When Should I Have My Wedding Hair and Makeup Trials?

Make the most of getting all dolled up!

Updated 09/08/19

Photo by Monica Leggio

As your big day inches closer, your wedding hair and makeup trials will provide you with an early glimpse of how you will look. As with many other wedding details, timing your hair and makeup trials correctly is key. You want to make sure you have time to tweak and adjust, and that you walk out of the salon feeling like a bride. So when should you get it on the calendar?

There are a few things you need to do before booking your wedding hair and makeup trials. First things first: Have a date and a venue squared away. Knowing when and where you'll be getting married—whether it's on the beach in the heat of summer or in a ballroom in the dead of winter—can have a big impact on the styles you'll be considering. By this point, you should also have selected your wedding dress and begun to shop for accessories—from a veil and headpiece to the right necklace and earrings. Knowing the style of your dress can also influence how formal or relaxed your wedding hair and makeup should be. Likewise, your wedding day accessories can determine whether you rock an updo, opt for curls or a braid, or go soft or dramatic with your makeup.

Our experts weigh in with more advice and valuable insight on your wedding hair and makeup trials, below.

Makeup

According to Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador Elena Miglino, research is vital when deciding on a makeup artist for your day. "Bridal makeup artists book up months, sometimes a year, in advance," she says. "When choosing your artist, you want to make sure they are a bridal makeup artist, meaning they do weddings and understand the severity of the day. Make sure they have a contract and are 100 percent professional."

When you finally lock down an artist, it's sometimes helpful to schedule a second trial closer to your wedding day, as you want to be sure of your final look. "I recommend airbrush or a long-wear foundation for the day of," Miglino says. "You want something that will last all day and look flawless in pictures. I would also keep with your normal skincare routine to avoid trying something new and creating breakouts. A facial is a good idea a few weeks before, and maybe a hydrating mask the night before."

For makeup inspiration, Miglino suggests looking back at old photos of yourself. "For your wedding, you want to still look like you. Show your artist a picture of yourself with makeup on—a time that you liked how you photographed and felt comfortable," she says. "And please note, Instagram can lead to false hopes. Most of the looks you see are highly filtered. Lastly, be comfortable with your artist; she is there for you and wants you to feel your best. If there is something you would like to change, feel free to tell her."

Hair

Franck Izquierdo, the co-founder of IGK Hair Care, recommends a trial about a month or two ahead of your wedding—but only if you don't plan to cut or dye your hair. "It’s most important that you give yourself and your stylist time to make adjustments if needed," he says. "As you get closer to your wedding, it can get very busy, so it’s sometimes easier to work out your look a couple of months ahead of time."

"If you want to make any major changes, you should discuss them with your stylist about six months ahead of the wedding," Izquierdo continues. "This way, your stylist can plan out the transition and begin to work with the color and cut. Your final coloring should be done about two weeks before the wedding, to let it settle but still be fresh for your big day. And it gives you time to make any small changes before the day."

Thinking of getting a major cut before the ceremony? Izquierdo recommends taking a scissor to strands as early as possible. "A big cut should be discussed six months before the wedding so your stylist can begin to make the cuts and see how your hair responds. Any final cuts or changes should be done about 10 days prior to the wedding, so your hair has time to adjust to the cut and look more natural."

"Overall, your wedding hair is a journey and you should discuss your vision with your stylist as far out as you’re able to so they can start to work toward your end goal," he advises. "It’s also ideal to have your stylist with you on your wedding day because they know your hair and your personal style best."

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