Creatives At Work

Michelle O'Halloran

 Watching Michelle work her magic is something to marvel, she is a sculptor of hair but manages to transform hair into this effortless but elegant style. I always feel so lucky to have met some of the best people in the wedding industry. True creatives that have only passion for what they do - Michelle is one of these people, a pleasure to work with and to know. 

Who is your bride?
The effortless, chic bride. She prefers the more natural, casual and even ‘messy’ styles on the red carpet.
I love hair that isn’t ‘trying to hard’. It’s got a natural, effortless feel. It’s pretty, soft to the eye and in good condition. Obviously, when it comes to wedding styling, I have to apply techniques that make this type of hair last all day and look fresh in photos from the morning to night.
 
When do you feel most inspired?
Trust is major factor when it comes to being creative. On photoshoots, I am given free reign to be creative, with only a few guidelines and restrictions.
Of course, working with a bridal client is a different process, the more open the client is to suggestions, the more options she will have.  I want my clients to be honest about what suggestions they like and don’t like. It is this collaboration that makes sure the bride leaves the trial happy and satisfied.
 

How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?
This question has a couple of answers for me
- Excited and curious! Usually by the time I meet a bride, we have been in touch over email for a number of months. It’s lovely to finally put a face to the name.
- Cautious! Most brides are excited about their hair trial.  However, some are nervous and a little overwhelmed. By the time we meet, there can be a lot of wedding details to juggle.  Getting married is EMOTIONAL. I need to tread lightly to help the bride enjoy the experience. I regularly find, that brides are much more relaxed on their wedding day, than at the trial.
 
What do you like to hear from a bride? 
It is so important that the bride has thought about the hairstyle she wants before meeting me i.e. only the individual bride can know whether she feels most confident with her hair up or down. I like brides to do their research and collect inspiration pictures. A picture speaks a thousand words. Everyone’s definition of ‘soft’ or ‘casual’ is different and I need reference pictures to understand yours.
 
Best questions – Do I have the right haircut for this style? How can I prepare my hair? Most people don’t realise that without the right layering and condition, curls can fall flat more quickly. Wisps and tendrils look better when shorter and texturized (cutting technique). Artificial colour often gives better shine/gloss, than natural hair colour. There is a reason the model in the magazine and the Hollywood star on the red carpet looks so amazing - preparation is key.

How did you find your calling?
Hairstyling started out as a hobby for me. After finishing university, I felt a little lost and unprepared for the working world. I took a leap of faith, changed paths and signed up for a private hairdressing course. I loved it immediately and took to it very naturally. I started out doing photoshoots and met make up artist Emma Farrell (EF Creative Studios). She just kept giving my number out to brides. It was a bit of an accident, that turned out to be the best thing that could have happened!
 

Thank you so much Michelle for sharing your wisdom with us today. Your passion and love of your job shines through.

Check out more of Michelle's Work

http://www.michelleohalloran.com/

https://www.facebook.com/michelle.o.hairstylist

https://www.instagram.com/moh_hairdesign/

Travelling With The Dress

Bright blue skies, golden beaches and beautiful scenic views. There are a list of reasons why we love a wedding abroad - weather being number one on that list. So if you are dreaming of your french chateau wedding or a cosy winter adventure I have put together what you need to know for transporting your dress.

Photo by Butterfly Photography

Photo by Butterfly Photography

Ask the designer

You can transport your dress two ways. A bridal garment bag which would usually be provided to you when you pick your dress up. I always scellotape the hanging loops of the dress to the hanger if I know a bride is traveling, this stops the dress from falling off. Be sure the hanger is strong and that the garment bag has a loop at the bottom. This way the bag can fold in half to make it easier to move around.

Your second option would be to pack the dress into a carry on suitcase. This works for simpler styles. Line the suit case with a bed sheet or tissue paper. Then fold the dress hem first into the case. Ideally you want to pack your carry on with anything you can’t replace for the wedding - dress, shoes, underwear.

When you arrive at your destination find a place to hang your dress up high. Take the train out of the bag. Most dresses will crease a little and simply need to hang for 24hours and they will drop out. You can let steam at your dress say from a shower or bath for any stubborn creases.

