“I was interested in makeup since elementary school days. I would play around with my friends’ makeup, so it was a hobby of mine at a young age. I went to college for a semester, realized it wasn’t for me and left to pursue cosmetology,” says Ariel Tucci, a senior hair stylist and color specialist at Shapes and Colours Salon and Spa in Colonie.
“I have had a lot of clients who I’ve had the opportunity to work with before their engagements and for other special moments, such as baby showers and birthdays,” she says. “Getting to see those special moments, it was like I saw them through the stages of their lives.”
Tucci recently walked sown the aisle herself. “Weddings are so much more stressful then they need to be,” she says. “I opted to do my own hair and makeup for my wedding. I wore my hair down and curled a few hairs up. I kept it very laid-back. I wasn’t nervous about getting married. I was more nervous about getting done on time and having everyone in my bridal party done. I ended up doing other people’s hair. It was just about making sure we were done on time to get into the limo. Brides aren’t stressed about the marriage, they stress about the details.”
While there are many details, many brides worry about pulling together a look that will be memorialized in photos forever. While looking for different vendors for the wedding (venue, catering, flowers), stylists say that the bride should start thinking about their look. Wedding stylists book very quickly, so it’s important to book the appointment well in advance.
“Clients usually book a trial months in advance,” says Tucci. “I recommend [the appointment be] closer to the wedding, around three weeks so you can see how the style will look with your hair at the moment. If you do a trial six months before then your hair is likely to have changed a bit in texture or length.”
She recommends bringing the stylist pictures of hairstyles and makeup that you love and pictures of looks that you absolutely hate.
“This leaves no room for misinterpretation and a common thread to go off. If a bride absolutely hates a side braid look, then that gives us room to work with styles she does like,” says Robert Thomsen, another senior stylist at Shapes and Colours. He also recommends bringing along a picture of the dress to base the look off of.
Thomsen recognizes the importance of the big day to everyone involved. “Working with brides, you tend to always have a rewarding experience. You get the chance to be close with the bride, her family, and her friends. You get to see the real them.”
And being real is very important to the day, he adds. “If a bride rarely wears her hair in a ponytail, this isn’t the time to do so. Brides will look back at photos and say ‘Oh, wow why did I wear my hair like that?’ Do something comfortable to you and who you are.”
Tucci agrees. “With makeup, I like to work with what women wear on a daily basis. They need to look and feel like the best person they are. You do want your eyes to stand out in photos. A natural look with the focus on your eyes is ideal.”
Both stylists have guidelines for brides on what to do, or more importantly what not to do on the big day. Have a trial run on both hair and makeup, about three weeks prior to the wedding. This gives you time to change your mind if need be. Have everything planned out prior to wedding, such as whether you want the stylist on site with you at the ceremony or everything done off-site at the salon. Let the stylist know what time you need to be in the limo or at the reception.
Don’t take risks too close to the wedding. If you want to color your hair, do it several weeks ahead so you have time to fix or alter it. Don’t experiment with new products such as facial cleaners, makeup or shampoo.
Don’t wait till last minute to find a stylist. The day of the wedding, do not come in with your hair washed and wet; believe it or not, most stylists prefer hair that was washed the day before.
And try to relax as much as you can, experts say. “Nothing is set in stone, anything can be redone,” says Tucci. “A marriage is permanent, but your hair is not the end of the world. It can be fixed.”