Its 2020 Thinking about Getting Married Someday but getting Stressed already? Heres some of what you need to know

As a busy wedding bridal hair and makeup artist myself for the past 7 years I have seen it all. I also had the big white wedding myself so I have been through it all. And iv heard all the rest from every wedding guest that has ever sat in my chair. Here are some of the biggest things that often dont get talked about that might make a difference to know for planning your big day.

1 Get grounded. Learn how to be present, live mindfully and get to know yourself first before you plan anything

The wedding business in Ireland is a massive money making industry. Every supplier wants to make you believe you have to have his thing to make you have the best day. But guess what no person or material item brings happiness. Happiness is an inside job. Most young brides havent yet found themselves. Nowadays with the pressure of careers, saving for a house, keeping up appearances, having a social network aswell as looking like a model, life has never been more taxing.

Taking time out to improve your emotional and mental health and maybe find yourself along the way will help you get to know what is really important to you before you start planning a wedding. Whether that is:

  • seeing a psychotherapist weekly to sort through previous traumas
  • doing a yoga retreat or regular yoga class
  • learning how to be present, doing mindfullness, get grounded

Getting those niggling health problems sorted before you start planning a wedding will go a long way toward helping you have the health, strength and resilience to build the day you actually want and actually enjoy it.

Engagement Ring Ideas

2 The engagement ring is THE most important item to save for

Never mind the dress, the photographer, the cake. The engagement ring is the most important purchase of your big day. After the cake is eaten, the dress is in the wardrobe and the flowers are dead the ring will be the one item you have to symbolise this special commitment. You will be wearing it for hopefully 50 years so if you can spend the extra few bob on this (if you can afford it). As a bridal nail technician for 10 years I have seen some beautiful pieces on the hand of girls who have done their research and invested in a foreign purchase.

  1. Do your research. You wont get anything big or fancy for less than 5K. Dont go to the high street jeweller if you want a rock. You are paying for the shop front. You will get far better value if you go to a diamond broker.
  2. Join the online facebook group HIGM Help Im Getting Married There are thousands of brides on there who are obsessed with every detail of planning an irish wedding and some have sourced their diamonds through a broker. Just ask them.
  3. A trip to Antwerp, South Africa, New York or Dubai would be a worthwhile holiday if you have a prebooked appointment with a broker there. Many jewellers have links with Dubai or South Africa. Grainne Seoige has a company there now. New York can also be serious value due to the number of diamond brokers in that huge city. Keep an eye on currency exchange values and buy at the right time. When it is a big purchase you might save yourself a thousand on more depending on the currency exchange rate.

3 Discuss & Buy Your Dream Ring with Your Partner

Most might deny this but most brides do know they are going to get engaged and have discussed the ring part. Dont expect your husband to know these things. He is a man! Do your research together regarding the broker. Ask questions to other brides to be. You dont want to end up with a ring you hate. If money is the issue why not put some of your money into your own ring? I mean who’ll know or who cares? When you are married all your money and spending is joint anyway and having the ring you dream of will carry you through many bumps in the road. You will never regret the time or money ye put into a good quality engagement ring. An expensive piece never loses its charm. A son or daughter down the line would be thrilled to inherit a valuable heirloom. You do need to insure your engagement ring for the price you purchased it at, not the price it is valued at. You may have spent 5K but if the ring is valued at 12K and you produce that certificate to the insurance company expect a hefty increase on your home insurance premium annually. You need to specify this item when getting house insurance incase of loss or theft.

Mixed Bridesmaids Styles

4 Ask for Help/Consider a Wedding Planner if you are an Anxious Type

If you are the type to get stressed or anxious by any additional work in your life then a wedding is likely to bring out the worst in you. You really need a degree in event management there is so much to think of. I mean most of us have never planned any events before let alone a banquet and all day entertainment for 100 plus guests. The endless emails, phone triage from suppliers, guests asking stupid questions. You might be looking at 50 emails each to get your supplier booked. You have to meet everyone and then you have to get into their heads and they into yours to iron out exactly how you want things to be. And if you are a perfectionist and anxious by it all, it is likely you will find everything an ordeal. My best advice for anxious brides is to hire a wedding planner. Yes there will still be plenty of work for you to do but she will bring you the ideas as supposed to you looking them up from scratch yourself. The cost versus the stress is worth it. It is not just americans that do this there are several event management companies that irish brides use., aislinn events and weddings are some that come to mind.

My best advice would be hire a wedding planner if you have the budget


at the start of your organising, nominate one specific job per person. Make sure the supplies are liasing with them at all times, not you, and that they are not calling you 2 days before the wedding wondering where the bows should go?

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

If you are the type that has a vision of how every little decoration touch should be then you will need to check the venue and church that morning or the day before once setup is complete to ensure things are the way you thought in your head they would be. If for example you dont and your hearts are tied of the wrong banister or something so minor that only you would notice, things like this will bother you after if they havent been done my yourself, so that is why you have to check everyones work after they have done their bit.

