With most things, it’s always a good idea to do a little rehearsal. You wouldn't walk down the aisle without a little practice beforehand, right? Just like the rehearsal dinner helps you prepare for the wedding, your hair and makeup trial is a test run for your bridal beauty look. And, as it turns out, your nails could use a little rehearsal, too. In addition to their hair and makeup trials, some brides are now scheduling wedding nail trails to give their day-of digits a test run.
Just like with your hair trial, a nail trial is an opportunity to test out what you think you want ahead of the big day. And no, it's not just a manicure. You can test multiple colors and designs on different nails to try several looks at once.
Advocating for these new nail trials, Janine Lee, CEO and co-founder of nail polish company Floss Gloss, says, "Every time I talk about it, the nail salon is like ‘OMG we have to do that.’" Lee got married in 2016 and knew all eyes would be on her...hands. Thus, she was encouraged by her manicurist Fleury Rose to do a trial beforehand. “It was Fleury who had pushed me to do it,” Lee says. “She had worked with a bunch of brides in the past.”
Even though Lee already had a few ideas about what she wanted, the trial is what solidified her decision. “I already have acrylics and knew I would have acrylics for my big day,” she explains. “I did 10 different styles and they were all done with Swarovskis. I knew I wanted a gem nail, but I wasn’t sure what kind of moment I wanted at the time.”
With all 10 of Lee’s fingers sporting a different look, she was able to test the wearability of intricate designs, test out the color, see how each worked with her engagement ring and accessories, and even have her Instagram followers weigh in on which look they liked the best. She ultimately went with a beautiful daisy gem design that left her stress-free during her wedding weekend.
“There are so many moving parts that go on during that weekend,” Lee says. “When Fleury came to my hotel to do my nails after my rehearsal dinner, she already knew what she was doing. She already had a plan and we were able to knock it out.”
While it might seem like a nail trail is something only a nail fanatic like Lee would need, they're really for every bride. As the trends for bridal nails move away from nude hues and into more intricate designs, Rita Pinto, founder of Vanity Projects nail salons, says they will become even more common. “It’s the type of thing where, if you are going to do something really special, you have a trial,” Pinto says.
Vanity Projects started offering nail trials just over a year ago. Brides can try out three to four different looks to see what suits them best. Vanity Projects also uses a bridal questionnaire to help brides decide on a manicure. By asking questions about their personal style, their preferred shape and length, and affinity for nail art, the manicurist can create a look that the bride will both love and feel comfortable with.
While a nail trail is an extra expense—at Vanity Projects it's the same price as the manicure you're testing—Pinto believes it is "absolutely vital." Both Pinto and Lee highly recommend having a nail trail for anyone detail-oriented or for someone who wants to do something creative with their wedding nails. Pinto also recommends doing it around the same time as your hair and makeup trial so you can have a complete vision for what your final look will be. Any excuse for a manicure, right?