Whether you’re the girl who’s been planning her wedding day her whole life or the one who doesn’t know where to start, getting all the details right for your big day can be a daunting task. For many South Asian brides, it isn’t usually the venue or the guest list that gets her in a panic, but rather what to wear. Should it be traditional or Western or a mix of both? What will the bridesmaids wear? And considering that bridal fashion in India varies from region to region, it’s hard to know how to incorporate all of those unique elements while also staying true to your individual style. Helping brides-to-be sort through the sartorial confusion is where a bridal stylist comes in. Much like a wedding planner, a stylist fine tunes every detail of a bride’s wedding day style from dress, hair and make-up to help her look her absolute best.
To learn more about what a bridal stylist does and why you need one, we spoke with Sonia Sandhu of Sonia Sandhu Bridal, a seasoned bridal stylist who works with brides all across the US.
Why does a bride need a stylist?
Brides want to make sure they look polished and perfect on their special day and a top stylist can help them do that. Mothers and bridesmaids are great but they get busy attending to other things and getting ready themselves and someone needs to be there to give the bride the attention she needs. And that’s where I come in. Stylists also know the latest trends in fashion, hair and make-up to help the bride look nothing less than perfection.
How did you start your business?
I have been in the beauty industry for over 15 years. Makeup/Beauty/Fashion is my passion and I love to make people feel happy and look beautiful! I currently run my own business as well as freelance for MAC Cosmetics in the Chicago area. I have been involved with MAC since 2000 and being trained by MAC has been such an asset to my career. I have also been trained in London by Ash Kumar who is a leader in the South Asian beauty world. I learned tips and tricks that have helped advance my artistic techniques and give my clients the very best. I do bridal events as well as fashion and with both I love to use color to enhance the natural beauty of my clients. My South Asian clients always want to look like a Bollywood star so using an array of colors in bridal events is the norm. For fashion, I tend to use a cleaner look with a splash of color. I saw a need for more modern bridal artists who knew the trends and thus began my career in the South Asian bridal world.
What have you found to be the main concern for brides regarding their look/attire on their wedding day?
Most brides want to make sure they look and feel perfect in pictures as well as face to face interactions. Once the wedding day is over all you have are the photos of your cherished memories of that special day. I work with brides to make sure that everything is impeccable and that nothing is out of place.
What advice would you give a bride-to-be regarding the selection of her bridal apparel and accessories?
My advice is to make sure that their apparel is modern and is truly them. Don’t buy items just for fashion’s sake. You don’t want to look back at your pictures years from now and say “Wow, what was I thinking wearing that?” Outfits and accessories should always be tasteful and elegant.
What trends have you noticed recently for bridal fashion?
I have noticed that most of the brides are going very traditional for the wedding and very modern for the reception. This way they are mixing Eastern and Western culture.
What are some of your do’s and don’ts for brides on their wedding day?
Do’s for brides are get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and enjoy your day. Take a moment during your wedding to stop and clear your mind and embrace everything around you. You have waited for this day for so long, make sure you remember it since it goes by so fast.
Who have some of your favorite celebrity brides been?
I believe all of the brides in Bollywood and Hollywood have been amazing. Each of them had something different and special that makes us remember them. I still love Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. She was simply elegant and timeless. Every bride should be as flawless as her!
It takes more than talent to make it on Hollywood’s red carpet.
Beauty has always been Shalini Vadhera’s passion…