According to theknot.com, 19 percent of all proposals happen during the month of December – the most popular month of the year to get engaged. If you’re among this group of giddy, happy couples, congratulations! This special section is for YOU! In this year’s wedding planner, Thrive focuses on the style and beauty aspects of preparing for a wedding, from fashion to fingernails. You’ll find stories on wedding attire for the bride and her attendants, wedding-ready hairstyles and nail trends, make-up tips, and pampering your face leading up to the BIG DAY!
Say Yes to the Perfect Wedding Dress
story by Katelynn Mouton, photos courtesy of L Bridal
The proposal has been made and accepted and now the excitement of wedding planning officially begins!
There are hundreds of decisions to be made, ranging from minor to major, but other than selecting the date and the venue for the big day, choosing the dream dress ranks at the top of the list for the bride. After all, every bride deserves to look and feel beautiful on her wedding day!
From a young age, every bride-to-be has probably spent hours dreaming about their perfect day, from what their dress will look like to what the bridal attendants will wear. Turning those dreams into reality does not need to be a stressful experience.
The first thing any future bride must consider is timing. According to Laurie Baynard, owner of L Bridal Couture, a wedding dress selection should be made about a year prior to the wedding day, especially if you hope for something custom.
“Supply chains have been a nightmare since 2020, seemingly hitting each designer at a different time. We highly recommend shopping at least a year out for the biggest selection. If your wedding date is close though, we can sell out of our collection or sometimes put a rush on an order for a fee.”
If a wedding is in the cards for you in 2023 or beyond, consider having fun with your look by adding color and texture. “Textures, bows, lots of color and florals have been really popular globally in recent years,” Baynard added. “A myriad of sleeve types have become on trend as well, from off-the-shoulder to flutter or bishop.”
Baynard does not expect that to change much in 2023, but says a clean look is having a moment right now as well. “A clean look is one that never goes out of style, but we have been enjoying adding to them with fun sleeves, florals and colors.”
Southern brides have a vibe all their own though. “We love the look of the Southern bride. It is usually something classic with a little twist to make it more modern,” said Baynard.
The bride’s wedding day look should not stop at the dress though. “We love accessorizing wedding dresses and making each bride’s final look unique,” explained Baynard. “Embroidered veils have been really fun lately, and there are tons of other ways to make your bridal look a true reflection of your personality. From overskirts, sleeves and capes, to wings and accessories, don’t be afraid to have fun with your look.”
A few other things to be on the lookout for when it comes to styling your wedding in 2023 include blue hues. Straight out of the Spring 2023 Bridal Fashion Week, blue is the new pink! From brides to bridesmaids, various hues of blue were front and center, replacing the shades of pink seen in recent years.
Bold designs are being taken to new heights with gowns featuring utterly sheer fabrics, stepped up with crystal embellishments. From asymmetrical to mock, necklines can also add personality to your dress. Once the bride has settled on her dream dress, now it’s time to focus on the look of the wedding attendants. “We see a lot of mix and matched styles and colors for bridesmaid dresses,” said Baynard. “Many brides are allowing their girls to pick flattering dresses for their individual body type rather than make all of them wear the exact same thing. Personally, I love the trend of mismatched fabrics and textures.”
Even though selecting the perfect wedding dress is a big decision it should not be a cause of stress for the bride. A qualified bridal expert can make a huge difference when it comes to ensuring the future bride shines on her big day. “Since we opened in 2018, we have really studied our brides and in 2020 we launched our own line called Elle by L Bridal Couture,” Baynard said. “It has quickly become one of our bestselling lines and we love that our brides love it as much as we do. Every bride should feel and look her best on her wedding day and we pride ourselves on being a part of that.”
L Bridal Couture is locally owned and located at 5656 Nelson Rd., Suite A3. Visit them in person at the shop or online by visiting www.lbridalcouture.com.
Say I Do to the Do!
by Stefanie Powers
You have your gown and your shoes. You’ve picked out the jewelry and gathered something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Now it’s time to decide on your wedding day hairstyle!
