Our Editors Are Wedding Experts—Hear Their Best Advice on This Week's Podcast
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Did you know that 2022 is projected to be the year with the most weddings in recent history? If you're not one of the many brides vying for a date, vendor, or venue, then there's a good chance you're planning to attend at least one (if not several) this spring, summer, and beyond. While we can't do much in terms of bridesmaid drama or travel coordinating, we can definitely help you out when it comes to all things fashion and beauty. On this week's episode of Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr, EIC Kat Collings and senior market editor Nicole Eshaghpour are breaking down everything from the dos and don'ts of formal attire to the best brands for bridesmaids on a budget to what to tell your hair or makeup artists should you be planning for some pre-wedding glam. Below, you'll find a sneak peek of what they had to say, but be sure to listen here for the full rundown of what every prospective wedding guest should know.
Let's start with the invite, because I feel like that's the Rosetta Stone of all wedding-outfit decisions. So obviously, some folks put [attire] information on the invite. Some folks put it on a wedding website. But if there isn't something super explicit, how do you figure out what to wear?
Kat Collings: There are some ways I think like Sherlock Holmes. … If they're not explicit, one is to consider his time of day. So generally, the later in the evening the wedding is happening, the more formal the outfit. If I've been to a wedding brunch before, that's probably your most casual end of the spectrum. And Nicole, you've talked about location before. … There's sometimes a little information buried in there, right?
Nicole Eshaghpour: Yeah, I definitely think that you can figure out a lot just from where a wedding is if you know that you're going to a wedding that's by the beach. Besides how you're going to feel physically if it's hot or if it's sticky. You also don't want to wear something that looks like it's more appropriate for a ballroom or if you're going to a wedding in a church. You want to be respectful of where you're going and not dress like you're going to a wedding in Mexico. So I think you can figure out a lot from the invitation. And then if things get a little vague, it never hurts to try to do some investigating.
Photo:The Mega Agency
What makes something formal in your opinion? And how do you make that distinction between formal and semiformal or formal and cocktail?
KC: I would say that I think of semiformal as squarely a cocktail dress. Semiformal: gowns not apply. And then formal, that's where you get a range, from the dressier side of cocktail dresses to full-length formal gowns, but stopping short of black-tie, which is like ball gown.
NE: Yeah, you don't need a train. If it's a formal event, it should probably stop at the floor.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that, as a guest, you never need a train at a wedding, because there's only one person who has that option. And that's the bride. I'm old-fashioned, though, in that sense!
How do the two of you think about hair and makeup for weddings, specifically as a guest?
NE: Ideally, show them a picture of what you want. Try to show a picture of yourself, and if you're not showing a picture of yourself, you need to look at the photo and say, "Do I like the makeup in this photo, or is Hailey Bieber just gorgeous and has amazing skin?"
I think the same goes with hair. If I'm ever getting my hair done with someone who I've never used before, I do a quick scroll through my camera roll, and I'm like, "Where is me with hair that I like? What's the shape that I like?" And I try to be as explicit as possible. … Do you want your hair curly or wavy? Do you want volume or no volume? That is literally going to change the entire look of how it comes out. And the same goes with makeup. I like dewy makeup. I don't want my skin to look super matte. Those are complete opposites. And it's a complete opposite technique. So just know how to describe what you like, and try to give them as much information as possible.
A wedding is obviously a long event. There's a lot of photography. You're eating, you're drinking, you're dancing, you're sweating, you're doing all kinds of things. Any tips to make your makeup last or your hair last?
KC: For makeup, I do think it's all about primer, which is a step before you put any foundation or things like that on but after you do your skincare, sunscreen. I like Hourglass. … It pushes you over the edge and to the point where this makeup application looks professional rather than amateur and has that staying power. And it's an annoying step. It's like an extra product, whatever. But there's a reason every pro makeup artist uses that.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Next up, check out our previous episode featuring the author of Anna: The Biography, Amy Odell.