SouthBound Guide: Rocking Your Hair & Makeup Trial

For those of you planning a summer wedding, now is about the time when hair and makeup start moving up the priority list in terms of decisions to be made and bookings to be confirmed – after all, your look is something that relies heavily on the style of dress you’ve decided on, the jewellery or accessories you’ve picked, and the style or level of formality that you’ve chosen for the wedding as a whole. Now’s also a good time to start locking in that hair and makeup trials, and we’ve got you covered with our top tips for how to make the most of this important pre-wedding event.

So, why have a rehearsal at all?
In the run-up to a wedding, there’s no question both time and budget are precious, so spending an afternoon (and often a sizeable fee) to practise your hair and/or makeup can seem like a waste of both. But honestly, it isn’t. There are actually many reasons why having a trial is a good idea, but the biggest one is the most obvious – if anything goes wrong, you want it to be now, and not on the day of your wedding. This is particularly true for hair, although it really applies to both. For example, you may have your heart set on a particular style, but find that it just doesn’t suit your face or hair type. Worse, you may find that the person you’ve booked can’t deliver the look you want. There are exceptions to this of course – if you’re working with someone who has been your stylist for years and knows you and your style well, or if you’re going for something simple like a hair-down-blow-dry, then you can probably get away without a dry run. But otherwise, it’s really worth the investment – or rather, the insurance policy. What you do NOT want is to find yourself, half an hour before the ceremony, washing your face and starting from scratch or with a bridesmaid desperately trying to cobble together a new style for you. Even if the makeup look you want is ‘natural’, bear in mind that it can mean different things to different people. Having a trial is also a great chance to get to know your hair and makeup artist(s) – after all, this is the person who is going to be with you at that crucial time when the butterflies start to flutter, and you want to make sure you get on well. A trial is a chance to ask questions, get their input, play with a couple of options. And hey, it’s a chance to get pampered. For a stressed bride, that is NEVER a bad thing. Finally, it’s an opportunity to figure out how long your hair and makeup will take on the big day, so you can factor this into your planning. This is the one thing that often overruns, and what suffers is the photography – all those gorgeous portraits of you and your bridesmaids.

When should I book my trial?
A lot of brides leave this until the last minute, but the safest bet is to plan your trial for around six to eight weeks before the big day. That way, you have the opportunity to make changes – finding different accessories if the ones you picked don’t work, for example, or (heaven forbid) finding a new hair and makeup artist should you find that your styles just don’t gel. Don’t book the trial too early though – bear in mind that trends can change, as can your wedding design, and the style you think you’ll pick right after you get engaged may not be the one you land up loving.

Top 10 Tips

  • Wash your hair the night before the trial – an updo holds way better in day-old hair. You also don’t want to waste time at your trial on a blow-dry (unless that’s the whole style, obvs).
  • For a makeup trial, arrive with a cosmetic-free face (moisturiser only). Ideally, book your hair and makeup trial for the same day (makeup first) if you’re not hiring the same person for both. But if you can’t do this, make sure you wear makeup to a hair-only trial.
  • Bring pictures for inspiration! Make a board on Pinterest and share it with your stylist beforehand, or bring along 5-10 images from magazines or the internet. Make sure you bring pictures of your dress and of your general wedding inspiration, especially if you’re working with a specific theme or period.
  • Make sure you bring along the hair accessories you’re planning to wear, including veils, combs, hairpieces, etc.
  • Do bring a friend or relative whose opinion you trust with you. Don’t bring more than one – too many cooks, and all that.
  • Take a camera with you and ask your companion to take pictures from different angles. Not only will you be able to see how the back of your hair looks, but hair and makeup can look different on camera. It’s also a good way of getting advice from the rest of your besties without bringing along a giant entourage.
  • For a makeup trial, be sure to bring your own makeup bag and let the artist know about your favourite looks and products. It’s also worth paying close attention to the products they use on you – you might want to buy things like lipstick in the same shade for touchups later in the day.
  • BE HONEST. This is probably the most important thing – if you don’t like something, say it. Remember, they can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.
  • Plan a big night out on the same evening you have your trials – not only is it a good way of making sure all that gorgeousness doesn’t go to waste, but you’ll get a good idea of how both hair and makeup styles hold up after a couple of hours. Be sure to let the stylist know ahead of time if there’s anything you discover that doesn’t work.
  • For the trial, wear a top in the same colour as your dress, with a similar neckline to give you a clear sense of how you will look on the day.

Image credits (top to bottom, left to right): 1-  Maryke Harper on SouthBound Bride; 2- Vinson Images via Emmaline Bride; 3- Luna Photo; 4- Allan Zepeda via Style Me Pretty; 5- Renaissance Studios Photography via Bridal Musings


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