Weddings & Parties:
Think about your Photographs! Whether you are the Bride, the Groom, the In-Laws or simply the guests, photographs cannot be changed so make sure that your choice of eyewear is comfortable and that you look like ‘you’. Don’t try to be someone that you are not. If spectacles are a part of your ‘look’ then keep this as your style. Remember, if you don’t recognise yourself without specs, and you opt for an alternative option that you are less easy with, you may regret your own wedding photos in years to come.
Image credit: Shutterstock
For Weddings and Special Occasions, we all make the extra effort to look our best, hence the tailored outfits, new shoes, losing weight, the extra gym sessions and employing make-up artists and hairstylists. But, when it comes to the optical correction, I’ve seen people make quite a few mistakes. If your eyewear is old, please replace it. Buy new frames and lenses to complement the new wardrobe on your big day. Likewise, if you are a Contact Lens wearer, only use fresh new Contact Lenses for your important event.
Image credit: ChatterSource.com – lens scratches
To make this simple, let me guide you on what ‘not’ to do.
- Do not wear old spectacles (frame paint may be chipped, lenses look scratched, the sides may be damaged or bent and worst-case scenario, your glasses break on the main day from years of wear and tear). Invest in new glasses just as you would buy a new suit or dress or shoes.
- Do not rely on one pair of spectacles or 1 pair of contact lenses for any occasion, be it a wedding or a meeting. Make sure you have spare glasses and contact lenses. You may have purchased some new and beautiful frames to celebrate your special occasion, but what if someone knocks the spectacles from your face whilst dancing on the dancefloor and breaks them? Have a back-up plan. Invest in 2 pairs of spectacles. A lot of high street Opticians offer deals on second spectacle purchases (Specsavers, Boots Opticians). Even if you’re accustomed to buying from the elite, boutique practices, they will all offer some sort of discount on subsequent purchases. Take advantage of these offers but more importantly, ‘budget’ for these costs into your wedding expenditure.
- As mentioned earlier, do not try to be someone else. Be the best version of yourself. If you are the Groom and usually wear spectacles, chances are that you’ll rock the eyewear that you select because tailored suits and glasses go very well together. Just the way gentlemen are trending beards right now, make your eyewear fit the image that you want to create for yourself. If you like plastic frames, avoid heavy or thick-rimmed frames that crowd or mask the eyes and eyebrows. This will create a darkened shadow effect on your photographs. Instead, opt for medium to thin-rimmed plastic frames that fit your face well and show your eyes clearly through the lens.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Gentlemen, if you’re happy to wear spectacles but want a softer look, try ‘in-line’ frames (see Reykjavik or Silhouette styles) which give a discreet pop of colour and shape. By the same token, Rimless frames (Silhouette, Lindberg) are also very discreet and currently, the modern versions of rimless eyewear have darker and thicker sides to bring them more up to trend. Not everyone can wear the bold full-rim frames, so instead, rimless eyewear carries this theme by incorporating bolder sides for the rimless piece selected. The rimless style doesn’t draw too much attention to the face whilst the ‘statement’ sides create enough of a chic look.
Lindberg Rimless Frames. Image credit: Lindberg
The plus point for rimless spectacles is that they can be custom-built. You can bespoke order the shape and size of your lenses to best compliment your face shape and head size. Plastic and metal frames can also be tailor-made (Tom Davies and K&M) but the consumer must allow extra time for this bespoke fitting since full-rim frames take longer to customise. For the ladies, I would suggest rimless spectacles or choosing plastic or metal frames that incorporate soft or warm colours. In my opinion, it would be best to avoid black or brown/tortoise-shell frames when you’re wearing a beautiful gown or dress. The dark spectacle frame will draw all the attention away from the dress, the make-up and hair.
