March 2017 Dublin wedding



Click here for link to the photographer's blog.

I'm just loving these gorgeous photo's of Jen and Jeremy's wedding in Dublin this year, taken by the hugely talented Will O'Reilly. I met Jen and Jeremy through working at Glyndebourne. Jen asked if I might consider doing her hair at her family's house in the Wicklow mountains and of course I said yes, turning it into a weekend of Dublin sightseeing too!

The beautiful natural make-up was done by Alyson Smyth, who is based in Dublin.
Jen found her dress at Fross Wedding Collections in Uckfield.
Jeremy's suit was made in Brighton, by Hugo Morris



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Eyelash extensions : should you have them done for your wedding day?

 Until recently, your options for thickening and lengthening your lashes were limited to mascara with thickening fibres, or glue-on strip lashes and individual and small clusters of lashes. These are all quite effective and take only minutes to apply but they only last a day or until you gently pull them off your lash line.



Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are a relatively new beauty treatment. They take between 1 and 2 hours to apply and last from 2 to 4 weeks.

Many brides have asked me whether they are a good idea to have done just before their wedding, as they would last for the honeymoon too - and who wouldn't want to wake up with gorgeous lashes and no mascara smudges every morning?

The only way for me to answer the questions truthfully was to test them for myself.

My appointment was with Elizabeth, of Beauty Angel, in Portslade, Hove. Elizabeth is an experienced and highly qualified beauty therapist and I had been recommended to her by another one of her clients for lash extensions.

My first appointment included a consultation. Elizabeth asked me what result I was hoping for and asked about any previous allergies and skin sensitivities. I told her that I had seen some pretty awful-looking extensions before and wanted a relatively natural look. Liz explained that I would suit the short to medium length lashes for a natural look. Also, she would give me a little brush to comb through the lashes each morning, keeping them neat!

I lay down on the therapy couch and ELizabeth kept my skin protected from the eyelash glue with some sticky eye pads. The next 1 Hour and 20 minutes was spent relaxing with my eyes shut - I very nearly fell asleep! Liz applied the 'mink' lashes one-by-one to my own lashes, applying an assortment of lengths to keep them looking more realistic.

 

Liz gave me these aftercare tips:
Keep water away from your lashes for the first 12 to 24 hours after application or touch-ups
Avoid saunas
Don't wear waterproof mascara as it is more difficult to remove and you could end up rubbing your eyes.
Avoid oil-based eye make-up removers.

I took a couple of days to get used to the lashes, as you would a new hairstyle. I went back to have the lashes 'refilled' after 3 weeks. This time it took an hour and I felt that my lashes looked even better.

I intended to try the lashes for 6 weeks, but I'm afraid that I've become addicted to them! I never have mascara smudges under my eyes, even on a hot day and my make-up takes much less time to apply as I don't feel that I need mascara or even eyeliner for daytime any more.

For brides I would recommend that you try the lashes at least 3 weeks before the wedding, in case of any reaction (very unusual) or just to get used to them. Then have a refill a couple of days before your wedding.

And enjoy....

Lashes by Elizabeth Dineen, IHBC City and Guilds, 07780 612906
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The Big Day – 15 tips for getting ready on your wedding day.


All of those months of preparation have led to this very special day. Here are a few tips from previous brides (and some of my own) to help make your wedding morning preparations organised, relaxed and fun.

Before the Big Day:

1.       The biggie: Write out a timeline for everyone to use. Make sure that your family and bridal party know when they are expected to be available for make-up and hair, and when to get dressed.
     Once you know what time you’ll be leaving your preparation room/venue, work backwards from that time when writing out your schedule. If your photographer will be taking some pictures of you and your bridal party when you are fully dressed, work that into your list. Then give yourself 15 to 30 minutes to get into your underwear, dress, shoes, jewellery and veil. It’s up to you whether you have your make-up done first or last, but the later it’s applied, the longer it will last. Add some ‘buffer’ time into the list. For example:

  • 8am         bridesmaid 1 hair-up and make-up
  • 9.15am    bridesmaid 2 hair-up and make-up
  • 10.30am mother of the bride blow-dry and make-up
  • 11.30 am *buffer time*
  • 12noon   Bride hair- up and make-up (photographer arrives 1.15pm)
  • 1.45pm   Bride gets dressed
  • 2pm         Bride veil and finishing touches
  • 2.15pm   Photos with mum and dad and bridesmaids
  • 2.45pm   Leave for wedding venue
  • 3pm        Wedding ceremony


2.       Make sure that you have snacks prepared for yourself and your bridal party to nibble on while you are getting ready. You may not have much time or inclination to eat during your reception and you’ll need something to keep you going.


