The bridal trial or preview is often referred to as one of the best spent hours before your wedding. Here’s why and how to get the most out of your pre-bridal beauty sesh. 

First up to prepare, find and wear a dress or top in a similar shade and neckline as your wedding dress or at least the one you have in mind if you haven’t chosen your dress yet.  Share your inspiration images and Pinterest board with your artist prior to the trial.  Try to find pictures of the back and front of your hair inspiration.  Many times we hairstylists see a lot of back photos of the hair, but the front is really the most important. Think about how you normally wear your hair and don’t be afraid to try different partings, all back or bang swoop at the trial. Keep in mind that you want to feel like the best version of yourself, not someone else.

Bring your most trusted friend. If that’s your mom, great. But if you and your mom have conflicting ideas about how you should wear your hair and makeup, bring someone whose opinion you trust. Who gets you and your style instead. Don’t bring an entourage. That can get confusing. But do offer to send pictures of the finished looks or meet up with them later if they really want to support you and be a part of your beauty planning process.

Wondering about airbrush or traditional makeup? Try one on one side and one on the other side. Wear them for a few hours and see which holds up best, which has the best finish.

How about false eyelashes?  Again try a few options at the trial to see which you are like best both in length and comfort.

Double up and use your trial for a special event. Including a night out, engagement photos, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, or dress fitting. This can’t always be coordinated with all your wedding vendors or bridal party, but it’s great if you can work any of the above out.

Start a facial plan at least six months before your wedding. Not the day before your trial.  

If you plan on tanning a bit, consider that and try a foundation slightly deeper than your skin to see how you like the look of a tan against a white or ivory dress.  Never wear black to your trial. It is a totally different animal unless you’re wearing a black dress, of course.

Take pictures of every angle of the final hair and makeup look.  So you can reference them on the wedding day.  This also includes deciding on the veil placement and a teaching session on how to remove the veil when you are ready to take it off on your wedding day.  Decide who would be the best person to help you with that if your hairstylist won’t be there at that time. A good artist will always be there to place the veil before you head out.

If mom’s or attendants are worried about how their hair and makeup will look, suggest that they have a trial too.  Always schedule your trial with the same artist as the wedding day.

Follow up with your artist a day or two after the trial and give him or her any feedback on what you loved and what you might like to change.

Plan on paying for your trial. It’s well worth it, and no one can afford to work for free these days. Most trials for hair and/or makeup last at least an hour for each service. Sometimes more for pictures and fine-tuning the look.

This is your time to get to know your artist and see if you vibe. Do it earlier rather than later if you can and be honest. This is your time to speak and get the look you want. You’ve got to communicate it with your artist and see how she handles feedback. She should be open to offering suggestions and also considering the options you provide. 

You should leave feeling so much more at ease and excited about your wedding day look. Now, check that task off the list, let your beauty professionals handle the rest, and move on to the next wedding detail.