Before You Say I Do: Consulting with the Bride-to-Be
Consider a wedding like a big project from back in your days in school. Before you could start to write, you had to do your research.
It’s the same way when planning to style a bride’s hair. You need to do your research.
Plan a meeting with the bride to prepare for the big day. You can combine this with a trial run or have that on a separate day.
Be sure to discuss the following:
- Her current hair care regimen. Be sure you give great advice about what to do with her hair between now and the wedding day, like don’t make any dramatic decisions and what products she should use to protect her hair from heat.
- Sometimes brides want to grow their hair long prior to the wedding. That’s fine, but be sure the hair is recently trimmed or docked, so there are no split ends prior to the wedding.
- Does she color or hair and what is her plan? Dissuade her from wild color changes between now and then, but do encourage her to take care of her final coloring a week before the wedding. The bride should tell her colorist how her hair will be styled, particularly if there will be a visible part. (If she wants some unusual color, try to convince her to do the tips only or one small streak or to try some truly temporary color). Ombre-colored hair might need some highlights if there will be an up-do to avoid a blonde bun atop brown roots.
- What is the “feel” of the wedding? Is there a religious ceremony and is it in a house of worship? Is it outdoors or indoors? How formal is it? Is the couple riding away on horseback or Harley Hogs? Getting the theme and sense of the wedding will help you design an appropriate wedding style that will have some staying power and be in keeping with the aesthetic of the day.
- What is her vision of her hair? The same color from 5 years ago? The princess look? Beachy, relaxed waves? Is she wearing a veil?
- Where and when will the styling take place? Your salon or at a venue? What are the accommodations like at the venue? Enough plugs? A sink nearby? Plenty of chairs? Parking for you nearby? A private, well-ventilated room?
- Whom are you styling? Mothers? Bridesmaids? Flower girls? Use this information to tell her how much time a person needs to style each of these people as you figure it how many assistants you will need. You may want to limit how time you will spend on each person (2 hours for the bride, 45 minutes for the mothers and the bridesmaids, 30 minutes for flower girls, for instance). Be firm that you are to be paid by her for all of the styling you do and she can collect from others.
- Will you be needed to change styles between the ceremony and the reception? Where and when will that take place?
- Preparing for a Trial Run. Either on the day of the consultation or another day, try out the hairstyle she is envisioning. Have her watch you as you are styling, as opposed to creating the big reveal. This way, you can make corrections as you progress if it’s not what she wants, instead of having to go back and redo. Write down the products you are using and take copious photos and notes. Ask her to keep her hair that way for a few hours and note what problems occur and at what time interval. That way, you can apply product or fasteners to address those issues later.
- Who else will be preparing the bride? Make-up artists, dresser? Get their contact numbers and communicate with other vendors so you can coordinate timing of hair and make-up, coming up with a schedule if you can.
- Prepare a contract with as many details as possible (who’s getting styled, the date and exact time and place, how long you will be on hand). Overestimate time, so you’re not caught short. Enlist your assistants. Get the signed contract back before the wedding day (with a deposit, if that’s the business model in your locale).
- Remind her to have her hair blown out the day before the wedding for pre-wedding festivities with not too much product. She should have dry, pre-styled hair for you on the morning of her big day.