This practice run-through is an invaluable service to you and your stylist. You’ll get the chance to talk about and try out ideas, so you can rule out what won’t work and what you think will make you a bridal standout. “It’s super important to have a trial,” says Melanie Littlewood of Hair and Makeup Artistry by Melanie. “You should really background your stylist and know what you’re getting.
“I highly recommend it,” she continues. “Have a couple of different pictures of what you want; have a veil, headpiece, and hair extensions.”
Trial Run Basics
A trial session for your hair and makeup can run anywhere from an hour and a half to two and a half hours. Stylists and makeup artists don’t cut corners even though a trial is technically a practice session.
“We do it exactly like that for the wedding,” says Shelisa Burke of A Beautiful Bride, Ultra Lux Salon & Spa and the Platinum Wedding Extravaganza. “It’s really important for me to do it perfect for the trial because they want it to look like it will for the day of the wedding. They really like it precise.” Littlewood agrees saying, “I’ll make you look exactly the way you’ll look on your wedding day. We’ll go over every single detail.” Discuss your style ideas with your stylist, offering photos of what you like whenever possible.
“At the trial run, we can try a few things,” says Burke who offers two trial runs. The first trial is to get some ideas and the second trial is just in case the bride wants to change the look. “They come in, do a trial, bring in pictures of what they like, look at pictures and see what’s best for hair and makeup. Then we do a trial, take pictures of the front, back and sides,” explains Burke.
You can schedule your trial run anywhere from two to six months before the wedding. On average, brides meet with their stylist at least once before the wedding usually within four months of the big day. “The earlier you can do it the better,” says Gale Alexander of Make-Up-Artistry by Gale. “It’s one more thing checked off your list.”
One of the biggest hair considerations is whether or not you want to wear your hair up or down. Updos are not as popular these days as they used to be, but they definitely work for formal weddings or when you’re planning to get hitched on a hot day when loose hair will only get in the way. “Every year trends are a little different,” says Burke, noting how a few years ago, French twist with barrel curls was popular. “It’s the style now to wear it down with big curls.”
Burke says popular hair styles include those big, loose curls worn by country star Carrie Underwood’s; as well as the low chignon worn by actresses Kate Hudson and Jennifer Jessica Biel wear. But you don’t necessarily have to decide on one hairdo. “I have so many brides who want two hairstyles,” says Burke. “It’s a challenge because you really can’t have both.”
If you do want two looks, one has to transition into the other; and you’ll need a stylist on standby to fix your hair style from the first option to the second. You wear one style for the wedding ceremony and another for the reception. But if you really want two hairdos, the best option is to choose a style you love and wear it for the wedding day; then choose another look for another wedding party like a rehearsal dinner or a party for guests who couldn’t make it to the wedding.
“I always have them come in without makeup so I don’t have pre-conceived notions.” says Alexander, who advises brides to wear a comfy outfit to the trial run. “People don’t leave until they’re 100 one-hundred percent happy.”
Your wedding makeup should be flawless and should accentuate your best features like your eyes, your cheekbones and your lips. “A natural look is the key,” says Burke who suggests playing up your eyes for photographs.
Wedding makeup is supposed to make you look like yourself, just a bit more enhanced. Even if you’re not used to wearing makeup, go for an overall natural look on your wedding. Many brides like to wear their own foundation and lipstick, but Alexander encourages brides to wear products the makeup artist knows and trusts.
“I have products I’ve used and I know they’re durable and long lasting,” says Alexander. “I know they’re going to work well and photograph well.” A makeup artist can use the right products to help even out your skin tone for a smooth base. They’ll add some eye shadow, blush and mascara to complete the transformation. Don’t forget the right lipstick and gloss to add some color, which will pop in person and in photos.
Littlewood says many clients look to celebrities for inspiration: “Amy Winehouse is a top trendsetter,” she says noting how the musician’s look of poufy hair in front that’s worn straight in the back is stylish. Another look to steal from Winehouse is her dramatic cat eyes.
Whether you’re a simple bride or a sophisticated one, don’t underestimate the importance of getting your hair and makeup just right for the your “I Do’s.” “The time is not just important for the bride. It’s important for the artist too,” says Alexander takes detailed notes about a bride’s style, preferences and allergies. She says a trial helps her learn about her client ahead of time, so there are no questions on the wedding day.
The best part of getting a hair and makeup dress rehearsal? “You can relax,” says Burke. “You don’t have to worry about how you’ll look on your wedding day.” So call your stylish and makeup artist and schedule your appointment. You need to get started on your bridal look so you can perfect every detail from your tiara to your lipstick to your blush.
Trial Run Tips
• Cut out pictures of hair -styles and makeup looks you love. Your stylist and makeup artist can review the images to find common themes.
• Give yourself and the beauty pros plenty of time to create your look. Plan to spend at least two hours primping at your practice session.
• Avoid being too trendy. It’s one thing to try something new and different, but you don’t want a wedding style that’s too hip. It may look dated in a short time. a good bet is to choose hair and makeup styles that are flattering and timeless.
• Don’t forget your camera. Take lots of photos from different angles so you can make sure you love your hair and makeup from every point of view.
• Be patient. Your trial run is only a starting point. If you don’t like something, you can redo it until you find something that works.