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The Well-Groomed Groom January 24, 2017

Weddings are a chance for couples tying the knot to be the center of attention. All eyes will be glued to the bride and groom on this special day, so it's important that they look their best.

The bride might garner most of the attention on a couple's wedding day, but the dashing groom also will get his share of the spotlight. As a result, gentlemen must be as diligent as their brides with regard to grooming and appearance on their wedding days. To look picture-perfect, grooms may want to include these tips in their wedding day preparation.

Hair

The groom-to-be should schedule a haircut with a professional stylist roughly a week before the wedding to get his hair shaped and trimmed. Although trendy hairstyles may show off creativity, grooms-to-be should keep in mind that photos will last much longer than these trends, and it is often better to stick with a classic cut. A barber or stylist may suggest styles that best suit one's face shape and hair texture, though it's a good idea to test drive a different style well in advance of the big day. Above all, the haircut should be neat.

Shaving

Shaving is another thing grooms must consider. Gentlemen with a beard should make sure their facial hair is clean, combed, and trimmed. Men who shave on the day of their weddings may find their skin is sensitive and irritated, which can lead to redness. Unless his facial hair grows especially fast, the groom-to-be should shave the evening before. This is a good time to splurge on a professional shave with a straight razor at a barber shop. A hot shave from a professional will produce a close shave with the least amount of irritation when done correctly.

Hands

Grooms also may want to book a manicure. Keep in mind that salons will do men's nonpolish manicures and pedicures, and they can be well worth the investment. Photos of entwined hands or close-ups of the ring exchange will have guests zeroing in on the couple's fingers. Grooms-to-be should make sure their hands look their best by having clean, shaped fingernails and trimmed cuticles.

Skin

Get plenty of sleep the night prior to the wedding. Being well rested will help reduce puffy eyes, dark circles and sallow skin. It may also lead to a more positive mood, which can help the groom enjoy the day even more.

On the day of the wedding, shower using water and a mild soap and gentle exfoliator. To avoid skin irritation, the groom should pat his face and body dry rather than rubbing it with the towel. The groom-to-be should moisturize his skin to avoid dry patches. Stores sell many moisturizers geared toward men's needs, often in unscented or more masculine fragrances.

Drinking plenty of water can also help skin look its best. Hydrate well during the week leading up to the wedding for best results, and be careful not to over-indulge on alcohol at pre-wedding celebrations, especially the night before.

Reducing shine is key for wedding day photos. Rely on face and hair products that will not add unnecessary sheen to the skin or hair, which could create a greasy appearance. Matte hair waxes and sprays will tame tresses. Also, gentlemen prone to oily skin may want to obtain a package of blotting tissues, which are absorbent sheets that will remove oil from the face and keep sheen to a minimum.

Smile

A groom-to-be should make sure his teeth have been thoroughly brushed and that he has used a minty mouthwash so he is ready for that first kiss. Many grooms also opt for whitening treatments prior to the wedding to have a dazzling smile.

On his wedding day, a groom will likely be photographed more than any other time in his life. That means putting extra effort into personal grooming so he will look his best.

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Rain, Rain - That's OK! January 24, 2017

A beautiful backdrop like ocean waves or rolling country hills lends a lot to a wedding, making the day enjoyable for couples and their guests. But Mother Nature also presents risks to those planning to host an outdoor wedding. Weather is unpredictable, and couples who hope to tie the knot in the great outdoors must develop a contingency plan just in case Mother Nature decides to rain on their parade. While outdoor wedding venues often have backup venues in place, couples can take some additional steps to ensure a rainy day will not ruin the wedding.

· Find a place to take photos. Many couples arrange for outdoor wedding photos whether they are tying the knot indoors or outdoors, but couples should also arrange for a place to take photos indoors in case there is inclement weather. If possible, the couple should walk the grounds of the ceremony or reception site with the photographer in the weeks before the wedding to scout out potential areas to shoot indoors in case the weather does not cooperate. Ask a representative from the venue to recommend potential photo locations.

· Consider a tent. Some wedding venues are exclusively outdoors, meaning they do not have indoor backup options on their premises. If this is the case, couples may rent tents to serve as their safety nets. If a venue has no indoor alternatives, a tent should be considered and factored into the budget.

