Getting Ready (With Lots of Grins)

I didn’t write the traditional wedding blog re-caps of our wedding. Why? Because no one needs that much detail about one day of my life… including me. But shortly after our wedding I wrote a little bit about each part of the day. What happened, what I wanted to remember, how it felt. I wanted to have it to look back on for years and years, and because this community made me braver and more of myself on my wedding day than I ever could have been on my own, I wanted to share a bit with you. So. Some moments, with pictures.  – Meg

Meg_David_0002You guys asked lots and lots of questions about what a wedding morning feels like, and a little “Crap! We’re late!” And a lot of oh-my-god-totally, do you remember when we couldn’t wear red or blue to school or we’d get SHOT?” And a fair amount of hilarious giggles, combined with friends who look suspiciously like they’re walking on air.) Oh, and I really love the pictures.

David and I woke up the morning of the wedding well rested. It’s funny, I always imagined it would be hard to sleep the night before your wedding, but we didn’t find it hard at all. When we woke up we had a weird moment of realizing it was our wedding day, and then realizing that it felt just like every other day, and then realizing that we were fine with that.


I had taken to heart Team Practical words of wisdom that, when getting ready for your wedding, you should surround yourself with people that would make you feel calm and centered. So half an hour after we woke up, a few friends and family members arrived at our hotel, and we started getting ready.

Together. We never made a conscious choice to get ready together, we just figured it was the only thing that really made sense. After all, we were the only two people getting married that day, so we might as well stick together. Besides, in a Jewish wedding, you see each other before you walk down the aisle when you formalize your commitment to each other by signing the Ketubah, so there was never going to be a big reveal. Instead we got grounded fun.

In case you’re wondering why I married David, in this picture he is steaming my wedding dress. At the last minute I thought the tulle looked a little wrinkled, and David is the iron-er of the team, so out it came.

Have we gotten to the point where we consider not hiring someone to do your hair and makeup on your wedding day DIY? Because if we have, I suppose I was DIY like that. Since I never did find anyone that was affordable, I talked my friend Rachel into doing my hair. I had a feeling that doing hair was one of her secret superpowers, so I got her a little bit drunk, and she confessed that it was. We’d done two practice runs (drinking copious amounts of white wine) so I was convinced that my hair was going to look amazing. It did. Also? Having a friend do my make up put me in such a zen and grounded place that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

By the time my hair was done we were running late, so I rushed through doing my makeup. I’d gotten a bridal consultation and bought some makeup at Sephora, and for gods sake, I don’t know what I was worried about. I wear makeup. I can do my own makeup. It looked great. Just for the record, several married friends who had their hair and makeup professionally done muttered things like, “I wish mine had looked as nice as yours did, damn.” And I’ll tell you, the secret ingredient was love and a pile of fun. It’s as simple as that.

Finally, we rushed into the bathroom and David helped me pull on my wedding dress, and clipped my flower in my hair. I felt sassy. I felt pretty. I could move around, I wasn’t scared of getting dirty, and I was ready to party. I felt like myself, and that was what was most important.
The pictures are of course by Heather and Jon at One Love Photo. I think they really dig when couples get ready together. Side note: I hadn’t planned on us having ‘getting ready’ shots taken, because I was so bored with all the standard shots… but then I reconsidered and had them ‘come shoot the chaos,’ and they are hands down some of my favorite pictures of the day. Weird, huh?

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  • Sounds like the best wedding morning ever. I hope I am that lucky.

  • Loves the chaos shots. Looks like fun!

  • I totally agree – doing my own makeup was relaxing and grounding in a way… and most of all I knew that I looked like me, and not someone else's vision of me. Lovely photos!!

  • thanks very much for this! I just e-mailed it to my mother to try and help her understand my approach to this whole thing. she was appaled that I planned to do my own make-up and started crying when I said I was just going to stay and sleep in my own bed in my own house the night of the wedding (with my fiance!).

  • Yes! Have your friends do your makeup and hair! It rocks! Seriously- if you had to choose to be surrounded by talented strangers or talented people you love and admire, isn't it an obvious choice?

  • vanessa

    Gorgeous! I love that you got ready together. I am also loving your "D'oh" moment shot. So cute.

    I had my SIL do my hair and my mom do my make-up simultaneously, with my sister and bestie in the room. Those are also some of my favorites from the day.

