Written by Diana Lentini
After the first dance is over and the cake has been cut, the details of a wedding day are captured in photos and video, joyous moments for the happy couple to reminisce on for anniversaries to come.
On a heavily-photographed day where brides want to look and feel their best, it’s no wonder that hours are spent searching for the perfect hair stylist to help create their dream look. Brittany Romano, owner of Lavish Salon in Beach Haven for over a decade, shares her top advice for shore brides looking for the perfect ‘do on their big day.
Be true to you
When consulting with brides, the first question Romano asks is: How do you normally wear your hair? “For brides who have their hair in a ponytail for most of the time, your wedding day may not be the right time to experiment with wearing it down. In this case, an updo can offer a polished look while helping the bride feel like herself—the ultimate goal of any wedding day style,” Romano shares. The same goes for those who wear their hair down most days. Other factors to consider are whether a style falls over the ears or is tucked behind them, and your hairline part. If you’re used to wearing your hair one way on a daily basis, a slight deviation can throw you off and leave you feeling less than confident on your big day.
Know your venue
In Romano’s experience, shore brides tend to gravitate toward one of two types of events: intimate, ocean-front, sand-in-your-feet beachfront nuptials, or classic, ballroom, black-tie affairs.
For her beachfront brides, Romano often creates loose flowy beach wave looks, often accented by a fun braid. “It’s not an overly ‘done’ look, it’s not overly polished. It’s lived in,” Romano explains.
Those with ballroom backdrops often opt for a timeless, clean updo. “Think lots of buns and twists, without too many loose curls. I’ve often noticed that these types of hairstyles will match the style of the bride’s dress, which is often a classic silhouette with clean lines,” Romano says.
Consider the dress
Speaking of silhouettes, another factor to consider when selecting a hairstyle is your wedding dress neckline. “For a high-neck style with a lot of beading or lace, my recommendation is to wear your hair up,” Romano suggests. “The concern is about your hair gripping to the beads. The last thing you want is a picture-perfect moment ruined by one rogue curl stuck to the dress,” she adds.
Dresses with a lower neckline and open back offer less of a chance of hair snags, and work well with updos and loose styles, along with chic half-up, half-down looks. “With a low back, a half-up, half-down look that’s tapered at the center creates a nice visual to accentuate a dress with a low back,” Romano says.
Weather the storm
While weather is the one factor you can’t control on your wedding day, a little planning ahead of time can go a long way to ensure your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible. Coastal regions tend to be more humid than cities, which can affect how your hair will hold its style. Consider the texture of your own hair and how it responds to moisture—if your curls tend to fall within hours after styling, there’s a high probability you’ll end up with limp locks halfway through your wedding night. Opting for an updo, or at least having a back-up plan for your hairstyle in the case of rain, can ease worries the day of, Romano shares.
Highlight your hairpiece
Hairpieces are the finishing touch to any look—a hint of glimmer, a touch of florals, incorporation of a family heirloom. But it’s important that the accessory match the hairstyle, otherwise the piece may look out of place—for example, a flower crown is often better suited toward a boho beach wedding, while a shimmery hair comb will shine bright under ballroom lights. “Some brides have the perfect hairpiece in mind, and I help them select the perfect style to show it off. Others know exactly what hairstyle they want, but need help finding an accessory. I love working with both and guiding them toward something they love,” Romano says.
Book a trial (or don’t)
While hair trials—a styling session in advance of the wedding to test out a look—are recommended for anyone in the planning process still trying to narrow down a stylist for the big day, Romano doesn’t see them as an absolute must-do. “If you know that you want to work with my salon, but don’t feel the need to come in for a trial, it’s not a problem. If my portfolio of work matches the look and feel you’re going for, then I’ll be able to create a look you love the day of,” she says.
For brides who are still on the search for a stylist, or need help visualizing their look by actually having their hair done, a trial is a perfect opportunity to do so. On average, two months before your wedding date is a good time to schedule a trial, but Romano has accommodated out-of-town brides a year or more in advance.
Use inspiration carefully
Pinterest is the holy grail of wedding planning, but use it wisely when it comes to hair inspiration. “Keep in mind the texture, amount of hair and hair line of the model in the photo. If the person in the photos has a drastically different facial structure and type of hair than you do, then your style just won’t look the same. Look for similarities and use the photos for inspiration, rather than an exact hairstyle. In most cases, it’s not realistic to achieve the exact same look, but we can come close in style that fits your unique needs,” Romano says.
Prep your locks
Unless you’re opting for a simple blowout, Romano instructs her brides to prep by washing and drying their hair the day before the wedding and letting it dry completely before sleeping on it. For textured hair requiring smoothing, Romano suggest scheduling a blow out the evening before—that way, you have a sleek look for your rehearsal dinner and are ready to go the next day. Ultimately, you know your hair best and should plan to arrive with clean hair with minimal product that is ready for styling.
Wedding planning can be stressful, but hiring the right vendors can make a world of a difference when it comes to helping brides focus on what matters most: their new life with their partner. Keep these tips in mind when searching for a stylist to help bring your wedding look to life.