What to Expect During Your Bridal Hair & Makeup Trial


The hair and make-up trial – one of the most important, but slightly overlooked “to-do’s” on any bride’s list. It’s easy to assume you’re going to go to the salon, show them a photo of a hairstyle you like, and end up looking exactly like the model in the photo. Likewise, you most likely wear makeup every day, and think you might just be able to tell someone what colors you want and be done with it.

Hairstyles & makeup by Jackie

Well, that would be fantastic; but the truth is, they are called trials for a reason. Not only are you trying different hair styles, or makeup colors, but also different artists. Many of you might be marrying in your hometown and plan on going to your favorite salon for your trial. Some of you might be getting married in a different city, state, or country, for that matter, and need to really do some research on salons that offer hair and makeup for your big day. Regardless of where you end up, there are some basic steps to follow to make sure you are satisfied and looking gorgeous on your wedding day.

Step 1 // Do Your Research!

I can’t stress this enough. Your salon is just like any other vendor you would hire for your wedding. Make sure you ask a bunch of questions and feel comfortable with the people you are talking to. If you don’t like what they have to say over the phone, move on. Remember, pushiness or rudeness equals a stressed-out bride, and you don’t want that.

Think outside the box when it comes to salons as well. Just because you’ve been going to the same salon for years, doesn’t mean they necessarily can do your bridal hair and makeup. Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations, go to bridal shows to check out what’s available, check out reviews on sites such as Weddingwire & The Knot and check salon websites for testimonials or before and after photos of real brides.

Once you’ve done all of that, then go ahead and book your appointment(s).

Step 2 // Give Yourself Time

This is especially relevant for brides who are getting married outside of their hometown, which we tend to get a lot of. Give yourself time in two ways: Trials can take up to two hours, so make sure you have the time to dedicate to that. Also give yourself a few months before your wedding to go on your trial. This way, if you go to one salon and don’t like what they did, you have time to find another.

Step two-and-a-half: If applicable, have your trial before your engagement photos are taken. This way, they can do your hair and makeup for your engagement photos.

Step 3 // Bring Photos + An Open Mind

(From a Real Bride)

While a chignon is so beautiful and elegant, it’s not for everyone. My hair was neither long enough nor thick enough to support one, so I opted for a half-up, half-down style (As the picture above). I brought photos with me but ended up doing something completely different than what I had originally wanted. You need to be flexible enough to work with what you have. Thin hair might be better down, thick hair might be better up. You never know until you try. Bring photos of a range of different styles and try as many as you can, because just like your dress, you might be pleasantly surprised by trying something new.