5 All Things Hair & Beauty- Prepare 9 Months In Advance

To Tan or Not to Tan for Your Wedding Day?

Unless you want to look porcelain white (which suits few brides) I would recommend everyone having a spray tan or applying fake tan for your big day. A real suntan DOES NOT come out in the photos. It doesnt matter how naturally tanned you are you wont see it in the photos.

  • Also if you are going on a prewedding holiday make sure you dont get tan lines around your neck or across your back, they wont have faded ontime and no amount of fake tan will cover up the difference.
  • Fake tan is a very personal thing. You need to try a few, some MONTHS BEFORE your big day, find which one suits, you. You dont have to go for a Professional salon tan. You can try doing a
    Fake Tan for my Wedding?

    Fake Tan for my Wedding?

    rub on tan. Bperfect and Cocoa Brown and BaRE by VOGUE are some brilliant new formulations. But just because Cocoa brown looked good on your friend doenst mean it will suit your skin.

  • You need to photograph yourself in daylight because a light false tan might not come out at all in pictures.
  • You might need to decide do I want to be a bit darker in real life and look like I have a tan in the pictures?


Listen to Advice from The Wedding Beauty Experts

As an experience facialist, nail technician, beauty therapist and hair and makeup artist I see all the botch jobs.

  • Bridal Makeup


  • No tan, tinting, threading, waxing, facials, botox, eyelash extensions, lash lifts.
  • You cannot put fake tan over dry irritated skin and you dont want to put rub on tan like sally hanson on either cause you run the risk of it transferring to your wedding dress on the day.
  • Everything beauty wise has to be thought of and experienced in advance for you to look flawless on the day.
  • It is a lot of work if you are not the regular high maintanence and theres a lot to learn so start early.

6 Consider Your Guests when Planning

Outdoor weddings

Outdoor weddings

Alot of people if really truthful dislike going to weddings especially if you are married cause most of them are boring, too samey samey. And young people are saturated with invites. I recall my cousin who was 27 year old teacher at the time got 17 invites in one year!! Weddingd OUT? To say the least. So

1.Do it Differently. The normal day bores the pants off most people.

Plan it the way you want it to be. Not the way you think is has to be to keep up with your notions of how you perceive a wedding day “should” be. Be adventurous on how you do things.

2 Have a Late 2 or 3pm start. Who wants to be standing in an uncomfortable outfit from 12 noon?For most people partying from 3pm to 3am is sufficient to knock the socks of your guests.

Guests love having the morning to travel, to get themselves and any children, elderly organised. They dont have to stay up the night before.

3 Have an Pre-Ceremony Photoshoot: Why not meet your partner in the morning to get the bride and groom photos taken, saving you on valuable time later in the day when you might want to have a conversation with that cousin who has travelled from Australia to see you? After all you’ve been together 10 years who cares if you saw each other before the vows?

4 Feed Guests on arrival. Straight after the ceremony. Guests are the most hungry and nervous at this time and will be talking about the entrance buffet for months after if you do this. Why not prepare a big cheeseboard and bottles of beer for the lads. (Only the women drink the prosecco).

5 Serve Dinner Early. Not getting dinner served until 9pm is the pet hate of wedding guests as is the 12 noon wedding start. Starting late and feeding everyone early will go along way to giving everyone a day to happily remember.

6 Keep your locations simple logistically. Guests love everything in one place. Not the church 2 hours from the hotel. Having to look up 2 sets of google maps directions etc. Being able to party and sleep in the one venue suits most people best.

7 Dont have your wedding on a bank holiday like new years day or a monday. Hairdressers and makeup artists are often closed and guests will be outraged by not having many available artists to go to. Your guests are the most important. If the day is just about you in your head then consider an elopement.

7 Choosing a Photographer- have a rehearsal shoot

It usually is not a good idea to just book whoever your sister or friend used. Unless you have seen their albums and love their pictures. Photography is such an subjective thing. Everyone sees different elements in a picture or perhaps misses important aspects of a picture when viewing an artists work. I for example didnt want a photographer that captured the bride in every picture. I wanted a photographer to capture every other detail of the day from the shoes, to the flowers, to the magicians card tricks to the details of the cheese board and midnight fire show. We didnt have a video cause my hubby is shy so for the photos to tell the whole story was really important to me.

If you are the type of bride who worries about how you will look in your images? Maybe you think you are not photogenic or you might have big features, big chin or nose or whatever?

  • You want to look great in your pictures then you need to convey this to your photographer in advance that you think you need to be photographed from your best angle in the posed photos.
  • You need to have a photoshoot beforehand hand to determine what your best angles are. Theres little point leaving this subject to chance. I am pretty sure you wont like most of the images of yourself, as the photographer is not a mind reader and may not be checking how does the bride look each time they take a picture?
  • I would recommend booking a female photographer. As women get us. They understand. Sarah Fyffe and Caroline from Pink Lime Studios are 2 such photographer and videographers for discerning brides in the north west that I would recommend.