· Establish a cutoff time. Depending on how remote the ceremony location is, couples might be able to wait until a few hours before their weddings to decide if they will still tie the knot outdoors. Make the call earlier if the wedding is to be held at an especially remote location. At the cutoff time, let guests know where the wedding will be. Include information about the cutoff time on the wedding website and/or invitations. Use a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter to inform guests of the final decision.

· Provide umbrellas. Some inclement weather may not be enough to deter couples or guests from braving the great outdoors. Couples getting married in the summer may be able to withstand a summer shower, but they should provide guests with umbrellas just to be safe. The umbrellas can be mementos of the event.

· Insure the wedding. Couples who are hosting destination weddings on tropical isles should look into insuring their weddings. Such islands might be susceptible to harmful storms like hurricanes, which can prevent weddings from taking place. Insurance can cover couples for a host of unforeseen circumstances, including weather.

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Quite A Sight In White January 24, 2017

Many brides walk down the aisle in white gowns, which have long been considered the most traditional choice. Wearing white can be a frightening prospect to some brides, who fear that white clearly shows every blemish or stain. Protecting a white dress so it looks pristine on the wedding day takes a little effort, but such efforts are well worth it.

Before The Wedding

When trying on gowns, brides-to-be should make sure their hands are clean and they are not wearing any makeup. They may want to wear a thin pair of gloves so any oils from their hands are not transferred to the gown. Anyone who helps the bride-to-be in and out of the gown should also make sure their hands are clean or covered.

The bride-to-be should try on the gown sparingly before the wedding, ideally only for fittings. When she is not trying on the gown, she should store it in a protective garment bag until it needs to be steamed just prior to the wedding. Some seamstresses or tailors will hold onto the gown until the final alterations are done and then steam out any wrinkles prior to delivery.

Wedding Day

On the day of the wedding, resist the urge to handle the gown early in the day. The gown should be the last thing the bride puts on during wedding day preparations.

Wait until just before departing for the service to get fully dressed in the gown. Again, the bride should make sure her hands and the hands of her helpers are clean. The bride should ask for help so that the dress can be placed gingerly over her head so no makeup gets on the gown. Some brides may find it helpful to make lipstick application their last step in getting ready, as bright lipstick on a white gown can be especially difficult to conceal.

Pack an emergency stain-fighting kit to bring along to the ceremony and reception. This way, should a minor stain occur, it can be treated right away. The bride should use the kit sparingly because she may not know exactly how a cleaning product will react with the gown's fabric, and overuse may make the stain worse. If possible, test the product on a small swatch of gown fabric prior to use.

After The Wedding

Use caution when removing the gown, and then promptly repackage it into its garment bag. After the wedding, take the gown to a professional dry cleaner to have it cleaned and preserved. Then the gown can be used by future generations or simply saved as a keepsake.

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Beauty Basics For Brides August 1, 2016

All eyes are on the bride and groom on their wedding day. Feeling beautiful and dapper can boost a couple's confidence and ensure they look back on their wedding photographs and videos with pride.

Certain beauty basics and makeup and hair strategies can help any bride look spectacular on her wedding day. The following are some do's and don'ts of wedding day beauty preparations.

DO employ the services of a professional hairstylist and makeup artist. Professionals have the experience and tools of the trade to help a bride to look her best. From contouring to make one's face seem slimmer to enlarging the appearance of small eyes, some tricks of the trade are best left to the pros.

DON'T forget to schedule a trial run. A bride should make this appointment several months before the wedding day so that she has ample time to work with the stylists and experiment with colors and hair arrangements to fit her personality and the style of her gown. She should take plenty of pictures and notes so she will remember what needs to be on hand for the wedding day.

DO bring a veil, headpiece, hair extensions, and any other accessories to the hair consult. This enables the stylist to practice working with these items.

DON'T make any drastic changes to one's appearance right before the wedding. This includes changing hair color or texture, extreme tanning, using colored contact lenses, or chopping off all of one's hair. It's better to wait until after the wedding to change one's style.

DO allot enough time for the wedding day beauty appointment. If the bride will be going to a salon, she should block out two or more slots instead of one. This way the stylist does not overbook and will not feel rushed. Many brides opt to have stylists come to their homes. There may be an extra charge for this service, but it may be well worth the cost.

