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So. You're Getting Married!

The person of your dreams just gave you a pretty ring and asked you the big question. You, of course, said yes and now the planning begins. You've got to find a venue, a caterer, and go dress shopping. There's cake tastings and dress fittings and budget meetings with your coordinator. You've got to find a photographer and a videographer to document your big day, and you've seen just about every style of invitation imaginable. You've got centerpieces and bouquets pinned all over Pinterest and your sister just won't quit bugging you about her bridesmaid dress.

On top of all of that, you've also got to find the person in charge of your hair and makeup.

First things first: Don't overlook yourself.

Now, a lot of people overlook and underestimate this crucial part of your day. Something to think about: your wedding day is often the most photographed day of your life. You want to look back on this day and love your photos and show them off for years to come. I don't know about you, but more than anything else, I want to look at my wedding photos and feel like a princess.

Any professional photographer is going to be using a top-of-the-line camera. And baby, let me tell you, that thing is going to pick up everything. Your hairstyle and your makeup should be flawless, and the only way that is going to happen is if you hire a professional artist to craft your wedding day look.

The Big Issue: Investment

Over all my years of hair artistry, I have helped countless brides walk down the aisle looking and feeling like queens. And I'm not going to lie to you: that is not an easy task. It requires your artist to get to know you, what you like, what you don't like, your style, your vibe, and work with you to create a wedding day look that is uniquely you. It takes technical skill, creative artistry, and the confidence to handle a party of bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, and the bride. Not to mention all the emotions and stress that come with the big day.

There's a reason everything about weddings is expensive. They're a high-pressure, high-stress day for everyone involved. And since it is often one of the most important days of your life, the pressure is on to make sure everything is perfect. The more perfect the day, the more money is invested.

Your wedding day is important. You want to remember your big day and only have fond memories. Make that investment, and you will see a return.

Okay, Now What?

Selecting Your Hair and Makeup Style

First things first, you need to figure out what you like and what you don't like. I often use Pinterest for this. I have a public board you are free to look at for ideas (Put a Ring on It!). It is important to find styles you love and styles you don't, because a picture is worth a thousand words. Have two separate boards for these, and make sure to review them often.

You'll also want to have a good handle on what your dress looks like and any hair accessories you want to use on the big day. If you can get them before your trial appointment, do so! I can't tell you how hard it is to accommodate new pieces on the day of the wedding. This includes any extensions you may be using.

Selecting Your Artists

Selecting your hair and makeup artists is a major decision. You want someone you trust to execute the look you want, but your current stylist may not be that person (and that's okay!). Many stylists do not specialize in bridal styling or makeup. It is important to assign the task to someone who does specialize in bridal styling. Otherwise, your big day could end up falling flat, leaving you grouchy with your stylist and possibly searching for someone new anyway.

Trust me, I don't know anyone who would rather ruin your big day than trust a specialist.

To find your artists: start by searching local wedding hashtags on Instagram. Searching tags like #coloradoweddings, #coloradoweddingstylist, #estesparkweddings, #coloradobridal, #coloradobrides, #bridalhair, and #bridalmakeup is a great start. You'll be able to see some work from artists all over the area you've selected, and start weeding through all of the photos to find looks that truly inspire you.

Once you've found a few artists you like, reach out to them! Start by asking any questions you have, and be sure to provide as much information as possible. Know the answers to questions like how many bridesmaids will be receiving services, how long your bridesmaids' hair is, how long your hair is, what style you're looking for, the wedding date, the venue location, what time the ceremony is, and where everyone is getting ready. Do you prefer to have your bridal party takeover a salon? Or would you prefer the salon come to you? Knowing these things in advance will help determine pricing quotes and make sure there are no miscommunications.

The Trial

I personally will not do a blind wedding--meaning I require a trial at least 6 weeks ahead of time.

Absolutely no exceptions.

This is a big day for you, and the last thing I want is to run behind or not schedule enough time or have you hate your hair. The trial is a practice run, for both you and your artist.

The trial will allow you to see your hair and makeup ahead of the wedding, and is a great opportunity to tweak things and adjust before committing to a style. I have had many brides select a bridal style, and then end up hating it once they see it on themselves.

Most bridal styles you see on Pinterest, Instagram, and in magazines use secondary hair and extensions to create the voluminous and perfect styles. If your natural hair is not full enough, many styles will look completely different. I recommend adding Natural Beaded Rows prior to your big day.

It is important to come to the trial prepared. This is your rehearsal for your big day, and the artist will often time themselves so they can be sure to schedule enough time for you and your party.

Trial Day

* Cleanse your hair the night before, shampooing twice with a sulfate-free, professional shampoo and condition thoroughly.

* Blow dry your hair 100% dry with minimal product. (Curly girls, ask your artist what they prefer.)

* Arrive to your appointment on-time, which actually means 10-15 minutes early.

* Be prepared to fill out paperwork if needed.

* Have your Pinterest boards ready and photos of you in your dress if possible.

* Bring all of your hair accessories! It's better to have a bunch and then narrow down than try to add them day-of. This includes veils, combs, clips, pins, jewels, etc.

* Plan on being there for 2 hours or so for hair, 3 hours or so for hair and makeup.

Frequently Asked Questions

"How much is the trial?"

This will vary depending on your artist. I would plan for $75-$125 for hair, $50-$100 for makeup. Ask your artist for their specific pricing. Some artists will waive the trial fee if you reserve your wedding day with them.

"Why do you require a contract and reservation retainer for the wedding day?"

Weddings are a big deal. We often reserve out an entire day just for you and your party. My bridal contract locks in your date, your bridal party numbers, and your style, as well as your payment structure and schedule. The contract protects us both. It means I can't charge you more than what we agreed on and ensures I will be there for you with me team. It takes care of payment ahead of time so no one is stressing about it day-of, and protects me from some of the unfortunate circumstances that can happen.

"Can I trial my bridesmaids?"

You sure can! I've had a couple different brides trial their bridesmaids. It's completely up to you, but just remember your trial cost typically only covers your services as the bride.

"Holy cats that's a lot of money for my party! How do I pay for that?!"

You don't necessarily have to. While I require a valid credit card on file and all payments made through the salon, there is no reason why you have to actually pay it all yourself. Many of my brides will make their payments, then have their bridesmaids pay them accordingly. For clean and organized accounting, one payment method is preferred in-salon.

"This is all so overwhelming. Where do I even start?"

I know. Planning a wedding is crazy and there are so many moving parts involved. Keep an eye out for my blog The Ultimate Wedding Timeline which will break down what services you should get and why, milestones to hit to stay on schedule, and how to stay sane through it all.

Happy Wedding!



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