3.       Have your Maid of Honour or your mother come along to your final wedding dress fitting so that they know how to help you into your dress on your wedding day. I have often been asked to step in when the lacing up is complicated or taking too long. If you have a lot of small buttons, you may need a crochet hook to avoid damaging beautifully painted nails!




4.       Chose a getting-ready room with plenty of space and light, if possible. If you have two rooms available, use both – one can be the ‘social’ room and the other the hair and make-up studio. That way you can have some peace and quiet when you need it. Good natural lighting is ideal for your make-up artist and your photographer.

 

5.       Have your nails done a day or two before your wedding. Gel nails are a great option as they don’t chip very easily – one less thing to do on your wedding morning! Remember that your nails will be photographed when your ring is on your finger.

 

6.       Have a Wedding Day Survival Kit prepared:  deodorant, tissues, wet wipes and a list of your vendors' phone numbers. Other things you could add are aspirin/ibuprofen, antacid, dental floss, sewing kit, first aid kit, tampons or pads, toothbrush and toothpaste, mirror, band-aids, baby wipes, stain remover, safety pins, hand sanitizer, scissors, ear buds,extra panty hose and anenergy bar.
To help your look to last all day I will provide you with a tiny pot of your chosen lipstick, a lip brush, shine blotters, tissues, a mini hairspray, hairpins and mints. If you plan on switching to flip-flops or ballet pumps during the reception, remember to bring those as well.
 

7.       If any vendor is to be paid on the day, be sure that their payment is ready in an envelope with each company’s name on it, to avoid scrabbling around for your cheque book or cash!

 

8.       Have some ‘getting ready’ clothes packed. A dressing gown or a white men’s shirt are both good to wear while getting your hair and make-up done. They don’t need to be pulled over your head and look great in photos!

On the Big Day:

9.       A decent breakfast is essential, even if you don’t feel very hungry. This also helps you to feel calm.  Make sure that you have some healthy slow-release carbohydrates to last your through the morning. Eggs and toast, cereal and yogurt, peanut butter on a bagel or a thick smoothie.

 

10.   Have one of your bridesmaids screen your phone calls - she can field questions from your great aunt who can't find the hotel and the co-worker who wants to know what time the wedding starts (yes, this actually happened to one of my bridal clients!). If there are vendor calls (the caterer wants to know where the table numbers are, the DJ wants to talk to someone at the reception site) ask your mom or maid of honour to deal with them if they can.

 

11.   Don’t worry about what your groom is doing (not a whole lot!) He and his groomsmen have a lot less to do than you do, so focus on enjoying your morning with your friends and family.

 

12.   When should your bridesmaids get dressed? Before you do. What about your mother and father? Same answer. Ideally, about half an hour before you do. When they are gathered around while you’re getting your dress buttoned/zippered, they’re not in their jeans and old t-shirt  in the pictures. And so that when you father sees you for the first time in your dress the photographer can capture Dad’s reaction while he’s looking his best. And, most importantly, so that once you are ready everyone else is too!

 

13.   Warning: Toilet talk. Take off your dress to go to the bathroom. Your Maid of Honour can unzip your dress, you step out of the dress, she holds the dress up like you are still in it, you use the lavatory, wash your hands, jump back into the dress, she zips you up! SO much easier than having 3-5 bridesmaids hold up your dress while you pee. This tip works best if you have a dress you can easily get in and out of.

OR

If your dress is not easy to remove, face the cistern when you sit on the toilet. This is especially useful if you have a full skirt or a train. Much better the squishing your big dress behind you!

