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  • Nikki Cagle


While I l o v e a good gab sesh about wedding styles {like my gushing over my favs styles of 2015 thus far}, this particular rundown of do's and dont's comes from years and years of befuddled brides, unprepared bridesmaids and *GASP* fallen wedding-day hair.

Photo by CJK Visuals

How should you prep your hair for your wedding day? What information should you provide to your stylist ahead of time? What should you expect to go down on the big day? Should your bridesmaidsall get their hair done? Do you come with wet hair, or dry? So. Many. Questions. Don't stress ladies—there are far more wedding-related details to stress about, like, what are you going to eat first {after all of that pre-wedding fasting}?! I reached out to some of my fav local stylists who are at the top of their wedding-hair game {no malicious competition here!} to get their input on this subject. Of course, each stylist has their own preference of wedding hair prep, but here are some basic do's and dont's for the most important day of your hair's life! First, and MOST important DON'T, which doesn't really fit in the line-up just yet, but is SOimportant that it gets front billing. DON'T ever, ever, ever sit in your stylist's chair on the day of your wedding with WET hair. E V E R. Unless—and this is the tiniest unless—you are getting a fancy blowout, which most often applies to moms, grandmas, and short-haired beauts. We don't even want to hear the words, "I washed it this morning so it's still a little damp." No, no, NO! If you see the blowdryer come out, and you know you're not on the schedule for a blowdry, this is not a good sign for you. What happens is, you have now added a Blowdry to your hair service, on top of the updo that you've already requested - so this becomes a.) two services, and b.) a time suck that pushes the very pristine schedule back and runs the entire bridal party late. You don't want to be that person—trust me. Aside from the fact that we don't want you arriving with wet hair, we actually want your hair to be a little dirty & gritty, which would, of course, require your hair to be, what...DRY. Look, I know this is harsh, and you're thinking, what a stylist Nazi{!!}, but I promise you it is for your own good. You don't want to be the bridesmaid that holds up the bride from walking down the aisle to the man of her dreams, right? Right. {Rant over.}

Just DON'T.

Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled discussion... DO Scout & book your stylist well in advance of your wedding day! During high-wedding seasons {April-June & September-October in the DMV} your favorite stylist will book up in a f l a s h. If you don't want to have to settle for your cousin's mother in law's grandmother's stylist who perfected the perm in the 80s, you want to get your date on your stylist's calendar ASAP! {FYI, I book up, on average, 9 months to a year in advance—less popular wedding months may still be available a few months out!} DON'T Skimp on the details. My first response to a bride almost always includes a bevy of questions that will help both of us in the planning process. A few at the top of the list that are a m u s t know: date/time/place of the wedding; location where you're getting ready {if different from the wedding venue}; whether you're having a first look {or not} and what time you'll need to be completely ready; how many ladies will be having hair services; what time the photographer is arriving to capture you slipping into that gown, etc. DO Have a trial! Send your stylist pictures ahead of time with notes as to what you like. That way, at the time of the trial the stylist will be fully prepped and able to consult with you over the direction of your wedding hair. Typical trials include one, maybe two takes on a style - not ten. So make sure you have a pretty good idea of the direction you'd like to go. But of course, there are ways to prep for a trial, too—I've got you covered! DON'T wait until the last minute to provide details on who is getting their hair done, and whatthey're getting done. The sooner, the better. In fact, you can send me you and your girls' looks as you come across them—even if it's 9 months prior to the big day! I start building out your file the second you officially secure your date with a deposit, so feel free to pad that file with as many details as your heart desires. I also accept Pinterest links to private boards where you and your girls have been hoarding hair ideas. About two weeks prior to the wedding I use these pictures to build out the final schedule and pass along to you/your girls/your coordinator so we are all on the same page and ready for the big day! {If this is something you would like, I'm sure any stylist would be willing to build out a schedule! Feel free to ask me for an example.} On a side note, while it is up to each bride as to whether they want their entire wedding party to have their hair done professionally, I will tell you that it looks much cleaner, streamlined & stunning for each girl to have a done-up 'do. If your bestie is hair-savvy and can handle her own, that's awesome! But you wouldn't want 5 out 6 of your bridesmaids to be dolled up, just to have the 6th stick out like a sore thumb with her self-done limp locks. Something to ponder!

DO Provide a contact person/number/email for day of coordinating. These days, wedding coordinators are uber helpful in running the show {such as a F A V of mine—Pop The Cork Designswith darling Jenna}. But whether you have your very own Frank Eggelhoffer, or a friend or cousin who has graciously offered to be the vendor coordinator for the day, make sure your stylist has the contact as well. Reasons we may need to bug the coordinator: to find out what room you're in at the hotel; to have her/him track down the tardy bridesmaid that should have arrived 5 minutes earlier for her time slot; for payment at the end of the service as you're slipping into your gown, etc.

The resilient Franck

DON'T stick your stylist in a bathroom to do hair all day. 1.) No ventilation and three cans of hairspray leaves us sounding like a 3-pack-a-day smoker. 2.) We have to clear out every time a girl has to pee...and most wedding days offer a bevy of girls. And 3.) The limited space is not conducive to doing our best work—especially if there are multiple stylists whipping up your wedding do's, not to mention several bridesmaids fighting for a mirror to check their make-up or hair. Really, we're flexible, and we can work anywhere. Sure, we'd love to be set near open french doors, with ample plugs at our disposal, the largest table in the history of time, and plush yet low-back chairs. But let's be real - most hotels offer a tiny desk, horrid lighting, windows that don't open, the highest back chairs they could find, and one measly plug. We come prepared with surge protectors & patience, so we will work it out anywhere...other than the bathroom ;-) DO arrive on time—in fact, run before time, preferably 15 minutes before your scheduled time. Ideally, a stylist will run ahead, and if that's the case, he/she would rather stay ahead. Better to be early than late! A lot of girls spend the entire day, from start to finish, at the bride's chosen location, enjoying mimosas, the wedding station on Pandora, and taking in the day's festivities. This is the best possible scenario for a stylist, as all we need to do is yell out for the next girl, instead of having the coordinator anxiously track down the bridesmaid that no one has heard from since they last saw her dancing on the bar at the after-rehearsal party. DON'T be so preoccupied with wedding day chaos that you can't sit and enjoy your hair service. We know there are last minute things to be done - cards to be signed, speeches to write, directions to give, seating charts to be rearranged, calls to be made, etc. But getting up and running around, stressing over who is doing what, prolongs your hair service and sets off the schedule. The day is here, the deeds are done, now sit, relax, mimosa and enjoy. Bride, bridesmaids, MOTB, it doesn't matter - I'm betting you all deserve the relaxation at this time. {P.S. Again, another reason why day-of coordinators are great - they can handle those last minute tedious tasks!} DO take the time to HAVE FUN!! This is likely the first time, and may be the last time for a while {as life intervenes} that you and your closest girlfriends and family are spending the day together, getting all glammed up, sipping on shamps, and anxiously counting down the hours to the best day of your life. Every single bride or bridesmaid says, "Wow, we still have so much time," just to turn around hours later and say, "Holy cow, where did the day go!? We have to get dressed!" It flies. So step back, take it in, and know this is all for you, or your bestie, or your daughter—enjoy it. Happy wedding day—happy wedding hair!! <3

Oh, and one last DO—remember to tip your stylist! Afterall, she/he holds the bobby pins to your wedding day hair ;-)

Psst... More wedding hair inspo!

2015 Wedding Hair: Halftime Favorites!

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