lovely advice: it’s OK to splurge on beauty {you deserve it}

disclaimer: jennie fresa (pictured above) was one of the best investments i made personally for our wedding day. she is probably the most talented makeup artist in the new england area, and i literally checked with her before booking our wedding date. that’s how awesome she is, and how important it was to me to have her with me. jennie’s team DID NOT do my wedding hair and this post is in no way reflective of her services.

in conversations with a few brides-to-be lately, i’ve heard a recurring statement: “i love the way they do hair and/or makeup, but they’re too expensive.” brides: please, please please please think long and hard about this statement. hair & makeup, as conceited as it may sound, are not the places to be skimping on your budget.

before i continue, let me tell you that one of the most important things i learned after the wedding was to let go. let go of the expectations you had, let go of the placecards that might not have been put out in alphabetical order, let go of the appetizers you didn’t get to eat. and in this instance for me, i’ve learned to let go of the feelings i have towards what you’re about to read in this post. remember the reason you got married, and remind yourself of that every time you start up a pity party for the things that might not have gone to plan.

ok, back to the post :)

i think it’s no surprise to those of you who come by on a regular basis, that i did not like my wedding hair. in fact, it made me feel uncomfortable, awkward, and back to my 4th grade self who’s crazy hair could not be tamed. there - i said it. my hair is a huge, wavy thick mane that can be very hard to style if you don’t know it well (thank you to whoever invented the flatiron). unfortunately, as we planned our big day from across the country, hair trials were not a luxury, and my final hair trial came only 1-day before the wedding. and i hated it. i hated it so much that i wanted to go home and cry. i didn’t know what to do - it was too late to book someone else, and i didn’t feel confident that the humidity would stay away on our wedding day, making the ability for me to do my own hair somewhat feasible. so i just crossed my fingers that the wedding day hair would come out just a bit better.

if this sounds like a cry for compliments, trust me, it’s not. and it’s the very reason i never listed my hair vendor in any credits, because i would never throw anyone under the bus, either. she did the best she could with my hair, and she’s a very talented hair stylist.

BUT this could have all been avoided, had i booked a different hair option that happened to be a bit more expensive through another vendor. no, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to pay more for better services, but it does mean that hair and makeup are not areas to skimp on when planning your wedding budget.

call me superficial, call me what you want. but when those church doors open as you walk down the aisle, you want to feel the most beautiful you’ve ever felt. you want to look breathtaking. you want your future husband/wife/partner to look at you with a look that says it all - you are gorgeous. and if that means spending an extra bit of $ to make you feel comfortable and confident with the services provided? please do!

all in all your wedding day is going to be an expense. some more expensive than others, sure. but it is certainly going to be an expense, when all’s said and done and you say “i do”. in the long run, spending a bit more $ on your hair & makeup to book the vendor you want and trust will not only make you feel like the gorgeous bride you are, but it will also insure all of your wedding photos looking pretty, too. i can count on my right hand the number of pictures i actually like of myself on our wedding day. not because of the photographers, absolutely not. and not because of my makeup, either. but because i tried to save money (mind you at the end of the day it was only a savings of about $100).

you can always save money elsewhere, we all know there are a trillion wedding blogs out there showing you how to do just that. so please, brides, know that you have the right to splurge on yourself for one day. skip drinks for a few months and buy those louboutins. book that vendor you’ve been dying to work with. as women, we tend to hold back on splurging because it doesn’t feel right. well if there’s ever an occasion in your life where an extra $150 might look like pennies at the end of the day, this is it. and those pictures on your mantle, and your fabulous louboutins (or jimmy choos, or whatever) will remind you of that feeling long after the money has been spent, and the vows have been said. and that feeling will be worth every penny. girls, if you can make it work? please just do it.

  • valery says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Totally agree. I don’t think I “splurged” but I think the idea of feeling very confident and comfortable with your choices is the most important. I think feeling your absolute best that day is key, whatever gets you to that confidence, do it! I guess I never picked up on the fact that you hated your hair - I always saw your loose romantic wavy updo as what I wish my hair would have done, (but I knew better at the time and played it more safe).

  • Mrs. Limestone says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Im totally with you. I know everyone says its just one day but it actually lives forever in your memory, photos, etc. So whatever it is - hair, flowers, placecards - that makes you happy, Im all for splurging on it (if it can be afforded)

    That said, you looked gorgeous.