 

14.   If you’re ahead of schedule your photographer can get more bridal shots of you or photos of you and your bridesmaids.  It’s always best to be ahead of schedule rather than behind schedule.  But remember, if you are running late don’t freak out too much– they can’t start without you! Don’t live in fear of what could go wrong on your special day.  Just be prepared to roll with the punches: when you’re flipping out because your florist used roses instead of peonies for your bouquet, just know that your friends and family won’t even notice!

 

15.   Remember what it’s all about! The two of  you obviously know that you want to be together for the rest of your lives, your wedding day is your way of telling everybody else how you feel and celebrating that great journey together!

 
 





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How to choose your wedding hairstyle


So it's a few months away from your Big Day, you have your venue, your photographer, your dress...what you need is your crowning glory, your perfect hairstyle!

The first thing to consider is your dress – has it got a beautiful neckline that would be hidden by having your hair down, or enhanced by having an up-style? Is it sleeveless and you'd prefer your hair down or half-down to feel less exposed? Perhaps it's a period style of dress and would be wonderfully complimented by a hairstyle that's also inspired by the same period, 1920's, 40's, 60.s?

Start a pinterest board : Here's a link to my pinterest wedding hair board or collect pictures in a sketchbook. Look in bridal magazines, wedding catalogues, celebrity pictures, photographers albums and other people's pinterest pages. This way you can collect your ideas in one place and it's handy to be able to show your hairstylist,  make-up artist and whoever else needs to see your ideas.

hair and make-up by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.mikiphotography.co.uk
Now that you have a look in mind, consider your own hair length and texture. Is your hair long enough? Is it thick or wavy or straight enough for the look? There are many ways to enhance your hair, using clip-in or semi-permanent extensions, bun-rings and other padding. This hairstyle was created with the assistance of a piece of wadding:

hair by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.monicadart.co.za
Is your hair texture able to hold your style in place all afternoon and evening? Even if it's windy or extremely hot and humid? Some hair textures will last better if the hair is all up (this is especially true if your hair is naturally straight and you'd like it curled).Other hair types may be better down all day.

It is possible to have your hair styled in such a way that it is up for the ceremony and meal, but you can take some pins out and it's half-down for the evening.

Have you considered hair accessories? Other than a veil, you have a wide range of choice, from fresh flowers, fascinators, cage veils  to tiaras, diamante pins, vintage combs and clips. If you choose to wear a veil, consider if it would be best further forward, or back, even below the main part of your hairstyle.

                                  hair by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.saraholivierphotography.com/

Start early with planning your cut and colour. You may like to have a few deep conditioning treatments leading up to your wedding to enhance the shine and help it to grow healthily. Make sure that your colour is done at least a week before your wedding to avoid the 'just coloured' skin staining or streakiness. If you have highlights, consider whether you'd like to have some on your nape hairline so that it's not too dark if you wear it up. Any change to your colour should start a few months before the wedding as most colour changes take time to perfect. Also think about whether you would like a fringe and if so, how long it should be.

hair and make-up by www.fran-carter.com, photo by www.redsnapperphotos.com

 A hair (and Make-up) consultation about 3 months before your wedding can help you reach all of these decisions. Good luck and enjoy all of the planning!

Fran
 







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Cape Town Wedding - an overseas trip!

It was a wonderful adventure to do Anna's hair and make-up for her wedding to Dave in Bishopscourt, Cape Town, South Africa.Cape Town Wedding Photographer, Monica Dart, Anna and Dave's wedding

Of course, it also took careful planning to bring just the right amount of kit over with me, and to pack it in such a way that it didn't get damaged in transit. The hot weather was also a concern - would my MAC Paintpots sweat'? I spent quite some time browsing online resources for tips on how to pack powder make-ups to avoid cracking (cling film, bubble wrap and socks!), what to take in hand-luggage vs. hold suitcases(most of it!) and how to transport liquids (decant into smaller containers!).

Anna had a trial about a week before her wedding, where I made detailed notes for what to recreate on the big day.
On the Big Day, Anna's adult bridemaids joined her in a large room away from the hustle and bustle of the reception preparation taking place in the garden.

