When it comes to wedding hairstyles, the time spent up front in consultation can be the key to a comfortable, complementary style that lasts throughout the wedding day and contributes to treasured wedding photographs.
The most important step is a pre-wedding consultation with your hair and makeup stylist, said Los Altos wedding stylist and makeup consultant Gina Mertz, who works with 50 to 60 brides each year.
"Consultations are really important with brides," she said. "They will be wearing a hairstyle they rarely wear and a veil they never wear."
Mertz encourages brides to have consultations with more than one stylist and select one they feel comfortable with. Consultations typically last an hour and a half.
"The consultation is an opportunity for a bride to see my work, and to really communicate their preferences," she said. "Consultations are fun. They relieve stress."
Typically, Mertz, of VoilÃƒÂ salon on State Street, tries several hair styles with a bride-to-be during a consultation, and also tests how the veil will work with each style. She also does a makeup consultation, emphasizing the need to tie hair style and makeup successful for perfect photos.
"It's important to look at a style in profile, too," she said. "There should be no surprises on the wedding day."
On the wedding day, Mertz brings everything necessary to wherever the bridal party is getting ready. She may spend as much as a half day there, depending on the size of the bridal party, doing hair styling and makeup for bridal attendants, mothers and grandmothers, as well as for the bride.
Getting the bridal veil attached securely is a final, critical element, she said. "It needs to stay on through hugs, dances and getting in and out of cars."
It's important for brides to communicate their preferences ahead of time with all the people working on their wedding, Mertz said. It's one way to reduce last minute stress.
One of Mertz' tips is to ask the maid of honor or another trusted person to carry a small pouch containing the bride's lipstick and blush, for quick touch-ups.
She encourages brides to get plenty of rest and not leave too much to the last minute. "You want to remember the day," she said, "and you don't want to look stressed or worn out in your photos."