DON'T tweeze or wax brows too close to the start of the ceremony. Redness and swelling are common side effects of tweezing and waxing, and they can be difficult to mask with makeup. Instead, take care of hair removal a day or two prior to the wedding.

DO exfoliate skin prior to the wedding. This doesn't necessarily mean a bride should endure a harsh fruit acid peel or another procedure. She can exfoliate with a gentle washing of her skin with a washcloth to remove any dryness and errant flakes. Moisturize well to ensure a smooth palette for makeup application.

DON'T wash or condition hair on the day of the wedding if the stylist says not to. Intricate styles tend to stay better when hair has a little grip. "Dirty" hair is easier to work with than shiny, freshly washed locks. If a bride must wash her hair, she should thoroughly dry it before going to her appointment.

DO wear a little extra makeup than normal. This way, it will show up better in photos. However, the bride should not wear so much that she looks clownish. A makeup artist can help her achieve the right balance.

DON'T have bridesmaids wear makeup that is bolder than the bride's, especially red lips. No one should upstage the bride.

DO experiment with products. Brides should test any products they haven't used before to test for allergic reactions and see how well the products wear.

DON'T wear too much under-eye concealer or one that is too light of a shade. This can draw more attention to problem areas than remedy them.

DO bring a pain relief medication in case a tight hairstyle or headpiece causes a headache.

DON'T forget that men need a little help as well. Exfoliation and moisturization can help dry skin. Guys should use a new razor and plenty of cream before shaving to avoid irritation. A dusting of finishing powder can banish shiny noses and foreheads for photo-ready faces.

Chances are more photographs will be taken of a couple on their wedding day than at any other moment in their lives. Certain beauty do's and don'ts should be followed so couples put their best faces forward.

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Nail Color: The Finishing Touch To Wedding Day Preparation August 1, 2016

Certainly a bride's gown receives its fair share of attention on her wedding day, especially in those first moments when she proceeds down the aisle to her soon-to-be spouse. But another element of the bride's appearance will be noticed ... her hands. Wedding guests will be anxious to see the wedding ring, and photographs of the couple holding hands typically are included in the wedding album. A bride's hands should look as polished as the rest of her wedding day ensemble.

There are no established rules when it comes to wedding day nail polish. Colors can range from neutrals and traditional shades to shades that are brighter and more exotic. Some brides like to wear blue nail polish, which gives them flair and completes the requisite "something blue." Brides who are not sure what to choose for a wedding day color may see if one of these suggestions fits their style.

Nude colors

Brides may want to downplay their nails and not let them detract from their rings or gowns. Using nude colors will help achieve this. Nudes can include blush pink, off-white and beige-toned nail polish alone or in combination, such as with a French manicure. Some brides choose to go with clear polish and let their natural nails shine through.

Glitter

For a bit more pizzazz, brides can have their nails done with a nude or clear color enhanced with glitter. The glitter will add a bit of sparkle that can complement the shine of wedding rings and any embellishments on gowns or veils. An alternative is to have tiny faux gems embedded into the polish near the base of the nail where it meets the cuticle.

Nail Art

Polish can be enhanced further with nail appliques or painted-on designs. It's common for nail art to only appear on one nail of each hand, and it's usually reserved for the ring finger. As people admire the wedding ring, they also can grab a peek at some fun nail art designs.

Bold and Beautiful

Brides who really want to make a statement can select a bold color for their nail polish. Coral and deep pinks can be a stark contrast against a white gown and add a bit of drama to a bride's look. Brides also may want to coordinate their nail colors with the theme of the wedding. A blue or teal shade for an oceanside wedding or a lavender shade for a spring wedding amid tons of blooms can look beautiful.

It pays to have nails professionally manicured so that fingers will be flawless. A manicure also provides a little pampering before the demands of the wedding day set in.

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A Tip from a Pro - Niche Fragrances September 4, 2013

"Everyone looks for ways to express individuality in a world that is becoming commercialized. Niche fragrances are a perfect solution to conformity."

Lorraine L. Brady, owner of Perfume House by Lorraine, Lititz

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Going Green On Your Big Day: August 23, 2013

Couples about to tie the knot can make their weddings even more special by making the festivities eco-friendly.