- Contact lenses: For novice contact lens wearers, do not wear contact lenses (CL) to a special occasion until you are used to them. As soon as you have a date for the special event, book yourself an appointment with your Opticians to be fitted for CLs if this is the option that you have selected. You must give yourself time to practice taking the CLs in and out of the eye safely and time for adaption. The CL is a foreign body in the eye and you must allow your eye time to adapt to this unusual sensation. Eventually, you will become accustomed to how the CL feels but do not leave this to the last minute because new CL wearers will notice excessive tears in the first few days, weeks or even months of adaption. The eyes will want to produce more tears to remove this foreign body sensation. This is a natural reflex by the body to remove anything that feels alien to the eye. Unfortunately for the ladies, the excessive tearing will ruin your eye make-up, so prepare in advance if you would like to be fitted for CLs. For the established CL wearer, please make sure that you have a contact lens check-up at least 3-6 months before your important day. This is to ensure that you have the optimum fit and correction before the main event. Ask your Optician if there are better options for your eyes. CLs are improving at a rapid rate in recent times so take advantage of this and apply the modifications so that you are comfortable throughout the day. I have attended enough weddings and celebrations over the years to notice a common problem that is often overlooked, and that is dry, gritty eyes. Check with your optician if the current CLs that you are wearing are the best fit. If the lenses are too tight, the natural tear film of the eye does not move or flow comfortably. Tight-fitting CLs can give the sensation of tired, gritty eyes. Ask your optician if alternative parameters are available to adjust the fitting (Johnson &Johnson CLs are available in different diameters and curves). If you feel that you are suffering from dry eyes, enquire about new CL materials that allow optimised moisture and airflow. Ladies, it is easy for the men because if their eyes get dry, they can apply wetting drops (Thea range) at any time of the day but this is not so simple for women since eye make-up could be severely compromised. Imagine the money wasted on beautiful eye make-up to see it all rolling down your cheeks because of the overzealous application of wetting drops (Thea bottles have a controlled-flow bottle to avoid this). To add to this disaster, you will have paid a photographer to follow you around and take lots of photos of you, and I am sure that the ‘Joker from Batman’ effect is not the natural shots that you would be hoping for.
- Do not wear bright coloured contact lenses. This is not your natural-self, and believe me, the photographs will show this. Cosmetic CLs generally come in 1 size that fits all. If the lens is not the correct fit for your eyeball, the coloured CL will keep moving and highlight your iris at the edges. Also, our eye’s pupil, constricts and dilates according to the amount of light that we are surrounded by. Coloured CLs have a fixed pupil zone and once again, photographs display this as a dark over-sized pupil in the photographs. This is not natural so don’t do it. Keep the contact lenses clear or use the ‘enhancer CLs’ at the most to enhance your natural colour and give you that extra sparkle in your eyes.
- Avoid ‘Photochromic’ spectacle lenses at weddings and celebrations. All outdoor photographs will show you wearing dark tinted lenses. It doesn’t matter if your celebration is in the spring, summer, autumn or winter. UV rays will be just as strong in the low winter sun as it can be in the summer, and the photochromic cells in the lenses react to the UV radiation that you are surrounded by. This means that even if the sun has gone behind a cloud and the weather may appear to be slightly overcast, the photochromic lenses will still react to the UV and therefore the lenses will appear dark in all outdoor photos. For outdoor celebrations, I would recommend that you keep your ‘everyday photochromic’ lenses at home (or in the car as the emergency pair) and invest in a clear pair for the special event. Today’s clear- spectacle lenses are available with a UV guard on them providing the essential UV protection (HOYA and Tokai).
Laser Eye Surgery
As a point of consideration, I would recommend that people also investigate the idea of Laser Eye Surgery at least a year before the wedding or special celebration. This method of correction is invasive, so please do your research before proceeding. Don’t just go by company testimonials, but look into impartial reviews on sites like Trustpilot. If you are happy with spectacles and Contact Lenses, carry on with these modes of eye correction. But, if you have problems with frame fittings, spectacle lens thickness, spectacle weight issues, frame material allergies and Contact Lens problems, to name just a few, then give Laser Surgery some thought. The technology behind Laser Eye Surgery, like everything else in the world, keeps evolving and improving. The procedure is also more affordable today than it was 15-20 years ago, especially with all the different payment plans that are readily available to customers. There are various types of Laser Eye Surgery, so book yourself in for a consultation at a reputable clinic, and discuss the best treatment, if any, with the clinician or optician that you see.
This isn’t a topic that most people want to address but nonetheless it is important to give some thought to your optical correction on the day. Admittedly, funerals are not a fashion show (or they shouldn’t be). It is a time to say ‘goodbye’ to someone, celebrate their life, share some memories and shed a few tears in remembrance. The latter part is necessary to consider. When people cry, their Contact Lenses will move and can become dislodged. The last thing you want at a funeral is to be distracted by your lost Contact Lens. Also, where there are tears, there will be tissues. Tissue dust is very uncomfortable in the eye, at the best of times, even without Contact Lenses so imagine if the tissue dust gets stuck around the Contact Lens edges. The sensation is very uncomfortable. My advice would be to wear your spectacles. If the sun is shining and you are standing outside, wear your sunglasses. They serve a double purpose to shield your eyes from the UV and also, discreetly mask a person’s sad, teary eyes.