Anna is a up-and-coming jewellery designer, featuring regularly in national fashion magazines. She designed her own jewellery and hair accessory for her wedding. Anna used her grandmother's coral hat pins and broach with her hair accessory to great effect, matching her earrings.




 
The bridesmaids wore lace blouses made by Anna's mum, who wove the lace herself,
theit belts were made by the bride and the skirt designed to match the green of the bouquet.
One of the two flowergirls had a bruise under her eye, so I camouflaged it with the help of my Bobby Brown concealer palette.
 
And some more pictures of the wedding and reception for your inspiration...
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Anna and Dave's Wedding, Fine art wedding photographers
Cape Town Wedding Photographer, Monica Dart, Anna and Dave's wedding
Stunning marquee, with tables cleverly arranged at curves.
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Anna and Dave's Wedding, Fine art wedding photographers
Cape Town Wedding Photographers, Fine art wedding photographers, South African wedding photographers
 All photographs were taken by Monica Dart, a very well-travelled wedding photographer. Monica has photographed weddings internationally, recently in South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, France Sweden and the UK. A link to her website: Monica Dart Photography
 
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Women: hair & hormones - why your hair changes.

This article I wrote was first published in the ABC Sussex magazine, November 2013. Hope it's helpful!


Hair & hormones

I am so often asked about changes in my client’s hair, that I think it’s a topic worth exploring.  Have you ever wondered why your hair texture is different from when you were a child? Or why it goes through phases of feeling thicker or thinner than usual?

There are many factors that can influence the state of your hair. The sun, using heated appliances, medication (blood thinning drugs and chemotherapy, amongst others), autoimmune disorders, stress levels, recent surgery and illness can all have a marked effect, but the greatest influence on your hair is your hormones.

Hormones affect both the amount and quality of your hair, linking to thyroid, oestrogen and testosterone levels. That’s why sometimes your hair feels like its taking ages to grow, or seems more brittle or dull.

Why does my hair looking so thick when I’m pregnant?

Your hair grows in phases – at any one time about 90% of your hair is growing while 10% is ‘resting’ (not growing) before it drops out. Your increase in oestrogen hormones change the ‘growing’ phase so that it is a lot longer than usual, so you literally have more hair on your head! This affects 40-50% of women.

Oh no! My baby is 3 months old and I’m losing hair in handfuls!

Remember that ‘growing’ phase that was so increased while you were pregnant? It’s getting back to normal! All of that extra hair you gained is slowly lost as your hormones return to normal, over a few months (1 to 5 months after the end of pregnancy). If you are breastfeeding you may only lose your new-acquired thicker hair after your baby switches to the bottle.

I seem to have a lot more body hair than my friends- what’s going on?

The normal amount of body hair for women varies- women commonly only have fine hair, above the lips and on the chin, chest, abdomen, or back. If you have coarse, dark hairs in these areas, you may have ‘hirsutism’, which is seen more often in men. In fact, it is just your body producing more male hormones (testosterone) than your average woman. Most of the time this runs in families and although it can be annoying or embarrassing, it is harmless. However, it could be an indicator that you have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), or it may be worth mentioning to your doctor.

I’ve just stopped taking the pill and my hair is feeling really thin!

Hormonal birth control can change the texture of your hair. Your body thinks it’s pregnant and your hair gets thick and glossy. When you stop taking the pill your hormones start returning to normal, so you lose that extra growth and quality.

Help! I have found my first white hair! Why am I going grey this young?

Nobody knows why some people age prematurely. Most people of Caucasian origin start getting their first white hairs in their mid-thirties, Asian in their late thirties and African in their mid-forties.  White or grey hair is actually just hair that has no longer has the colour in it – it’s actually clear! Recently scientists claimed that they are close to finding out what actually makes our hair go grey – so watch this space!

Smoking, vitamin B-12 deficiency or problems with your pituitary or thyroid gland can cause premature graying that’s reversible if the cause is correctable. There is a myth that if you pluck one gray hair two more will grow back – this is completely false. Millions of balding men would be plucking out their hair if it was true!

Lucky for you there are lots of options for colouring hair to either cover or blend your white hairs. Book a consultation with your hairdresser to discuss your options.