Here are some tips for your wedding day hairstyle:
Part your hair (your choice, side or middle). Then, do a reverse French braid. Instead of crossing the hair on top, cross the outside strands underneath the middle strand, which will help the braid sit on top of your head. Bring the braid down towards the neck and continue braiding the length of the hair to the ends, securing with a plastic band. Repeat on the other side. At the nape of the neck, intertwine the two braids around the bottom, or twist them into a bun. Tuck the ends and secure them with elastic bands and bobby pins.
Medium-Length Hair: Sleek Bun
Pull your hair into a low ponytail and twist it clockwise, securing at the bottom with an elastic band. Then, twist your hair clockwise around into a bun and secure with hairpins all around. Finish with hairspray. If you need to secure fly-aways, use clear mascara to keep them in place.
For a chic evening wedding, pull hair into a high ponytail and tease for volume. Then bring hair back, pin at the base of the ponytail and gently brush the surface smooth.
There are many different looks when wearing your hair down and creating waves. One option is to alternate the direction of the curl, giving the wave a textured look. Curling the hair in the same direction throughout will give a more uniform wave. The tool you use matters: a wide tong will create a different wave than a narrow one, as will heated rollers, wands, air wraps and straighteners. You may want to comb through with your fingers to break up the curls or you may want to brush it out for a looser wave.
Put on Your Wedding Day Face
by Victoria Ellender
You’ve said yes to the dress, the invitations have been mailed, the cake has been ordered and the menu is set. You’ve planned every detail, and now it’s time to seal the deal with a makeup palette that brings your unique features to life!
When it comes to bridal makeup, the most important factor to keep in mind is you! While glam makeup may be the ticket for one bride, a natural glow may be your preference. It’s all about what makes you feel beautiful and confident in your own skin. Never has it been more important to choose colors, textures, and styles that highlight your unique features and accentuate what makes you . . . you.
Know Your Color
Cool pastels, earthy hues or jewel tones? What colors complement your skin’s undertones and the color theme of your bridal party? Madelaine Piatt, a local makeup artist at The Ritz, Inc., a makeup studio and hair salon in Lake Charles, said that’s the first question she usually asks when she begins to plan a bride’s makeup palette. “Knowing your color wheel and what’s going to complement the bride’s skin and eye color, and what’s going to make her feel the most like herself. That’s typically where I begin with bridal makeup,” she said.
Your wedding makeup will need to last throughout the night, but it will inevitably last for many years to come in your photos and memories. Choose a timeless look that suits you and feels in sync with your unique style. When it comes to the latest trends in bridal makeup, natural is queen. “People are opting for a soft, natural glow and clean earth tones,” Piatt said. “Neutral eyes and a lot of times, nude lips are really in right now for weddings.”
Layers to Last
Your wedding day is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the most important factors when it comes to bridal makeup is layering, ensuring that your look stays put throughout the wedding and reception. With every single step, ensure that quality products are used and sealed properly to guarantee a look that will last all night long. And don’t forget lashes. Fake eyelashes are much more popular than mascara nowadays, but be sure to choose lashes that are authentic to you. “Even with eyelashes, people are preferring the more natural wispy look than big glam lashes,” Piatt said. “But again, it’s all about what feels natural to you.”
Leading Up to the Big Day
If you’re unsure what look you want, one of the best things you can do is practice. Work with a makeup artist ahead of the big day, or try different looks on for yourself to see what works best for you. Piatt, who was named Southwest Louisiana’s Makeup Artist of the Year in 2021, has helped many brides prepare for their big day, and often her work begins much earlier than the wedding, with engagement photos and then bridal photos. “What I love about working with brides is that I really get to highlight what makes them unique. I work with them extensively before their wedding day, so that I get to know their individual skin tones and coloring well before the big day.”
Nailing a Polished Wedding Look
by Katelynn Mouton
From your dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses to the hair and makeup, your big day is planned down to the smallest of details.
Beyond jewelry, one additional accessory can help pull your wedding day look together—your nails. The color, shape and style of your nails can all add one final pop of polish you your look.
If you are going for a romantic look, consider shades of pink. The lightest of the light pink is just sweet enough to create a fairytale moment, without stealing the whole show.
Add a little more pop to that pink with a glittery tip in a coordinating color or an iridescent pink hue can act as an elevated neutral. A dusty pink provides an old-fashioned romantic vibe, while the subtlest of finishes like a touch of nail art is a romantic way to squeeze a few extra flowers into your big day. If traditional and classic are a better fit for your wedding style, then consider an all-white finish. With countless shades of white, selecting one to coordinate with the color of your dress should be an easy task. No matter which shade you choose, a white nail provides a finish that is clean and timeless.
