How to Achieve Your Dream Look

From Joni Stamoulis, owner/founder of Arcadya Salon & Spa in Manchester.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I've seen hundreds of brides come through Arcadya Salon & Spa who want to look their best on the most important day of their life, and I have plenty of advice on how to make sure your dream look comes together.

Collect Ideas

I'm sure you've already started a collection of wedding magazines, trying to get ideas on everything from dresses to flower arrangements. Pay attention to hairstyles that catch your eye; tear those magazine pages out and keep them in a folder for inspiration. Don't feel like these are the only styles you can choose from either – there may be parts of a few looks that could be combined.

There are a number of factors you'll want to take into consideration.

  • Do you want your hair up or down? Make sure your dream 'do works well with your dream dress. Weather may also be a factor; an updo may be more practical in the heat.
  • Will the style work well with your veil?
  • Do you have an accessory that you want to include, such as a headband, ribbon or brooch?

You may also want to consider having a professional do your wedding makeup. You'll want something that's a little more glamorous than your everyday routine, and a makeup artist can also help you achieve a picture-perfect look for those photos you'll be looking at over the course of your lifetime. Think about the season, wedding colors and the type of look you are going for, and discuss these ideas with a stylist.

Practice Makes Perfect

There's a great way to ensure that you'll get just the look you're going for, and that's by scheduling a trial run.

Make this appointment well in advance of your wedding. This appointment is especially important if you are getting married in another region and will be working with a new stylist.

At this point, you should have a clear idea of the look you want, but your stylist can also offer her professional advice if you are looking for it. Don't forget to bring those inspirational magazine pages! Bring your veil and a picture of your dress, as well.

Keep in mind how long it takes for the stylist to do your hair, makeup and any other services you are looking for. This will be critical in making sure you have enough time to do everything the morning of your wedding. (This is the last event you'd want to be late for!)

This is also an ideal time to try any new services you've been thinking about. If you're interested a spray tan, a new line of makeup, or hair or eyelash extensions, trying them out in advance will ensure that you will be comfortable with these services on your wedding day. This is a good idea to make sure that you don't have a bad reaction to anything, as well.

When your look is complete, ask your stylist to take pictures of you from the front and back. You'll want to have these pictures on the morning of your wedding so there's no question on exactly how you should look.

You may want to have a conversation with your maid of honor and bridesmaids to check on their interest in a bridal party. Having everyone's hair and makeup done at the same time by professionals will create less wedding day chaos and give everyone a little more time together before the party begins. Check with your salon for more details.

The Week Before the Wedding

This is the time to get your hair color touched up or a trim to your length. This is probably not the time you want to try out something new and drastic!

It's also exactly when you deserve a little "me time," as we like to say at Arcadya. You may want to schedule a massage so you can collect your thoughts, or you may want to share some of that down time with your maid of honor or spouse-to-be. Call your local spa to see if they have a package that would work, or discuss creating a package of services to have done.

Start a list of makeup/accessories you'll want in case you'll want to do touchups on your wedding day. Check with your salon so that you can make sure you're purchasing the same products that your makeup artist will be using.

You'll also want to call and confirm with your wedding-day stylist that everything is all set.

The Big Day

I hope you had a full night's sleep when you wake up, because you will be going non-stop until the ceremony begins!

Don't forget – this day is all about you and the one you love. Working with a professional stylist and makeup artist means one less thing to worry and think about that day. A happy bride is what guests will remember – and that's what will leave the biggest impression in those wedding photos.

Joni Stamoulis has more than 20 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry. She is a graduate of the Graham Webb Academy and continually keeps up with training and educational courses around the world. Stamoulis founded Arcadya Salon & Spa in Manchester in 2000.

Arcadya Salon & Spa is located at 989 Cilley Road in Manchester. It provides the full salon and spa experience: hair, makeup, facials and skin care, body treatments and massage, and hand and foot treatments. Bridal packages are available; call the salon to learn more.

For more information, call (603) 644-1355 or visit You can also become a fan of Arcadya on Facebook or get Twitter updates at @ArcadyaSalon.

Categories: Advice from the Experts