Wedding Planning

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial Guide

February 19, 2024


Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Julie Paisley | Hair and Makeup: Erin Ryser

Is a Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial Necessary?

Absolutely. A hair and makeup trial, sometimes called a bridal preview, is a must for a stress-free experience. The goal of a hair and makeup trial is to finalize a look you love before the wedding day.

While it seems fairly straightforward, hair and makeup trials have way more benefits than many realize. Having a wedding hair and makeup trial can even affect your wedding day timeline.

In this post, we’re exploring all the benefits of booking a hair and makeup trial and how to make the most of your trial for the best results.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Fine and Fleurie | Hair and Makeup: Janet Villa

A Seamless Wedding Day Timeline

Many brides don’t realize that a hair and makeup trial is important for your wedding day timeline. Bridal previews tend to be long appointments, as it takes extra time to adjust and edit the look until you love it.

It’s risky to wing it on your wedding day, as it will likely mean your hair and makeup takes longer than expected. If the look hasn’t already been perfected, your artist will need more time for adjustments and changes as you work through the look. This can cause your schedule to run super late.

This is at the beginning of the day, so hair and makeup running late throws off the entire wedding day schedule. Starting the entire wedding day off late is unnecessarily stressful.

The preview allows you and your artist to perfect your look ahead of time without the rush or time constraints of the wedding day. Then once you’ve finalized your look, your artist can accurately schedule the amount of time your service will take on the wedding day to ensure you’re on time. Going into your wedding day hair and makeup with a finalized look you already know you love is always a good idea.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: D’Arcy Benincosa | Hair and Makeup: Alesia Solo

Stress Relief

Having your hair and makeup be an unknown until the wedding day can cause stress. Just having an idea of what you want without seeing the look on you specifically runs the risk of you not loving your look. Figuring this out on the wedding day is definitely not ideal.

Seeing the finished hair and makeup look with your chosen accessories ahead of time is a huge stress reliever. A preview allows you to have the peace of mind that you’ve found a look you love with a plan in place.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: D’Arcy Benincosa | Hair and Makeup: Tatiana Zinchuk

Expert Input and Recommendations

A trial gives you access to the expert recommendations of your hair and makeup artist. This is a huge benefit, as you can get their input in so many helpful areas. Experienced hair and makeup artists will have valuable recommendations from products tailored to your skin and hair type to styles that are best for the conditions of your wedding day.

For example, if you’re having an outdoor summer wedding in a humid climate, your artist will have invaluable recommendations on keeping your look as fresh as possible, even under challenging circumstances.

A trial can help you evaluate with your hair and makeup artist if booking touch-ups would be the right fit for you, especially in certain climate conditions. You can typically book touch-ups hourly based on the schedule of your day that best suits your needs.

Getting customized product recommendations from a professional can make a huge difference, and seeing you in person will help your artist make the most accurate recommendations.

Your hair and makeup artist will also have suggestions on looks that will really make your wedding gown/look shine. Taking note of the styles you’ll be wearing and details like the neckline of your gown will help your artist create a customized look. For example, if you’ll be wearing a backless gown at the reception, a chic ponytail could be perfect for your gown silhouette.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Lauren Fair | Hair and Makeup: Erin Ryser

Observing How the Look Performs Over Time

A hair and makeup trial allows you to test out the wear of your hair and makeup look before the wedding day. Sure, the hair and makeup looks amazing when it’s fresh, but how does it look four hours later? This can depend on variables like climate and your skin and hair type.

Getting this feedback before the wedding day is perfect because it allows you to plan ahead. Remember to keep in mind the expected climate conditions of your wedding day time of year and location. Things like wind, temperature, and humidity can have a huge effect on your look.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Molly Carr | Hair and Makeup: Kassaundra Stephens

Getting to Know Your Hair and Makeup Artist

On a personal note, it’s nice to get to know your stylist before the wedding day. You’ll be spending a few hours together on the morning of your wedding, and even more if you book touch-up services. (Side Note: touch-up services are 100% worth it). Meeting before the wedding can make your wedding day experience more comfortable.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Julie Paisley | Hair and Makeup: Erin Ryser

How to Arrive to Your Hair and Makeup Trial

Arrive to a wedding hair and makeup trial with a clean face using your normal skincare routine and clean, fully dry hair. Be sure your skin is moisturized for the best base. If you normally wear a facial sunscreen, bring it to discuss with your artist to ensure it will work well with your wedding makeup.

We recommend wearing something the color of your wedding gown to help you visualize the final look. Next, we’ll discuss what to bring to your hair and makeup trial.

Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial
Photography: Julie Paisley | Hair and Makeup: Erin Ryser

What to Bring to Your Hair and Makeup Trial

Come to your wedding hair and makeup trial prepared for the best experience and results. We’ve made a checklist below:

  • Example Photos of the Look You’re Envisioning
  • Photos of Your Wedding Gown(s)/Look(s) for Reference
  • Wedding Day Jewelry
  • Veil
  • Wedding Day Hair Accessories

Bringing the above items helps ensure you and your hair and makeup artist have everything you need to create the perfect look.

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behind rsvp events


American wedding planner based in Paris, France curating unforgettable experiences with art de vivre in Europe and the United States.

As seen in leading publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Raela has serviced weddings and brands both stateside and abroad, from the sun-drenched hillsides of Southern California to the resplendent châteaux of France to the lemon trees of Positano. With unparalleled attention to detail, Raela’s specialty lies in creating unforgettable, exquisite, sensory experiences.

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