You thought the tough part was taken care of you when you finally settled on the location and venue for your destination wedding. Now comes the next important task: finding your hair and makeup pros. This feat is hard enough at home, let alone in a far-flung locale. Leave the worrying to your wedding team — with these expert-sourced tips and tricks, you’ll be camera ready and looking just as stunning as your Pinterest inspiration photos in no time, no matter where you’re celebrating.
1. Book Beauty After Booking the Venue
“If the venue is a hotel, it’s recommended to use the spa and salon staff as they are exposed to the wedding coordinators more and allow for a smooth wedding day,” says Ryan Gilmore, Hilton Orlando’s director of spa & fitness, who oversees the spa’s salon services for bridal parties.
2. Ask for Advice
Wedding planners usually have referrals for hair and makeup, but if you’re looking for local recommendations, don’t be afraid to consult with the concierge at your venue. Andeen Rose, owner of Las Vegas-based ADD Hair & Make Up, which specializes in destination weddings and celeb-focused events like the Grammy Awards, recommends booking your “glam squad” three months before your big day, since most of the talented teams book up quickly and you don’t want to be left scrambling right before the wedding.
As for the one ‘don’t’ when choosing your glam squad: Don’t let money get in the way. “Remember the old saying, ‘You get what you pay for.’ This is your big day and the photos are going to last a lifetime,” Rose says. “Ask the potential agencies for referrals and make sure you are 100 percent confident with what they bring to the table.”
3. Make the Most of Your Consultations
Maria Barboza, event manager at Los Sueños Marriott in Costa Rica, recommends arriving three days in advance to do a trial before the big day and to “choose a hairstyle that is simple and does not have a lot of volume, as the humidity [in a locale like this one] can change your hairdo in a just a couple of hours.”
If you are lucky enough to pencil in two hair consultations, Gilmore recommends using the first to meet with the stylist to craft a plan you’re happy with. The second consultation would then act as a dress rehearsal, complete with accessories you plan on wearing at the wedding. If you don’t have the chance to meet before the wedding, be sure to send along pictures of your hair and wedding day style to give the stylist a better sense of what you’re after when you meet in person.
4. Put in the Prep Work
Sasha Schwartz at South Beach’s Warren-Tricomi Studio (located inside the new Confidante Hotel) suggests looking for realistic inspiration photos of models (or real brides!) who have similar hair texture and color to yours so you can get a better idea of how a style will look on the big day. Once you decide on a style, start growing out your hair six months before the wedding, scheduling regular trims and avoiding any major changes three months before the big day. Also, it doesn't hurt to bring along a set of extensions to add length or volume, in case the salon or stylist doesn’t have an extra set.
5. Book Pre-Flight Treatments
The week before you fly, book a conditioning treatment with a trim and blow dry. “This will focus on tidying up dry and wispy ends in your style that can become a frizz magnet,” Rose explains. “Also, make sure your color is refreshed at least seven to 10 days before you leave. It’s best not to try a new cut or color right before your big day.” She also recommends getting an exfoliation facial two weeks before the wedding date to allow acne and blemishes to surface and disappear. And if you have a skin condition or use specialty makeup, be sure to pack that as well.
6. Go Natural
“For a beach ceremony, we recommend hair either up or pulled back, that way brides and bridesmaids will look stunning in photos and don't have to worry about the ocean breeze blowing strands of hair in their faces,” says Sandos Hotels & Resorts weddings expert Martina Mairhofer. “For makeup, we recommend to go for natural looks as the warm and humid tropical climate can take its toll quickly on heavy makeup. Airbrush makeup is a very popular solution to ensure a longer lasting radiant look.”
7. Don’t Skimp on Sunscreen
“Couples usually arrive a few days prior to the wedding at the resorts and might not be used to the tropical sun, which is why we recommend to use plenty of sunscreen — especially during those first days to avoid sunburns,” Mairhofer says. “While it will look great to have a sun-kissed tan in the wedding pictures, keep in mind that the sun is very strong and can easily be underestimated.”