  • Oh, I love these – love that David's pressing the dress, love that you're with friends and one another. Totally the way to do it.

  • i love the getting ready parts too.

  • This is wonderful… I am so excited to hear the rest of your story.

  • Meg

    I'm a bit biased because we didn't have a lot of family pressure on our getting ready choices (though basically our approach was that no one needed to know, because we KNEW we were going to get cr*p about it) but it was so, so key for us to start the day in our comfort zone.

    We also didn't ask anyone to get ready with us until the night before (except Rachel doing my hair, obviously). That way we could figure out who we wanted on a real time basis, and it wasn't this big huge deal thing that people would get hurt about. Anyway, so we didn't have that many people there, and most of the people there we knew REALLY well and were REALLY comfortable being ourselves around. Hence, fun, and not a lot of stress (because you have enough pressure at that point).

    And doing your own makeup, PLEASE. Seeing the pictures I now realize how good mine looked. And I can wear the makeup I bought every day, whee!


  • Meg! I loved doing your hair, and being able to share that moment with you and all, but boy it was stressful! haha

    I remember trying not to yell at you to stay still and thinking to myself – omg I hope she doesn't hate me after this!

  • I love that you got ready together. I want to do that too. I want to spend the whole day with my guy, and part of the day is getting ready. I want him to zip me in my dress and tell me I'm beautiful. I want to straighten his collar and tell him he looks great.

  • hella cute shirt, meg…plus, a guy that does the ironing! awesome.

  • Meg

    You DID yell at me to sit still. But that's because I was not sitting still. Wiggling more like.


  • Love this! For the record, we also got ready together in a chilled out manner (and spent the night before together) and I DID fight my mother on it. I had centre of attention anxiety hardcore and I didn't need my whole day, even the getting ready portion, to be a performance. It was one of my favourite parts of the day, in the end!

  • Anonymous

    I think a makeup artist is great for those who aren't confident in their makeup skills. But if you really love your own makeup choices and application, I can't imagine feeling comfortable with allowing someone else to mess with that. I'd be more anxious with a makeup artist because in the end, I'd want my makeup to look how I do it and it would look different.

  • just amazing. my biggest beef with weddings is that the bride just doesn't look like herself sometimes… a little too shellacked and spackled.

    you looked lovely and natural. perfect!

  • I am loving reading your wedding story, and the pictures are great. Thank you for sharing!

  • yay for sane getting ready! we stayed at a b&b; since we got married far away from our home in colorado. we each had a group of friends/siblings staying with us. my cousin did my makeup b/c she is a mary kay seller and i am a mascara only kind of girl. it was so fun to have people there and to see each other/help with ironing, etc.

  • That shot of David steaming your dress melts my heart. What a man!!

    I want to do my own makeup and have my sister do my hair. But every time I tell someone they freak out and then freak me out. Thanks once again for being so gloriously normal.

  • Isa

    Oh Meg, I don't know if you'll ever read my comment since it's 3 weeks after your original post – but I just wanted to write and say I had a YES moment when you talked about feeling like yourself!

    I stumbled upon your blog while planning my own wedding, but what with life post-wedding being a bit crazy and hectic I have a bit of catching up to do!

    But, yes, YES – I look at my wedding photos and I think, well, i didn't have my hair done, and I may have done my own make-up (possibly inexpertly, by the orange cast i seem to have in some of the pics, ha ha!), and my dress is not a meringue, but gosh I do look like ME! :-D

    And somehow, I LIKE that I look like me in all those photos, not some glamazon-airbrushed-and-made-up version of me, but actually really ME! Coz I felt like me during the whole day too – and that was one of the best parts of it!

    Congratulations on the wedding, and I hope you are enjoying post-wedding life! After over 6 months now I still have moments where I go, "Wow! We're MARRIED!" and it still feels wonderful. i wish you both as much happiness.

    Thank you for the blog! It's nice to keep up with you and read your intelligent and thoughtful musings on life post-wedding.

  • Katie

    I love this post and have been coming back to it a lot recently. I’m getting married in four weeks and want to do my own makeup – but I’m nervous! (The how-to’s definitely help ease my fears). I’m planning to have a consultation at Sephora – Meg – how long was yours? I have two options, one is an hour makeover and one is a more detailed two hour consultation. I’d like to stick to the one hour option because it is more affordable.

    Thank you!

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