You’ve already found “the one,” picked out your dress and even chose your wedding bands. The hard part is almost over — but you still need to decide on the perfect hairstyle to wear on the big day. Up or down? Straight or wavy? Braid or no braid? In order to help answer those pressing questions, we turned to celebrity hairstylist and Kérastase brand ambassador Matt Fugate, who shared his foolproof tips for scoring a style that you’ll love as much as you love your new spouse.
1. Figure out your vibe
Before you speak with your hairstylist, Fugate recommends deciding what you want your overall “feel” of your look to be, whether it’s boho, ethereal, modern or simple. “When you’re communicating with your stylist, how you want to feel and the vibe of the hair is really important. That’s something you need to talk about right away with your hairdresser,” he says.
2. Start a Pinterest board
It might sound cliché, but according to Fugate, Pinterest is completely necessary when it comes to deciding on the perfect style. “I tell all my brides to pin everything that they like — even if you just like a small detail,” he says. “The more pictures the better. It’s always better for my client to bring me 100 instead of just one, because as hairdressers, it removes the error. We see things that the bride doesn’t, so it creates a lot more dialogue. I’m always pointing things out in pictures and the bride is like ‘oh I never thought about that,’ so then we really come to a much more concrete direction.”
3. Choose your hairstylist wisely
“If you’re seeing a hairdresser that gets frustrated with a lot of photos, then you probably don’t want them on your wedding day,” he advises. “You want a patient, understanding hairstylist. This is a big deal – it’s your wedding. I’m the first person you’re going to see that morning.”
4. Don’t get lost in buzzwords
You might think using words like “curly,” “wavy” or “classic” will get you the exact look you’re going for, but to hairstylists, they can mean different things. So this is where photos — and extremely specific details — will help. For instance, “At the moment, ‘modern’ means messy or undone,” says Fugate, adding, “Anyone can use the word ‘classic’ – but what does classic even mean? ‘70s classic? ‘40s classic? Perfect can look stuffy, but ‘Finished’ is a great word that means glassy and free of fly-aways and no pins being seen.
5. “Waves” can mean many things
And most importantly, be careful with this very popular buzzword. Fugate advises that “by saying ‘beachy,’ you’re saying that you don’t want your hair to be curly, but you want movement in a wave. You can have finished beachy waves or messy beachy waves. Most brides want a smooth, ‘finished’ beachy look — that means that the curl pattern moves in a wave, but it still looks shiny and glassy and glamorous.”
Whereas, “If you want something like Veronica Lake’s waves, ask for Old Hollywood waves. That’s a uniformed wave, and you want all of the hair to move together.”
6. Do a trial run – no matter what.
“I highly, highly, highly stress doing trials,” warns the pro. “I did a wedding recently, and at the trial I loaded the bride’s hair with hair extensions and she loved — she had the long hair of her dreams. But her fiancée was like, ‘I’m not going to feel like I’m marrying my fiancée because you’ve always had a bob.’ We just never thought about how her husband would feel if she suddenly had long hair. I’ve also gotten brides after they’ve done two or three trials and they’ve all been failures. Doing a trial just makes you so much more relaxed — you already have so much going on, so the last thing you want is to be winging your hair on your wedding day.”
Another tip? Have your stylist take a detailed video of the look that they create, this way they remember exactly how you it looked when the big day rolls around.
7. Try a few options
You might be head over heels for the style you choose at your trial, but Fugate says it’s ideal to have a backup plan just in case. “When I do a trial, even if the bride loves it, I’ll break it down and do something else in the same realm to give them a couple different options. You never know if day of you’ll change your mind about something.”
8. Be open-minded about your hair type
Your Pinterest inspiration might be perfect, but there’s a good chance your hair texture is different from the model’s in the photos you’re swooning over. “You have to be ready to do what it has to take to get your hair to the texture that you desire,” says Fugate. “A lot of my brides want this awesome, undone texture for their updos, and I’ll have to set the hair the night before. Or I’ll have to add more hair. Normally, it can all be done – but the bride has to be aware that they might need two-day-old hair, or need to invest in hair accessories or extensions.”
9. Braids should look ethereal.
Pretty plaits and woven looks are popular among brides these days, but Fugate warns that not every braid is good for a bride. “Go for something soft, approachable and romantic — you want to look like you’re floating down the aisle,” he shares. “It’s best if they’re bigger and looser than normal – so start them out tight and pull them apart. And they can be a little fuzzy – when braids are too perfect, they can start looking too milk maid-y. I like to spray a ton of dry shampoo before you braid it because it creates a nice grip.”
10. Prep your hair
Of course you want your color to be flawless — but that means getting it done a few weeks in advance. Fugate says, “Don’t get your hair colored the week of your wedding. In case something goes wrong and you can’t get back into your colorist in time, you should get your color done three weeks in advance. It’ll grow out just a sliver so it looks a little more natural, and you’ll have time to make sure you love it. Your hair color should look incredible on the day of your wedding. And a super light trim is always nice so the ends look good. Brides are always afraid of getting their hair cut before the wedding, so find someone you trust and really emphasize that you want a ‘dusting.'”
11. Speak up
The last thing you want is ending up with a hairstyle that you hate. So Fugate says, “If things are going in a direction that you’re not feeling, just be really honest and ask if you can rethink it. The sooner you speak up the better, because there is a point of no return with hair. It’s not like makeup where you can wipe it off and start again. Right when you see something going wrong, speak up. The bride should never feel like she’s being a bridezilla. We’re going to totally understand, and we’re not going to take offense.”
12. Make sure you choose a look you’ll still love in 20 years.
Last but not least, remember that you’re creating a memory — and you want to be happy with your decision down the road, Fugate says. “Are you going to spend all this money on a photographer and not look at the pictures ever again? I see that a lot with hair accessories, when people are like, ‘This could be really cool,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s cool, but maybe for the reception. It’s more fun to do the fun, trendy stuff at the rehearsal dinner, or change into it for the reception. But when you’re standing at the altar with your husband, those pictures are timeless so you should look timeless as well.”
What look did you wear to your wedding? Sound off below.