I feel tired all of the time and my hair is definitely thinner – is it ‘the change’?

It may be, but it could also be hyperthyroidism, or an under-active thyroid.  These signs can be quite subtle and many women simply assume they're a normal part of menopause.

I’ve been on a really strict diet and although my body is looking great, my hair isn’t!

A diet that isn’t well-balanced could mean nutritional deficiencies, especially low iron levels or deficiency of a B-vitamin called biotin. Too little iron can affect your hair follicle, from which your hair grows, so it could get thinner. Crash diets can bring on hair loss, and it's also common in people with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.

I’m going through the menopause and my hair is getting thinner- will I get bald spots?

Menopause is the greatest cause of hair loss and thinning in women, more than 40% of women are affected to some degree, but it very rarely causes bald patches. It’s the dropping levels of oestrogen and progesterone and sometimes increasing levels of testosterone that affect the hair follicles.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which contains oestrogen, can improve the growth but it doesn’t suit all women.

What should my diet contain, to improve my hair quality and growth?

A good way to increase your oestrogen levels is through a diet packed with nuts and seeds, and berries rich in flavonoids like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and pomegranates. It's also good to eat protein such as soy products like soymilk, tofu and edamame, fish, meat and eggs.

Basically, nutritional abundance and balance is the best environment to grow great hair!

Which vitamins can I take as supplements?

Vitamin B complex, Biotin (B7), Vitamin C, Vitamin E (do not exceed the RDA), Zinc (do not exceed RDA), Niacin (for cholesterol and blood circulation) L-Lysine (an amino acid). If you have any other health issues or are taking other medications, check with your doctor before taking supplements.

Apart from medication, what can I do at home to help the situation?

Be gentle with your hair! Shampoo using gentle products. Be especially careful with your hair when it is wet- it is more fragile- don’t use a fine tooth comb. Use fewer drying styling products like hairspray.  Get regular trims to avoid split ends from travelling up your hair. Don’t use hair bands that pull on your hair or tug on your hairline. If you need to use blow dryers and other heated hair instruments, try to use the cool setting

Finally, if you have noticed any hair texture changes, it is important make an appointment to see your GP as there are many causes of hair thinning. A simple few blood tests can check levels of iron, oestrogen, testosterone, thyroid, zinc.  Hair thinning due to an under-active thyroid can be corrected with thyroid supplementation. If your doctor tells you its androgenetic alopecia, he may prescribe a topical medication called minoxidil, which you apply directly to your scalp. Minoxidil doesn't work for everyone, but it slows or stops hair loss in about 25% of women with androgenetic alopecia. . Thinning due to nutritional deficiencies can be addressed by appropriate dietary changes.

So don't despair if your hair changes. Besides medical treatment there are many cosmetic treatments, including Nioxin (available from some hair salons) and styling lotions which create a thicker look for your hair. Your hairstylist can also give you styling tips and a haircut which can create the illusion of thicker hair.
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Sussex wedding venues I've visited this year

In the course of getting my lovely brides ready for their Big Days this year, I've visited some lovely wedding venues in Sussex. Here are some of them, with links to their websites....enjoy!


Stanmer House

Stanmer House is nestled in the valley of Stanmer Park, just outside of Brighton and Hove, towards Lewes. It has only been a wedding venue for a couple of years, but several of my brides have had their ceremonies and/or their receptions here and I have heard nothing but praise about it. Small to mid-size civil wedding and partnerships.



Birling Manor

Birling Manor is close to Birling Gap, Beachy Head, Seaford and Eastbourne. Birling Manor Has flint buildings and walled gardens. There are two local churches nearby or you can have a civil wedding or partnership on site. Midsize to large weddings.



Amberley Castle

Lord it like a lady on your wedding day at Amberley Castle, a 900-year-old castle not far from Worthing, Arundel and Storrington. You can also hire the whole place out for you and your guests to stay. From 10 to 250 guests.



Horsted Place

Horsted Place is a lovely Victorian country house with a beautiful drawing room, with lovely gardens and a golf course to keep your men occupied while you ready yourself! Very close to Uckfield, Newick, Maresfield, Ringmer, Lewes  and Crowborough. Small to midsize weddings.



