Trial Run 101

 You’re Engaged! Great now what?!

Once the newly engaged bubble pops and you are ready to start planning, booking a Hair and Makeup Artist is on the list! So how do you go about deciding who’s right for you and your party?

Do Your Research

Find out prices, and availability BEFORE you fall in love with your HMUA! Seems silly, but there’s nothing worse then hitting it off with a vendor only to find out they are booked. With that being said, start looking at the 1year-9 month mark to get an idea if they fit your budget, then reach out and check their availability. Once that’s set, schedule your trial run and send your deposit so they hold your date!! Also double check their policies to insure you can reclaim your deposit if it isn’t a good fit. Some, but not all, will offer a return if you cancel before the “no return” date.

Preparing for Your Trial

Once you’ve booked your stylist you’ll need to start preparing for the actual trial run. The bride has a big part in making the trial a success. One of the first steps is to address any skin or hair issues. If you are a long time acne sufferer, now is the time to seek professional help. Whether that means stepping up your skin care routine, visiting an esthetician regularly, or seeking medical advice from a dermatologist. Now is the time! While a makeup artist can cover a blemish, texture is a whole different thing. On a day that timing is everything you don’t want your artist spending hours just trying to prep your skin. The same goes for hair. A month before your wedding is no time to drastically change your color! If you want to be a blonde bride, start planning in the months leading up to your date, rather then having unrealistic expectations about what can be done in one appointment!

*Pro Tip-Not all stylists are wedding stylists! Just because your girl rocks your balayage, does NOT mean she is prepared or able to handle a wedding. Same goes for your girlfriend who’s great at makeup. A wedding is a completely different animal then your girls night out. Hire a professional!

What to Bring (and not to!)


Most stylists have a love/hate relationship with pictures. The reason why is because very rarely does one picture encapsulate everything a bride wants. So when creating your Pinterest board think about what you love or hate in each picture. Then be clear about the parts you’d like to see or avoid. A clear vision can be the make-it or break-it of a successful trial. You want a Kim K beat face, then say so. Looking for a natural glow, speak up! Also, it never hurts to show your stylist a picture of you in the dress, it helps get the creative juices flowing!

Bring an Open Mind

Remember you hired a pro for a reason, but there’s always a middle ground. If the style you loved on Pinterest just doesn’t translate the same on you, be open to your stylists suggestion of how to tweak it based on your hair, length, texture, and face shape.


It’s always a good idea to bring any hair pieces, veil, clips, flowers, or extensions with you for the trial. For the stylist, seeing the accessory ahead of time helps craft the final product with your piece in mind.

This is a perfect example-this bride came to her trial with the head piece and I created a space for it to be attached as I put her hair up. She also came prepared with earring she thought she might want to use. The end result was a great trial and a perfect wedding day look.



Yup that’s right. Unless it’s already clear in your contract, the trial is not free! Many stylists are behind the chair working for someone else, even if they are on their own for your wedding, so you still have to pay for their time and products.

Which brings me to what not to bring…

Unrealistic Expectations! I CANNOT stress this enough. A trial is just that-a try at nailing the look. It may not be perfect, but it helps us all understand the desired goal. Typically trials are only booked for an hour each, hair/makeup. While it does happen, don’t expect to walk out of your trial ready to walk down the aisle. We take notes, and pictures during the trial so we can NAIL it on the day. Schedules just don’t always allow us to “perfect” the look at a trial. Don’t bring too many people with big opinions.  Maybe a friend or your mom, but if you think their input will just confuse or be in conflict with what you are looking for, leave them at home!







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