From bustiers to blush

Beauty is in the details

By Laurie Higgins
Contributing Writer

A gorgeous dress goes along way toward making a bride feel glamorous, but true radiance comes from the perfect finishing touches. Aimee Guthinger, owner of Bedroom I’s Boutique in Osterville, ruefully points out that brides have a tendency to forget that what’s underneath can really affect how a dress looks.

“Most girls don’t wait their whole life to get fitted for a bra,” she says. “They wait their whole life to pick out a dress. It would actually be a much better thing if they were to pick out the foundations first and then go shopping with it on. It’s like what comes first, the chicken or the egg?”


In her experience, most brides do the opposite. They find a dress they love and then try to find a way to make it work. While that is possible in most cases, there are a few instances where brides are disappointed. That said, Guthinger advises brides who have already bought their dresses to not despair. Just be sure to bring the dress in when they get fitted for their foundation garments.

Many brides choose bustiers rather than bras because they feel more secure, Guthinger says, noting a wedding dress can be quite heavy and feel like it is pulling. The most popular bustier is Le Mystere because it has a sweetheart plunge in the front and is low in the back. It also comes down far over the stomach so there are no bulges or pouches when the bride sits down.

For bottoms, most brides choose something smoothing so there is a seamless look for the photographs. If the wedding gown has a lot of layers, a popular choice is a lacy bottom for a more feminine (code word in the industry for sexy) look. For brides who are not the blushing kind, powder blue thongs accomplish two things at once – a sexy bottom and something blue. Bedroom I’s has an embroidery service so brides can surprise their hubby’s with their new Mrs. names embroidered on the front of the thong.  Ooh la la! 

Garters are big last-minute items and the biggest sellers are ones with blue ribbons on them. But they are just for fun, especially since many Cape brides don’t wear stockings or hose at all. 

“A lot of times it comes down to shapewear because the dresses are so clingy these days that people really need something that’s going to give them a smooth finish,” Guthinger says. 

To that end there are Capri length body wraps with both regular and high waists and bandless hose that offer a smooth line. There are also pantyhose with thong-style toes to accommodate open toed shoes.

Once your undergarments are picked out, it’s time to plan your skin, hair and makeup.  Sara Gilman, wedding coordinator at Oceanside Hair and Spa in Brewster, offers some great tips for making sure brides glow on their wedding day.
“If they’re doing facials they probably want to start those six months prior to the wedding date, once a month to get their skin in good shape and hopefully no blemishes show up from the stress,” she says.

To avoid crunch time stress, she recommends having a massage and exfoliation within a week of the wedding. For brides who want an extra glow, the salon offers a tanning bed and booth and also does spray tanning. 

Manicures and pedicures are done the day before the wedding to give them time to set.  The most common choices for brides are French manicures on both fingers and toes or shades of pink.

Since the bride’s hair style is so important to the look she will convey, Gilman recommends that brides have a trial appointment before the big day if there’s time. 

“It’s better if they can get in here before the wedding to make sure they’re going to like what they get done because a lot of times they change their mind a couple of times,” she says. “And it’s good to just see it on you because you never really know how it’s going to transpose from a photo to your head.”

A current popular hair style is side-swept bangs with a little volume on the crown. A lot of brides with longer hair are opting for a half up and half down hairdo with a lot of curls.

“Definitely bring your veil with you for your trial and on the day of bring whoever is going to be taking it out if you do take it out for the reception. You want to make sure they know how to get it out without ruining your hair,” she advises. 
Another important tip is to be sure you are wearing a button-down shirt so you don’t mess up your hair when it’s time to change into your wedding gown.

Oceanside Hair and Spa also does a full makeup service that is popular with brides and bridal parties. Mineral makeup is their first choice because it’s pure pigment and has anti-aging benefits for the skin. 

“Most brides will say that they want very natural makeup,” Gilman says. “Sometimes if it’s an evening wedding we’ll do more of the smoky eyes and a little bit deeper pigments, but most want natural earth tones.”

Foundation is a must so your complexion looks perfect in the photos. That’s followed by powder, and either a blush or bronzer or a little of both. Gilman mixes a few colors for eye shadows and recommends a little eye liner and especially with blondes, some eyebrow highlighting so their expressions show up well. Finish with a flattering lipstick with a little gloss for shine and always use lip liner for longer lasting coverage.

For touch ups throughout the day, Gilman recommends that brides keep lipstick, deodorant and powder in their purses.