I’ve let the Ask Afrobella questions stack up too high. I apologize. Allow me to get back to Afrobella basics.

I post this photo with a disclaimer: it took me a LONG time and a lot of back and forth discussion before I decided to post this photo. I don’t aim to be one of those sites that regularly features photos of myself. But the photo kills two birds with one stone.

1. For all of you who have asked, what did your hair look like straight? Here you go. This was my big chop, pretty much. Never looked back after that.

And 2. This photo helps to answer this Ask Afrobella question from a reader named Nichelle.

With the “wedding season” quickly approaching do you mind doing a post giving tips that would relate to us afrobella’s getting married or that know someone getting married? Specifically hair tips and make-up. I’m getting married this summer and I have no clue what to do with my hair!!!! Currently I wear a curly free form ‘fro, but for my wedding I’d like to do something extra special. Most bridal magazines have styles for white women, women with relaxers or loose flowing curls, which doesn’t do much for me. Yes I know my wedding is a few months off, but I’m really stressing about my hair! Any input from you would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Nichelle “nikki j”

Believe me, Nichelle — I know how stressful wedding planning can be!

This photo of a photo (we didn’t have digital cameras at that point) is from our wedding five years ago. As you can see, I didn’t follow the wedding trends. I got married in bronze sari fabric, and I cut my hair off before the wedding. And I wore dyed-to-match ballet flats — the dress was so long you couldn’t even see my shoes anyway. My point is, forget the sameness that’s being shoved down your throat in the typical bridal mags, and do YOU.

Your wedding is the one day that you are the center of the room. You are the star of the show. The eyes of the room are constantly on you. So I say play it to the hilt and rock a tiara. Why not? When next will you get to wear some fabulous, over the top hair accessory?

My tiara was a loaner, and my dress was designed by Meiling, Trinidad’s most amazing designer. You can see some of her older work here, and here, with images from Caribbean Fashion Week 2004. I’m not sure if Meiling made the tiara herself, but I know it was made of copper and seed pearls.

Bella Mia Bride has a great variety of tiaras — this one would look super pretty with a pulled back afro puff.

If you’ve got a longer free-form ‘fro, maybe you want to pull some of the hair back in a chic, romantic up do with a few artfully arranged, loose curls around your face.

For a hippie wedding, a flower could be the way to go — get a fake one at Claire’s, or pick a pretty real one from a local florist. Trim the stem short and use a bobby pin to make sure it stays put all night long.

If you’re doing something more elegant, a hair pin could be the way to go, and the hair berries by Spipo designs could make for a memorably gorgeous wedding day ‘do. A cluster of hair berries costs $20, and single berries cost $10.99. Plus, if you e mail Rickina, the designer, she can create a custom color and design for you.

If you want to go bold and fabulous and ethnocentric and dramatic, go for one of Brunsli’s Hair Ties. They range from $12 to $28, and are just FABULOUS. I have one — The Bella, natch! And when my hair was longer, I loved wearing it. (I just got a special haircut last Saturday, so look out for a giant post on that next week!)

Brunsli’s hair ties are unique, and really work well for women with locks. Her jewelry is made of shell mosaics, amber horn, and abalone. She’s got amazing how-to-wear photos and more hair ties on her blog.

Look at the Jade Dragon, and tell me that wouldn’t make for a fierce and unique wedding day hair accessory. It’s bold, brave, and most of all, memorable. I’d rock that with pride.

If you don’t want to go the accessories route, I’d suggest you find a hair dresser who loves to work with curls (NOT the kind who looks at you in horror when you enter the salon), and get them to practice some alternative styles — demonstrate some updo options, or maybe try twists, a twist out, or fingerstyling some of your curls into Shirley Temple spirals with a gentle and moisturizing gel for a different look. Deva Curl Arc Angell is utterly amazing and will leave your curls springy, super defined, and replenished with moisture. (Lots more on Deva Curl next week!)

Afrobellas have just as many options as anyone else when it comes to wedding day hairdos. However you choose to work your look, Nichelle — live it up and make sure you feel comfortable and look the way YOU want to. It’s the perfect time to show off your fabulous ‘fro and make your own unique fashion statement through your hair style!

