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How Many Pre-Wedding Hair and Makeup Trials Should You Really Have?

And how to cut the number down.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Annabella Charles Photography

If there's one day in your life where you want to look as polished and pristine as possible, it's your wedding day. For this reason, it's helpful to schedule pre-wedding appointments with the people who will be handling your hair and makeup on the big day. What many brides-to-be may not realize is that hair and makeup trials cost an additional fee; depending on your pros (some do offer one included trial), you may have to shell out over $100 per test.

 

Of course, looking flawless on your wedding day is worth the couple hundred bucks, but is just one trial enough? What if you don't like how your hair and/or makeup comes out? Should you wing it on the wedding day to avoid shelling out even more cash when you're already spending a ton on other areas of your wedding? We went to the experts to find out how many trials a bride should really plan to have depending on your unique situation.

 

Related: Simple Wedding Hairstyles That Prove Less Is More

 

If you're scheduling a trial with a long-time hairdresser...

Kali Ferrara, senior colorist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City, says that the number of trials often depends on the bride and her relationship with the professionals. "If the bride is a long-time client of mine and I know her personal style and what her big day will be like, then we likely only need one trial," she says. "If there needs to be more fine tuning, then we'll make it two."

 

If you're indecisive or not sure of what you want...

Not the greatest decision maker? No biggie. However, you may want to consider padding your wedding budget with the funds for two or three trials to be sure that you're happy with the outcome before the big day. "If a bride isn't sure about what type of look she wants or if she likes to try out multiple people before committing to one, then she can expect to have quite a few trials," says Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events.

 

If your hairstylist or makeup artist is less experienced...

If your wedding happens to be a first for one or both of these vendors, it's worth planning to have more than one trial. Seasoned pros have years of experience handling the pressures and stressors that come along with the big day, but a novice may be less prepared to manage the pressure. You'll both feel better with a solid plan in place.

 

Related: Why Your Wedding Makeup Artist Should Not Be the Last Vendor You Book

 

To help you save some time, money and, well, sanity (what bride doesn't need more of all three?), the pros also offered some tips to help you cut down the number of trials. From really narrowing down what you're looking for to the items you need to bring with you to each trial, these pointers will ensure your pre-nuptial beauty test is more successful.

 

Spend time collecting inspiration images.

"I know some brides are reluctant to go down the Pinterest 'rabbit hole,' but if you don't go into your trial with at least some idea of what you want, it's going to take multiple tries to get to the right end result," says Weinberg. Also, when gathering inspiration images, she recommends brides be realistic about what is or is not going to look good on them. "If you typically rock a natural beauty look, then a really dramatic makeup style is never going to feel right, no matter how many trials you have."

 

Always schedule a trial after you choose your dress.

"The dress is a major player when it comes to deciding your wedding-day look," says Vanessa Ungaro, makeup artist and co-owner of LAUREN+VANESSA salon in New York City. "The neckline, design, and back of the dress will help a stylist understand your personal style and what look will work best."

 

Bring a photo of your dress to the appointment.

This goes for both hair and makeup. "Go into an appointment with photos of styles that you like, a picture of your dress, and your overall wedding vision. You should also take into account the time of year or what the weather may be on your big day," Ferrara says. "I tell my brides to bring front, side, and back views of styles they like, and if they can all mix together then the perfect hybrid will come together."

 

Let the stylist improvise a little.

On your wedding day, your stylists will do what you discussed during your trial, but while she's testing the waters, give her the freedom to have fun. "A bridal style isn't cookie cutter so there's some creative juices that need to flow," explains Ferrara. Not only does this allow the stylist to show you a few different looks, but it gives him or her the chance to get to know your hair and how it falls.