  • Maria says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Sorry you felt less than your best bc of your hair, that’s the pits :( But I’m way ahead of ya on the advice and booked a hair and mua that I’m super stoked to work with! I figured, this wedding will be a once in a lifetime experience and there are just some things you do NOT skimp on, like hair and face!

  • Jane says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    It is SO important to make sure you love your look on your wedding day! If you spend hundreds or thousands on your gown and shoes, why would you stop short at hair and make-up!? I had two hair trials since I wasn’t totally satisfied the first time around - it was an important time & money investment that I was glad to make. Having hated some of the up-do’s I’d had lately in other friends’ weddings, I knew it was necessary for me. And though I was planning from out of town I made a point to squeeze in the extra trial and make the 4 hour drive back to town for it, not to mention scoping out several hair accessory options before deciding on the right one! I’m so sorry Jacin that you weren’t feeling as beautiful as you are on your day and I’m glad you are encouraging brides to take the hair trial seriously!!!

  • The Perfect Palette says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Great tips, Jacin!

  • Jessica T says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I’m sorry you didn’t like your wedding hair :(
    You’re so right, when it comes to fine details that are important to you, splurge a little, it might make a difference.

  • Colleen @ Purple Peony Couture says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Jacin! I went back and forth with my decision on who to pick for hair and makeup because I felt a bit guilty about spending what I thought was a lot on myself. Looking back, as you said it was only pennies because I felt FABULOUS on my big day.

    I can’t stress enough to brides to get a trial done!!! I had a trial with my more budget conscious option for hair and it was a disaster. That was what gave me the final push to go with my gut and pay a little bit more for someone with amazing reviews.

    If any of your readers are getting married in NYC, I’d be happy to share my vendors! I can’t recommend them enough.

  • Koru Kate ⎨Koru Wedding⎬ says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I’m sorry you didn’t like your wedding day hair :-( Definitely if there is something that will make you feel more beautiful & smile more brightly on your wedding day, try your best to make it work!!!

  • Cathy V says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for this post and your honesty, it has reminded me that saving a bit of $$ isn’t the most important thing in this area. I am smack dab in the middle of trying to decide what to do for hair and make-up. Cost is always a concern and when you aren’t in the habit of having fancy hair and make-up done I think it comes as a bit of a shock at first. I am not used to spending that kind of $$ on myself for what seems like a trivial and vain expense but I know that if I don’t like my hair or make-up it will annoy me that day and every time I look at pictures, so this is an important decision. There must be a way to balance between being a splurging beauty diva and going the bottom of the budget “straight out of beauty school” route!

    I understand the thick, wavy/curly hair issue, that’s my hair too and it has a strong mind of it’s own! Thank you for reminding me that not all hair stylists know what to do with strong willed hair and to focus on looking for the right person to work with.

  • Nicole says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I agree 100%! I did my makeup myself and booked my hair appointment last minute (about 1.5 weeks before the wedding I changed my mind about doing my own hair and booked someone a friend recommended). I seriously should’ve though about hair and makeup as an added expense and planned ahead and booked somebody. It would’ve been way less stressful and I would’ve loved my hair in my pictures way more. good advice. Treat yourself. It’s your wedding day and you deserve it!

  • Nichole {Sweet Carolina} says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for writing this post, Jacin! I’m in the midst of saving up $$$ to possibly get hair extensions for my wedding. I’ve been trying to grow my hair out for 5 years, and it’s sadly just stopped growing. I’ve always envisioned long lush wavy hair on my wedding day. People I’ve told think it’s insane to spend so much on hair, but at the end of the day, I know it will make me happy (for years to come too in those pictures!) Plus, it’s not like you can’t cut budget in other areas that people won’t notice! And I know if I look great, I’ll feel great in every other aspect. And btw, I thought your wedding day hair was absolutely lovely!

  • bethany says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    Agreed, agreed, agreed! I grew up in a world where brides went to Macy’s on their wedding day and had a stranger guess their foundation color under fluorescent lighting. Hair was usually done by a friend, and there was ALWAYS extra stress because someone in the wedding party didn’t like their look. Being a girl with particular taste, I just knew that wasn’t a stress I needed!!

    You know what I can scrimp on and deal with? My DJ. Even though he played N’Sync during dinner, and other awful tunes that clearly weren’t on my questionnaire. (Did you catch the N’Sync? And some other really bad ones? Gabe and I were dying laughing. Couldn’t do a durn thing about it. Just laugh.) Once I got enough booze in me, I didn’t even care anymore. I don’t have to deal with N’Sync forever.

