Achieving an A-List Look for Your Wedding Day

Posted on May 21, 2019

For a bride-to-be, one of the most important parts of planning a wedding, aside from the dress itself, is deciding on her hair and make-up.

That said, trawling through numerous Instagram pics and Pinterest posts can also get a little overwhelming – and that’s where having a professional hair and make-up artist, such as Melissa Oldridge, can really come into its own.

Bridal hair and make-up

“One of the first things that we do with a bride-to-be is sit down and figure out exactly the sort of style she is looking for,” says Melissa. “So, for example, a bride might bring with her a selection of photos she has found on Pinterest. We will then look at these together and pinpoint exactly which element of each picture she likes – and then, taking into account her skin colour, hair type and age, devise the look accordingly.”

Bridal hair by Melissa Oldridge. Photo Mindy Coe Photography
Bridal hair and makeup by Melissa Oldridge. Photo Mindy Coe Photography.

A hair and make-up artist for more than a decade, Melissa began her career working in film and television, and then fashion, before making the move into weddings. Now the creative director of her own Surrey-based business, Melissa Oldridge Bridal, she has helped numerous brides to create the look of their dreams – whether that’s a natural, rustic feel with loose,tousled waves; the more elaborate princess-style plaiting of Game of Thrones; or a highly-styled, vintage look akin to the golden age of Hollywood.

“For now at least, it’s very much the natural look that’s on-trend – boosted by Meghan and Harry’s wedding,”

Consider understated make-up, dewy skin and soft tendrils of hair – perhaps with the added embellishment of a few flowers, such as gypsophila, or fine golden vines woven through. That’s certainly a look that would work well here at The Botley Hill Wedding Barn, with its stunning countryside setting.

Bridal hair and makeup by Melissa Oldridge. Photo Mindy Coe Photography
Bridal hair and makeup by Melissa Oldridge. Photo Mindy Coe Photography.

“Funnily enough, though, that natural, effortless appearance can be quite a tricky one to achieve – and as professionals that’s where we can come in. For example, to create that lovely luminous look, we would use a combination of special primers, highlighters and shimmers. Depending on the style of the dress, we might also extend this to the body as well – perhaps by delicately highlighting the collarbone.”

Professional detail

Aside from ensuring that the bride looks her very best, having a professional on hand can help in other ways as well – not least with providing complete peace of mind. For instance, in the case of Melissa and her team, every last detail of the bride’s look will be finalised at a trial run several weeks ahead of the wedding. At this point, the precise products will be chosen, too, reflecting the bride’s personal preferences – so, for example, she may wish to use only vegan and cruelty-free items.

On the day itself, an exact timetable is devised to ensure everything runs like clockwork – whilst still leaving enough time for the bride to enjoy a relaxing glass of champagne before the ceremony.

“As a professional hair and make-up artist, it is our job to take the stress out of everything,” says Melissa. “So, as well as figuring out the logistics of the day, we are also well-versed in collaborating with other professionals too.

“For example in the lead-up to the wedding, we might work with the florist to weave in aspects of the chosen bouquet into the hair decorations – or, on the day itself, liaise with the photographer over the positioning of the lighting to ensure the photos are the best and most flattering they can be.

“In summary, it’s our job to think of everything so that the bride doesn’t have to.”

Tie the Knot

The Barn at Botley Hill is a new luxury Surrey wedding venue on the Titsey Estate, within easy reach of London.


The Barn at Botley Hill, Limpsfield Road,
Titsey Hill, Surrey. CR6 9QH

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07920 085454