How to Hire a Wedding Hair Stylist For Your Big Day

You'll want to know the answers to these questions before booking your bridal hair stylist—trust us.
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
lauren whalley headshot
Lauren Whalley
Fashion Editor, Beauty & Inclusivity
  • Lauren writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in fashion, beauty and size inclusivity.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Lauren worked in wedding editorial for Brides, Style Me Pretty and Enaura Bridal.
  • Lauren studied public relations and advertising at the University of Central Florida.
Updated Apr 11, 2023

One of the most challenging tasks when planning a wedding is finding the right vendors for your big day, and that includes your wedding hair stylist. But where do you find a wedding hair salon? How much do you need to budget? How do you even find a hair stylist for weddings? Doing some research can go a long way when narrowing down potential vendors. To help get you started, we tapped Chyenne Velez, owner and expert hairstylist at Lé Brunette & Co. in East Meadow, New York, to answer your questions on how to hire your dream wedding hair stylist.

Once you've found your dream wedding hair stylist, there are a few questions you'll want to ask before you sign on the dotted line, and that's where we come in. Asking these questions is important to ensure that you and your wedding hairdresser are on the same page and that there are no unwanted surprises on the big day. Below, we've created a list of must-ask questions to ask hair vendors during your wedding consultation, like "Do you have a portfolio of your work?" and Q's you may not have even thought of, like "What happens if you get sick on my wedding day?"

At a Glance

  • Bridal hair stylists and bridal stylists are different, but both play a crucial role when planning your wedding hair.

  • Don't wait to book your wedding hair stylist, the sooner the better.

  • The average cost of wedding hair in 2022 was $130, but there are a few additional costs you may want to consider.

  • You don't need to decide on your wedding hairstyle before booking your stylist, but now is the perfect time to start looking for inspiration.

  • Finding your dream hairstylist is as easy as visiting The Knot marketplace.

  • Asking the right questions can make all the difference during your wedding hair consultation.

In this article:

Are Wedding Hair Stylists Different From Regular Hair Stylists?

Yes, wedding stylists and regular hair stylists do differ in their expertise and services. "A bridal hairstylist has specific training in formal styling as well as techniques that are meant to make the hair last for long periods of time," says Velez. "Bridal hairstylists have the best knowledge of the venues, photographer protocols, creating timelines, and so on." However, Velez says it is important to keep your normal hairdresser in the loop when planning your wedding hair. "It is still very important for the bride to consult with a hairdresser for her everyday hair maintenance in order to have beautiful, healthy hair leading up to the wedding day."

When Should I Hire a Hair Stylist for My Wedding?

You should hire your wedding hair stylist as soon as possible, especially if you have a specific bridal hair stylist in mind. "I would suggest the bride reach out as soon as she has a date or as soon as the hairdressers' books are open for the desired date," says Velez. "Believe it or not, I'm booking out one and a half to two years in advance for brides, and most likely so are all your other favorite vendors."

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How Much Should I Budget for Wedding Hair?

You should budget at least $130 for your wedding hair, based on the findings from the The Knot 2022 Real Wedding Study. Keep in mind this number is an average, and pricing will vary depending on where you're located and the exact services you require. "Some outside costs that may be overlooked are items like clip-in extensions, which are a very popular option for brides, says Velez. "Another expense that is often overlooked is adding on a touch-up or second hairstyle for the bride. After a long day, a touch-up or hair change after cocktail hour is such a great way to ensure the bride is fresh and comfortable to greet her guests at the reception."

Do I Need to Decide On My Wedding Hair Style Before I Hire a Stylist?

No, you do not need to decide on your wedding hair style before booking your stylist. "I believe the bride should find a bridal hair stylist who has great work and is also someone they connect well with," says Velez. "Finding and creating a hairstyle is the easy part, but in my experience, most brides are very unsure of their desired hairstyle until they find their dress." This means that now is the perfect time to get inspired by recent hair trends, save them on Pinterest and look into what your desired looks require, like extensions or hair accessories.

