If your wedding doubles as an escape from not-so-tropical Wisconsin weather, you’ll want to pack smart so you can look your best wherever your paradise of choice may be. Take stock of what you want to bring so you can keep your hair, makeup and outfits fresh throughout your trip. These essentials will ensure your fabulous look is also effortless, not only for the wedding, but rest of your dream vacation, too.
Chances are you’ll be doing your own hair and makeup for your wedding, so you’ll need to decide what to bring and what to skip. I could seriously have a suitcase of just products, but be wise and keep it to a minimum.
Kari Ann Bolton, the local bride pictured here, did a fabulous job on her camera-ready hair and makeup. Being a talented hairstylist at Chris and Co. Salon in Delafield, she has a one up, but that doesn’t mean she felt less pressure on her wedding day.
With practice and guidance, your look will come together just as perfectly as Kari Ann’s—and without stress. Make sure you have a plan. Don’t just wing it! This will allow you to have more time to enjoy your day.
Consider scheduling a trial lesson with your stylist on doing your own hair and makeup a few weeks before your big day. Destination brides come to me for this a lot. They would love to pack me in their luggage (I would also love that), but most of the time that’s not realistic. Here’s how a session works: First, we decide on a hairstyle and makeup look, and then I teach her how to recreate it herself. Later, the bride and I make a product shopping list based on her budget, or we go and make the purchases together.
If you’re just starting to search for styles (or if you’re reading this last-minute and don’t have time for a consultation), here’s my advice: Beachy waves and loose updos are easiest and look beautiful for a simple, not overdone, tropical look. Grab a curling iron, humidity-defying hairspray (3.4 oz. or less!) and bobby pins to create plenty of different styles. When it comes to makeup, primers are key. They will help your makeup stay on all day and night, especially in tropical weather! Think of them as the glue that holds everything in place.
The goal when packing is to plan for the least amount of effort without compromising your fabulous look. I’m the first to admit my awful habit of majorly over-packing. When it comes down to it, I usually end up using half of what I bring and get slapped with that nasty “heavy” tag and fee from the airline. Here’s how to avoid that.
In addition to your wedding attire, your wardrobe will probably include bathing suits, cover-ups and sundresses for the day, plus maxi and cocktail dresses and (maybe) sleepwear for the night. Depending on the length of your trip, you may want to spring for an extra bag up front so you don’t smash everything together. Bring necessities you can mix and match, and add just a few accent pieces.
When it comes to accessories, your jewelry should be simple, too; your wedding jewelry and a couple extra pieces should be plenty. An oversized hat to protect from the sun is also a must for me. Find inexpensive hats at local shops or in the resort gift store.
My biggest problem when packing: SHOES! (My mother calls me Imelda Marcos.) But even if you have a similar obsession, be smart with this one. Pick the absolute must-haves, and remember to make room for your wedding shoes.
That’s it! Those are the beauty basics. I hope you’re feeling more stress-free than ever. Isn’t that what a destination wedding is all about?
Photographs by Brian Slawson Photography