Environmentally friendly ideals are now permeating all aspects of daily living, and couples who already do their best to reduce, reuse, and recycle may want to employ those same values on their wedding day. The growing interest in eco-conscious weddings not only benefits the planet, but also allows couples to set their weddings apart, as eco-friendly aspects can help create unique memories.

Eco-conscious couples can go green in a number of ways before, during, and after their wedding. The carbon footprint of a wedding can be reduced simply by scaling back and avoiding over-consumption. However, there are also easy ways to include green practices in a wedding without compromising on style or statement. Couples won't have to jeopardize their ideals or tastes to achieve a wedding that is both green and beautiful.

Invitations:

One of the easiest ways for a bride and groom to go green while planning their wedding involves the wedding invitations, as couples have many options for eco-friendly invitations. Though many etiquette experts frown on abandoning paper invitations for digital ones, many couples are doing just that. Those who still prefer paper can go green by having their invitations printed on recycled paper or tree-free paper.

Couples can also reduce their other wedding stationary needs by skipping the extra inserts inside of the invitation, such as directions and registry cards. Instead, couples can direct guests to a personal wedding Web page. Many wedding websites offer couples the chance to create their own personal Web page with information about themselves and the wedding ceremony and reception. Couples can post directions, hotel information, and other details that would otherwise be disseminated with the paper invitations. Collecting all of this information on a Web page reduces paper consumption and makes it easier for a couple's guests to find all the pertinent details regarding the big day.

Wedding Attire and Jewelry:

Another way to reduce a wedding's carbon footprint is to reuse and recycle wedding attire and jewelry. A couple's journey to their wedding day typically begins with the marriage proposal and an engagement ring, and even this time-honored tradition can be done in an eco-friendly way. Couples can go green by purchasing vintage or antique engagement rings and wedding bands. Couples can also shop from jewelers that use recycled stones and metals. For a more personal approach, family heirloom jewelry can be used.

Eco-conscious brides can also embrace history when selecting their wedding attire if the bride's mother, grandmother, or other relative has offered her wedding gown. Reusing a wedding dress that has been re-fitted will save the bride money, in addition to conserving the energy that would be needed to construct an entirely new gown. Furthermore, the sentimental gesture of wearing a gown passed down through the generations will be appreciated by the bride's family members and is one way for her to include them in her wedding. Brides can also reuse veils, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories.

Brides who do not have heirloom dresses and accessories to incorporate into their wedding attire can still take an eco-friendly walk down the aisle. In vintage stores, brides can find many styles of dresses and accessories. Additionally, a number of websites match up brides with others looking to swap gently-used items at low or no cost. Brides can also purchase a new gown that is made from sustainable materials. Many top designers now make gowns produced from such materials, leaving brides with a variety of green options.

Beauty:

Brides can also incorporate environmentally friendly products into their wedding day beauty regiment by asking their hairdressers and makeup artists to use all-natural beauty products instead of conventional cosmetics, which may contain toxic chemicals. Brides can also patronize an eco-friendly salon, which are growing in popularity.

Venue:

Eco-friendly wedding options can also extend to the ceremony and reception venues. One of the most affordable and environmentally friendly ways to get married is to simply elope or have a small ceremony. After all, there's no rule that says couples have to invite 300 of their not-so-close friends to the wedding. Opting for more intimate affairs allows couples to save on cost and to help the environment.

For those who do want a larger wedding, keep the event close to home. Couples can wed in a family member's large backyard or in a nearby park to avoid using large, indoor reception halls. Moving the ceremony and party outside can alleviate some environmental impact related to energy usage.

Couples may also look into catering halls that offer packages that include other elements of the wedding, such as flowers, cake, linens, music, and more. These convenient packages may be more affordable and will save the couple the time and gas they would have used driving around to visit different vendors.

Instead of rice, which can be damaging to wildlife, guests may be supplied with bubbles, birdseed, sprinkles, biodegradable confetti, or flower petals to throw at the happy couple after the ceremony.

Flowers:

Flowers add significant aesthetic appeal to a wedding, and couples can make them even more appealing by choosing local flowers that are in season. Local and seasonal flowers do not need to be transported as far as their exotic and out-of-season counterparts.