8 Supplier Mind Reading – We all Think Differently

  • Remember your suppliers is not a mind reader and you have to tell them exactly what you want captured on your day.

For example If you say “I want a photo of me from the back”.

Do you mean just your back or your whole body and dress?

Close up or far away? Husband or not?

With your face slightly turned to the camera or not?

  • There are so many things lost in translation, miscommunicated between vendors so you really need to talk to your photographer about whats really important to you and whats not important as the photographer even has his own ideas about what should be captured..
  • I have seen so many wedding albums where the bride is in every single picture. Do you actually want that?
  • Do you want family photos or not? Friends photos? Photos with Pets? Photos of the Food? Of the Shoes?
  • Someone has to organise these and it is best to nominate a cousin or friend (or several) to gather the groups together and remind you to get these photos as you wont be going around with your notes on the day.
  • I made a list of all 92 photos I wanted for the album, most of which I did get. Thats a bit OTT now when I think about it.
  • Remember the day will flow in ways you wont foresee now matter how much planning you do, youve never gotten married before, so things will come up that will prevent some group photos from not happening.
  • Dont have a meltdown if these dont happen. Its not the end off the world. If you did not get a photo with your mother you can always don the dresses the next day and do it. No one will ever know.
  • Ask your guests for their photos if you dont have a good cake shot? The most import thing to remember is only a few photos will make the walls of your home so you dont need hundreds of perfect images.
    9 The Bridal Party
  • Who says you have to be traditional when it comes to dress shopping. Do you really want an entourage?

    How many Bridemaids?

  • If your mum is older it might not be worth it dragging her across the country.
  • If your bridesmaids live in other countries will it be practical to get them home for dress shopping?
  • Do you really want or need a bridal party? Maybe just one sister to sign the register is enough.
  • Is having a bridal party extra work for you or is it a support? Think about it.

10 Wedding Dress & Shoes

  • Look at designers online. Look at photographers work for ideas. Ask them for the actual bridal dress shop name if its not listed? Pick out ones you love then visit their shops.
  • Do you want mainstream or quirky? Designs have come on so much in the last 5 years even the mainstream ones have lots of choice. For individual styles check out and
  • If you have a killer body then you might be able to wear something cheap and cheerful and still look a zillion dollars. Check out for bridal and bridesmaids dresses.
  • For Shoes-go for something you can wear again. Satin is long gone out of fashion. Anything goes colorwise now. Blush pink to baby blue to gold to crimson red. Check out for Kurt Geiger, Dune, Carvela all fabulous shoes at reasonable prices.
  • Make sure your underwear is not visible if wearing a sheer dress. You need to fit on the dress with the right underwear in daylight and get another person to check you in daylight. How seamless or sheer an item is totally depends on the dress material and the light going through it. It might take sometime to find undies or a bra that works with your dress and is comfortable. I remember M & S was the only place I could find any knickers that worked for my sheer satin gown. It doesnt matter how nice your dress is if you are not wearing the right underwear.

11 Get an Hardback High Quality Photo Album

You will be looking at these photos for a long time to come. I am now 7 years married and recently I looked at my album. I saw many happy things I had forgotten about. Over time you wont remember every aspect of the day. Get a finished album NOT an online cloud or a USB stick. Technology is moving at such a fast pace. Your usb might not fit in any laptop in 5 years time and your photographer might be out of business or emigrated when you go knocking so in ten years time so get a high quality album that you can have in your hands. You wont regret spending on this part.

12 Afterwards-The Fall Out

Many brides go to pieces after their day because of little things that did or didnt happen. Things that no one else noticed. And spend days after crying.

The hearts were placed on the outside arch instead of the inside arch?

You asked for them to be placed on the arch didnt you?

But you didnt specify which arch or that it was important to get the arch you had in your head?

And you didnt actually check the arch on the morning?

And you didnt have time to enjoy everything, that it all went so fast?

You forgot something in the speech?

Stupid things like this??

  • When emotions run so high in the run up to a massive life event every little thing can bother the bride because she is so stressed and caught up in the cinderella fairytale and getting everything perfect.
  • Life is not perfect. And everyone involved in a wedding, guests and suppliers are not doing things perfectly either so there can be obstacles around every corner interrupting the flow of the day.
  • Tell your guests not to post any pictures on social media of the day. This will save yourself extra trauma if stressed after the event and gives you time to gather your thoughts about the day once your head is in a better place. Then you can enjoy the photos and share the bits you were really proud of.
  • No one really cares about your wedding day except you so dont sweat the small stuff. No one will see or remember all those little things. People will remember how much they enjoyed themselves not what angle the bows were at.
  • Have some close friends on call to deal with he fall out to remind you that you looked fabulous and the day was perfect.

I hope this article helps brides to be with underlying issues that often dont get talked about.

Fiona Brady,

Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist, Skin & Beauty Therapist, Nail Technician @Polished

Instagram: polished_hairbeauty

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