What is a Wedding Trial and When Should You Schedule Yours?

As a professional Wedding Makeup Artist and Hairstylist, some of the most common questions I get from brides are about the trial. Here’s a useful guide that should answer these questions of to of what to expect at your trial.

“From the moment you meet with her at your trial, you will feel at ease with Ali’s relaxed yet professional attitude, and her knowledge and expertise on Wedding Makeup and Hair.”

“From the moment you meet with her at your trial, you will feel at ease with Ali’s relaxed yet professional attitude, and her knowledge and expertise on Wedding Makeup and Hair.”

A trial is the perfect time for you to get to know your Makeup Artist and Hairstylist, and most especially, for me, is to get to know all about you, the Bride! And a trial is a lot of fun!

I believe that the you should have everything you heart desires on the biggest day of your life, and this includes looking and feeling your most beautiful.


Most Brides Schedule their trials 8-10 months before their wedding. Trials with Ali are scheduled Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am-6pm as the latest appointment. A trial takes about 2.5-3 hours. A trial may be scheduled on a weekend (Friday-Sunday) with an additional charge. If your Wedding is in less than 90 days, you MUST secure your wedding date with a retainer before scheduling your trial.

How to Prepare for the Trial

Days, even weeks before the trial you should have your hair similar to how you will have it for the day of your wedding. Whatever color or length you have for your trial, should be similar to what you will have for your wedding day, so you can really evaluate your trial hairstyle realistically. Of course, we can add in clip-in extensions, or even extensions that last longer, like Keratin Fusion Extensions.

If you haven’t already, you should be implementing a skincare regimen for both your face AND your body. Makeup can do wonders, but having a great canvas to work with will make all the difference. At your trial, I will complete a skin care analysis, and any product recommendations that will help bring out that glow from within.

Bring the Inspiration

"Natural makeup" can mean anything from minimal cosmetics to a bronzy metallic tone. Same for smoky eyes, which can vary in their intensity. Bring photos to illustrate your vision, rather than relying on vague descriptions. Combing through Pinterest, browsing your favorite beauty feeds, or searching through your celebrity icon's best makeup moments should all be part of your homework. When you and your makeup artist & hairstylist do finally come together, you'll be collaborating on your bridal look—not guessing your way through it.

Tanning before the trial

If you plan to self-tan before the wedding, then you should also self- tan before the trial. This will give a more accurate representation of how you will look on your actual wedding day, and a good opportunity to see how you like a spray tan if you’ve never done one before. Keep in mind, wearing a white dress will already make you look tanner than usual, so keep it minimal so you don’t end up looking too dark. If you’re planning on being in the real sun, you should be using SPF and avoid tan lines 8-10 months prior to your wedding!

For the trial, you should have clean, dry & smooth hair, and no makeup. I recommend wearing a white colored shirt, so that you can see what the final loom will be, and avoid any color from your clothing reflecting onto your face.

I just need a table or countertop to work at, and a regular height chair with not too high a back for doing your hair. I bring a high chair for makeup, as well. If you have a mirror to place in front of us where we are working, that would be great as well, but please don't redecorate! I’ll have everything else with me. And don’t worry about the lighting either, I bring that with me too! Wait til you see my cool setup!

What Happens at a Trial

I work one-on-one with you at your trial to come up with the perfect look for your Wedding Hair and Makeup. Whether it's a natural, glowing look, with a soft-updo, a dramatic & intense style, or a combination of both, I will create a look that will make you look like your most beautiful self. I’ll even teach you how you could switch up your look for more drama at night!

We’ll look together at photos of your dress, veil, accessories and inspiration board for your wedding. We will discuss all the little details of your wedding, and together come up with the perfect look for you, which includes a full airbrush makeover and hairstyle. This is a great opportunity to become familiar with the makeup application, and nail down the perfect wedding day glow, that makes you still feel like yourself, and look amazing in photos. We will also do a test-run of your desired wedding day hairstyle, including incorporating any headpieces, veils or other accessories. I’ll even go over how I create the schedule for the wedding morning makeovers and all the planning details.. I make everything simple and organized, so your planning and morning flows with ease.

At the end of your trial, you will feel beautiful, confident and should make some plans to head out afterwards! (Maybe without the veil!) 😉

At the finish of the trial is you would place a retainer in order to reserve my services for the Wedding day, if you haven’t already. This retainer would go towards the balance for the big day, and locks in the date and pricing.

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for your wedding day?

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Ali Gagnon