How you behave at your hair trial can tell a lot about what kind of bride you'll be on your wedding day.
Michelle Arruda DeVoe of Demiche Beauté, an onsite wedding hair and makeup stylist in New England, has been beautifying brides for 20 years. She works in a highly charged emotional atmosphere — literally in the faces of thousands of brides hours and minutes before they walk down the aisle. So she's seen the full spectrum of bridal behavior. ("The majority are so sweet and wonderful," she says. "I love brides.")
Arruda DeVoe prepares herself by listening, very carefully, to the bride during the hair trial months or weeks before the wedding. "What's important to the bride at the hair trial tells me what they'll need from me on their wedding days," says Arruda DeVoe. Typically there are 3 types of brides who show up at hair trials.
The bride who spends most of her trial talking about her excitement about getting married.
She eagerly shares their romantic story of falling in love and details about their relationship. She's primarily focused on the marriage part of the wedding. For her hair, she has ideas about what she wants, but she's open to the stylist's suggestions. On her wedding day, she's basically relaxed; she doesn't tense up until the flowers and photographer arrive. "That's when the emotional tone in the room completely changes," says Arruda DeVoe. "I help her remain calm and focused on her joy and happiness about marrying this man she loves so much."
The bride who at brings contradictory inspiration photos to the hair trial.
She wants a look that's both soft and romantic and sleek and tight. This signals to Arruda DeVoe that she's got an indecisive bride in her chair. Indecisive, but also potentially picky, prickly, and primarily focused on the details of the wedding. On the wedding day, this bride's quick to anger, easily pushed into meltdown by any small bump in the road or schedule. "I work to calm these brides by reminding them that their vendors really know what they're doing, and that all will be fine," says Arruda DeVoe. "Often these brides are just really nervous about being the center of attention. So in our time together, I help them re-focus their attention on the amazing guy and the marriage that's about to happen."
The bride who brings a, shall we say, dominant personality along with her to the hair trial.
Sometimes these cases, it seems like the Mom/MOH/BFF/older sister are actually running the show, directing the stylist to do the classic bridal up-do: sleek, shiny, and off-the-face. On the wedding day, however, these brides finally speak up and tell Arruda DeVoe what they really want. Not the stiff updo, but hair down, soft, in a loose chignon. "With these brides, my job is to be prepared to make on-the-fly changes and then take responsibility for the change,” says Arruda DeVoe. "I say something to the Mom/MOH/BFF/older sis like, 'I was inspired in the moment to do something a bit different — doesn't it look great?' It usually goes over just fine, because everyone's so caught up in the joy of the moment."
So, be truthful: how did you behave at your hair trial? What were you focused on? What does that say about how you'll be on your wedding day? Is that who you want to be on your wedding day? Or would you care to change that?
Allison Moir-Smith, MA, is a bridal counselor, creator of How Brides-To-Be REALLY Feel videos, and author of Emotionally Engaged: A Bride's Guide to Surviving the "Happiest" Time of Her Life.