Essential Questions To Ask Your Hair & Make-Up Artist

Most brides don’t need to be told their wedding day is THE day to look their best – and to achieve this, many brides start beauty regimes about 3 months before the wedding! The crowning glory in achieving that glowing bridal beauty is finding the perfect make-up and hair artist, who will wave their magic palette, brush and comb and make the bride feel like a true beauty that she is. But how do you find that perfect artist? Easy: by knowing what you like, speaking your mind, and asking the right questions. Pam Wrigley, the winner of U.K. Wedding Hair Stylist of the Year Award at the National Wedding Industry Awards 2013, tells you all you need to know.

smiling bride wearing veil and jewelled tiara


Unless you are absolutely sure about what kind of hair and make-up you want to have for the wedding, you need to do some research. Have a look online and in wedding magazines to get an idea of the different looks you like, then you can start to look for your make-up artist/hairstylist.

The best way to judge someone’s work is to look at their work on real brides, so you can see actual hair hair styles that were created to last all day – not just for a photo shoot – and make-up that makes the average girl look amazing. Bear in mind that models get paid because they look fabulous on camera! By all means, if you find a look you like then make a note of it, but best examples of someone’s bridal works comes from their work on real brides.

Check make-up artists and hair stylists in your area, and look at galleries of real brides on their websites – do you like their work? Do the pictures show a variety of styles? Check their testimonials as well.

If you have a hair stylist you see regularly and you are thinking about hiring them to do the job, just ask them casually how they are at putting hair up and creating different styles – just because they are great at cutting and colouring it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to arrange your hair into an impressive style that has to last all day too!

If you choose someone from a hair salon or an agency, be sure to check that the person who will do your trial will be the same one who will come to do your hair on your wedding day – otherwise there isn’t much point to the trial!

Joining a bridal forum is a great way of getting recommendations and testing out your looks – many brides post pictures of their trials and ask for opinions from other brides-to-be, and also discuss prices and options.

Before you go to see anyone, find out the prices for trials and wedding day up front, so there are no nasty surprises when you meet up! One lady I’d met had been charged £300 for a trial that she wasn’t even happy with – they tried one style, and said that was it! She was understandably upset and disappointed.

Make sure you get on well with the person you choose – it’s as important as liking their work! You’ll be spending all morning of your big day with them, you may be nervous or anxious, and getting ready is a very important part of your day – you need to feel relaxed and at ease with the person you choose. If you’re not sure, call them before you book anything and have a chat, do they make a good impression on the phone, and come across as flexible and open, do they listen to your ideas about hair and make-up?

Bridal Hair & Make-Up Trial by Pam Wrigley

Image courtesy of Pam Wrigley

Here is a list of essential questions to consider and to ask when choosing your hair stylist and make-up artist:

  • Will they be happy to try different looks at the trial if you’re not happy with the first make-up look or hair style?
  • Are they happy to do the trial run whenever you’re ready, so that you can be sure you are happy with their work and you’re not stressed out the week before the wedding trying to find a replacement?
  • How long will the trial run last, is there a time limit?
  • Would your stylist/makeup artist like to see images of looks and styles that you like, picture of your dress, flowers, colour style of your bridesmaids dress, colour theme? Pinterest is a great way of collecting everything together – you could send a link to your photo album by email.
  • Can you have a trial run before you pay the deposit?
  • You’ve had your trial but you’re still not sure – do you have to make a decision to book them straight away, or can you have a few days to think about it? If not, make sure you’re really happy with the standard of their work before you pay upfront.
  • You change your mind about your hair and/or make-up after your trial – is there a charge for a re-trial?
  • Can your hair stylist help you with your veil and tiara?
  • Do you need to bring your hair accessories before the trial run, or is your stylist happy to work with your tiara/veil on the wedding day?
  • If you haven’t found your hair accessories – do they have any hair accessories you can use at the trial run just to get an idea how different things look in your hair?
  • Where will the trial run take place?
  • Will your hair stylist/make-up artist come to you on the wedding day?
  • Are false lashes or lash extensions included in your make-up package?
  • Can your make-up artist advise you about top-ups for lipstick, powder etc?
  • What products does your make-up artist use? Most make-up artists use a variety of products from the top make-up houses, so it’s always worth asking if they only use one brand of make-up, or if they are all cheap and cheerful – maybe it’s time to think again. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to cosmetics.
  • You have sensitive or problem skin – would your make-up artist be happy using some of your own products?
  • You have fine hair – is your hairdresser confident using clip-in extensions to help achieve a beautiful glamorous hair style?
  • Would your hair stylist like you to arrive with just-washed hair on the wedding day?
  • Should you use any leave-in products, deep conditioners?
  • Should you straighten your hair before the trial run? Your stylist may want to see your natural hair before he/she starts work.
  • Are there any extra charges – mileage, parking, travel, London congestion charge, bank holiday charges, etc?
  • You have an early wedding/large bridal party, will they be able to bring an assistant along on the wedding day if needed?
  • What happens if they are ill on the wedding day? Will they be able to get a replacement?

Winner of Best Wedding Hair Stylist at the Wedding Industry Awards 2012 London & South East, Pam Wrigley is an expert in the field of styling bridal hair. With over 20 years of experience, Pam travels to meet brides throughout London and the Home Counties,

Get more great advice in our Health & Beauty section! 

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