October 19, 2018

How To Choose Your Stylist for Your Wedding

Choosing a hair and make-up stylist for your wedding can be a daunting task, so I did quite a bit of research to help brides with this process and asked my colleagues in the wedding industry whether they had any recommendations. That was when I found Salon Nuuvo and the delightful owner, Raychel Harrison, the founder and artistic director. As she came highly recommended as one of the best in the industry, I decided to interview her to ask especially, how to avoid last minute disasters, which has been the concern of most of the brides I have worked with.

As you walk in to Salon Nuuvo in Calabasas, you are struck by the clean lines and attention to detail that immediately inspires confidence and gives the impression of class and impeccable style. The moment I entered, I was warmly welcomed and offered a beverage, unlike many salons where you wait endlessly for the receptionist to pay attention to you! I was ushered to a chair where Raychel came over to me to chat about my expectations and yes the mimosas, bagels and chocolate covered strawberries were for me! This is the fabulous pampering and attention you can expect on your wedding day.

There are many things to consider when you are getting married. Your dress, hair, makeup, veil or no veil, headpiece, the type of venue and whether indoors or outdoors… to name but a few. Every bride has her own taste of course so the first thing Raychel suggested was the bride should meet the stylist for a consultation almost as soon as the date has been set so you can start thinking about your look and get some recommendations.  

One of the first times you get to see how things will really look on your wedding day, is during your hair and makeup trials. Sure, you’ll have time to tweak and adjust, but you’ll also walk out of the salon looking like, well, a bride! As with many other details for your wedding, timing your trial correctly is the key. So when should you get it on the calendar? Before you book your trial you should decide on the date and venue first. Knowing when and where you’ll be getting married can have an impact on the styles you’re considering, whether it’s on the beach in the heat of summer or in a ballroom in winter. The other important aspect is to have selected your wedding dress and begun to shop for accessories, from headpieces and a veil, to your earrings and necklace as all of these will impact your hairstyle. The style of your dress will also influence how formal or relaxed your hair and makeup will be, and the accessories can play into whether you’re wearing your hair up or down, in curls or a braid, going soft or dramatic with your makeup. Will you wear your veil and/or headpiece only during the ceremony… or all night. Will your wedding be casual and laid back, or have a lot of activities and raucous late night partying …. you should consider all of these aspects so that your hair and makeup will survive (and look fabulous) for at least most of the reception.

Raychel recommends a trial about a month or two ahead of your wedding—but only if you don’t plan to cut or color your hair. “It’s most important that you give yourself and your stylist time to make adjustments if needed,” she said. “As you get closer to your wedding, it can get very busy, so it’s always easier to work out your look several months ahead of time.” This way, your stylist can plan out the transition and begin to work with the color and the cut. Your final coloring should be done about six weeks to a month before the wedding, to let it settle but still be fresh for your big day and it gives you time to make any small changes. A drastic change in the length of your hair should also happen a few months prior to the wedding. That way your stylist can see how your hair responds. Overall, your wedding hair is a journey and you should discuss your vision with your stylist as far out as you’re able to, so they can start to work towards your end goal. It’s also ideal to have your stylist with you on your wedding day as they know your hair and your personal style the best.

For make up inspiration Raychel suggest that you look like yourself. Natural and glowing. If possible you should find a picture of yourself that you love and choose a look that you know will last all night. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or even consider your Insta feed because those pictures can be deceiving and highly filtered and lead to false hopes. You already have experience with how your skin responds in any situation, indoor and out, active or not, so keep that in mind when you have your trial. Your wedding day is one of the few times you will have a full glam squad on hand to help you primp, so you want to make sure that you, your stylist and makeup artist are all on the same page and they understand your vision. That is why a trial is so important. You’ll get to know one another and you will be able to see their work firsthand. You have to be comfortable and happy so don’t hesitate to speak up about your expectations.

If you don’t love how your trial turns out, sit down with your hair or makeup artist and and tweak the look. If you want looser curls, a fuller chignon, or beachier waves? Speak up! Your hairstylist wants you to love how you look, so take the time to go over any adjustments. Take notes and pictures to convey what you would like differently. If the shade of lipstick or eyeshadow isn’t exactly how you want it or the false lashes are too heavy, ask your makeup artist to show you a few other options. This is your day and you want to look fabulous and so does your stylist.

As I wanted to experience the full bridal treatment myself, I booked an appointment for highlights and make up as well and these ladies more than matched my expectations and believe me my hair is not easy to get “just right”.  (See my “dream team” below.) My hair looked stunning for several days after it was done and honestly it is the first time a stylist got the color spot on the first time around. My makeup was flawless and the cut and style, trendy and gorgeous.

The Dream Team L-R Lacy Koehler (stylist/makeup artist) Raychel Harrison (founder/executive director) Holly Slusser – (executive stylist)

Raychel is a real go-getter and has had several awards in the past few years and is also a preferred vendor at the upscale Calamigos Ranch Wedding Venue. She was honored as The San Fernando Valley Business Review Journal’s ‘Rising Star’ winner, in the Annual Women in Business Awards (2012.), Salon Nuuvo won the Business of the Year award in Calabasas (Chamber of Commerce) 2015 and Raychel won top 20 under 40 CEO’s in beauty industry (the Beauty Business Magazine (2016). 

Raychel’s love affair with all things HAIR began from her teenage years, and has carried her through an extensive and exhilarating journey. After 20 years of Professional hairdressing, Raychel’s star continues to burn bright in the industry. See more about Salon Nuuvo here. Raychel is known for her unique ability to transform your hair with an effortless look, which can even include hair extensions that will be wonderful not just for your wedding but look beautiful through your honeymoon as well. I highly recommend this very talented team of stylists who will work hard to make sure your vision for your special day becomes a reality.

Thank you for spending this time with me! See you next week for more on weddings, events, catering inspiration and much more.

-Dalia Batyah Bender