Your Essential Wedding Hair & Makeup Trial Checklist

Tips for guaranteed gorgeousness on your wedding day!

If you're having your hair or makeup professionally done on your wedding day, a trial is something we highly recommend. It will give you a chance to get to know your hairstylist or makeup artist, work out the details and timings for the day, and play around with potential looks. To talk you through all things trials, from whether you need one, to what you need to bring, we've put together a handy wedding hair and makeup trial checklist with all the essentials of what to do and what to ask.

Photo by M2 Visual Studio via One Fab Day

Do I Need a Wedding Hair or Makeup Trial?

This is going to be the first question you have and it's well worth considering. If you're using your regular hairstylist or makeup artist on your wedding day, and are having a look done that you've worn before, then you probably don't need a hair or makeup trial. Likewise, if hair and makeup isn't your thing, and you're either doing your own, or happy to leave it in the hands of the professionals on the day and give it no thought, that's fine too.

Photo by Studio Brown via One Fab Day

But if you know what you want, have opinions about what you like (and more importantly don't like!), or are trying out a new hairstylist or makeup artist, or a new look for the first time and want to see if they're a good fit, a trial is certainly worth the investmentA hair trial is especially important if you are wearing a veil or headpiece as well.

The last thing you want is to wait until your wedding day to realise that the upstyle you've been dreaming of won't work with the texture of your hair, or that your makeup artist's go-to foundation doesn't sit well on your skin. You can iron out any kinks, and be safe in the knowledge you'll look dynamite on the day during a trial, and maybe even ask questions about how to do touch ups.

Your Essential Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial Checklist
Photo by Darren Fitzpatrick Photography via One Fab Day

What to Bring To a Wedding Hair Trial

  • Wear your hair down, generally washed the night before with no product in it
  • Bring along photos of the styles you like
  • Bring your veil, wedding hair accessories and earrings
  • Bring a photo of your dress so your hairstylist can get a sense of the neckline
  • Wear white (or whatever colour your wedding dress is)
Photo by Claire Byrne Photography via One Fab Day

What to Bring To a Wedding Makeup Trial

  • Come with no makeup on, and your skin moisturised
  • Bring pictures of makeup looks you like
  • If you plan to wear tan on your wedding day, it's a good idea to have the same shade on
  • Bring a hair band or clips so your hair is off your face
  • Bring your makeup bag and go-to products (especially any lip products you plan to wear on the day)
  • Wear white (or whatever colour your wedding dress is)
  • If you are undergoing skincare treatments (needling, laser or peels), leave time between your appointment and trial for your skin to heal
Photo by Craig & Eva Sanders via One Fab Day

Questions to Ask at your Wedding Hair & Makeup Trials

  • How many looks can I try in this trial?
  • Will you be the person doing my hair/makeup on the day (important to ask if you're booking through a salon)
  • If you're unable to make it on the day, have you a back-up?
  • Can you do my mother/mother-in-law/bridesmaids as well, or do I need to book a second person?
  • How long will the hair/makeup take on the day?
  • How much space will you need on the day?
  • Do you have requirements for mirrors, lighting, electrical sockets etc?
  • Does it cost extra for you to travel to our venue?
  • What products do you use?
  • Are they cruelty-free?
  • How should I prepare my hair/skin on the day and the night before?
  • Is there anything I should do to prep my skin/hair in the weeks before the wedding?
  • How do you accept payment on the day?
  • Can you show me how to do touch ups?
Photo by Pawel Bebenca Photography via One Fab Day

Tips for Making the Most of your Wedding Hair & Makeup Trials

  • Make a plan to go out after your trial. See how your makeup wears and how your hairstyle lasts over a few hours, and take lots of pictures to see how it photographs in daylight and artificial light. Plus, you'll look gorgeous - show it off.
  • Call your hairstylist or makeup artist about pre-trial prep. Should you have freshly washed hair or day-old, likewise, should your skin be moisturised and/or primed?
  • Talk to your stylist about any concerns you have. For example, if you're prone to breakouts, if curls don't last in your hair, are unsure when to get your hair cut and coloured etc.
  • Tell them about your wedding. Give them a sense of your day, the overall look and vibe, pictures of your dress are a good idea too.
  • Bring along ideas. Hairstylists and makeup artists love it when you have a sense of what you want, even better if you have pictures. Keep it to just a few though, too many different looks is confusing.
  • Avoid using vague terms. Words like 'boho', 'natural' or 'vintage' have somewhat lost all meaning, if you know what you want, be specific, and better still, have examples.
Photo by Memento Photography via One Fab Day
  • Let them know any non-negotiables. Flowers in your hair, red lipstick and liquid liner, a slicked back up-do, if you have your heart set on certain details, let the pros know.
  • Don't expect your look to be identical to the photos. Your stylist or makeup artist will use them to take inspiration, but adapt them to your own features and hair texture. Be the best version of you!
  • Do you vibe? You'll be spending several hours of your big day with your hairstylist and makeup artist, it's important they have the right energy and make you feel relaxed.
  • Keep an eye on timings. Your wedding morning can be stressful, don't add to that by feeling like you're not on schedule. Ask the professionals how long they take for each person, and how much of a buffer you should leave on the day. Don't be concerned if the trial takes longer, they're still working things out, and that's part of the reason for doing it.
  • Be open to suggestions. Good hairstylists and makeup artists know what they're doing, so give them freedom to play around a little - have an open mind.
  • Bring your favourite products. If you've got a hair product that works wonders, or a lipstick you love, bring those along. Your pro may or may not use them, but it may help them suss out what works for you.
  • Be honest. If you don't like something, let them know! They won't be offended. Likewise, if you simply think they're not the right fit, don't proceed with the booking. Only work with suppliers who you're 100% happy with and trust. It's important to know you're in safe hands.
  • Wear a similar colour to what you'll be wearing on your wedding day. If possible, replicate your neckline too.
  • Factor in the cost of your hair and makeup trial when planning your wedding beauty budget. Get our full price guide here.

See our full hair and makeup costings here and follow us on Instagram for more great wedding advice.

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