No matter what time of day you wed, you want to look your best from your walk down the aisle until you exit your reception. Sometimes it’s tricky to figure out what kind of makeup look to choose that will not only be the perfect look for your wedding style, but also will be appropriate for the time of day at which your ceremony occurs and still look great in photographs that are taken in different lighting situations. An experienced makeup artist can steer you in the right direction based on what your wedding time and style will be, but here are some guidelines to get you started.
The first thing to consider is what time your ceremony and reception will take place. If you’re planning a morning or early afternoon ceremony and reception, a fresh, clean makeup look without a lot of drama is probably best for you. You’ll want to ask your makeup artist to stick to neutral or warm tones (which look great on anyone) and make sure the shades are very well blended. You can go for a more “dewy” look during a morning or early daytime wedding because the photographer will probably use more of the ambient light in the photos as opposed to direct flash, which can make that dewy look appear shiny or oily. Blush tones should be pink or apricot – think of the color your cheeks would flush if your groom had just whispered something really sweet in your ear! Lots of gloss on the lips is perfect for a daytime wedding, and a stain as opposed to an opaque lip color imparts a really nice, fresh and effortless look. Lastly, eyeliner doesn’t need to be prominent, but I do recommend that you use a little on your upper lid at the very least. Tightlining is a great technique that defines the lashes and eye without overloading the eye with color or creating the effect of closing in the eye.
If you are planning a mid-to-late afternoon ceremony with a reception as the sun sets, your makeup can take on a little bit more drama. I absolutely LOVE weddings during these times of the day because it gives brides the option of having two different makeup looks (or even two different looks entirely) to span both the afternoon and evening celebrations. Additionally, the light is ideal for late afternoon and early evening receptions because the golden sunset light is so romantic in photographs and is very flattering to the skin. It’s like a world full of candlelight! I’ve had brides do a more simple, fresh look for the early or mid afternoon ceremony, then slip away just before the reception starts for a 15 minute “transition” with an addition of extra eyeliner, a quick swipe of a brighter blush, and a bolder lip to bring them to an evening look. In general, makeup colors in general can be bolder, brighter, and more saturated. The later the wedding and reception, the more appropriate the smoky, dramatic look becomes. The key to the later weddings is maintaining a matte appearance to the skin, because flash photography can magnify any sheen that exists, particularly if that sheen is from a makeup additive like mica or other minerals. I also steer afternoon and evening brides away from sunscreen that is any higher than SPF 15, and suggest that their foundation contain as little titanium dioxide as possible. This is essential to avoiding the “ghost face” seen in flash photos where your face looks white and chalky and your body is another color!
Of course you will want to take your own everyday makeup style into consideration when planning your wedding makeup look. But do think of your wedding as an opportunity to try out something that you might normally not consider, because if you can’t play dress-up for your wedding day, when can you? Glamour girls, give a more natural, fresh look a try for your morning shindig; natural girls, try a bold lip for your formal fete. Whether you are planning a daytime or an evening wedding, finding a makeup look that coordinates with your both your personal style and your wedding style should not only make you feel perfect on your big day, but will help you look back on those photos and say, “I am beautiful!”