"As the bridal stylist, we will guide the bride to try hairstyles that complement the dress and, most importantly, their face," Velez explains. "The bride should feel like themselves, but elevated."

How Can I Find a Wedding Hair Stylist Near Me?

The easiest way to find a wedding hairstylist near you is by browsing The Knot Vendor Marketplace, where you can filter beauty pros near you and read reviews so you can easily find your dream bridal stylist.

Questions for Your Wedding Hair Consultation

It can be easy to feel confident in hiring a certain hair stylist based on their website and Instagram alone. But before you commit, it's important to ask your potential wedding hair stylist about their pricing, travel requirements and references. Here are some key bridal hair consultation questions to ask to ensure you've found the right stylist for you. Trust us, you'll be glad you asked.

1. Do you have a portfolio of your work?

Why you need to know: Seeing a hair stylist's portfolio will give you a better idea of how they work and style hair, especially if you want to book a bridal hair stylist who has experience working with different hair textures and lengths. It will give you a good idea of whether or not the hairstylist can help you achieve your dream wedding day 'do.

2. Do you have a list of references?

Why you need to know: While looking at a wedding hair stylist's portfolio is essential for gauging their expertise, don't skip over client feedback to get the inside scoop on their timeliness, attitude and professionalism. Start by checking out our marketplace to get the 4-1-1 on what it's like to work with them.

3. Will you bring your own products (a blow dryer, a curling iron and other necessities), or will I be responsible for supplying them?

Why you need to know: Most hairstylists will bring a kit with all the essentials they need to style your tresses. But if they do require that you provide a specific product, you'll want to know early on (especially if that's a deal breaker). If you prefer to use your own tools and products, communicate this with your hairstylist to see if they're game.

4. How do you charge—by the hour or per person?

Why you need to know: Every hairstylist prices their work a bit differently. Before you sign a contract, have a clear understanding of the packages they may offer and what's included in each one. You'll also want to know how they would like to be paid. Cash tends to be the popular choice for beauty pros but more individual vendors are starting to take credit cards. Paypal and Venmo are also options you might want to ask about. The more you know about the logistics of paying them ahead of time, the smoother the day will be.

5. Will I have to travel to you or do you work on-site?

Why you need to know: Not all hairstylists will work on-site—some may ask you to travel to their salon or studio. You should consider the distance between the salon and where you'll be getting dressed to determine if it will work into your wedding day schedule. No one wants to feel rushed the morning of their big day.

6. How many weddings do you do in one day? (Will mine be the only one, or will you have to get to another wedding or event?)

Why you need to know: Ask your stylist how many weddings they do per day in advance, because this could be a deal breaker. If your stylist is only preparing your hair for the ceremony, it might not be a problem if they're working multiple weddings in one day. But if you want your hairstylist on deck for the ceremony and the reception, make sure they're available to block out the whole day just for you (and don't forget to ask what the extra fee will be).

7. Will you do a trial run before the wedding?

Why you need to know: Chances are the hair trial will be your first time assessing their skills in person. Provide them with reference images and bring any bridal hair accessories you plan to wear on your wedding day. Editor's note: Before you schedule your trial, be sure to find out if they charge extra for the service.

8. Do you have a team of assistants, or will you be the only stylist that day?

Why you need to know: If your bridal party is also getting their hair done, look for a stylist who has an assistant or two. The assistants can work on your bridal party at the same time your preferred stylist is getting you aisle-ready. This will also cut your prep time in half and ensure no one feels rushed the morning of.

9. How long will my hairstyle take?

Why you need to know: Knowing the prep time will help you manage your day. Don't forget to account for your bridal party as well. Your hair will take the longest, so give yourself at least an hour to two hours with your hairstylist and at least one hour for each bridesmaid. As the bride, you should also be the last person to have your hair done so that's is freshly styled.

10. What will happen if you're ill or have an emergency on the wedding day?

Why you need to know: This may be last on the list of wedding hair consultation questions to ask, but it's so important. If your hairstylist has to cancel on short notice, there should be a contingency plan. Will they provide another stylist, a refund or have their assistant take their place? If they have a backup hairstylist, make sure to meet them beforehand.

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