Bridal Hair Trial 101


How to Get the Most Out Of Your Bridal Hair Trial Appointment

I am so passionate about sharing my knowledge with other professionals and brides so that they can have a fool proof bridal hair trial. Sometimes brides have their ideal style in mind and they hope that it is easy to achieve. That is not always the case. Sometime brides really don’t know what they want and maybe have 3 or 4 different styles in mind. How do you get to an ultimate style with all of this information? I hope after reading this you will have a better understanding about how to get the most out of your bridal
“trial” or design appointment to assure that your wedding day runs as smooth as possible.

How to get the most out of your wedding hair design appointment!

So you are looking for the right hairstylist or have hired your stylist and are looking to create the best hair style for your wedding day. This look needs to encompass so many important things and you will have learned all of them after reading this information!

When should I hire a hairstylist or makeup artist?

My recommendation is the earlier the better. On-site services book 12-16 months in advance especially popular dates. It is never too early to book. Hire them as soon as you book your photographer! The bridal guides tell you 8 weeks from the wedding. THAT IS WRONG!!! Good artist will be booked and it will be too late! Book early!!!

When is the best time to have a trial appointment?

I recommend 2-8 weeks before the wedding if possible. For so many reasons! If you are getting married in June and have a trial in December, the “feel” is not right! Sometimes you will want your hair to grow or the color to be correct. Remember, weekends are normally booked with other special events and you will need to plan a week day for this appointment. Try to schedule your makeup trial on the same day so you can see the two together. Have a trial around the same time of day that you will photographed at your wedding for lighting. Again the feel will be similar, bright sun vs evening light!. It is really fun to do a trial the same day as a dress fitting so you can see the whole look. Then go out on the town because you will look gorgeous!

How long should I plan on being at my trial?

After reading this you will realize there is a lot that goes into a trial. Most of the time will be talking about your wishes and making a plan. I say 60-90 minutes is about the time you will need. That is of course if you go prepared with all of this information!

Photos, lots of photos.

Please share photos of your dress. It sets the tone for your big day will start to paint the picture for the feel of the wedding!

 OF course Pinterest will be your friend: Or go old school with magazine tear outs! They are all great. Maybe fronts of one style and the back or side of others. Is the style high or low or to the side? Is it smooth or textured? Share styles you really don’t like as well! Then the stylist should pick these ideas apart and customize them for you. Also be clear about what a description means to you. Does “smooth” mean soft and smooth or “flat” with no volume. Make sure to ask or clarify those terms that you may not understand.

Your everyday look

Do you want to stay close to that but a little nicer or do you want something dramatically different!  Are you a symmetrical person that is neat and well polished? Are you someone that is all natural and never blow-dry’s and doesn’t really worry about symmetry? Think about this and also take into consideration how your groom likes your hair the best. I know it sounds silly, but it is important.

What is the setting for your wedding?

Does this style fit the feel? Vintage, Ocean side, rustic, formal, casual! Not all hair styles are realistic for every setting and every weather forecast. Sometimes I recommend having a plan A and a plan B depending on the weather.

For example: If you are getting married on the ocean side in Maine in July the likely hood that the weather will be humid is pretty good. If you want to wear your hair down, it will probably be blowing in your face during photos and the length of time it will remain perfect is unknown due to the weather. You may want to plan to wear it up if it is humid or really windy. Make a plan. Set yourself up for success!

What necklines on your dress should you show off? 

Front and back, shoulders, sleeves ect? Most important that you feel beautiful and confident, but you chose this dress so you should show off its features. Not all hair styles accentuate those features.




How about your face shape

Does this style work best for you? I often recommend taking a photo of yourself without hair on your face- pulled back into a ponytail. This allows you to see your face shape and also lets you see how you look in a photograph. Choosing the correct hair style for your face shape is important to loving your wedding photographs that you will invest in and cherish forever.

For example: If you have a large or higher forehead and you are worried about that, wearing a style that is soft in the front will change the way your forehead photographs and will alter your face shape. If you have a longer face, creating volume, is not ideal! Take this into consideration when choosing a hairstyle for your big day!


Are you wearing a veil or hairpiece?

Creating a hair style that will be structured enough to hold up either a veil or a headpiece is important. Sometimes if you are not sure, choosing a hairstyle first can help chose the right accessory! If you are wearing your hair part back with very little structure, a heavy veil and large accessories will be hard to secure. If you are hoping to wear fresh flowers, make sure that the florist knows the size or style that you need to work with your hair style. NO one wants to worry about losing one of those. Don’t invest in those pieces until you are sure how you will wear your hair.


 Do you want your hair to convert?

Are you thinking about one hair style for the ceremony and one for the reception? Can you make that work? If you are interested in having two looks that can be fun. It just needs to be planned and sometimes would require your stylist to stay and change that out.

What is your hair texture and thickness like?

Will your hair do what the picture or a model does? If not how can you add hair and or choosing a better style for your hair type! You should not know this. Your hair stylist should. There are amazing things out there now that are temporary and easy to add into a hairstyle. This is HUGE: BE REALISTIC!!! Again maybe have a plan B

Your hair color is also important when choosing a hair style.

Is the color of the model in the photo you are referencing similar to yours? In most cases hair models are blond. This is because the colors show texture and movement. When this is shown on a brunette with one colored hair, you often do not see the same result. COLOR creates texture and movement, excitement and interest! If so, than having a new hair color is you’re an option!

Make sure to have your hair color done before the wedding and or trial so that you can get an idea of what adds to the look. Ie; fresh highlights will give you more volume and lift then 2? roots, it looks flat and limp! I will tell you that the Ombre, somber, Balayage look is gorgeous but not ideal for an updo! The Darker color on top creates a flatter look and then the bottom color shows in the updo, again, you may need to think of this with choosing your wedding hair color!

Ask your stylist how they want you to come to the trial.

Do you have clean hair or day old hair? With makeup or without? I recommend my brides come to their trial with hair in the state in will be in on the wedding day. So if they want to wash their hair that morning, then please wash it. My preference is for it to be blown dry with some product like mouse or gel for some grip. That way it will be the same on the wedding day. You should wear something that simulates your dress, maybe a white or ivory tank top. This allows you to get the feel and the intensity. Not the same in w grey sweater! Wear makeup, it will make you feel pretty! You want to really see what it will look like on the big day. We always like our hair better when we feel and look pretty. Not after the gym!

How do you see your wedding party wearing their hair?

Something to think about! Using your hairstyle as a reference of intensity. Your bridal party should be cohesive to yours. Of course you want to consider their personality, their different dress style, maybe the length of their hair and most of all symmetry or photos into consideration!

Make sure to document the appointment

Take photos so you know what you liked and can reference on the wedding day. Sometimes you can forget or feel uneasy in the stress of the day and photos always seems to help.


Follow up 

Make sure to let the stylist know after the trial how your style held up. Did it last, were the curls tight enough, did you frizz, and was it perfect? These are all things that can be fixed and it is better to change it now. They want you to love your hair and for it to last all night!

If you are unsure about who to hire, always ask your photographer, they have hairstylist that they work with that they trust, are on time, and create polished work!



Now that you have read all of this information, I hope you think about your wedding trial or design appointment a little differently. I know this sounds like a lot of information but if you do your homework and go prepared to the appointment, I assure you that your end result will be great!

Feel free to contact me with any other needs

Thank you


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Lena Hartford
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