At an interview, everything is an option. You can wear any type of spectacles, or you can wear your Contact Lenses. My advice here would be that, whatever you wear to an interview, it must be clean and shiny. If your outfit and shoes are pristine, but your eyewear is old, corroded, showing green nose-pads and generally looks decrepit, you’re not going to set a good example. In all jobs, it is expected of the employee to represent the company that they are being employed by, whether you are addressing the public or working with senior figures in multinational companies. Either way, you are liaising with people face to face. The first thing that people notice about you, before your clothes and shoes, is your face. Therefore, make sure your eyewear is in good condition and modern. If you decide to wear your Contact Lenses, make sure that they are clean, comfortable and fresh. You do not want to be rubbing your eyes or blinking excessively because your Contact Lenses are causing you irritation. Just remember, if you get distracted by an uncomfortable Contact Lens, you will not be concentrating on the interview and this can affect your performance at such a vital meeting.
Image Credit: Pexels
I thought I would throw this in here because we all ‘over-think’ this too much. At a first-date, just be you, but be the most confident version of yourself. Keep the date simple by picking a venue such as a Cafe, which is public and relaxed. By selecting a comfortable zone to meet, you can wear equally appropriate attire and this includes easy eyewear. Once again, all options would work. If you regularly wear CLs and this is your signature look, then wear your CLs. If your eyes are feeling tired from wearing CLs all week and you feel like wearing your fashionable specs, then wear them. Your spectacles are a part of your image just as much as the jeans you select to wear or your shoes, heels or trainers. Whatever your choice of optical correction, make sure that you feel good with your selection.
Armani Eyewear Campaign. Image Credit: Brooks Modeling Agency
Be A Responsible Patient
On a final afterthought, I have to speak for all Opticians now and request that the customers must take ownership for the up-keep of their spectacles, CLs or post-laser surgery. The opticians and laser consultants will always provide suitable aftercare but ultimately, the general maintenance of the optical correction or eye-care hygiene is down to the consumer. We live in a world of the ‘blame-game’ which is destroying much of the service industries. Do not blame the Optician for your lack of care whilst handling the spectacles. As an example, If you have broken your only pair of spectacles, do not rush the Opticians to make your new spectacles. New glasses can take anything from a few hours to be made to a few weeks. If a consumer is desperate, I would always ask them to seek an optical store that has the ‘lab facilities’ on-site for a speedy turnaround. If you cannot watch the TV, if you cannot drive, get to work or function on a day to day basis, just remember that this is your fault and not anybody else’s responsibility. Before any such calamity should happen, make sure that you have spare spectacles at work and at home to allow you to continue to function as normal. Accidents can happen at work, home or whilst on holiday. Therefore, have a spare correction at all of these places to ensure the continuation of your day to day tasks, whilst the Opticians can send your spectacles away for repair or arrange for a new set of glasses to be made for you (at your own cost, of course).
For CL wearers, I would recommend the same level of due diligence. Keep your Sight test and Contact Lens Prescriptions with you (keep this in your wallet) so that other Opticians can sell you CLs in an emergency. Always commute with your spare specs in your bag and order surplus CLs so that you have extra and never run short. People often use extra CLs during holiday seasons (such as Easter or Christmas when shops are closed and postal deliveries are reduced) or when they travel abroad.
As a consumer, the onus is on you to make sure that you are safe to operate machinery, do your daily tasks and drive cars. The safety element extends to the people that are around you. If you break your spectacles or tear your CLs and you are no longer mobile, how many people are you responsible for, if you can’t drive? Think of the school run, daily chores for your family, or taking your neighbour to the hospital because you promised them that you would. What if you broke your spectacles at work and you’re operating machinery that requires you to see signs and symbols clearly? If any type of accident were to result from a person not wearing the appropriate eyewear, be it at work or home, the liability is 100% their own.
Whether you have a pending celebration or not, if you only have 1 pair of spectacles, it would be advisable to start considering buying a new pair of spectacles as soon as possible. Take advantage of the seasonal sales and special offers that are available at lots of different opticians.
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