Here Comes the Bride
Bride: Alexandra Herrera, 35
Deal of the Day:
The Art of Compromise:
Give Me Color:
Keeping it Real:
Her whirlwind romance with fiance Greg Perram, which began in the spring of 2002, would have a fitting legal beginning with a mix of Motown, Brazilian samba and salsa meringue.
A former competitive dancer, Herrera, 35, of Lakewood, says she heard the local band After Five playing two years ago and made a mental note to herself.
"Everyone was up dancing and having a great time and I remember thinking ... €˜Someday if I ever get married, I am going to have this band,' €VbCrLf Herrera says. "I just think even if anything goes wrong on your wedding day, as long as you have good music, people will remember dancing the night away.€VbCrLf
Her "someday€VbCrLf is fast approaching now. The couple will marry Sept. 6 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. An elaborate reception for 200 will follow later in the day at Windows on the River on the west bank of the Flats. Hors d'oeuvres will be served on a silver platter and guests will enjoy an open bar and a dinner menu of chicken, salmon or prime rib.
A nurse at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Herrera says she is going for the spectacular for her wedding day.
"I wear scrubs every day. My hair is in a ponytail and I wear minimal makeup,€VbCrLf she notes. "So, on this really special day, it would nice to have a unique, elegant look.€VbCrLf
For Herrera's trial run at Charles Scott Salon and Spa in Rocky River, stylist Natalie Larson high- and lowlighted the bride-to-be's long brown locks to give them some brightness and trimmed her ends for a clean start. Larson then used the curling iron to create about 20 spiral curls to later pin around the crown and the back of Herrera's head to create a stunning updo. Using Rusk Shining spray and Sebastian Shaper hairspray, Larson ensured that the 'do was not coming down.
Once makeup artist Simona Pavel heard "glamorous,€VbCrLf the one-word description Herrera is aiming for, she went to work applying earth tones on Herrera's olive skin. Although wedding-day makeup is not an everyday look by any means, Pavel says it's important that the final result is something not too far removed from the bride's natural appearance.
Pavel started with a Youngblood foundation in warm beige. The mineral powder foundation stays soft and doesn't overwhelm the skin, she explains. On Herrera's eyes, she applied a Smoke liner, earth-tone shadows and black waterproof mascara. She then dusted a sheer amount of two kinds of shimmer - Dusk and Sunset (also by Youngblood) - to give Herrera a glowing, healthy look.
With a shimmery peach tone on her cheeks, a brownish-red Mocha Berry lipstick with a hint of orange lipstick applied to the interior to make the lips more voluptuous, Herrera's glamorous look had a stunning finish. The products used range from $14 for the liners to $30 for the versatile foundation, which works first as a powder but can also be used as a concealer and liquid base by adding a little water or moisturizer.
"I was so happy with what they did that I booked them for the wedding day,€VbCrLf Herrera says. She even bought the loaner veil and headpiece used that day from The Perfect Bride, also located in the Old River Shopping center in Rocky River.
The headpiece chosen is a comb detailed with intricate ivory pieces on a sterling silver base, and the veil is full length and tucked underneath the updo in the back so the design of curls was visible.
The hair and makeup complemented the simple, yet classy, dress Herrera found after one day of shopping and only five dresses tried. Her choice: a Jessica McClintock full-length strapless gown that is form fitting to her petite figure.
"Although I like some traditional things, I'm always going for that little unique flair,€VbCrLf Herrera says. In turn, her bridesmaids will wear tea-length silk, cocoa-brown dresses. With spaghetti straps and an angled hem at the bottom, the ensemble will have a Colombian feel true to Herrera's heritage.
The stress of planning a wedding hasn't gotten to either Herrera or Perram, who works for National City Bank. "I used to work in the ER, so I can handle working under pressure,€VbCrLf Herrera says with a smile. "It's been a lot of fun.€VbCrLf
Although it's still a month before the couple is a legal union, they've been true partners in planning the big day.
"Greg is such a good sport. He has been involved in absolutely everything,€VbCrLf Herrera says. "Since we are getting married at an older age, between the two of us, we are paying for the majority of the wedding.€VbCrLf