One of the most common questions I’m asked as a wedding makeup artist is whether or not I can do the bride’s hair and makeup for her rehearsal dinner. The answer for me is always yes. Think about it — your wedding day is all about channeling the best version of yourself. You’ll spend good money to hire an artist capable of amplifying your features in a way that makes you feel stunning, yet comfortable in your own skin. Your rehearsal dinner, however, can be a more playful beauty moment. What better time to experiment with all those rehearsal dinner ideas you’ve Pinned, wear your favorite red carpet-style look and get done-up to the nines for all of your friends and family to swoon over?

That’s why I’m here to lay out a new way to think about wedding makeup. Your rehearsal dinner is a time of anticipation and excitement — the biggest day of your life is about to go down. This is the time you go for your fantasy look in terms of hair and makeup, like the vintage-inspired, non-traditional bride look I created on our model, digital sales planner and newlywed, Ashley Fischer Stern, below. Read on for the visual inspo, plus my five wedding beauty rules to break at your rehearsal dinner.

1. Ditch the white. Instead, go for a print, pattern or bold color that still has subtle “bridal” accents. The crystal embellishments on Ashley’s tie-dye dress are a perfect example.

2. Think outside the box. Whether you’re drawn to a retro vixen look like Ashley’s rocking, or you prefer a bohemian goddess or maybe even rocker chic look, now’s the time to get experimental. You already know your makeup artist is capable of making you look and feel your best, so why not let her bring an unexpected beauty vision to life for your pre-wedding festivities?

3. Go for a dramatic eye. A smokey eye is a great way for a bride to rock a soft smolder on her big day, but for the night before, go there! This is your opportunity to convey major drama with a metallic smokey eye or even something a little more colorful.

4. Don’t be afraid of a bold lip. Even more daring brides tend to redefine their idea of “bold” when it comes to rocking a statement hue on their pout for their wedding day; no one wants smudges and smears. Here’s an opportunity to wear a deeper, darker shade — just avoid too many kisses ;)

5. Rock extreme locks. This could vary, but in this case, Ashley — normally drawn to tousled waves — went in the opposite direction and is wearing a chic, retro-glam look with a heavy side part. This is the time to take your hairstyle in the exact opposite direction than your wedding look. Make the wow factor of your wedding hair even more powerful by playing up an entirely different silhouette for your rehearsal dinner.

Get ready to get your creativity on! Preparing for your rehearsal dinner debut can be just as fun as curating your bridal beauty vision. So fill up those Pinboards, and let your alter ego take over for your last night as a Miss!

Your Big Day is just starting! Check out all things Brit + Co Weddings and follow us on Pinterest for more beautiful + creative wedding inspo.

Hair/Makeup/Art Direction: Misty Spinney
Photography: Kurt Andre
Model: Ashley Fischer Stern