Here's How to Have a Totally Painless Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial

Read this before you head to the salon

Updated 08/15/18

Photo by Ryon Lockhart Photography

Your wedding hair and makeup trials can be just as important as shopping for the perfect wedding dress—but they don't have to be anywhere near as stressful! Whether you're a classic bride looking for an elegant updo or a boho bride wanting a no-makeup makeup look, we turned to the bridal beauty pros for the best tips on how to ace your trials so that looking spectacular on that special day becomes a seamless experience.

Below, 9 tips to keep in mind when the time for your wedding hair and makeup trials rolls around.

Have Photos on Hand

Lauren Thompson, a New York based stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon says her number one tip is to bring inspiration photos to your hair trial (cue the endless hours on Instagram and Pinterest). "Bring pictures of different styles you like and pictures of yourself in the dress you have chosen," she suggests. "That is the best way for you and your stylist to have a meeting of the minds, so you can decide what would work best for you, your hair type, and what would look best with the dress."

Look for a Social Media Star

If you're still on the search for the perfect wedding hairstylist, Lauren suggests doing some research on social media. "It's the easiest place to find a bridal stylist and makeup artist," she says. "Look for a stylist that shares your aesthetic, but most importantly, a stylist that does weddings often." By choosing someone with a bridal background, you can be confident in their ability to whip up styles for you and your bridal party.

Compatibility Is Key

Glamsquad Artistic Director, Kelli J. Bartlett adds that beyond their skills, finding a makeup artist and hairstylist that will mesh well with your personality is also important since you'll be spending a considerable amount of time with them on your wedding day. "You obviously want to look fabulous, but the emotional connection and vibe created by the artists are equally as important," she says. "The trial is the opportunity for you to meet the artist and see if you vibe well. In order to look good, you have to feel good and comfortable."

Document. Everything

It's okay to not have it all figured out after the first trial—maybe you need a bit more time to think about it or wait to see the dress again to make up your mind. Lauren recommends taking photos of each hairstyle from your first trial. "You can refer back to these during your first [dress] fitting and get the thoughts of your family and friends if you need a second opinion."

Don't Rule Out Rapunzel Locks

Consider wearing hair extensions, says Lauren. "About 90 percent of the brides I work with wear extensions on their big day," she says. "Wearing hair extensions doesn’t mean you need to use them just for length, but they can add extra volume and fullness whether you’re wearing your hair down or in an updo." If you already wear extensions regularly, bring them to your trial. Otherwise, your stylist should be able to help you with options.

Get in the (Comfort) Zone

Whatever you do, do not go for a look that is totally outside of your comfort zone. "I believe that a bride should look like a more polished version of herself," adds Lauren. "If your hair is very curly, don't straighten it—work with your natural hair texture. If you always wear your hair down, wear it down if it makes you feel more comfortable," she explains. "[Many] believe an updo is more formal but that is not always true. You don’t want to look back at pictures and think 'Why did I do that to my hair? It was not me!'

Stick to Your Signature

Similarly, when it comes to makeup stick to your signature look says Kelli. "When considering your wedding day makeup look, my rule of thumb is to be you." If you're unsure about what your signature look is, Kelli says, "Think of a time that you felt the most confident and beautiful, and lean into that look." So, if you're a red lip kind of gal, stick to your favorite shade of red. "Trying something new on your wedding day might make you feel inauthentic. Hone in on your signature look!"

Get a Gameplay in Place

Talk timeline with your glam team. Make sure you and your hair and makeup pros are on the same page for the big day. "If you are doing first look photos at 3:00 but your ceremony is not until 6:00, it is a good idea to book your stylist for a few extra hours so that you can get touched-up before your ceremony," says Lauren. "Also, let your stylist know how many people you have in your bridal party, so he or she can decide if a second stylist will be needed."

Be a #BossBride

Above everything else, be very clear with what you want. "Again, this is why pictures are very helpful," says Lauren. "Do not be afraid to speak up if you are unhappy. It is your hair and your big day, and your stylist will want to work towards making you happy so that you can have a successful trial." The first style you try may not be the one, and that's okay—it's all about trial and error! Try a few styles, switch your part, or spruce up your every day look. Either way, the end result will be gorgeous.

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