We had a Wedding Styling Sesh with bridal designer and influencer, Hayley Paige, where she gave advice and answered your questions live. Hayley even offered personalized styling advice to attendees, and she had such great tips! Watch the full video below and then check out our 10 favorite pieces of advice from Hayley.
Stay in the know of your local stores—reach out to them in DMs, call, whatever, but ask your questions and get the answers you need. Bridal salons and designers WANT to help you so don’t feel like you’re pestering anyone. This goes for asking about possible delays in picking up your wedding dress in the upcoming months. This will allow you to set expectations and possibly adjust if needed.
A lot of your personality can be expressed through your accessories so don’t be afraid to show off your fave pair of cowboy boots or a bejeweled headband! When trying to figure out what you should wear with your wedding dress, put on everything you’re interested in and see what you like and what you may want to take off. Remember that you’re probably only going to wear your veil during the ceremony so you can have more fun with accessories at your reception. Don’t worry about landing on one statement accessory—you can always change up your look throughout the day. You can have three different moments with three different statement accessories if you like! Finally, it is better to have an idea of what you’ll wear accessory-wise before the wedding day because you’ll want to be in the moment and you won’t be thinking about your next accessory swap. Ultimately, listen to your intuition and go with what you want.
Even if you’re the kind of girl who wears heels all day, every day, you’ll still want a backup pair of shoes just in case. You can wear any kind of shoe you want, if you want to wear sneakers, go for it! Your shoes will likely be mostly hidden under your dress anyway. Just remember, it’s nice to have one pretty pair for those more styled shots and portraits and then a second pair to party in. You never know when you’ll want to kick off your heels as the night goes on!
Give yourself as much room as you can when anticipating alterations. Ask the employees at the shop where you’re purchasing the gown or reach out to the designers because these are the people who will know the dress best and how much it can be customized. However, don’t get too caught up in the tailoring. You really shouldn’t have more than three fittings. These fittings are all about your comfort and, no matter what, the dress will be changing throughout the day because you’ll be a functional human being and you’ll be sitting, dancing, hugging, so you want to make sure you’re comfortable over everything.
You don’t want to limit yourself or listen to someone else’s standard of what looks good on certain body shapes. Your dress will be tailored to your figure, so you’ll look fantastic, no matter what! You probably have some favorite asset that you want to show off and that’s what you should pay attention to—not what you’re “supposed” to wear, according to other people. This is the best time to play dress up. You may find you end up loving something you never thought you would like, so give yourself the opportunity to do so. Plus, wedding dress shopping is supposed to be a really fun time! If people are telling you what to wear or how you should dress, it can put a damper on the situation and you might go in already feeling discouraged, which will ruin the whole experience. Wear what makes you feel beautiful, no matter what anyone else says!
Bridal salons have a limited number of sample sizes so it’s always a good idea to call the store in advance and check what sample sizes they have and what dresses, in case you’re looking for one in particular. You want to make sure they have a dress that’s close to your size so you can get a good idea of what the dress looks like on you. It won’t be perfect, that’s what alterations are for, but it’s helpful to have a sample size within a few sizes of your own. Some designers, like Hayley Paige, will let you “memo-request” a specific size that they will send to your store for your dress appointment.
If you bought a dress, but can’t stop thinking about another one, don’t freak out! This is very normal and natural. Our society is so visual now, so you’ll see so many beautiful pictures on Instagram, but don’t let it kill your joy with the dress you actually had a moment with. It’s so easy to appreciate the beauty of another dress because they’re all so gorgeous. Envision that feeling you had when you put your dress on and that magic moment you had with it. Keep running with that. However, if you really can’t stop thinking about another specific dress, don’t think you made the wrong decision, but maybe explore your options. You could sell the dress you bought or see if you can stretch your budget somehow.
If you are considering wearing an heirloom accessory, like your mom’s veil, but are worried about how it will fit with your look, just try it on! Put it on with the other accessories you’re considering and see how you feel about it. When it works, it’s beautiful and such a great tribute to your loved one. But if it doesn’t work, it can feel forced and there are other ways to play with it. For instance, your mom’s veil might have oxidized and changed color so it’s a little yellowed, which is even more obvious when paired with your bright white gown. Don’t despair, you can include it in other ways—include it in your dress lining or your chuppah—or you can rework it into a new accessory, like turning a pearl headband into multiple pearl hairpins. If it doesn’t work in your wedding day look, consider including it in other wedding events wardrobe, like your rehearsal dinner attire.
If you’re now needing to preserve and store your dress for longer than anticipated, don’t stress. First of all, your dress should be totally safe for a two year period, after that is when you would need to worry more about oxidation and de-colorization, as these would take place over multiple years. Keep your dress in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight or an air conditioner. Lay it flat or hang it up—if you’re going to hang it, always make sure you use the hanger straps so the dress doesn’t stretch. On that note, if you have a beaded dress, just lay that flat somewhere because the weight of the beads will cause the dress fabric to stretch. Finally, keep the dress in a breathable garment bag and not plastic, if possible, because a plastic bag will ultimately flatten the dress.
Your beauty routine is such a personal thing and, when it comes to your wedding day, the norm is to up the ante. It will likely be a little more than usual because makeup for photo and video should be a little heavier, but you should still look like yourself. The idea is to enhance your natural beauty so you look like the best version of yourself, but to also make sure it has the longevity that you need for the day. You’ll be dancing, sweating, eating, drinking, kissing, you’ll want some makeup that lasts! Definitely do a hair and makeup trial, if possible, and on a day that you’re doing something so it’s like a dress rehearsal. This way you can see what you love and what you may want to revisit both in person and in photos. Ultimately, this is kind of like with your dress, don’t listen to people’s advice and do whatever you want. On that note, you don’t HAVE to have it professionally done. If you know exactly how you like your makeup and it’s something you want to do, you can totally do yourself. Just don’t put the added stress on yourself if you don’t have to.
Pets are such a part of the family so if you envision them in your ceremony, do it! And if you want them to wear an outfit or accessories, we’re all for it. However, there’s a lot of functionality that goes into outfits for animals (and children!) that you may not think about. They definitely must be non-flammable, they can’t have anything they could swallow and they must be comfortable.
Bonus Tip: Know when to say yes and when to say no.
This was Hayley’s best advice for running your own business, but we think it can apply to a lot of things in life. You’ll have moments where you doubt yourself and don’t feel positive, don’t make any decisions when you’re feeling this way. Wait until you’re feeling more confident and let the positive motivate your decisions. When you’re starting out, say yes to everything. You don’t know when something can open you up to a bigger opportunity. Plus, it will help you create relationships and learn more about yourself. But then, as you grow, be smarter about what you’re saying yes to because you don’t want to feel time-fatigued or like you have to say yes or you’ll hurt feelings.
You can always reach out to Hayley on Instagram at @misshayleypaige, she answers as many DMs as she can every day. Make sure to do some virtual window shopping on HayleyPaige.com! You can go to their store link, find a store near you and call to see what dresses they have available.
You can watch video playbacks of other wedding planning sessions here.
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