Elements of Light Photography | DEAR BRIDE - Make up for your big day

DEAR BRIDE - Make up for your big day

March 27, 2017  •  3 Comments

Dear Bride,


Here comes the biggest day of your life!  You’ve waited a long time for your wedding day, and now, it is time to prepare.  One of the issues brides talk to me about is makeup – how to do it perfectly for your wedding day, how to shoot photos of it getting done.  I’m a wedding photographer, not a makeup artist, but in my experience at weddings I’ve observed a few things that I think are helpful to pass along.

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Tip #1 – Keep it in your theme:  When planning your makeup for your wedding day, remember, you want the makeup to be a reflection of your beauty and consistent with your whole wedding look – if you are having an outdoor wedding on a mountain top, with a light and airy simple lace dress, with all your flowers reflecting a casual relaxed air, you probably don’t want intense cover of Vogue Magazine dark dramatic makeup because they don’t send the same message.  Keep your theme in mind and make sure you make choices about your make up that keep that vibe going.  Makeup for a Game of Thrones themed wedding is going to be very different than makeup for a courthouse elopement or a wedding at the riverside with a reception that includes fly fishing.

That means you have to do some planning!

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Tip #2 – Pick a look that matches your face:  I know this seems so obvious, but really, how often do we get a particular look in mind that seems so beautiful in the photos we’ve looked at, but when applied to our face just doesn’t seem to work.  You can spend hours watching YouTube videos on how to do a particular look, but it turns out your eye shape is not the same as the models, or your lips aren’t full in the way the look is designed to highlight, the whole thing just falls flat.  And I don’t know about you, but when that happens to me I feel so inadequate and discouraged – not feelings you want on your wedding day, for sure.  But a look that matches your bone structure, skin type, eye shape and lip fullness encourages, uplifts, and instills a sense of confidence!  That is what we are going for with your wedding makeup.

Elements of Light Montana_6442Elements of Light Montana_6442      Tip #3 Plan ahead:  Whether you are having a professional come in and do your make up on your wedding day, letting your best friend share her awesome skills with you, or sticking to a DIY process on makeup, I can’t encourage you enough to plan ahead.  Plan your colors, your general style, make a list of what you need to have with you and then gather every one of those items before your big day.  All these things will give you a more relaxed wedding prep, and the value of more relaxed on your wedding day cannot be over stated! 

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Tip #4 – Practice:  Yes, even if you are having a professional makeup artist come in for your day, do a trial look before your big day.  It will be so worth your time.  Not only will it allow you to make adjustments to what you want, it will also give you a better idea of how much time to allow for makeup to be done on your day.  Both absolutely key to maintaining that relaxed feel.

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Tip #5 – Go all out:  I have two things in mind with this tip.  First, go all out in using primers (eye, lip and face), concealer, and all of those “extras” that might not be part of your daily routine, but will help your makeup to last throughout your day.  They really do make a difference!  If you are having a professional come in and do your makeup, they will include these in their services.  If not hit the makeup counter of your choice, and ask a consultant for some help making sure you get it right.  And, going back to Tip #3, try it on!  The last thing you want is to get a new eye primer only to find halfway through your wedding ceremony that it makes your eyes sting and itch. Elements of Light MT2-2221_Elements of LightElements of Light MT2-2221_Elements of Light


The other part of going all out is to remember that you can apply make up with a bit more drama on your big day.  It may feel odd because you aren’t used to that much make up, but in your wedding photos, it will look so beautiful, and not at all over the top.  And as your guests (and your groom) look at you, it will be part of the complete picture and not at all out of place.  Remember you are wearing the dress of your life on this day, not jeans and a t’shirt, so the makeup needs to be the makeup of your life as well.


Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro(non-registered)
Great tips. Lots of information I never thought about. Thank you for sharing.
Stephanie Sutherlin(non-registered)
These are great tips and they'll be a big help in ensuring brides are happy with their wedding day photos!
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
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