Monday 27th May 2024

Wedding guest prep: what to spend to look fabulous

Wedding Preparations

Oh my goodness, weddings are so expensive! Don’t get too excited, guys! My partner hasn’t popped the question just yet, but I attended a wedding this weekend. Even as a guest, I found that I was splashing out so that I looked my best, and it all added up. As a disclaimer, I should add that I have chosen to spend this money – I wasn’t a bridesmaid, but the partner of a witness, so I knew there would be a tonne of photos taken. Also, we literally never go anywhere, so it was a good excuse to glam up a bit. That said, when you’re usually a bit of a slob, it costs a fair bit to go from scummy to scrummy! Here’s a run-down of what I spent, where I saved, and where I splurged!

Hair – Getting my hair done always makes me feel amazing! I would strongly recommend that if you meet someone who can do your hair well, make them your hairdressing life partner! I have a hairdresser who I always use, and she knows how I like my hair doing.

Even just a little trim can freshen up your look, but I decided to have some rose gold highlights done to add a bit of fun. My hairdresser used Crazy Colour in Pinkissimo on dark blonde highlights to get the rose gold tint. My cut and colour cost about £40 but prices vary from salon to salon. Style-wise, I got a pal who is great at vintage hair to teach me how to set curls in order to create a Marilyn Monroe inspired look on the day; I needed tongs which I picked from Debenhams for £12.99, and also kirby grips and hairspray for which I usually get from a pound store.

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When you’re usually a bit of a slob, it costs a fair bit to go from scummy to scrummy!

Nails – This one’s a huge issue for me, as I am a biter! Just when I think I’m doing well, nerves get the better of me and every single nail is bitten down to the cuticle. Unfortunately, this makes my mitts look less than glam!

I used the website Treatwell to find a salon that did acrylic nails for £20 including polish (red with sparkles, if you must know!). If you have nice nails already, a gel-ish polish or a manicure is a little gentler on your nails, but mine were horrendous so it was falsies or nothing! I personally prefer it if the technician uses an emery board to buff my nails rather than the electric sander thing as the former causes less damage! There are nail bars in most town centres now and, with most, you can get walk-in appointments. If you’re a bit clumsy, like me, get them done as close to the wedding as possible to avoid breaks, chips, or the nails growing out before you party.

Eyebrows – When I was at school, I didn’t bother with shaping my brows until a well-meaning ‘friend’ pointed out that I could play a villain in a film because of my monobrow. Since then, I’ve been plucking crazy, as it were. Of course, the most coin-conscious person can shape their brows themselves with just a mirror, a pair of tweezers, and a steady hand! But, if you’re feeling flusher, you can visit a brow bar – Superdrug does threading (eyebrow plucking with string) for about £5. But, I really pushed the boat out and had my brows waxed at the Benefit brow bar. It cost me £12.50, and they did a great job shaping my brows into a perfect arch. They also do a brow tint for just a few pounds more, if you want to go a little darker.

When I was at school, I didn’t bother with shaping my brows until a well-meaning ‘friend’ pointed out that I could play a villain in a film because of my monobrow.

Makeup – I had most of the makeup I needed, but there were a couple of bits of kit I wanted to freshen up for the wedding. I’m a high street makeup kind of gal, so I always check out both Boots and Superdrug to see what the best deals are. Usually you can bag a buy one get one half price or a 3 for 2 offer at one or the other.

Boots are currently doing a buy one get one half price on Rimmel, and I absolutely swear by their Provocalips for a long lasting red lippy. I wore the shade ‘Kiss Me You Fool’ for the wedding, but love the darker ‘Play with Fire’ shade as well. I also picked up some new applicator sponges (£1.50 for two from Primark) and a bottle of Rimmel Match Perfection foundation in ‘Light Porcelain’ – because I’m so pale that I’m almost transparent!

If you’ve got a bit more cash to flash, it’s always fun to pop to your nearest department store and try some of the fantastic products by Benefit, Lancôme, bareMinerals, Mac or any of the other big ticket brands. La Prairie does a foundation for £149.99… for that price, I would want them to guarantee that putting it on would make me look like Jennifer Lawrence! No ifs, no buts, no coconuts!

Outfit – I was wearing a cherry print wiggle dress, red patent leather heels, a black wrap, seamed tights, and a new handbag. I had the dress already – picked up from the Collectif website in their summer sale for a cool £13.00. The wrap was a gift but, to be fair, you can get pashminas from eBay for only a couple of quid. If you’re splashing out on something new, nothing beats a sale purchase! I love seamed stockings/tights, both of which are available at Primark (£3.50 for stockings/£3.00 for tights), as they always look stylish – except when they get a ladder…so you’d better pick up two pairs! The heels were by Pin Up Couture, and retail at around £55, but I got them from eBay for £25 – thank God for people who buy shoes that they never wear! I knew it would be a long day, so I also bought a pair of roll up ballet flats, just in case the heels got too much! My cherry print handbag by Banned was picked up on Amazon for £29.99. To top it off and complete the look, I bought a rose hair fascinator for £3.50 from Amazon – I didn’t think about this one until the last minute, but if you have more time then check out the vast selection that the international sellers have to offer on eBay. Be aware though, these can take up to two months to arrive in the UK.

The heels retail at around £55, but I got them from eBay for £25. Thank God for people who buy shoes that they never wear!

To give you a bit of inspiration, I’ve created a Pinterest board, which includes links to the sites I used and the products I bought, as well as places that I went to for ideas. Whether you’re splashing out, squeezing every penny, or something in between, there’s nothing to stop you from looking a million dollars when attending a big event. Do your research, shop around, and for Pete’s sake, pass the prosecco!

P.S. If you want to know how it all turned out, here’s my partner and me showing off the end result on the big day:


Rosie Earl

Uber-geek and tv addict. Keen writer and professional trainer in the financial sector. Rubbish at maths

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