When shopping for a florist, eco-conscious couples should look for one who specializes in organic flowers, which are never sprayed with potentially harmful pesticides or fungicides. In addition to organic and seasonal flowers, green options include bouquets made of sustainable succulent plants and centerpieces full of organic fruits and wildflowers.

Reception:

Suggestions abound for couples interested in hosting a green reception. Hosting a wedding at or near home gives couples the opportunity to shop around for locally produced, organic foods. Couples may also wish to consider skipping the all-you-can-eat buffet and serving a more traditional meal to reduce the amount of wasted food.

Instead of formal escort cards indicating firm seating arrangements, couples can save paper by allowing guests to choose their own seats from mix-matched options, such as long, communal benches and comfy sofas.

To save money on decorations, couples may decorate with items they already own. Centerpieces and other displays can incorporate the couple's favorite books, photographs, souvenirs, collectibles, and other special items, adding a personal touch to the event's decor. Brides and grooms can also make or purchase banners, garlands, signs, and other decorations that are made from old maps, handkerchiefs, books, and other recycled items.

Another way to make the reception more eco-friendly is to choose a charitable party favor. Instead of giving a party favor that will end up collecting dust on a shelf or sitting in a landfill, couples can give guests organic products or make a donation to a charitable organization in the guests' names.

Transportation:

A major way to reduce the carbon footprint of a wedding is to reduce the transportation-related energy consumption. Carbon emissions can be reduced and fuel can be saved by reducing guests' need to travel far for a wedding and by employing transportation options that can accommodate several people at once, such as a limousine for the wedding party or a party bus to transport guests.

Gifts:

Couples can opt for open registries that enable guests to give everything from eco-friendly housewares to charitable donations or cash for down payments on a home. When giving money, guests do not risk giving the bride and groom something that may be returned or discarded.

Honeymoon:

A couple's dedication to being environmentally friendly can even extend to the selection of a honeymoon destination. Couples can choose from a number of eco-conscious hotels and resorts or elect to honeymoon close to home.

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Looking Your Best: August 23, 2013

A bride has boundless options when selecting her hairstyle and makeup for her big day. The best hairstyle and makeup will enhance each bride's individual beauty - playing up her favorite features and reflecting her personality. To achieve a hair and makeup look that will look great on the big day in person and in wedding photographs, planning ahead is key.

Call In The Professionals

Experienced hair stylists and makeup artists can transform your look from basic to glam in a short amount of time, and women often rely on the professional expertise of cosmetologists to help them create the perfect wedding look.

Find a stylist with whom you will have a good rapport. Ask your regular salon stylist if she does special occasion work or ask for a referral from a friend or family member who has used someone in the past. Find a stylist that you'll stick with through your wedding day.

Plan Ahead

It's a good idea to meet with a hair stylist and makeup professional a few weeks before your wedding day. Study bridal magazines for inspiration and consult with a hairstylist about what will work best with your hair type. "Consult with your salon for a trial bridal updo before your wedding day so your special day can be stress-free," advises Deb Cohen of Shear Perfection in Mount Joy.

"The consultation appointment before the actual hair styling for the wedding is extremely important," agrees Heather Devlin of Devlin Hair Studio in Leola. "It will allow the bride to work out the details on how to plan a hair style and wedding headpiece that will work well together. Planning ahead will help to eliminate extra stress on your special day," she explains.

Bring your veil and/or headpiece and a photo of your dress to the appointment if possible, so the beauty professionals can see the big picture. Talk to your stylist about suggested cuts and colors that may enhance your hairdo. With the help of your stylist, set a schedule for certain hair tasks that should occur at specific times. For example, your final color should be done at least two weeks before the wedding to allow for color blending.

The hair rehearsal will not only help your stylist get master her technique, but it will also enable both of you to fine tune what works and what doesn't. This step will help to eliminate any wedding day hair and makeup surprises. Take pictures from all angles to ensure that you're happy with the look from every direction.

Tremendous Tresses

Your hairstyle should complement your face and dress and look elegant with or without a veil or hat. Those who don't want to wear a veil may choose to use barrettes, combs, or a tiara as accents. If you normally wear your hair long and straight, consider long, flowing curls adorned with a headpiece of flowers and pearls. A smooth, shiny updo of straight hair works well with a slinky satin gown, while a dress with layers of tulle may be better accented with soft curls. A short column dress looks terrific with a textured or sleek bob.

