I’m lucky that my hairdresser is a real treasure. She’s local and I have been going to her salon for a long time. When I get married, I will ask her to do my hair and my bridesmaids’ hair. She has already talked about what she does if a client books her for a wedding. She does not take any other bookings for the morning of the wedding and the bride and bridesmaids arrive early to have their hair washed and styled. If the bride’s mother and the groom’s mother want to join in, she and her staff do their hair too. She specialises in elaborate wedding hairstyles, but after the reception, she goes to the venue and restyles the ladies’ hair so that they can look less formal for the party in the evening, if that is what her client wants. Sometimes, she goes to the church, so that she can remove the veil and tidy the bride’s hair before the reception. It’s a long day for her, so she charges quite a lot, but I’ve seen the pictures of what she does and I think it is well worth it.

When I knew I would be writing this article, I talked to her about it, and this is the advice she gave me:

Ideally, use your regular hairdresser: you will already know and trust them, but if this is not possible, choose a hairdresser who has similar taste to you. Look at pictures of their work to establish this.

Two weeks before the wedding, see your hairdresser for a haircut and to refresh the colour. Wear white, so that she can see how your hair colour works against white clothes. Take pictures with you. Hairdressers tend to be very visual people and pictures make everything really clear. Take more than one picture. You may have made a choice that just can’t be done and will need to discuss different options. Maybe, also, you won’t be able to find a picture of exactly the right style and colour, so your hairdresser can create a style that draws from a number of images. The bridesmaids and mothers should do the same, but it will be their responsibility.

Book everyone in for a practice session one week before the wedding. Bring the pictures with you again, plus any hair ornaments you will be using on the day, and the veil. You might want to have conditioning treatments or a gloss put on your hair at this session. Ideally, you would book an appointment with the beautician for straight after, so that you can have a practice makeup session with your hair already done. Some hairdressers and beauticians will help you to coordinate this. If your hairdresser and beautician are in the same building, it will be even easier. Have photos taken to show how you look from the side, back and front, so that if any adjustments need to be made, you can let her know before the big day.

On the day, wear a top that has buttons or a zip, so it can be taken off without dragging it over your head before you put the dress on.