How to Avoid Panic! At Your Wedding: The Top 5 Mistakes Brides Make

Biggest wedding mistakes and how to avoid them
Universal Pictures

When I first decided I wanted to be a makeup artist I imagined a career on a film set or on editorial photoshoots. What I didn’t anticipate? The amount of time I would spend with brides and bridal parties.

Bridal makeup is the bread and butter of work as an MUA, so I’ve spent a lot of time with brides over the years.

During my service, I watched on as brides made mistakes that were absolutely guaranteed to induce panic and chaos on the day. To help you, dear reader, here are five common mistakes brides make, that will help you avoid a flurry of anxiety on your big day.

Not Standing Your Ground

Paramount Pictures

Bridal prep is a very vulnerable time, and it’s natural to turn to the experts. But, when it comes to what makes you feel comfortable, you are the expert — don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

The worst example of bridal-steamrolling I have witnessed is when a friend-of-a-friend had her makeup trial. Her usual beauty look was Dita Von Teese-esque red lipstick and winged liner. She simply wanted a more polished version of that, thank-you-very-much.

When she showed her soon-to-be MUA her inspiration picks, their first response was: “you can’t wear winged liner because of your hooded eyes, you should stop doing that” (you absolutely can, and her liquid liner slayed). But it got a lot worse than piles of beach-babe bronzer and pale pink lipstick.

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The matte, full coverage foundation cracked like tectonic plates on her naturally dry skin. The makeup artist’s advice? “Your skin is just really dry – you should get botox.” Amazingly, she did. Botox is A) not a solution for dry skin and B) A good artist never shames their client. It’s kind of like the poor workman blaming their tools.

While they may advise on some skincare in the lead-up to the day, it’s ultimately their job to have products on hand for every skin colour and type. If you let yourself get bullied, like this bride, you may end up redoing your makeup day of after spending thousands of dollars on botox.

Not Putting Your Bridal Makeup to the Test  

Booking a makeup trial is imperative, and any good bridal makeup artist won’t proceed without one. Here, you can workshop what you want. Then, wear your makeup for a full day. Your wedding lasts all day, and so should your makeup.

One of the most stressful experiences of my beauty career happened at a wedding I attended as a guest. An hour before the bride walked down the aisle, I received a panicked phone call to meet her at reception.

The makeup that had been applied mere hours before was now slipping off her face. Mascara was transferring, blemishes were reappearing. Luckily we were vaguely the same shade of foundation, and I have half a kilo of makeup in my handbag at all times. However, I was patching up her makeup with q-tips and ballpark-colour-match concealer minutes before she walked down the aisle while she was sweating bullets.

Pre-Wedding Crash Dieting

It’s incredibly depressing that 21-Day Pre-Wedding Diet articles still swamp the internet. While it’s totally normal to want to look good at your wedding, your best version of you isn’t a skinnier version of you.

Slashing calories and food groups pre-wedding will guarantee you’re in a foul mood during the planning stages, as well as on the day. Also, having a champagne right before you walk down the aisle — on a stomach that’s been subsisting on celery juice for three weeks — is all-but-guaranteed to result in a wobbly walk, tears, and the kind of confessions that have informed my suggestions below.

Including Bridal Party Members Out of Obligation

Sure, 12 months ago it felt like an unpleasant-but-necessary obligation to invite your husband’s brother’s high-maintenance partner to be your bridesmaid. However, on the day of the wedding, when she’s smashing champagnes and monopolising the makeup artist’s time, or talking about her weekend-away with your soon-to-be spouse’s ex-girlfriend who is “SO MUCH FUN!” (according to her), you’ll be wishing you hadn’t.

If you’ve been forced into this situation, whether it’s a sister-in-law or a mother-in-law, I recommend getting ready in a separate room and sparing yourself last minute agony.

Going Through With the Wedding If You Don’t Want To

Objective Productions

Being a makeup artist on a wedding day is, I imagine, kind of like being a priest in a confessional, but with more urgency and lashings of waterproof mascara applied.

The number of brides who aren’t sure they want to marry their partner at all is astonishing. They can’t tell anyone else, of course, so they start muttering their doubts to the MUA like they’re confessing to murder.

It’s really hard to give advice on this situation but my main take is: We don’t live in Tudor England, your marriage isn’t solidifying an alliance between Scotland and France, and you don’t need to get married! You can also change your mind! In the event that it is too late, or you suspect it’s jitters that you’ll get over, my final bonus tip is below.

Related: Why Should You Stop Dieting? Because Diets Don’t Work – Experts Explain 7 Reasons Why

Don’t Invite the Ex You Think You Might Still Be in Love With and Have Been Sexting to the Ceremony 

Even reluctant Tudor brides didn’t do this! I don’t actually know, maybe they sent nude portraits? While I can’t categorically speak to 15th-century sexting alternatives, I have seen this happen THRICE in my service as a bridal MUA.

I can promise you this: unless you’re a sociopath, this invite will add ENORMOUS stress to the day.

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