If you have a round face, sleeker styles with longer veils will be more flattering. Fuller hairstyles and veils compliment narrow faces. If you are wearing a long veil, a hairstyle with less volume on top is more appropriate. The French twist is a classic wedding style that works beautifully with long and short veils and can hold up for hours. Hair extensions, falls and hairpieces can help you achieve a glamorous style if your hair is too short for an updo. You can also embrace your short hair, using side parts and some height at the crown to ramp up your style. Clips, curls, and headbands are additional ways to dress up the look.

If you can't decide between an updo or flowing hairstyle, consider pulling part of your hair back with the rest left flowing down your back. If your hair is very long or you want to add hairpieces, braids can also be very romantic when adorned with flowers or beads and crystals. You may also want to choose a style that can be worn up for the wedding and down at the reception.

In addition to the style of your dress and the shape of your face, factors to consider when picking a hairstyle include the height of the groom and the time and place of the wedding. Elaborate headpieces and sparkly crystals are a better choice for an evening ceremony, while flowers, wreaths, headbands, and hats are perfect for daytime and more casual settings. An elaborate updo may not be practical if you'll be on the beach with blowing wind.

Pick Your Products

Give yourself plenty of time to experiment with any new skin care products or makeup a few weeks before your wedding. You don't want to risk a rash or other allergic reaction that could spoil your big day. Similarly, brides are warned against taking drastic measures with your hair within two to three weeks of the event. Don't schedule a cut or color too close to the event.

Waterproof foundation and mascara and other long-lasting products will help your makeup last through all of the tears, eating, dancing, and kissing. As your wedding and reception will last several hours, it's also a good idea to keep a touchup kit handy that includes powder, blush, and lipstick. A translucent powder will keep you looking fresh and reduce shine in photos.

For your hair, it is advisable to use mousse or hair spray to help set the hairstyle. Brides should avoid the use of hair serums or frizz-fighting oils that can cause hair pins or curls not to hold well. In most cases, a stylist will come equipped with the items she needs. If you have discussed any special hair accoutrements, such as rhinestones, beads, or clips, get them ready.

Don't forget other important details, such as selecting a perfume for your big day. Lorraine L. Brady, owner of Perfume House by Lorraine in Lititz, says, "Perfume completes an outfit. Building a fragrance wardrobe reveals how multi-dimensional we are. It is based on mood, style, season, weather, and events." Like hair and makeup professionals, perfume experts can be consulted before the wedding. Brady says she strives to "offer the customer the opportunity to reward themselves with uncommon, unique, and individual" and to provide "the perfect place to choose your perfect scent for your perfect day."

Don't Overdo It

Use your wedding day hairstyle and makeup to highlight your best features. Choose a hairstyle and makeup that work with your face and veil - avoid copying a look you've seen on a celebrity that does not flatter you. Don't stray too far from your usual look, as a complete makeover may end up looking totally unnatural.

Choosing flattering light and neutral makeup colors will give your face a healthy-looking glow. Eye shadow shades of cream, peach, and pink will complement a white or ivory dress without looking too dramatic. For a natural look, avoid heavy foundations and products that are too dark or shiny. Your foundation should match your skin tone as closely as possible, and the careful blending of your foundation, eye shadow, and blush creates the most flattering look.

Manage The Clock

On your wedding day, be ready at the agreed upon time so your hair and makeup stylists can get right to work. It can take about an hour to do a hairstyle, and if the stylist is working with more than one person for the party, it is important to be on time for your appointment or be home if the stylist is coming to you.

Hair should be completely dry so the stylist does not have to spend extra time blowdrying. If you have very curly hair and need it smooth and prepped for your stylist on your appointment date, try going to a hair salon the day before to have it professionally blown out. Wear a button- or zip-down shirt or robe so you won't have to pull anything over your head after your style is done.

Special thanks to:

Perfume House by Lorraine

55 N. Water St., Lititz, PA 17543

717-421-9140

www.perfumehousebylorraine.com

Devlin Hair Studio

18 Keystone Court in Leola Business Center, Leola, PA 17540

717-656-4794

www.devlinhairstudio.com

Shear Perfection

539 Farmview Lane, Mount Joy, PA 17552

717-653-6167

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