What Nobody Tells You About Getting Your Wedding Day Hair and Makeup Done

Here's the unfiltered truth the pros want you to hear.
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 Jul 28, 2023

Your big day is almost here and you're probably feeling a mix of excitement, nerves, and major #BrideGoals vibes. While you've heard all about getting your wedding hair and makeup done, there are some things you want to be aware of in advance because nobody likes unexpected surprises (especially when it comes to your wedding day glam). So, to help you slay your wedding hair and makeup, we've consulted top hair and makeup experts who have worked with countless brides. From timelines and styling to booking and tipping, we've got you covered with insider advice that will make you shine on your special day. So grab your chai latte and settle in as the professionals drop some serious truth bombs about what they wish you knew about getting your wedding hair and makeup done. Then, get connected with the best wedding hair and makeup artists in your local area by visiting The Knot's Vendor Marketplace:

10 Wedding Day Hair and Makeup Tips Professionals Wish You Knew

1. Makeup Trials and Tribulations

"From my experience, wedding hair and makeup trials can be the most intimidating part for the bride," says Taylor Thomas, Traveling Makeup Artist at Makeup by Taylor Thomas. How can you make sure yours goes smoothly? It's all in the prep work. "First, make sure the artist you choose has examples of their work on their Instagram or website. Sometimes brides want a more natural look but choose a vendor that doesn't showcase any looks that they like," she says. This is important because then you've done your research and know in advance if you are both on the same page stylistically. "Secondly, choose inspirational photos for your trial that have similar features as you, like your hair color, eye color, face shape, etc. This will set the tone for realistic expectations for your bridal hair and makeup trial."

2. Bet You Didn't Know This About Curls

So you want to have curls on your big day, but you're also saying "I do" somewhere humid. What do you do? Well, Hair extensions might just be your answer. "As much as we all love a great destination wedding, your hair will act as your weather woman of the day. If you're thinking of a down-do and your hair tends to not hold a curl - add clip-in hair extensions," says Jennavieve Kobus, Destination Hair and Makeup Artist for Society 717 Co. "Human hair extensions tend to hold curls much better when faced with humidity. Have the color of your extensions matched and applied properly to have that seamless blend of color and curl."

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3. Thank You Kindly

"Tipping is not mandatory but is greatly appreciated," says Stacie Ford, Creative Director and Founder of Stacie Ford Beauty Co. "As professional beauty artists, there's a lot that goes into making your day perfect behind the scenes. From getting up super early and traveling to your location to cleaning and organizing our kits and brushes before and after a job, we're responsible for so many parts of your wedding day running smoothly, and we're normally the first person you see to start the day, so it's nice to be tipped and appreciated."

4. Clean Hair > Dirty Hair

Would you believe me if I told you your stylists prefer clean hair? It's the truth. Just take it from Chyenne Velez, owner and hairstylist at Lé Brunette & Co. "Believe it or not, your wedding hairstyle won't hold any better if your hair has not been washed; that myth is now debunked. Not to mention, hairdressers don't love working with very dirty hair; it can be unpleasant, unsanitary and will not end in the best results for the client. If you are unsure, the safest bet is to wash and blow dry before your styling appointment."

5. Tan with Caution

"Many to-be-weds want to achieve that bronzy glow for their wedding day, but you may want to watch what you're wearing," Ford says. "If you're planning to sit out in the sun for weeks leading up to your wedding to get some color, be aware that makeup won't cover up tan lines and can be less than attractive as these lines illuminate in photography," Ford says. "Instead, opt for strapless options and lather on the Sunscreen.

6. Just Like Guac, Travel is Extra

"While we love traveling the world for work, it is still work," says Velez. "Traveling takes approximately two to three days for a one-day wedding, which means sacrificing one or two days of paid work," says Velez. "Therefore, hairdressers must be compensated for the days we are traveling, and the client must provide transportation to the destination and at least one evening at a hotel. As a hairdresser hired for a destination event, there is so much that goes into it. We must account for all of our tools and equipment. Not to mention the stress of hoping your flight doesn't get canceled or seriously delayed. With that, keep in mind that flying your hairdresser to your destination wedding is a luxury."

7. Stick to the Status Quo

I'm all about trying new treatments as you prep for the big day, just not right before the big day. "Don't try anything new close to the wedding day," Ford tells us. This includes lash extensions, new facial treatments, or noninvasive medical procedures. Experimenting with anything new close to the wedding day leaves the door open to potential problems on your wedding day that, as artists, we can't fix. Instead, experiment with anything new six months before your wedding so you can lock in a good routine that gets you glowing! "

8. Find a Hair and Makeup Team You Vibe With

"When choosing the right vendor for you, especially for makeup and hair, it is important that you mesh with their personality and energy," says Thomas. "Your hair and makeup team are most likely the first vendors you see on your wedding day and truly set the tone. We like to think of ourselves as honorary bridesmaids for the morning."

9. Bottoms Up

"If you're planning to drink at your rehearsal dinner, try to limit it to no more than two glasses, and be sure to drink a glass of water in between them," says Ford. "Even though we come fully prepared with the best moisturizers and primers to prep your skin, that can only go so far. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to look and feel dehydrated, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!"

10. Treat Yourself to a Blowout

"If your hair stylist offers a day-before blowout as a part of your wedding day package, do it," says Kobus. "It's one less thing on your to-do list, and it's a little pampering time. If your stylists offer you a gloss treatment as well,l take it! This will help your hair look shiny, healthy, and lustrous on your wedding day. No one likes dull hair!

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