Wedding Recap, Part I: Prep

Because all the little touches leading up to and during the big day are far too many to list in an Instagram post, I've decided to dedicate a series of blog posts to those very things. Read on for the nitty gritty of how I prepped...






Unfortunately, I had a couple of very unwelcome zits the weeks leading up to the wedding. I have to attribute these to stress as I usually don't get deep-rooters of this variety anymore (thanks to my P50). No joke, 3 days before the wedding I contemplated getting the monster on my cheek injected with cortisone (apparently this is a thing) but thankfully 48 hours out (and thanks to my trusty tea tree oil) I woke up and the thing on my cheek had finally begun its retreat. It was still red but nothing makeup couldn't cover.

One thing I did do two weeks out that I was happy about was my first Hydrafacial. I'd been wanting to try one ever since I interviewed Kaitlyn Bristowe for Flare magazine; we discussed her beauty routine but it didn't end up making the mag. She had mentioned her love of Hydrafacials and after watching a mesmerizing video about it on Youtube I decided to give it a try. New Yorkers, I went to Dr. Anna Avaliani on the Upper East Side. For those interested, I can do a thorough review of the procedure as a separate post; it was definitely an experience!



I was once addicted to lash extensions and had to gradually wean myself off them (other former extension addicts know what I mean), so I wasn't going to dip back in without good reason. In fact, for both my wedding makeup trials, I had Rebecca (of Beautini) do individual falsies because I wanted to avoid extensions. Unfortunately, as great as she was at applying them, they just didn't have the same natural look and feel that extensions have. (In fact, when I came home from a trial, Andy asked me, "Why do you look like that?" about my eyelashes. Not quite what you want your husband-to-be to say when seeing your wedding face.) So I finally bit the bullet and got a full set of G-curl, 12 and 13 length lashes (in the semi-circle shape) and was super happy with this choice! New Yorkers, I went to Flair and they are phenomenal...




I loved my ombré but I was all too aware that it was a fad that might not age well. Also, because of the French twist style of my updo, the ends (aka the lightest bits) ended up at the top of my head, right next to my roots (aka the darkest bits), which just looked wrong. Taking all this into consideration, a week before the wedding, I had a gloss put on my hair to bring it closer to my natural color. This just seemed prudent, as I figure you can never regret natural!



I enjoy my beauty services as much as the next girl but am low maintenance about things I can do myself, and nails fall into that category. I did my own toes the week before the wedding (Essie's Ballet Slippers FTW!) but a few days from the big day, the nail on my ring finger tore while I was washing dishes. It looked terrible, so the night before the wedding I got a silk wrap on that one nail as well as a full manicure. I'd never done a silk wrap before (again, I am clueless when it comes to nails) and it was crazy! She made nail where there was none! Anyway, it was damn worth it since all eyes were on my left hand the whole day. New Yorkers, I stayed at the Andaz Wall Street the night before and booted it to nearby Black Label Salon before they closed at 9pm.


sharleenandy074 (Amanda Jaffe's conflicted copy 2017-09-10).jpg




About a month and a half out I tried to cut out sugar because I have a major sugar addiction, but unfortunately that lasted about a week, coming to a screeching halt on a trip to Ottawa to visit my parents (if you saw all the chocolate in that house you'd understand). I don't tend to fluctuate much on the scale and (save the occasional "fat day") am generally accepting of my BMI, so I didn't embark on any special diet. However, I did make an effort to not eat past 9pm on most nights (this is usually my go-to rule for getting back on track weight-wise). I ended up losing 2-3 pounds in the final two weeks partially due to that rule, but unfortunately I do have to attribute that to stress as well. I was running around like such a madwoman that I'd literally either forget to eat lunch, or I'd just inhale something while hustling from one appointment to another. (The week leading up to the wedding I'm pretty sure I ate Starbucks' Sous Vide Eggwhite bites at some point every single day... yes, I know that's disgusting... don't judge me.) I'm hypoglycemic and tend to be a grazer anyway to avoid "hanger" (I'm famous in my family for getting full quickly and hungry quickly) but, like I said, my regular meal situation was all out of whack in the final two weeks. 


I normally do about 3 barre classes a week and the occasional yoga class, but I had so much to do in the final few weeks that I barely got in one class a week. What I did do was a ton of walking (even more so than my usual NYC step count) and biking (a Citibike membership = priceless) from appointment to appointment. But yeah... not exactly in the shape of my life. 😐


I thought about getting a Mystic spray tan at my usual special-occasion-tan spot, Future Tan, but I was worried I'd look too dark, especially since it "tans" your face as well. Instead I did two rounds of my favorite at-home self tanner, Sephora's Tinted Self-Tanning Mist, which I was put onto by Andi Dorfman, and avoided my face altogether. It gives a good, natural-looking, and subtle bronze. Subtle was the goal!






I'm lucky enough that one of my closest girlfriends (and bridesmaid!), Alexa, is an all-star yoga teacher who actually does wedding day yoga for brides all the time. She met me at my hotel for an 8am private yoga session and it was DREAMY. I got in a workout while really getting grounded, both in body and mind. My favorite part was setting an "intention" for the day; mine was to remain present and to really soak in and experience the day. I tend to have a worrywart, perfectionist personality who notices everything and can dwell on the wrong details, so throughout the day I reminded myself of that intention and consciously told myself to just enjoy and to remain in the "now".



For the big day I knew I wanted "natural with glamour". I opted not to do airbrush foundation as in my trial I found I ended up very shiny later in the day (I know this isn't the case for everyone). Rebecca did line the bottom rims of my eyes with a dark powder as I know from experience that it makes my eyes pop and photographs well. We went with a nude lip but throughout the day I relied on none other than my trusty Pink Lady





My longtime readers know my rule: If you're going to bare the back, by all means SHOW IT OFF and put your hair up! I knew I'd like a dramatic yet classic updo, but honestly I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted. On our first trial, Mailey (also of Beautini) did a beautiful updo...


... and while I liked it a lot, I somehow wasn't jazzed about it. I'm very much a I-know-it-when-I-see-it person, so thankfully Mailey did a little research and found some Breakfast At Tiffany's-vibe inspo photos that did have me jazzed...


It was a little tricky marrying that slight bouffant front with that dramatic French twist, but Mailey was SO patient with my pickiness and I think really nailed it in the end. I loved the finished product...

Don't mind my star-print PJs. :)

Don't mind my star-print PJs. :)

By my request, Mailey also used some brunette spin pins (you can see the purple box in the first above photo as we made a run to Walgreens to get them; blondes, your color sells HERE). I swear by spin pins for getting that secure, firm feeling in an updo (I cannot stand a loose-feeling updo!) and for helping it hold up throughout the night.

At least one of Andy's hands always seems to be on my booty in the photos. 🙄

At least one of Andy's hands always seems to be on my booty in the photos. 🙄








That's it for Part I. Part II will cover what I wore, from the jewelry to my bridesmaids' dresses to my veil—plus wedding dress details! If you have any special requests for Part III (the topic of which I haven't yet decided), please let me know in the comments!


Thanks for stopping by!