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Do’s and Don’t’s for your Wedding Hair & Makeup Trial

Hey there, bride-to-be! If you’re reading this article, you are probably getting ready to attend your wedding hair & makeup trial appointment. You’ve hired a trusted wedding hair & makeup artist to create a look unique to you for your wedding day, and you’re hoping it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of.


As a full-time hair & makeup artist, weddings consist of about half of my total business. As of this posting, I've been professionally involved in over 600 weddings. So, I know a thing or two about wedding hair & makeup. Here are a few tips for your wedding hair & makeup trial.



Photo by Laura K Allen || Makeup by DeLaney Henry

DO bring photos


There are several different types of photos you should bring to your wedding hair & makeup trial:


Inspiration photos of your desired hair & makeup look – “Inspiration photos” are photos you find on the internet and/or magazines that capture the look that you are going for with your wedding day style. Bring several photos of makeup you like and of hairstyles you like. Your stylist should ask questions about each photo to identify exactly what it is about each look that you like, in order to put together your unique wedding day look.


Photos of YOU when you DID like you makeup and/or hair – THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT! But really. Chances are, your wedding day stylist does not know you and has never met you before your trial appointment. They have no idea how you normally do your own makeup and style your own hair. Even though they are a “professional,” if they have no idea how you typically style yourself, it is harder for them to achieve a wedding-day look that appeals to you. Because the truth is, all brides want to feel like themselves on their wedding day.


Photos of YOU when you DID NOT like your makeup and/or hair – Believe it or not, this is super helpful to your stylist. Showing them a photo of a time when you did NOT like your makeup and/or hair style gives them a visual of what NOT to shoot for and what you definitely do not like. Even better, when you show this photo to your stylist, tell them exactly WHY you did not like this look.


Photo by Matt Andrews Photography || Hair & Makeup by Faith

DON’T arrive with dirty hair & skin


One of the most frequent things I hear from brides at their trial is that they weren’t sure whether or not to wash their hair or leave it dirty for their appointment. Most often, it’s because a friend has told them that “dirty hair styles best.”


This is not true 95% of the time. Your best bet is to show up to your wedding hair & makeup trial with freshly washed hair and clean skin.


Fresh hair has the best potential for volume and definitely is best for styling up-dos. Makeup goes on cleansed skin much smoother than if your makeup artist has to wipe it clean immediately before applying makeup.


Photo by Amy Allmand Photography

DO be specific with your stylist


During the consultation portion of your wedding hair & makeup trial appointment, your stylist should ask you a number of questions about your desired wedding day style.


Keep in mind that your wedding day stylist is providing a service to YOU, and as such should be catering to you and your desires. It is, after all, YOUR wedding!


With that in mind, THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE SPECIFIC. If you prefer brown eyeliner over black eyeliner, tell your stylist! If you would rather not have your cheekbones contoured, tell your stylist! If you don’t want to wear any eyeshadow at all, tell your stylist! You get the idea.


Yes, he or she is "the professional,” but at the end of the day, if you are not comfortable with your wedding day look, he or she has not truly done their job.


DON’T bring an entourage


If you don’t read anything else in this article, please read this paragraph.


It is extremely distracting to both you and your wedding hair & makeup stylist to have multiple other people present at your wedding hair & makeup trial appointment.


Typically, the appointment will take about 2-3 hours, so the person you bring with you will definitely get bored, and the stylist certainly does not need them gazing over their shoulder watching every brush stroke they make. There truly is no benefit to them being there!


If someone close to you feels very strongly about how your wedding day hair & makeup should look, have them contribute their ideas to the batch of inspiration photos that you show your artist.


The only thing that matters is that YOU love your wedding day hair & makeup, and having other people in attendance for your wedding hair & makeup trial can only make you second guess yourself.



Photo by Krista Joy

DO bring your accessories


This is your one and only opportunity to see your entire wedding day look from the neck up, so bring those accessories to your wedding hair & makeup trial appointment!


Whether you are rocking the traditional look with a veil and pearl studs, or a birdcage with a rhinestone brooch, having all of your accessories there to try on at your appointment after your hair & makeup is done will help you decide whether or not your final hair & makeup look is perfect for you.


DO be realistic


It is very important for you to keep an open mind and be realistic during your wedding hair & makeup trial appointment.


Typically, models in inspiration photos have had their faces photoshopped to create the illusion of smoother skin and/or are actually wearing a lot more makeup than most people would find reasonable in real life. Models also are typically wearing hair extensions or in rare cases actually have very thick, long hair.


If you feel that you have selected a hairstyle that would require more hair than you currently have, consider investing in clip-in hair extensions to wear on the day of the wedding that will help you achieve the wedding day look that you are going for. [My company Nashville Wedding Stylist has a hair extensions rental program just for our brides!]


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Do you agree? Have any other advice to share? Comment below!

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