A bridal trial is one of the best parts of wedding preparation… so why do so many brides worry about it? It’s your chance to have the attention of a hair and makeup professional for up to several hours – and they’ll be completely focused on you. It’s like getting the VIP treatment without all the pressure! We have a few simple words of wisdom on how to get the most and best out of it. If you keep the below in mind, there’s a much higher chance of finding the style you truly love at your bridal trial.
Photo from Sarah & Ross’s real wedding by Owen Farrell Photography
Bridal Trial Dos
Do look for inspiration everywhere. Perhaps you liked the makeup in a movie you last saw, or a hairstyle on the red carpet. Show them to your stylist and makeup artist at the bridal trial – they can certainly recreate it, and add a little drama in case it’s too subtle.
Do wash your hair the day before the trial. It’ll be easier to style, and the stylist will be able to judge its condition much more easily, in case you want advice on how to make your hair look its very best for your wedding.
Do wear white, or the same colour as your wedding dress. It’ll give you a much better idea of what the makeup will look like on the day.
Do tell the stylist and makeup artist if you’re uncomfortable with the whole thing. Believe us, they’ve seen all kinds of brides-to-be – not just glamazons who don’t leave the house without full face paint. You will definitely be asked about how you wear your hair and makeup every day, so tell the truth – there’s nothing embarassing about being a low-mainenance kinda gal.
Do ask for colouring advice. If you’re thinking about colouring for the first time, or refreshing a dull colour, ask the stylist about the best time to do it, and care recommendation. Timing is everything if you want luscious, glowing colour on your wedding day.
Do ask for skincare advice. You have the attention of a professional for as long as your bridal trial lasts – so take this opportunity to ask for skincare advice for the lead up to your wedding. If you have regular breakouts or very dry skin, now is the best time to start fixing it.
Do bring a picture of your dress – front and back – and any hair accessories you may want to wear. Bring the veil if you already have it. The hair and makeup is the crowning final touch for your overall look – so it’s best to have it when you already know what dress you’re wearing.
Do tell your suppliers if you plan on tanning for the day. This will especially make a difference to the makeup, but also to hair colour if you’re planning on getting it done.
Do ask them for suggestions. You’re dealing with the professionals – they can tell what would suit your face with just one look. So do ask what style they see you in – you may just be delighted with the result.
Do tell them if any part of the ceremony or reception is outdoors, and where. If you’re having a romantic ‘I do’ on a windswept cliffside, your hair needs to be prepared for every eventuality.
Do check how your hair holds up after you leave the bridal trial. If it falls apart very quickly, or gives you a big headache, let the stylist know the next time you speak. There may be a simple remedy – like more hairspray or fewer hair grips.
Photo from Grace & Karl’s real wedding by Couple Photography
And just a few bridal trial don’ts!
Don’t come unprepared. Before the bridal trial appointment, look at some hairstyles and makeup looks and pick the ones you like. You can cut pictures out of magazines, or show them to the stylist on your phone.
Don’t get your hair cut just before the trial. Go to the trial first, and if you want to, ask for advice whether your new style will suit you. Many brides regret going shorter, simply because there’s much more that can be done with long hair.
Don’t worry about not having a clue what you want. You may like all pictures you see, or none. If you’re clueless, tell the suppliers – they’ll be able to show you some amazing looks for your consideration.
Don’t stress. Your bridal trial is supposed to be a fun appointment, and you’re under no pressure to make a decision right there and then.
Don’t invite your whole family and the cat too. Ask the supplier if you can bring one or two friends or family members along, who’ll offer an opinion and take photos. Too many opinions will distract you from deciding what YOU like best.
Don’t lie when you’re asked if you like the look. All you have to do is say specifically what you’d like to change – believe us, it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Simply say something like ‘I wanted my ears covered a little bit more’, or ‘I’d like to try a little less smokey eye, please’, or ‘may I see this style with a little more height at the front?’ Saying you love it when you don’t won’t help the stylist fix it.
Don’t be shy to tell your makeup artist about the parts of your face you like and dislike. This is invaluable – they’ll be able to enhance what you love, and tone down what you don’t. Makeup is magic – so take full advantage of it.
Don’t forget to ask what happens if they can’t make it on your wedding day. Will there be an assistant who can step in, and can they recreate the very same look?
Main photo from Philippa & Conor’s real wedding by Massafelli Photography
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.