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don beezy says:
April 13, 2007, 10:46 am
you look really cute=)
AppleDiva says:
April 13, 2007, 11:05 am
I love when brides buck tradition. My friend's wife wore a pink gown on their wedding day. It was gorgeous. Nothing will be memorable, if you do not create a unique look or event. Bella, what was your tiara made of?
blackviolet says:
April 13, 2007, 11:21 am
I was married on a beach in St. Croix last summer. Since I was 4 months pregnant, I decided to wear a flowy greek goddess style dress in white, light pink and light blue. I definitely was barefooted with a fresh pedicure, and my hair, and this was my favorite part, was natural for a year by then, so I wore it in a huge rounded afro with a little headband and a tropical flower in my hair. My husband and I made it our own, esp. since we planned it in three weeks. I wish there were magazines showing that simple creative weddings are just as nice as the big glamorous weddings.
Peajai says:
April 13, 2007, 12:09 pm
Bella, You looked beautiful on your wedding day! I kinda wondered to myself why there weren't more pictures of you on this site. I wouldn't mind them at all. Especially some pictures of your hair. :) Thanks for this informative post. Even though I am not planning a wedding yet, I definitely plan to rep my curls to the fullest on my wedding day and I love the idea of a puff and a tiara.
afrobella says:
April 13, 2007, 12:20 pm
Aww, thanks bellas. Apple Diva, it was made of copper and seed pearls. And it was gorgeous! I wish I had a closer photo, or at least one where I'm not giving someone the side-eye.
sunsailblogger says:
April 13, 2007, 12:45 pm
Hey, is that RDP modeling the jade?? :) Bella, your tiara is bangin'! It reminds me of something you might see in the movies, something the queen of winter would be rockin'.
afrobella says:
April 13, 2007, 1:06 pm
I'm not sure, I actually e mailed Brunsli this morning to ask if I could use the photo. I posted it, but if she wants me to take it down, I can... either way I found it on her site and was so AWESTRUCK by how gorgeous this bellas hair is with the jade dragon, I had to post it. I hope I haven't offended anyone! Brunsli?
AppleDiva says:
April 13, 2007, 1:18 pm
Oooh Bella, I love the materials of the tiara. :D
Nikki J says:
April 13, 2007, 1:20 pm
Thanks for the tips Bella!! I just got my dress so that makes it easier for me to pick out accesories for my hair and to wear on my special day. I'll be sure to check out the folks you mentioned. And I'll be sure to send pics from my special day.
EricaRH says:
April 13, 2007, 1:27 pm
Completely off topic, but I came across your site from a link on ConcreteLoop and I must say I have been missing out! What I've read so far has been thought provoking and insightful...in other words I love it! Keep up the wonderful work!
jerseybred says:
April 13, 2007, 2:28 pm
Bella, you look lovely.
Dad says:
April 13, 2007, 2:33 pm
I definitely remember your big day and I am very proud of you and Steve. Five years in this day and age is a great achievement. Keep it going and continue being the best you can be. Your Mom and I will see you soon. Love, Dad
sunsailblogger says:
April 13, 2007, 2:43 pm
Ooh, forgot to share this link with the bride-to-be. Most of the aairstyles are for locked people, but perhaps it may inspire a natural bella! http://www.renaissancehairtopia.com/index.html
Nikki J says:
April 13, 2007, 3:42 pm
Sunsail, I looked at the website. They have some beautiful styles. Thanks for the link
RJ says:
April 13, 2007, 6:37 pm
Ahhhh!! So beautiful! I don't know if I'll ever get married, but I'll definetly take note from you, Bella!!! I LOVE THE TIARA!!!!! beautiful. just beautiful!
AppleDiva says:
April 13, 2007, 9:55 pm
Bella, sorry for the lazy eyes. You did tell us the materials. I read your blog, I promise.. I do :D
hellokitty says:
April 14, 2007, 1:23 am
you are too cute.
Anita Grant says:
April 14, 2007, 9:43 am
Bella you look beautiful, simply beautiful!
Dahls says:
April 14, 2007, 10:58 am
I love it when caution is thrown to the wind like this. Well done Bella, you looked beautiful on your big day. I've never been a fan of the traditional white for ones wedding day either, particularly the veil.
bella says:
April 14, 2007, 12:22 pm
Thanks, Dahls! We broke all the rules. No veil, and we got married in a beautiful hotel with two priests, one Catholic and one Episcopalian. It was a daytime wedding, too. I think the whole thing was over by 5, but for many the celebration went on all night! Can't believe it was five years ago already...
Brunsli says:
April 14, 2007, 2:45 pm
Bella, I love your wedding sari! And, I'm thrilled that you like your hair tie and that you posted the jade dragon. Brunsli
RDP says:
April 15, 2007, 1:59 pm
Good eye, Sunsail! I have to say that I can't wait to have a special occasion where I can wear the Jade Dragon. And thanks Afrobella for all the interesting posts. I really am enjoying benefiting from your "wisdom!" And I can't wait to check out the hair berries! I am sure that I will get sucked in by one...
kay-oh says:
April 18, 2007, 2:35 pm
My hair is natural and I usually wear it in two-strand twists. So I did an "up-do" with my twists for my wedding. I stuck some decorative flower pins in it. You can check out the pics at my website: http://foreverkimberlyandleron.wedquarters.com
Sous Le Vent says:
April 24, 2007, 5:46 am
I ordered a Brunsli hair tie and love it but truthfully, they are so simple to make that I went to the bead store, bought some gorgeous beads and elastic and made 10 of my own. Grand total? $15. If you can tie a knot, you can make those things and CHEEEEAAAP!
Blessed@Home says:
April 25, 2007, 1:18 pm
Thanx for sharing. What a beautiful bride! It is so freeing when we decide to be who we feel we really are and not who society says we should be.
Maryee says:
May 16, 2008, 1:57 am
I'm always looking for cute do's for special events. I do have a few pics with some updos for those who have medium length locks. in photo album Thanks for sharing this post.
Sherisa of L'élephant Rose says:
February 14, 2009, 12:14 am
AMEN to this post! I'm getting married 10.10.10, but I'm a natural gal myself and I've been thinking about it since I started growing my hair back out. That is such a mental headache to tackle, but the suggestions you have are good ones! Thanks :)
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