Hair: Geneva Cowen || Makeup: Keegan Richards || Wardrobe: David's Bridal || Flowers: Bloomsbury Blooms (photo credit: Shalem Mathew) Shalem Mathew
Hair: Geneva Cowen || Makeup: Keegan Richards || Wardrobe: David's Bridal || Flowers: Bloomsbury Blooms (photo credit: Shalem Mathew)Shalem Mathew

Weddings can be a stressful time for you and for your client because they're typically more high-stakes than a standard cut and color. After all, pictures from her wedding can live on for all eternity, as far as she is concerned!

Geneva Cowen, artistic director for Sam Villa, suggests following a bridal checklist of sorts to set yourself up for success.

"Because weddings are such personal events, the best advertising is word-of-mouth," Cowen says. "Once you have a couple brides say they loved their hair and had a great experience with you, word travels fast, and to reach that point, you need a checklist."

There's the obvious: ask for a picture of the dress, learn about the esthetic of the wedding, see how the bride wants her hair, veil/no veil, etc., but don't forget everything else!

Bridal checklist

  • Do you have to be on location, or will services be at your salon? Discuss travel fees and expenses to clarify expectations.
  • How many bridesmaids need to be styled? Consider an assistant to help you if there are a lot.
  • What time is the wedding, and are pictures being taken before or after the wedding (or both)? Allow yourself a 30-minute buffer; rushing will add to stress.
  • Will there be makeup artists or other stylists helping things along? Request all contact info so you can coordinate with the other artists and get the time you need to complete looks.
  • Does she want a style change after the ceremony? If she does, this look should be included in your trial run, and you need to charge accordingly.
  • Are your services needed for the entire event? Make sure you have a clear understanding of time requirements; some brides might want you on hand the entire time for any touch-ups.
  • Time yourself during the trial so you can schedule accurately for the big day.
  • Take pictures of the trial and make notes on anything you want to do differently the day of the wedding.
  • Draft a contract that outlines expectations and fees to be signed at the consultation.
  • Choose product and tools carefully to build a strong foundation and hold the look in place. Cowen suggests the Sam Villa Textur professional texturizing iron to expand the cuticle and hold updos, curls and braids, and "Redken control addict 28 is a great anti-humidity hairspray to finish with to keep styles in place," Cowen says.

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