BRANDY DUTY, bridal and event coordinator and manager at Wingate Salon & Spa, says timing is “absolutely” everything when planning your wedding.
“It’s all about timing. The sooner that you start, the better your timeline is going to be, the smoother your wedding is going to go,” she said.
As soon as you step inside Wingate, a full-service salon in a historic Colonial home called Wingate House in Stratham, the mood for your bridal spa get-together is set. Its large size and several rooms are well-suited for spa treatments, large parties, or even a relaxing tea time.
“It is a very well-known house in the town. We’ve got at least 20 treatment rooms all through the house. When you walk into the front door, it’s like walking into a very bold, large, nice home. What you would think were bedrooms are our service-treatment rooms,” said Duty.
An event to remember
Wingate’s bridal and private events suite can hold as many as 25 people. There, brides can host spa parties, get their hair and makeup done or just relax. You can also get your toes prepped in a private pedicure room, and there’s a deck that’s ideal for photos.
“The event suite is separate from the rest of the salon and spa, which makes for a more intimate experience,” Duty said.
Brides can choose from any customized package, which combine some of the spa’s most popular services.
“We do a lot of pre-wedding parties (like) bridal showers, bachelorette parties, just pre-wedding pampering,” she said.
“Peaceful Retreat,” for example, includes a warm sea stone massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. “Girls Day Out” and the “Pamper Me Package” have similar services. There’s also the option to create your own spa event to fit your budget.
All that pampering can work up an appetite, but Wingate’s got that covered.
Spa packages include “Wingate Tea Time,” where guests can enjoy scones, fruit, cheeses and various teas in the tea room. Champagne and strawberries is another fun option.
“They will do all that in our bridal suite as well, because that’s big enough to host catering,” Duty said.
Hair and nails
Not surprisingly, hair and nail services are a popular choice for the big day. She said brides often have “nail parties,” where guests can get manicures and pedicures. But at Wingate, they keep things traditional.
“We only do nail services on natural nails. We don’t do any acrylics, we don’t any nail enhancements. We’re more on the aesthetic side of nail care. We have clean-cut, fresh (styles), lots of French manicures,” she said. The salon uses OPI Infinite Shine polish and CND professional shellac
Brides’ interests are always changing with hair styles, but lately Duty’s noticed a big swing toward braids.
“Braids are the big thing now — waterfall braids, cascade braids, French braids. The last two years, braids have been huge.”
But if it’s not bold braids or knots that brides want, it’s the smooth, sleek look they crave.
“So it’s messy with braids and knots, or really smooth, sleek, finished work,” she said, adding that loose curls is another option.
This is your wedding day, after all, so make it count.
“Your hair is not going to be down, your hair is going to be up, it’s going to be clean, it’s going to be fresh,” Duty said.
Wingate offers blowouts and upstyles for your wedding day, along with bridal makeup and temporary lash strips. According to their website, upstyles can include a chignon, draped twists, or specially designed curls. Just bring in your ideas and photos for your dream look.
Duty said brides must come in about a month before their wedding for trial services to work out any kinks.
“That’s when they determine how intricate the designs are going to be — if they’re going to need more products, if they’re going to need more supplies.”
While Wingate’s bridal suite has been a huge hit, they can do even more than that.
“We’d much rather have our bridal parties come to us because we have all the proper lighting and equipment and we have the room for it. I feel like they have a much more enjoyable, relaxing experience when they come and have their services done at the spa rather than at a hotel.”
But if that’s not for you, Duty said their bridal team can be willing to go where you want.
“We had a client that we have had for a very very long time and they were getting married at the Boston Public Library. We went there and did their makeup. It was pretty cool.”
Best to plan ahead
Again, allowing ample time for your spa appointments is key. Duty said Wingate books about six months out for bridal spa services, and most brides are on top of this.
“You do have a couple people that are like last-minute stragglers. Those are the ones that ... sorry, but you’re not going to get in because I’ve been booked up every weekend for the last two months.”
But she said it’s not entirely unheard of for a bride to luck out and get a sudden spa date. “We’ve had last-minute brides call in a panic and been able to accommodate.”
She recommends people visit Wingate’s Instagram and Facebook pages to get ideas.
“We have a ton of bridal pictures ... if you’re looking for specific visions.”
Getting local recognition for Wingate’s work doesn’t hurt business either, and it helps get the word out.
“We have also won Best of NH for our bridal services for the last 10 years. That is extremely enticing for clientele as well. If they have the money to want the best, then they have the best,” Duty said.
Visit wingatespa.com for pricing details and other information, or call 772-8400. Wingate Salon & Spa is located at 139 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham.