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The Wedding Favor Every Bride Owes Herself

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

by: Mailey Gonzales

So you want amazing hair and makeup on your wedding day? I can help! I’m a professional hair and makeup artist and I absolutely love working weddings. I’ve learned from my last one hundred weddings that a trial is just as crucial for your hair and makeup as a rehearsal is for your ceremony. Without a trial, we have to improvise a great deal and can’t know exactly how you’ll look on your actual wedding day. It takes experimentation to turn your preferences into wonderful results.

A trial is a labor intensive event and usually lasts longer than the actual wedding day styling. It may also cost more than the wedding day hair and makeup. A lot of working and reworking is required to fully develop and polish your look. At your trial we’ll get to know each other and go over all the questions you have and any details concerning bridesmaids, moms, and time constraints.

The Bachelorette contestant Sharleen Joyt at our trial. She didn't like the look she initially had in mind, but we were able to come up with something she loved.

If you expect great hair and makeup, do yourself a favor and take your trial seriously.

Several crucial things occur in a trial. First of all, I’ll get familiar with your hair, skin type, facial features, and any special circumstances. You may want to incorporate unique elements that require creativity and problem solving on my part. If you need any special kinds of products such as hypoallergenics, we can test them and make sure they work well for our application. And I’ll be able to give you one on one attention which is rarely possible on the wedding day.There is a natural trial and error process that has to occur to really nail certain aspects of a look. You can’t rush art!

A trial shows how a look actually appears on you. Some things may not feel right, even if you think they look great on someone else--like cowboy boots, perhaps. If you do realize the look you’re trying to achieve makes you uncomfortable, we’ll go from there and find a place that makes you happy. The best part about all this is that in a trial we are free to experiment. This part is a lot of fun and I’ll use it to guide you to an amazing look.

I suggested an Audrey Hepburn inspired look and Sharleen loved it. Trials let you experiment.

Most brides I work with aren’t used to having their hair and makeup done. Unless you’ve worked in film or television, you probably aren’t accustomed to professional hair and makeup. I’ll make you feel like yourself but encourage you to get out of your comfort zone just a little. My goal is to make the look last all day. I also want to keep it natural looking in person yet achieve a well finished appearance in photos. Your hair and makeup should look special on your wedding day. I doubt you actually want to look like you’re going to work, the grocery store, or even on a date. I specialize in natural looking makeup and shy away from heavy, artificial looks. Still, some of my brides feel uncomfortable with any makeup at all. It always puts them at ease when I have them put the mirror down and look at themselves from several feet away. That’s how other people and the cameras will see you on your wedding day.

Choosing hair inspiration photos is a challenge for a lot of brides. It’s easy to select a lot of pretty pictures that don’t help us very much at all. You need to look for girls whose hair is very similar to yours in color, length and texture. I get that it’s sometimes hard to tell but just think about those things when looking at hair styles. I’ve had brides with solid brunette hair bring me pictures of nothing but ultra highlighted blonde hair. I can do the style they show me but their hair will look vastly different because of the difference in color.The same goes for makeup. You need to look at pictures of girls whose features are similar to your own. This will help you get a better sense of what it will actually look like on you. And you don’t have to use just one photo--you can piece it together.

Notice the similar styles in these pictures. Different hair colors create different overall effects. If your're brunette, your end result won't have the same contrast and apparent texture as a blonde with prominent highlights. Choose inspiration pictures of people with hair similar to yours.

You can bring me a picture of a girl whose eyes you like and another picture where you just like the skin. If you find a bun you like as well as a braid you like in another picture, bring both. One thing to be aware of with multiple photos, they can be different but they need to be in the same universe. The different components need to come together in your look and complement each other. Finally, the last photo you’ll want to bring is of your dress. If you don’t have it that’s okay but it does dictate a lot of the overall look. When a bride is on the fence between a few options, seeing her dress allows me to make a solid recommendation. As a hair and makeup artist with a background in costume design, I can direct you according to the style of your dress. You may like classic 1950's cat wing makeup and Bohemian hairstyles. That’s fine, but if you’re wearing a ball gown dress at your wedding, I can advise against mixing all those elements together. It’s ultimately up to you but I’ll try to guide you to a cohesive and deliberate look.

The final touches on Sharlene's wedding day

A lot of work goes into making a great wedding look. Following my advice is probably too much work for girls who don’t care about how they look on their wedding day or in all those pictures. But if that were you, you probably wouldn’t be reading this! If you have an upcoming trial with me or another artist, I recommend taking a picture of the checklist I’ve included to remind you of the main points listed here. I know this will help you have a great trial and ultimately ensure you have the best possible results on your wedding day.

The end result was well worth the effort!

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