The Blog

Operation Don't Look Like Princess Fiona for Your Wedding

Passing him the brush, she breezily announced: "I've got some gossip. I've booked myself an amazing holiday to the Rainforest on the weekend of your wedding and won't be able to do your hair. So Mario here will be doing the honours instead." My hair wilted in dismay...

Since my wedding photographer wasn't prepared to smother his lens in Vaseline, I needed to spruce the chuff out of myself ahead of the big day.

A year before the wedding, my hairdresser chum had agreed to tame my barnet into something which oozed "foxy wife" and I booked a trial at her nest a week before I was aisle-bound. She brushed my hair and introduced me to a gay friend of hers - let's call him Mario - wielding gargantuan curlers, which may have been used by Brunel to build the Bristol Suspension Bridge.

Passing him the brush, she breezily announced: "I've got some gossip. I've booked myself an amazing holiday to the Rainforest on the weekend of your wedding and won't be able to do your hair. So Mario here will be doing the honours instead."

My hair wilted in dismay, like the Weepiest Willow as I received this bombshell, just a week ahead of my "I do" shenanigans.

I was thrilled to discover she'd known this for weeks, but wanted to tell me in person just days before the wedding. As she offered this complete stranger and his partner a bed in the bridal chalet and invited them to take the place of her and her husband at our wedding reception - "they'll have the same food we ordered, so that's fine" - I silently resigned myself to Mario's comb, hoping his skills would be the silver lining of this hirsute cloud and that he could recreate the hair from the Brigitte Bardot picture I'd given them as a guide.

Over the next four hours, I watched in slack-jawed horror as he curled, sprayed, back-combed and piled my hair into the style Bardot would have had, if she'd asked Edward Scissorhands to give her a look which resembled the bastard lovechild of Marge Simpson and The Eiffel Tower. It was a masterpiece of sorts, with an enormous, pastie-like back, a towering beehive and bizarre bush of curls exploding from the top, as if my hair was manically attempting to escape Mario's clutches. I later discovered that Mario is, in fact, a wig-maker and his true talents might have come in handy later that week, as I started pulling out said hair, searching for a hairdresser who could provide a London trial and perform the deed before my Cornish ceremony.

Happily, the heavens parted, a chorus of angels grabbed their ankles and performed a victory dance and a miracle in the shape of HOB Salons appeared. After my dashing stylist looked at the pictures of Mario's efforts and asked a nearby nurse to stitch his sides, he got to work. He expertly pondered the Fifties style of my bridemaid's dresses, my frock, the venue and every possible variable of the big day, and gave old Bardot the heave-ho to work my hair into the deliciously elegant, Grace Kelly up-do below. To give it a modern twist, he back-combed the top of my hair, plaited it along the back and turned the fat plait into a messy side bun. And I am so grateful and chuffed for their sterling work, that I will be giving them my first-born as a thank you.

With the head hair ticked off the list, I had to tackle the remaining hair on assorted limbs and appendages, starting with my lashes. I headed to Perfect Eyelashes' swish salon in Kensington for a set of bespoke, Diamond Lashes, which cost between £180 and £200 and are worth every, eye-fluttering penny. After a thorough consultation about my peeper-needs, the sex kitten director, Agnes dos Santos patiently spent an hour, individually attaching 120 - 200 semi-permanent lashes per eye, while I drifted off (snoring like a tractor) to the playlist of Eighties power ballads, fighting the urge to grab the sky and pull it closer when Foreigner's I Want to Know What Love Is boomed out, as this would have resulted in the jaunty eye lids of a stroke victim.

I awoke to the most dazzling peepers, which looked completely natural - unlike those unsavoury strips, which make everybody look like lazy-eyed RuPauls. Happily, this meant I didn't have to wear mascara and worry about looking like Alice Cooper on the Big Day. And they even survived honeymoon snorkelling and were still standing proudly to attention three weeks later, when I returned to Blighty. Because I hadn't drowned my baby lashes in mascara for weeks, my own lashes had also grown and thickened, so I can chalk the whole affair down as a massive, beauty win.

Now that I'd spruced and increased the hair that society had befriended, I had to turn to the Black Sheep of the hair family on the rest of my body, which - it seems - women are only allowed to grow if we're at Glastonbury or making edgy political statements. I learned that Lady Garden waxes materialised thanks to new camera technology in the Eighties, which meant they could film new and alarming nooks and crannies in porn films. Eighties Bush stood furrily in the way of this electronic advancement, so had to go. All of it. As a result, beavers all over the world were plucked and pummelled into submission, to mirror this new, sexual norm.

So it was only right that I took my unwanted and unloved hair to Otylia Roberts, who as Vogue pointed out, brought the phenomenon of Brazilian waxing to the UK. Her Otylia Roberts Waxing Centre in London's Gielly Green is a cathedral to beauty, with plush furniture and clientele so glamorous, I thrust my chipped nails into my pockets and hastily cover the half-eaten bag of Quavers peeking out of my handbag.

Normally, waxes fill me with the sort of dread which bubbled in my stomach before hockey lessons at school. But these masters of the dark arts coated me in their toffee-like, hot wax and delicately plucked every sneaky hair about my person, without me leaping up into the therapist's arms, howling like Scooby-Do. And my follicles clearly know the Otylia Roberts crew are not to be messed with, because I was smooth as Phil Collins's head for weeks.

The final part of my beauty jigsaw was my aforementioned, chipped talons, which were fixed by the Smooth You alchemists of pretty, in Islington. This seemed like an impossible task, since my nails are made entirely from tracing paper and each one is a dramatically different and deformed shape and length. But they rose to the challenge, giving them a treatment to strengthen and condition, exfoliating my paws and and giving me a permanent, Full Gellicure in a glittering, red gel polish which matched by Wizard of Oz-inspired wedding shoes.

And although my husband might not have recognised the super-groomed bird in the white frock who tottered down the aisle - probably faster than intended as the wax had no-doubt improved my aerodynamics - he seemed chuffed with the result.

So now I've got a ring on it, I can eat cake and let myself go.