Speaking of timeless, a fully naked nail is about as timeless as it gets, just make sure to book a spa manicure the day before your big day to get your nails shaped up, cuticles cleaned and skin pampered and moisturized.
A nude-colored nail is the equivalent of a little black dress. It goes with virtually anything and looks polished; no matter what nude shade you choose.What about some pops of color to add a little spice to your bridal look? A red nail is so timeless that many consider it a neutral! Classic brides will do well with a deep red, especially if you are an Audrey Hepburn fan.
For the more free-spirited bride, a sunset-hued manicure can fit right in with a Boho style. Earthy browns and taupes are also great choices for a Bohemian bride looking for a subtle, neutral, but unique look.
Color-dipped tips and pastels are another fun way for a bride to add a pop of color and personality to complete her wedding day look.
Whatever you choose, don’t stress! This is one wedding day decision that should be fun to make.
Get Wedding Ready Prenuptial Skin Prep & Pampering
Congratulations! You said “Yes!” Now it’s time to start planning for your big day. You probably have a little notebook given to you by one of your future bridesmaids encouraging you to book a venue, a band, a caterer, and a photographer. That little notebook gives you step-by-step instructions on how to get your wedding plan started. But what about getting YOU ready?
Before you become overwhelmed, begin by simply scheduling a consultation at a reputable med spa. “We will go over our services, your aesthetic goals, your timeline, and most importantly your individualized plan,” says Kara Babaz, FNP-C for Renaitre-A Williamson Cosmetic Center. “We take out all the guess work so you can focus on your other wedding planning obligations.”
A typical “timeline” for someone who is wedding prepping looks something like this:
Nine months to a year out
Babaz suggests starting any laser hair removal services you may want to complete before your wedding. “Laser hair removal is a quick and relatively painless in-office procedure that targets the hair follicle and prohibits hair growth but requires some consistency coming in every four to eight weeks, depending on the area being treated.”
Morpheus 8 is another great treatment to begin during this time frame as your best results are approximately six months after your last treatment. This treatment helps achieve skin care goals and includes resurfacing and tightening on the face, neck, and body. “You may also want to start prepping your skin for different medical grade procedures by starting a medical grade skin care regime,” adds Babaz. “Some of our favorites include TNS Advanced and a medical grade retinol.”
Three to six months out
This is the best time to begin a microneedling series to help your skin look its best. “Microneedling improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores,” Babaz says. “We usually recommend doing one treatment every four to six weeks for best results.”
If your focus is on improving hyperpigmentation from sun-bathing last summer, Babaz recommends a series of chemical peels or a laser treatment with intense pulse light (IPL) to improve the appearance of sunspots or melasma.
Already picked out your wedding dress and notice an area of stubborn fat giving you grief? Coolsculpting can reduce fat by up to 25% per body area. “Full results from the procedure take about three months and, unlike surgery, there is no down-time with this procedure,” Babaz says.
Babaz also suggests revolumizing certain areas of the face during this time with Sculptra and, if desired, conservatively with filler. “Sculptra is a bio-stimulant for type 1 collagen and is a great solo treatment or combo treatment with filler. Sculptra results last about two years. We recommend doing any filler around three months prior to the big day to ensure that you love it and that it settles and looks its best.”
Four to six weeks out
Babaz says this is the time to do any neuromodulator treatments, such as Botox or Dysport. “These products take about two weeks to fully take effect and usually settle and look their best around four to six weeks after the treatment.”
Two weeks before your wedding day
Consider a Diamond Glow facial. “This facial gently exfoliates, infuses a custom serum recommended by one of our aestheticians, and extracts dirt and oil out of your pores for a noticeable glow,” says Babaz.
“These general rules apply to not only to brides but to grooms, mother of the bride and groom, and the wedding party as well!” concludes Babaz. “We would love to help you put your best face forward for your wedding and beyond!”
For more information or to make an appointment, call Renaitre-A Williamson Cosmetic Center, 337-508-2559. Located at 5656 Nelson Rd Suite C-1, Lake Charles, La.