Plan ahead a little if you feel the dress will need a press before the big day. Ask your wedding planner or hotel to recommendation a dry cleaners and arrange to have it steamed on arrival

Ask the wedding planner

Rosie from weddingplanner.ie has kindly past on her advice for traveling with your dress. Having planned over 200 weddings abroad in over 20 countries is she most definitely an expert.

-Check with your airline about carrying your dress onboard as hand luggage. 
-Don't pack it in as checked in luggage in case your bag gets lost.
-Check with your hotel if they have a steaming service to get any creases out when you arrive or can they recommend a dry cleaners that can do it. 
-If you are having a Catholic Church wedding, keep in mind they can be stricter abroad about attire. So no bare shoulders or low backs or cleavage showing for the bride, bridesmaids and guests. A veil can sometimes do or get your dress maker to make a light bolero which can be removed after the ceremony

Ask the airlines

The policy for airlines change all the time and I often find that I need to email them every summer to get the most up to date information for my brides. So this is relevant for 2017 but I would double check before booking your flight and again before traveling.

Aerlingus

We do allow guests to carry wedding dresses on board dresses as cabin baggage. https://www.aerlingus.com/travel-information/baggage-information/special-items/
Please note we don’t have a specific area on board to stow these but we advise guests to speak a member of our cabin crew once they board the flight and they will assist as best they can.

Paula Donaghy, Consumer PR Specialist

Ryanair

If your wedding dress fits within our cabin baggage dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and weighs up to 10kg you can take it into the cabin with you.
Please note that we do not have any storage facilities on board to hang or store your dress, it will be treated as cabin baggage and placed in our overhead lockers.
If your wedding dress does not fit within the cabin baggage dimensions, then you can check it in as part of your checked baggage allowance.
Alternatively, you can purchase an extra seat for the carriage of your wedding dress in the cabin.
To book an extra seat for your wedding dress:
  •   Go to www.ryanair.com and select 2 passengers when booking your flight.
  •   Don't forget to reserve the seats beside each other.
  •   The first seat should be booked in your name.
  •   The other seat should be ITEM SEAT as the Last Name and EXTRA as the First Name  
  •   The name EXTRA ITEM SEAT will then be displayed on the online boarding pass.
Adrienn
Ryanair Customer Service

Other Helpful Links

Traveling by boat

https://www.irishferries.com/ie-en/terms-and-conditions/#Luggage

Other airlines

https://www.britishairways.com/en-ie/information/baggage-essentials/packing-tips

http://www.etihad.com/en-ie/before-you-fly/baggage-information/allowances/

http://www.lufthansa.com/ie/en/Baggage-overview

 

I sign off dreaming of warmer weather. Share with us where are you planning your destination wedding? 

 

Ask The Designer - The Final Fitting

April always marks the beginning of our busy wedding season. A time when sketches and patterns become wedding dresses. When our brides start to have their final fittings and we get super busy in studio pressing and finishing our gowns.

So what are final fittings all about? What can you expect from yours? and what should you be doing to get the most out of these fittings?

I love to see the whole look for the day. So I encourage our brides to bring everything for the final fitting- Jewlery, underwear, veil and headpiece. To do your hair and make up similar to how you want it to look on the day or even better arrange your trial for the same day. This is a great opportunity for you to see how everything looks together. I would even try out your nail polish!

Plan your transportation and storage - at your final fitting you will be arranging to pick up your gown so a little forward planning will be needed. Will you be storing the dress at home? Do you have a safe place to store the dress away from prying eyes? How will you transport it home? If you are heading aboard, have you checked with your airline about carrying the dress on board? What options have you for storing and pressing when you arrive at your venue?

All along you have had someone help you into your dress and may not have taken note of how it was done. Bring along a bridesmaid or friend to the final fitting so they can see how the dress should go on. Is there any catches to keep your underwear in place. Is there an option to tie up your train ? Are there elements to your dress that need to be attached separately?

And finally double check everything . Are you comfortable in the dress? Can you walk easily or does the hem need adjusting ? Can you see your underwear ? Are you 100% happy with how you look and feel in the dress?

I hope this helps you plan your very important final fittings. If you have a question for Ask the Designer be sure to drop me an email