There’s plenty of stress and hard work that goes into planning your big day. So before you walk down the aisle, you should take a little time to yourself for some much-needed pampering.
A spa day provides the perfect antidote to pre-wedding jitters, while professional hair and makeup services ensure you’ll look radiant, from your walk down the aisle to your final dance at the reception.
Here in north-central Vermont you’ll find salons and day spas that will meet your needs, whatever your style and budget.
Several local spas and salons offer special bridal packages complete with champagne and snacks. Most will put together a customized pampering package for brides and their attendants.
Stowe Mountain Lodge offers several bridal spa packages, ranging from $1,075 to $2,700. It also offers à la carte services for wedding parties.
“The spa and wellness team work very closely with the bride on many different aspects of her wedding weekend from out-of-the-box activities to bridal hair and make-up,” said Gabrielle Lungu, wedding coordinator for the spa.
Lungu recommends that the bride arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday before her wedding to begin relaxing and unwinding.
“On arrival day, the bride will usually gather with her bridesmaids for a mani-pedi session in the afternoon with a Vermont-inspired dessert display and champagne,” Lungu said.
A bride might choose to begin her wedding day with a customized exercise session, such as a private yoga or Zumba class, followed by a fruit smoothie or a breakfast of homemade granola.
Lungu recalls a particularly active wedding couple who held their event at the Lodge last summer. “They actually invited all their guests to meet in the lobby for a brisk morning stroll, and about 30 to 40 guests joined them at 9 a.m. on their wedding day,” she said. “It was so much fun to see.”
The Spa at Stoweflake’s customized bridal day packages offer everything from manicures and pedicures to hair and make-up sessions to massages and mimosas.
All packages include a light spa lunch, fitness classes and use of the spa’s facilities, including its fitness center, women’s spa sanctuary, sauna and steam room and aqua solarium.
“We encourage our guests to take advantage of these amenities to provide relaxation before heading off to their special occasion,” said Spa Manager Juliana Elliott.
Salon Salon, an Aveda concept salon in Stowe, has a large enough staff to handle anything from hairstyles and makeup for a bride and her mother to wedding parties of seven or more bridesmaids.
Some brides will bring lunch or light refreshments to create a festive, pampering atmosphere, according to the salon’s wedding coordinator, Heather Glenn.
Glenn recommends that brides who are nervous about having their hair and makeup done come in a few days or weeks before the wedding for a trial appointment.
“It’s a really good opportunity to build that rapport with the stylist,” Glenn said.
Bridal hairstyles can range from a blowout to an up-do.
Natural looking loose chignons are popular, Glenn said.
“People want to look their best, but they want to look like themselves,” Glenn said. “They want a natural look for their makeup application.”
Glenn recommends that brides have their manicure and pedicure done the day before their wedding so that their nails will look as fresh as possible.
Facials, haircuts, and color should be done at least a week in advance, she said.
Brides can reserve space at the salon up to two years before their wedding date, but actual appointment times aren’t generally booked until four or five months in advance.
Michelle Henry, owner of Afterglow Day Spa and Salon in Warren, provided services to 77 bridal parties last year.
Along with hair and makeup on the wedding day, brides and their parties will often book manicures, pedicures, and express spa facials the day before the wedding.
Spending a few hours together at the salon is “a wonderful way for our destination wedding parties to get to know each other,” Henry said, adding that many of her brides and their attendants come from all over the world. “This creates an interesting dynamic within the group,” she said.
Henry also encourages brides to book a trial hairstyle session, which takes about three hours.
“It is so important to feel comfortable and confident with your stylist,” Henry said. “If your style is confirmed prior to your wedding day, it’s one less thing that you have to think about.”
When helping brides select a hair style, Henry considers all the details – the weather, personal style, the wedding dress, veil, and hair ornaments. “I ask several questions and really take the time to get to know you,” she said.
When it comes to bridal hairstyles, Henry said braids have been popular lately.
“Beautiful, sexy and romantic is what most brides and their parties are looking for,” Henry said. “Soft, flowing waves are popular, incorporated with chunky braids. We did a lot of peekaboo braids last year, as well.”
Although most salons provide wedding-day hair services, only a few offer comprehensive bridal packages for brides and their wedding parties. Here are some of the local options:
The Spa at Stoweflake, Stowe
Brides who indulge in the Happily Ever After package ($254) will be picture perfect. The package includes a bridal up-do, makeup application, and aromatherapy manicure and pedicure.
The Bridesmaid Soiree ($135) includes an up-do or special occasion style and makeup application, while the Maid of Honor Bliss ($178) offers an up-do or special occasion style, aromatherapy manicure and pedicure.
Even flower girls can get in on the fun. The Pretty Little Thing ($54) includes a hairstyle and express manicure.
Info: 802-253-2232, stoweflake.com/spa.
Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe
The Lodge’s $2,700 Platinum Package includes pre-wedding and wedding day services. The bride enjoys a hair and makeup trial and a rehearsal dinner blowout and makeup application. The package also includes manicures and pedicures for the bride and four bridesmaids.
Wedding day services include: bridal hair and makeup, special occasion hair and makeup for bridesmaids and the mothers of the bride and groom, and a post-wedding couples’ massage for the bride and groom.
Other local salons that offer à la carte hair, nail, and makeup services:
Salon Salon, Stowe
Four experienced stylists on staff ensure brides and their parties look their best on the big day. Services include bridal and wedding party updos and styles, makeup, Aveda facials, massages, and manicures/pedicures. Prices range from $39 to $89 per service.
Phone: 253-7378; salonsalonvt.com/wedding.html.
After-glow Day Spa and Salon, Warren
This popular salon in the Mad River Valley offers a full range of pampering treatments and wedding day services for brides and attendants. Prices range from $20 for false-eyelash application to $125 for a wedding hair trial run.
Info: 802-496-3306; afterglowofvermont.com.