A test run of your hair and makeup plan can ease your mind and help you get the exact look you envisioned.

This story first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Columbus Weddings, published June 2019.

You received a proof of your wedding invitations to help you see how they’d look and feel. You got to taste the cake to try out different flavors, and you’ve had more than one dress fitting. So when it comes to your wedding-day hair and makeup, why throw caution to the wind?

Bridal hair and makeup trials are an important but often overlooked way to make sure you’ll look your best on your big day. We asked three local salon professionals to share their do’s and don’ts to help brides get the most out of their trial appointments.

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#1: DO Schedule a hair and makeup trial, ideally two to four weeks before the wedding.

Plogsted: I always recommend brides have at least one trial appointment. We don’t know the texture of their hair, or if they have extensions, if their style is going to work with what they want. They don’t want the hassle and worry the day of their wedding. I recommend the trial probably a month before their wedding day; you don’t want to allow too much time for a bride to change her mind. If they get a makeup trial also, I recommend getting it the same day [as their hair trial]. A lot of brides do it on the morning of the final fitting of their dress, so they can see the whole look together.

Fisher: It basically takes the stress off the [wedding] day itself. It just makes the process easier. And if the bride doesn’t like the trial, it gives her time to reschedule another one or figure out what she would like to do [differently].

#2: DO NOT bring everyone you know.

Plogsted: I recommend coming alone, because it’s about what the bride wants and feels best in. Sometimes family and friends can throw in their own style to it and confuse the process more. Bridesmaids or friends maybe don’t know about all the details of the wedding, so they don’t know the look the bride is going for.

Mohre: I’ve had [the bride’s entourage] be really, really great and really not so great. If a guest will support and help them feel great about what they’re choosing, that is the best person to bring. You want someone who will be honest but supportive, positive, because it’s about the bride.

#3: DO bring plenty of inspiration photos, as well as photos of your dress.

Mohre: I find that I have the most success with trials when brides bring in multiple pictures to give a feel for what they’re wanting. Then we can kind of pick and choose, like, “This kind of curl would work really well with your hair texture,” or “this might not hold,” so we can talk it through. But there’s one thing to watch out for: Brides almost never bring in [inspiration] pictures from the front. Probably 80 percent of the time they bring in photos, they’re showing the back of the hairstyle. Most of your wedding pictures are taken from front, so it’s key to add in there.

Fisher: Having a picture of the wedding dress is always helpful, as well as bringing any hair accessories you might want to use.

#4: DO NOT drastically change your hair or add permanent extensions without consulting your stylist between the trial and wedding day.

Mohre: The majority of bridal hair inspirational pictures you see, where it’s super full, it’s enhanced hair. It’s usually some kind of extension. We don’t sell them in our salon [so the bride needs to supply them], but I’ll sometimes suggest doing clip-ins or a halo extension, which are great and easy ways to get extra length and volume. If you’re not sure, ask your stylist … about what is possible.

#5: DO remain open-minded and be realistic about your hair’s texture and length.

Fisher: If you have very curly or textured hair but want your bridal style to be straight or relaxed, try to come in to your trial with the hair texture you want me to style on the day of your wedding. I’ve sometimes had to spend the trial getting hair prepped or straightened, rather than having time to talk through the
style itself.

Finally: DO have fun, trust your stylist and enjoy the journey!