Upwaltham Barns

Upwaltham Barns is a family-owned venue near Petworth and Chichester, near the Goodwood Estate. Wedding reception and Civil Partnership ceremonies can take place in the beautiful barn, drinks in the courtyard and a little cottage to get ready in beforehand. Around 150 guests max.



Brighton & Hove Bandstand

Brighton & Hove Bandstand is run by Brighton and Hove City Council and has become hugely popular since its renovation, for a seaside ceremony. There isn't really room for anything by a small reception in the privately-run cafe below, but it's a stone's throw away from loads of Brighton and Hove hotels and restaurants. Small weddings.

So there's a few of the gorgeous weddings that Sussex has to offer. Which other venues have you considered?
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1950's retro seaside theme celebration!


 Anna and Katie chose such a fun, happy theme for their Civil Partnership ceremony - The Big Gay Bandstand! Brighton and Hove's bandstand was an ideal location for a retro, 1950's-style ceremony, with just enough room for friends and family to join in the fun!



Anna is a hairdressing client of mine, with naturally tight curls. She still wanted curls for her Big Day, but was hoping for a more relaxed curl, to fit the theme of the wedding. We used the traditional (and extra long-lasting) method of wet setting!



Anna's hair took an hour to dry and she drank copious amounts of water whilst sitting under that heat! But it was all worth it, as she put it afterwards, 
"I have fairly unruly curly/frizzy hair normally and knew I wanted something completely different and glamorous on my wedding day! We had a 50's theme going so I came to Fran with some ideas and after a few hrs in rollers and under a old fashioned hair dryer she created my perfect 50's look - smooth, big curls and it stayed in place all day despite seafront breezes and dancing all night! Thanks Fran, I loved it!"

  Below are some more of Anna and Katie's inspired ideas : red petticoats for both Anna and her bridesmaids, cute red t-shirts for the ring-bearers, red buckets for the confetti and seaside-themed table decorations.



I think you'll agree that this was a beautiful, bold and VERY Brighton celebration, and I wish Anna and Katie all the best for their bright future together.




 All of the wonderful photographs, except Anna under the dryer, are by Emmest Photography and the CP has been featured on the Love My Dress blogsite .










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Vintage bridal photoshoot

I am so proud to show you the results of a beautiful bridal vintage photoshoot I worked on a short while ago. I hope that you enjoy the results!


 Photographer Sarah Olivier gathered a small crack team of us to help create some atmospheric photographs to showcase designer Sarina Poppy 's bridal designs. Ellen Bridger recreated the 1920's make-up look and I did the hair styling. It was a lovely morning and we have had the wonderful pleasure of having our work published in Vintage Life magazine !(The October 2013 Edition).
We were at a beautiful Sussex flintstone church in Barcombe,near Lewes, on a lovely sunny summer's day.



L to R: AvelynRuby Heels and Jessica Burchett .




If you would like to see more of the Photographs from this collection, see the album on my facebook page
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How to choose the perfect flowergirls hairstyles

 
Your bridesmaids styles depends on the age and hair length of your bridesmaids. And of course, your wedding theme too!
 
A child from age 6 upwards is more likely to sit still long enough to curl a while headful of hair, so you'll have a fair amount of flexibility with styles. Any child below the age of around 12 is very likely to have a run around or play energetically at some point, so the simpler the style the better! Plaiting is a great option for particularly lively children.
 
 Any half- up hair style is a good way to plan for short bobs to long hair, as their hair is off their face, but no as likely to fall out as quickly as a hairstyle that's all up. The hairband is then a great place for a flower, ribbon or pretty hair clasp.
 
Your easiest option for all ages below teens is the simple flower garland - it fits like an alice band. To get the best fit, it's a good idea to ask the child's parent for an alice band with a good fit, to give to your florist. Also , be sure to ask for flowers that aren't too heavy, especially on fine hair.
 
 
Any child below the age of 5 is quite likely to find the weight of hair accessories quite annoying, so you could explain to their parent that you need the accessory on for the ceremony and the pictures, but they are welcome to remove them after this. Then leave the bribery method up to them!

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