Red Carpet Inspirations for a White Aisle Event [Bridal Guide post]

I'm usually not a big fan of awards shows, with their gaudy sets, the awkward banter between presenters, the tedious speechifying that leads to abrupt (and even more awkward) orchestral interventions. Sure, people (for the most part) are better dressed, but it's basically senior prom and the candidates' forum for freshmen class president amped up and rolled into one. 10 out of 10 on the awkward scale.  No higher than 3 on the entertainment meter.  What I do love, however, are the post-show fashion recaps -- on E!, in blogs (oh how I heart the caustic wit of the Fug Girls), and in magazines like Instyle and People.  

As I was perusing the Emmy recaps this year, it struck me that for the first time the recaps could actually be relevant.  My wedding day will be the one time that I a) get my hair done by a professional, b) employ the services of a makeup artist, c) wear a custom-fitted dress, and d) have hundreds of pictures taken of me.  So I thought I'd share with you some lessons/inspirations I took from the red carpet this year.

1) Careful with the bronzer.  Olivia Wilde looks gorgeous here in her Reem Acra dress -- which I love particularly because its embellished sheer sleeves are reminiscent of the ones on my own gown -- but the overuse of bronzer is making her face look muddy.  I use Bare Escentuals' "warmth" for my daily makeup regimen and would likely have been tempted to apply it a bit more heavy-handedly on wedding day.  Olivia, you saved me.

[All photos from]

2. Work a "skinny" pose.  I've read on various sites, including, that the key to a svelte look in front of the camera is a slightly contorted pose.  You basically turn partially away from the camera, put one foot in front of the other, point the toes of your front foot (which gives you a lean leg), and place your weight on your back foot.  And you lift your arms slightly away from the body to give your arm muscles some definition and to keep away the unsightly arm flab.

3. Get a hairstyle that can go from day to night. Heidi Klum works this loosely pulled back pony tail on the red carpet . . . 
. . . then releases it into vintage glam curls for the after parties.  Whereas Marcia Cross still looks a bit uptight and formal, Heidi's ready to schmooze and dance.  I'll totally be stealing this look to transition from the ceremony to the reception.
What inspirations or lessons did you take away from the awards shows this year?  Will you be working a red carpet look for your wedding day?

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