Bridal Trial 101: Picture Perfect Day

Shane: Downtown Hair Designer

Congratulations! You’re engaged and your wedding plans are in full swing. You’ve got your dress, booked your caterer, venue and photographer. All of the stressful pieces are taken care- now we can get to the fun stuff! It’s time to take all the dreams you’ve had since you were little and make them a reality. That’s where I come in. Going into the salon for your bridal hair trial can, no doubt, be a mixture of excitement and intimidation, but I’m here to rest your mind.

Scheduling Your Bridal Trial

This appointment should be stress-free and relaxing, as the count down to the big day draws near. By the time you’re in my chair discussing looks for the dayof, we should be no more than a month out- maybe two, from the actual date. You want to make sure that your trial appointment date allows for more time if a second appointment is necessary. This may be because you’ve changed your mind about your preliminary style after your first trial, so make sure you’ve left enough time to be comfortable and confident with your selected hair designer, and style. Booking this appointment too far out leaves too much room for second guessing yourself, and for becoming overwhelmed with too many options. It’s also better to wait until the day-of is closer because you’ll definitely know by then the vibe and aesthetic of your wedding.  

What To Bring: Bridal Accessories 

Should I bring anything, you ask? Yes! The most important thing to come prepared with is pictures. Pictures, pictures, pictures. You know yourself best, and what images your eyes and heart are drawn to most. Bring images of styles you adore, realistic or not. Bring images of styles that have elements that you like, even if the over-all picture isn’t your favorite. And bring images of styles that you don’t like. It’s important for me to incorporate as many of the “loves” as I can, but sometimes it’s even more important for me to know what you don’t love.

If you can’t find any photos of an entire look that you love, don’t fret! It’s totally fine for me to piece together your own, custom, style from the puzzle pieces of different images. Have you spent long hours lurking through Etsy for Bridal accessories (clips, combs, decorative jewels, etc)? Bring ‘em with! If you forget them, or they’re still in mail, have no fear. Your stylist can definitely figure out where to place a veil or a few decorative barrettes on the day-of, no sweat. The only time I would really want your accessories on hand is if it needs to be woven into the hair. Those would be things like rhinestone/pearl vine, or a ribbon headpiece. These need to be strategically placed within the style, so it’s important they’re incorporated at your trial.  

Hair Extensions

Let’s talk extensions. No, don’t be scared (or, yes, get excited)! There are a lot of stunning images on Pinterest. Many of which have mounds and layers of curls. Many of which you will want, and I want to give you. Most people DO NOT have that much hair- trust me, most of it’s fake. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

Adding extensions into the hair for your wedding can truly elevate your style, and make a lot of styles far more achievable. Bringing in images with long, flowing locks? If it’s not your natural texture or density, extensions are a must. Clip-ins are just fine! You don’t need to make a large investment in tape-in/permanent extensions. Although, if you would like wearing extensions on a regular basis, I can help you with that!

If, at your trial, you don’t know you’ll need extensions, but your stylist says you do in order to achieve your desired look, that’s totally fine! We will go ahead and re-create the image you’ve chosen without them and discuss how the finished look will be different on the day-of. You can always book a second trial once you’ve purchased your extensions, if that makes you more comfortable.  

Finding Inspiration

If you’re really lost on what design would best fit your wedding, or what designs would work best with your hair type and face shape, I’m here to help. Bring pictures of images you’re attracted to anyway, and we’ll have an indepth discussion about the vibe of your wedding to find the answer.

I’ll ask you questions about your theme, colors, dress style, guest count, flowers, and venue. I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve to help you achieve the look that would be most appropriate for the feel and aesthetic of your wedding. Is it black tie? Bohemian? Romantic? Rustic? It’s my job to help you feel and look as beautiful as you’ve dreamed of, and we’ll find the solutions together. 

Getting Prepped

There is one final, very important piece of your wedding hair style to consider: length and color of your hair. Let it be known- YES, your hair CAN be too long for an updo. Many brides will have spent a year or more growing their hair for their wedding day, and in most ways, that is very helpful for me. In some rare cases, though, I recommend a haircut. It could turn out that the style you love is only achievable if I cut off a few inches (or more). Extremely long hair has the great potential to be too heavy for a desired look, or it may simply need layering to give dimension and movement to your curls.  

Dimension & Color

Speaking of movement and dimension- what about your color? Most, if not all hair in pictures you will find on various websites, has dimension. It might be balayage, highlights, or lowlights. Solid color will not offer the same effect as a mixture of lightness and darkness. Dimension will “highlight” (ha- see what I did there?) the distinct curves, bends and braids of your chosen style. Solid color will absorb light, making the design look washed out, and not as intricate as it potentially could.

New To Color? 

If you’ve never colored before, again, have no fear. There are many color options to choose from within the spectrum of color itself, to different formulations of color (permanent, demi-permanent, high lift, etc) and ways to apply it. It doesn’t have to be damaging, permanent or high maintenance.  


Your bridal trial should be a day you look forward to, not one that you dread. Going into a salon can definitely be intimidating, but hopefully with these tools you’ll be able to walk in confidently, with a clear understanding of what to expect. Preparation is key to a relaxed, collaborative experience. I look forward to starting your bridal journey with you! 

Find more inspiration here:

Shane’s Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/samanthapd88/hair-by-me/ 

Shane’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shane_your_mane/ 

 

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