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I’m not a high-maintenance girl. I have a fairly extensive wardrobe because I [sometimes] enjoy shopping for clothes and accessories and am endlessly attracted to bright colors in most any form. Even then, however, I am a fairly simple gal. I generally wear solid-color clothing paired with khakis, black pants, etc. and am not very brave when it comes to trendy styles, pattern-combining, or any of the other trends the fashionistas so skillfully manipulate.


On a typical weekday, I crawl out of bed 30 minutes after my alarm goes off because 30 minutes is exactly how far I can push back the whole getting-ready process before I will be late to work. I then head to the closet, blearily pick out items that [hopefully] don’t clash, and head to the bathroom. The process there is as in-and-out as possible, basically including forcing my hair into a clip or hair tie (occasionally flat-ironing it, but this is apparently a SIN in the book of hair care, I've recently learned), putting on just enough foundation to cover any imperfections, and trying not to poke out my eye while I unskillfully apply enough mascara to create the illusion of eyelashes.


As a result of this beauty regimen (if you can even call it that), I have learned to simplify as much as possible. This, combined with my natural frugality, sends me into a bit of a panic in regard to the wedding-day routine.


Every bride-to-be has examined countless “getting ready” pictures taken by every photographer on earth. In these, the bridal party invades a salon, drinks mimosas, and generally enjoys beautifying and merriment. Optimistically, the getting-ready process, it appears, is an integral part of wedding preparation, girl bonding, and all that good stuff.


Yet something about the salon experience strikes a nerve with me. Part of me—feminism be damned—wants the whole princess-for-a-day fantasy, complete with looking as beautiful (read: polished) as I ever have. The rest of me, however, is annoyed that there are expectations about how I “should” look and what I “should” do.

wedding day salon
This is something like what I picture wedding-day chaos to be. It's expensive, and–dare I say–does not particularly appear to be soothing…


For example, the owner of the salon I have selected was fairly insistent about me coming in for a “hair trial” before the wedding. He gave me a big speech about how it will reduce the stress on the day of, and how I wouldn’t want to leave things up to chance. I found this spiel irritating because, if I am paying a professional to do my hair for an event (a service which, BTW, costs $20 more for me than the girls just because I am the bride), I expect that they are able to do it. Needing a “trial” beforehand suggests to me that they are not confident in their abilities and that they need practice. More importantly, it is not like the trial is free. Of course not. To get a “trial,” I will need to pay the bridesmaid-updo price (which, again, costs less than my day-of-‘do—why?). So the salon’s “practice period” brings them extra revenue. Huh? How is this right?


I was going to skip the whole thing altogether, but it was actually my low-maintenance bridesmaids who insisted on the salon ritual. One of them, in fact, has brought up her excitement about getting all dressed up and getting her hair done and all for MONTHS–this from a person who normally wears no makeup. Who knew? It appears that for them, the salon part of the day is as integral to the friendship as it is to the wedding-day process: an opportunity  for bonding amidst the beauty routines.


So we'll go. I'll call it a “wedding splurge,” as so many things tend to be surrounding the whole day. Hopefully, spending some time with the Posse before everything gets crazy will help keep me calm and distracted from the craziness to come. We'll drink some mimosas to take the edge off.

I shall emerge a graceful swan.

Or something like that.

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About Heather

Heather is a 20-something lifelong learner who works in higher education and overanalyzes everything. Now engaged to her boyfriend of 6 years, she spends way too much time in coffee shops fueling up on espresso drinks and creatively massaging marital traditions. Follow along as she makes meaning out of the chaos and (hopefully) pulls it all together for her May 2012 Chicagoland wedding.

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  • Brianne

    Just a tip for the budget savvy girls…. some hair stylists will do a “trial” and not charge extra. My hair stylist for example, is going to have me come in for a regular cut/color the month before my wedding and style my hair the way I want for my wedding. I think a trial is important. It’s not for them to “practice” but for you to feel at ease on your special day. Plus you never know, you might not like what you thought you did going into it.

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