Congratulations! You’re newly engaged! This is certainly one of the best, most memorable times of your life. Once the adrenaline wears off, chances are you might think to yourself, “OMG! I have SO much to plan!”, and then usually at the top of that list is how you’re going to look on your wedding day. Will you be a classic bride like Grace Kelly? Will you be full-on glam a la JLo? Will your hair be up, down, or half up? Braided? The choices are truly endless. No matter what your bridal vision is, hiring a professional makeup artist and stylist to help guide you along to your dream look is an absolute must.
As someone who got married pre-Pinterest, I totally did my own hair and makeup on my wedding day. I was 22, just figured I’d throw it together, and it would work itself out. I didn’t do a practice run, OR fill in my eyebrows, OR wear false lashes (OMG). Granted, I was a mildly experienced MUA (fresh out of college and stage makeup galore), and I knew how to make myself look presentable ca. 2006. When I look back on the pictures now, I see a sweet gal who is so in love, yet blissfully unaware she should could have looked even more fabulous had she had the direction and support of a seasoned stylist. Read on how to navigate the world of Bridal Beauty!
HONEY YOU’RE WORTH IT
Today, everywhere you look there is someone claiming they’re a makeup artist. In this digital age, it’s challenging to know where to start when seeking out a fabulous artist for your wedding day. There are a million images and portfolios online–how do you know what is real and what is edited beyond belief? How truly talented is this person? This is where the bridal trial comes into play. You are able to meet the artist, ask them to create your vision, learn about how they communicate, see if they can execute your wishes, and see if your personalities gel. This artist is going to be helping you on one of the most important days of your life, so it’s vital you trust them 100%. Yes, you are making an additional financial investment by booking a trial, but trust me it’s money well spent. You will never regret spending the extra money and time to ensure you look amazing on your wedding day, but will however regret feeling and looking like a hot mess. This is not the place to cut corners. Book a trial.
GO WITH A SURE THING
When seeking an artist, referrals are always an excellent place to start. If you’ve seen someone look fab on their wedding day, or were a member of a bridal party where the stylists knocked it out of the park, reach out to them. Google, Yelp, Wedding Wire, and The Knot are also excellent resources for selecting a bridal team or artist. Often times when teams are reviewed, specific stylists are singled out for their performance–you can always request their availability. Once you find a team you like, reach out at least 6 months prior to your wedding to set up your trial with your chosen artist.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
If you arrive at your trial without any idea of what you’d like to look like, it’s going to be very hard for your artist to do their job. A successful trial is dependent upon excellent communication between you and your artist. Coming prepared with inspiration images is a great jumping off point for your artist. Without pictures, much can get lost in translation. For example, descriptions like “natural, smoky eyes, curled hair, and volume at the crown” can all be interpreted many ways. ‘Smoky’ to me might mean something dark and full of black tones, while to you it might mean a swipe of light brown in the outer corner of the eye. ‘Natural’ to me might mean very minimal makeup with no false lashes, when what you really want to look like is Kim Kardashian. You get the idea. Bottom line: have a picture.
YOUR ARTIST IS NOT A MAGICIAN
Just because you show your artist a picture doesn’t mean they can make you look exactly like that. The image is likely photo-shopped to erase every wrinkle and pore, their hair is likely enhanced with multiple sets of extensions (which can be added on the wedding day or at a subsequent trial), and the image might even be of someone who is a completely different complexion. Use the images you select to show your artist as inspiration only. These images give your artist specific direction, a chance to make the look you love come alive for you. Give them the flexibility to make edits, suggestions, and adjustments along the way to ensure you look your absolute best.
THE PEANUT GALLERY
The expression “too many cooks in the kitchen” absolutely applies to your bridal trial. If you’d rather not fly solo to your appointment, make sure you have someone with you who fully supports your bridal wishes. If you know it’s hard for you to speak up if you’re unhappy, bring someone who can help you communicate your goals. While it’s so much fun to share the bridal journey with all of your friends and family, this is a time for you focus on making a connection with your stylist and not listening to the opinions of your entourage. That being said, if you know someone will be joining you (like your Mother), and she is VERY opinionated, please give your stylist the heads-up. It’s very important to know who to please at the trial, and if that’s the Mother at the end of the day, it’s very helpful to know this in advance.
SPEAK NOW…OR FOREVER GET WHAT YOU GET
If you see something you don’t like at your trial, PLEASE speak up. Any professional artist will not be offended if you’d like adjustments. The trial is a collaboration between you and your artist, and if you don’t let them know they aren’t hitting the mark, they never will be able to. That being said, know that when your hair and makeup are getting done, they go through a variety of stages and can look a little wacky. You might catch a glimpse of yourself and start to panic thinking you look like something out of Married With Children (I totally dated myself there). Unless it is clearly going down the wrong path, reserve full judgement of your look until it is completed by your artist. Remember they are the professional, you hired them for a reason, so sit back and allow them the chance to wow you.