Wedding hair

Sep 13

Hen celebrations underway!

“I can’t believe we’re celebrating me getting married!” I exclaimed, as my friend Rachel whipped a flashing hen party badge out of her bag and handed it to me to pin to my top. We were sipping champagne (through L plate straws) and tucking into a generous serving of cakes, scones and sandwiches over afternoon tea in a central London hotel last Saturday – which, excitingly, marked the first of my hen celebrations.

Check out my straw!

Check out my straw!

We dubbed it my mini hen. And what a mini hen it was! Rach had taken me out because she’s not able to come on my official hen – a long weekend in Marbella starting on Friday – and although I’m super sad she won’t be joining us in Spain (particularly because we met while we were both living in Madrid) we more than made up for it in London.

I’d even banned Sean from contacting me for the duration. That’s what you’re supposed to do on a hen, right? Well – he failed spectacularly! I heard off him when Arsenal won their match, and again when it emerged they were top of the league. Hmm.



Anyway. I was thoroughly spoilt. “All the stress of wedding planning is finally paying off!” I remember thinking, as we ordered another bottle of fizz. Rach had gone above and beyond with prezzies too – presenting me with a goody bag that contained everything from the practical – vitamin C (can’t be getting ill before the big day!), hairspray, underwear and party feet – to the touching, including a gorgeous jewellery box, a bracelet, and a beautiful home made scrap book containing photos of me and Sean and words from this very blog, that moved me to tears as soon as I opened it.

We gossiped, we laughed, we fell over, and we had a stab at some dares. It was an amazing, memorable day.

Afternoon tea, fizz and an old friend. Lovely.

Afternoon tea, fizz and an old friend. Lovely.

I enjoyed it all the more because pretty much everything is sorted for the wedding now. I went home last weekend and mum and I ticked off most things we had left to do. We bought flower girl dresses and wedding rings, we picked up the champagne (very important), we trialled a brilliant hair and makeup artist, I ordered presents for my bridesmaids and stationery for place settings and table plans, I sorted out our honeymoon visas and travel insurance, booked our trains home for the wedding, I visited our family friend Lesley to organize the music (she’s playing piano for us during the ceremony) and we visited the venue to run through the order of the day, tell them our final numbers and suppliers and choose table cloths etc.

Most our jobs are now done. Including picking up the champagne...

Most our jobs are now done. Including picking up the champagne…

Everything is pretty much sorted – so now, with just over one month to go, we can breathe a sigh of relief and get down to celebrating. Finally!

May 13

How will I have my hair for the big day?

My hair has been a lifelong battle. It’s curly and thick and difficult to control if it’s anything but sunny and dry – and I’ve already formed a contingency plan to have a pair of emergency GHDs at our venue in case it’s raining. Because rain equals game over on me looking well-groomed, whether it’s my wedding day or not!

People keep asking me how I’ll be having my hair at the wedding, and until recently I hadn’t given it much thought, other than that I definitely want it long and down. Then, I went to the launch of Holly Willoughby’s latest clothing line and she was wearing her hair in the perfect, perfect style. I snapped a cheeky photo while she was giving a speech…

I think Holly's 'do is perfect for a wedding

I think Holly’s ‘do is perfect for a wedding

I think I’ll probably get a hairdresser in to do my hair on the day – not to wash and blow dry it (I find I get better results myself because professionals always underestimate how unruly it is!) but to put it up and make sure it will hold in the style I choose.

Other than style, there’s the issue of colour to tackle. I veer between being blonde and having my hair red – and since I’m getting married in the Autumn, I’m thinking red would look the best. (Also, it suits me best red anyway.) But getting the shade right is tricky.

So when Wella invited me down to their HQ to try out their new Illumina range – which apparently leaves your hair 70 per cent shinier than it is naturally – I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. Who better to advise me on wedding hair than the experts?

My hair was looking pretty dull, drab and lifeless before Martin worked his magic.

My hair was looking pretty dull, drab and lifeless before Martin worked his magic.

While getting my hair done and munching on the tasty pizza they’d provided, I picked the brains of my colourist Martin Quenault, salon director at KH Ashby and art team member at KH Hair. He’s behind loads of poster campaigns for KH and works the shows at London Fashion Week, so I was in good hands.

“Get your final colour done about a week before the wedding,” he advised. “You don’t want any regrowth but you do want it to settle down a bit. Definitely experiment before this, though. Decide what colour you want long before you get your final colour done! While you’re working out what you want, take in swatches of your bridesmaids dresses so your hairdresser knows what shades will and won’t look good on your big day.”

Interesting! I’d never have thought of that but it definitely makes sense.

Flicking through the Illumina colour charts!

Flicking through the Illumina colour charts!

“Don’t do anything too drastic before the wedding – unless you’re super confident. And look around for hair accessories you want well in advance. They have to go with your dress, obviously, and you’ll need to take them with you to your trial.” I’ve already bought mine, but I’m keeping them hush hush along with the dress… I’d best make sure they arrive before I book a hair trial with a stylist, actually. I’ll add that to my ever-increasing ‘to do’ list.

Martin put three colours on my hair – Very Light Brunette Blonde mixed with Medium Red Gold Blonde mixed with Light Blonde, and I was really, really pleased with the results. This is definitely how I want it for the wedding – if I can find someone to do as good a job as Martin, that is…


Ta-dah! The end result.


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