I had a terrible hair and makeup trial before my wedding. We’re talking tears as the updo literally fell apart and I wiped purple eyeshadow off my face. So you could say I know the importance of these run throughs all too well. And so does Megan Garmers, of MG Hair & Makeup. With her experience making brides look their best, she’s a pro from the very start when they walk in with their inspiration pics. So print these tips and save them; I promise you they’ll come in handy more than you know.

1. Photos Are Essential

Do gather pictures of looks you like, but also gather examples of things you do not like (this may include a prom picture of yourself). Understand that each picture doesn’t need to be an example of the entire look you want to try – it could just be the front of one style, the back of another, or the contoured look on one picture and the “too-contoured” look of another. Having more pictures than less allows your artist to see the spectrum of your desired look. It also helps give specific examples of what a “romantic updo and smokey eye” means to you because it may mean something different to your artist.

2. But Lower Those Picture Perfect Expectations

Don’t expect exactly what you see in your inspiration photos. Seeing the look on your head with your amount of hair are two different things. Remember that the model, celebrity or bride in the picture may be wearing extensions, may have a different hair type than yours (i.e. you have baby fine hair and she has thick coarse hair), and don’t forget that your head and face shape may be different as well. Your skin, eye color, and overall complexion may change the way you feel about that picture you loved with the smokey eye and nude lip. All of these factor into if the style will “look like it did in the picture”.

3. Try On Options

Do try more than one look if you are not sure what you want. The artists/stylist should agree to do more than one look for you if you choose. Choosing a hairstyle/makeup look that is more formal than your everyday look is a delicate process, and having the benefit of seeing variations or completely different looks on you is important so you don’t kill yourself with the “what if’s” before your wedding.

4. Take Trial Run Photos

Take pictures from the front, sides, and back – in natural light and with a flash if possible, and then write down on a piece of paper what you think about it when you look in the mirror. Then go on to style #2 and do the same thing. Your artist shouldn’t make you decide on the spot what style you want for your wedding day look (unless it is your wedding day that day!). Let the decision marinate a bit, look back at the pictures and at your notes. If there is someone who helps you make good decisions, make sure they are there at your trial run through to give you honest feedback. Pictures are great, but there is nothing like seeing it in person.

5. Speak Up!

Don’t be afraid to speak up. This is not the time to pull the “Yes, it’s fine” card that we’ve all pulled at a salon, got up and left, and then went home in tears. If you don’t like it, tell the stylist what you do like about it (if anything), and what you want to change. It’s okay if you change your mind about liking the style once you see it on you versus when you saw it in the picture. Just make sure you have some ideas of other things you want to try or suggestions/pictures of other types of looks you like. This will give your artist something to start with.

6. Schedule When Best For YOU

Do schedule your trial run through at the right time for you. There is no right or wrong time to schedule a trial run. If you are incorporating your mother’s veil or a specific headpiece into your hairstyle, make sure you have it for your trial run through as the hairstyle needs to be worked around it. If you are growing your hair out, make sure you wait until it is long enough or else the trial will be a waste of time and money.

7. But Not Last Minute

Don’t schedule your trial at the last minute if possible. Make sure that you schedule it well in advance so you can schedule out haircuts, color/highlights, etc. up until your wedding day. This way there’s no last-minute panic that your stylist is on vacation so you have to get in with someone else resulting in your hair being cut too short for your style, with too many layers, or the wrong color.

8. Professionalism Is Key

Do take the time to evaluate your confidence in your artist as a business, not just a person. Even the greatest makeup artist or hairstylist does you no good if he or she does not show up for your wedding day or leaves you in a bind by canceling close to your date.

9. Book Before It’s Too Late

Don’t put off booking your hair/makeup artist. This can leave you in a panic when you find out the artist you wanted is booked for your date. Generally you want to book between one year to six months in advance to make sure that you not only have someone for your wedding day but also so that if you have your trial run through and decide that artist/stylist is not for you, then you have enough time to search for another one.

10. Sign a Contract

Regardless of when you book your artist/stylist, you want to get a contract – your vendor for hair and makeup should be no different than your vendor for your flowers, caterer, venue, etc.

100 Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Hairstyles to Inspire Your Big Day 'Do
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100 Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Hairstyles to Inspire Your Big Day 'Do
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For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna BeachWeddings by Susan DunneBrideside, giveaway for The Luxe Bridal Show and don’t miss the upcoming Spring 2016 Lazaro Trunk Show at the JLM Flagship Salon!

For our Tri-state Brides… Discounts from Femina Photo + Design

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events and promotion from Round Hill!

For our Southeast Brides… Discount from Cassidy Carson Photography and a giveaway for the Outer Banks Wedding Showcase at Sanderling Resort!

For our Midwest Brides… Giveaway for Jstyle Weddings Bridal Event

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Hair + Makeup Advice: MG Hair & Makeup

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