P r i d e W e d d i n g s 2010
Expert stylist and gay wedding expo host Daniel Lewis teases and pleases for weddings of all kinds
Daniel Lewis loves to talk about hair. Wedding hair especially.
A whirlwind of high energy, he’s always on the go, whether it’s cutting and coloring hair, starring on a reality TV or styling entire bridal parties for the Big Day. For the past nine years, he’s been the go-to guy for straight weddings, but lately he’s been turning his attention to same-sex ceremonies.
As the host for the 2010 GLBT Wedding and Anniversary Expo, Lewis is prepared to impart his quick wit and infinite hair-styling wisdom on a whole new crowd. At his Green Peridot Salon in Frisco, he’s making a concentrated effort to devote additional time and effort to North Texas’ gay community (beyond his already deep involvement with Resource Center Dallas).
"All my friends up here in Frisco are blonde, 30- to 50-year-old women who live behind a gate somewhere," he says. "I want to get more into my community, so that’s why I want to do the gay wedding expo. I’m so excited about that. It’s something that needs to happen. We as a people — the gays! — love to spend money on things and so why wouldn’t we like to spend money on our wedding and have some direction?"
On season 2 of Bravo’s Shear Genius, Lewis became the fast fan favorite, loved for his razor-sharp sense of humor and good ol’ Southern charm. As host of the expo, he’ll provide color commentary on wedding fashions, and, of course, hair.
"I like to make the wedding a story," he says. "Now I get to actually kind of relate to it a little bit more than I do at other bridal shows. I normally have little quippy things I say about the bride and the groom and now I’m going to have little quippy things about the bride and the bride! Or the groom and the groom!"
But it’s hair that’s where his heart is. And he’s not afraid to state his opinion for the betterment of a wedding.
"I’m kind of known for my bridal hair, and I love doing bridal parties as a group. Say we’re going to do Hollywood Glam as a theme, then they’re all going to do Hollywood Glam. There’s none of this tendril bullshit," he laughs.
So it should come as no surprise that he has some helpful tips on making the wedding memorable — at least from the hair apparent.
Hire a professional. "You’re spending so much time and effort into this wedding, we’ve got to make it like a scene. It’s a put-on play," Lewis says. "I go to some weddings and I’m like, ‘Oh, they let everybody do their own hair.’"
It’s a great leap of faith, but Lewis says you have to trust that someone else knows best what you need to look like that day. "Sandra Bullock didn’t get up on the day of the Oscars and tell everyone what she wanted to look like — she had professionals who were chosen to make her look spectacular."
Some women can become real Bridezillas — or now Groomzillas with gay men. "This last gay wedding, [one of the grooms] insisted that all the women’s hair be up in this particular style and I told him, ‘Dude, look. It’s going to look horrible. Look at the nose on that one!’" he laughs. "You trust your florist, you trust your decorator; you need to trust your hair stylist for the wedding."
Plan ahead. "For a guy, get your hair cut one week before. For a woman — or a man for that matter — make sure your color is done one week before. But you need to have a goal. Now is not the time to try a new color out. Experiment six months before if you don’t know what color you want."
Photographic memory. "Hair and makeup is all about the pictures," he counsels. "What you look like that day is important, but what you look like in the photos for the next 50 years is equally important, if not more so. So go a little heavier on the makeup. Just put a little something extra on. Go a little further with the hair. If you’re a woman with a huge white dress, know that your hair slicked down to your head is not going to give a balanced look."
If you can afford it, Lewis recommends an on-site hair specialist for the entire event.
"Have someone there for tweaking and adjusting. I spent two months filming with Jaclyn Smith and guess what? She doesn’t just wake up looking like that. If it weren’t for the fat French man with the teasing comb and hairspray standing five feet away at all times, she wouldn’t look like Jaclyn Smith."
Even for the men, make sure things are staying in order. "For men — not just gay men — put a little translucent powder on. It’s like being on TV or stage. You’re not some girly guy just because you put a little powder on. You just don’t want to look shiny in the pictures. As you can see, the photos are a big thing for me because you spend a fortune on photography. And if it doesn’t look right, you’re going to have shitty photos for the rest of your life. Though thank God for Photoshop."
The big change. "Change your outfits and your hair in between the wedding and the reception," he says. "I have even cut hair at the church before the reception.
It’s just fun: ‘Look I’m married now! I have a whole new look!’"
Location, location, location. Lewis’ final bit of advice: "Don’t plan your wedding outside. You can quote me on that. Just don’t do it. For the sake of the hair stylist, for the sake of the event planner, just don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Just. Don’t. Do. It."
GET YOUR EXPO ON
For the third time, the GLBT Wedding and Anniversary Expo wants to be the one-stop shopping spot for your big day. And maybe let you breathe for a second.
More than 30 wedding service vendors will be on hand — photographers, videographers, DJs, limousine rentals and everything in between. They will also feature facility options for your ceremony, a bridal and tuxedo fashion show and perhaps most importantly bakers for the fabulous wedding cake — with samples!
Creative director Kimberly Truax feels the expo is open to people even just wanting to make a statement.
"I hope people come out to the event just to support gay marriage," she says. "They can support the vendors who support same-sex marriages."
GLBT Wedding and Anniversary Expo, Warwick Melrose Hotel, 3015 Oak Lawn Ave. Sunday, May 16 at noon. $10. WhyWouldWe.org/Expo
This article appeared in the Pride Weddings 2010 special section in the Dallas Voice print edition May 7, 2010.