    But booking Betten? Worth every single penny + gratutity. And then some! I’ve never, ever felt so beautiful and will always remember how I felt that day. I asked Gabe, he agreed. :) Not to mention that she was a fabulously calming presence that kept us right on track from morning to afternoon.

    Thanks for writing the post. So many other wedding budget elements are for the guests (alcohol, food, favors, rentals, etc)…and beauty is one that is solely for YOU, so you can sparkle from inside to outside. Not to get all L’oreal, but you’re worth it.

    P.S. I know you’re not crying out for compliments here, but I’m just saying that even though your hair wasn’t what you wanted, I’ve always thought you looked flawless in your wedding photos! :)

  • jillian nicole {uniquely chic events} says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    My parents were so shocked when I told them how much my hair and make-up was going to cost, and even tried to talk me into doing my own, but I knew that all the money we had spent on everything else was going to be absolutely wasted if I was uncomfortable with how I looked the whole day! I needed every hair in place and my make-up done to perfection-neither of which I’m very good at-so we went with the professionals! And guess what, they were worth every penny and more! Nyrie of Symmetry Beauty did both my hair and make-up and I am eternally grateful to her for making me look {and feel} the best I ever have!:)

  • Mrs. Pancakes says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    it’s so important to splurge where you want it! i didn’t do it in the make-up department but definitely hair department!

  • Erin F says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    So true! The right MUA is worth their weight in gold. And they just might turn out to be total life-savers. My husband fell face-first into a curb and scraped his lip and chin TERRIBLY 5 days before our wedding—badly enough to send us to the emergency room. The day of my makeup artist worked some magic and you can’t even tell he was injured! I’ll love her forever for making BOTH of us beautiful that day :)

  • Erika says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I love these very candid and real posts of yours, Jacin! And I totally agree with treating yourself to amazing hair and makeup for the big day! (Oh, and I have a frizzy cottonhead mane like nobody’s biz.)

  • kathleen says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I am so with you on the hair. I hired a stylist (on the recommendation of the guy who cut my hair for YEARS) and we even had a run-through. I didn’t like it so much but like you I figured it would come out better on “the day.” Boy was I wrong! Halfway through, on the morning of the wedding, I ran outta there! Paid her first, of course. But I HATED it! It just wasn’t ME. SO I did it myself and was happy that I did in the long run. My sisters, however, still refer to me as the rhymes-with-witch when I came home and threw them out of the bathroom so I could do my hair. Moral of the story - don’t be afraid to speak up and say what you want. You’re paying for it!

  • Christina says on January 18, 2012 Reply

    I think your hair looks great in the picture above! I was fortunate for my wedding and had a great friend who can do great hair and makeup. But when it comes to “splurging” on things you are absolutely right. I found an affordable but good venue, caterer, photographer and cake venders…and was let down by all of them! The venue had my family and friends setting tables and chairs up, including my 80+ year old grandparents, the caterer had her assests seized 3 weeks before my wedding and we lost everything we had given her at that point. The photographer never took half the pictures I wanted, and my cake person flaked on me 2 months before the wedding because she didn’t want to do it anymore. In the end I would have been better off booking a package with a nice hotel and had to deal with a lot less stress. But truely what matters is that your are sharing this day with the most important person in your life and everyone else you love! And all those people you love will bend over backwards to make sure that your special day turns out as best as possible despite what setbacks you may have.

  • jennie says on January 19, 2012 Reply

    Jacin, it was my pleasure to do your makeup on your wedding day. Thank you for this glowing review. To me, there is no grander compliment than one from a past bride. To the LLD readers, I can not emphasis how important it is to have a Trial before your wedding. We customize all of our looks based on your personal style and the style of your wedding venue, it’s all documented and very easy to duplicate, not to mention is saves time on the wedding day. My advice with hair, though it costs a little more, is to try out a few different stylists, or a few looks with a stylist you love. Always brings pictures of looks you like and do NOT be afraid to speak up. A real PRO will embrace feedback and you’ll be one step closer to getting the look you dreamed of. Good luck, beauties! XO

  • Alexa @ A Life in Drive says on January 19, 2012 Reply

    I’ve hired Jennie for my wedding makeup and have my trial coming up in February. I’ve already been excited, but your post makes me extra happy :-) Thank you for the good advice! I ended up deciding to do a second hair trial (coming up in February too) because I wasn’t happy with my hair after the first trial. It was mostly my fault - a combination of not being sure of myself and not speaking up. As much as I don’t want to spend more money on a trial, it will be worth it!

  • I absolutely agree! =D.

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