Ranson and West

Confessions of a Suffolk photographer – Wedding hair stylist

wedding-make-up559Karen’s Beautiful Brides – Karen’s experience of styling hair began at the tender age of thirteen, working part time at her local hairdressing salon.  Over the following 20 years Karen has worked in many areas of hairdressing, including teaching, and gained an amazing understanding of how to create the perfect hairstyle for each of her beautiful brides.  Karen loves and is passionate about her job and always considers herself honoured to play a small part in the bride’s special day.  Karen has a great reputation for not only creating wonderful hairstyles, but for using all of her experiences to relax her brides making them feel special and ensuring everything runs smoothly in the run up to the wedding.


Top 10 Tips – Wedding Hair Stylist

  1.  Separate Make-up & Hairstylist
    Hairdressers are taught everything there is to know about hairdressing and a make-up artist will have gone through a similarly lengthy process to learn their skills.  I qualified in both, but soon specialised in the area which I had the greater passion and skill set in.  Also, there often wouldn’t be time for one person to do both make-up and hairstyling for all the wedding party on the day of the wedding.   It helps if both hair stylist and make up artist have worked together before, so ask them who they would recommend.wedding-make-up140

  1. Wedding Hairstylist v Hairdresser
    There is a huge difference between hairdressing and wedding hairstyling.  Working on eight members of a wedding party and creating perfect hairstyles which must withstand the rigours of the whole day and evening, in limited time, simply needs experience.  An experienced wedding hairstylist will also have an understanding of how the venue, make-up artist, photographer and the Vicar or registry office operates.  They will have been in many situations before and will help prevent problems arising and keep the bride calm and relaxed.  There is more to the job than meets the eye!

  1. Choosing your stylist.
    Picking the right stylist for you is so important.  They not only have to create that perfect hairstyle, but you will be spending the morning of your wedding with them, so you need to get on, they are there to relax you and make you feel special.    When you start looking for a stylist ask friends who have recently got married themselves and at the venue which you hope to celebrate your wedding.  Browse the internet and study their websites carefully, you should be able to get a feel for their work, their experience and their personality.   There should be plenty of photos of real brides not just of photo shoots, judge their work on the real brides, so you can see actual hairstyles that were created to last all day and not just for a photo shoot.  Take the time to read their testimonials you should start to build a picture.


  1. Booking your stylist
    The best stylists are usually booked up for months in advance, so it’s never too early to make that initial contact.  You should be able to provisionally book them and they will then contact you before taking any further bookings on your special date.  I would recommend booking at least 12 months in advance if you find the perfect one for you.  Week day and winter bookings are more likely to be free for the stylist, but make that call to avoid disappointmen

  1. Inspiration for your hairstyle
    Magazines and the internet are the obvious source.  Don’t look for that perfect image, but rather collect a selection of ideas you think might work with you, and try to remain open minded.


  1. Popular Styles
    Vintage styles are currently very popular, messy buns and half up half down styles with a loose curl.  I would recommend going with what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful rather than following the latest trend though.

  1. Do I need a trial?
    I would definitely recommend it and probably at least two or three months before the wedding.  Your vision of the perfect hairstyle may not suit you quite as you thought; you can then try different styles to find what does work for you.  The stylist can give suggestions as to what may work with your hair and compliment your wedding dress or wedding theme.  Remember, don’t squeeze this appointment into a busy day, leave yourself enough time to try out two or three styles.

  1. What to bring to your trial
    Phone and check what the stylist would suggest and if you should wash your hair on the day of the trial. Generally plenty of photos of styles you like, photos of accessories you may like to use and a photo of the dress are always helpful.  From these the stylists can get a good idea of what you are wanting and then advise and work from there.  You can bring a friend or family member who knows you well and importantly, bring an open mind.

  1. Accessories.
    The stylist should make suggestion of what will work for your style, hair colour and wedding theme.  Check if the stylist has a selection of accessories for you to try at your trial.


  1. Do bridesmaids need matching hairstyles?
    This is entirely up to the bride to decide, preferably having discussed it with the bridesmaids.  The same style may not be possible due to the length, colour or style of the different bridesmaid’s hair.  Often there might be a subtle theme, such as a plait which can be worked into the different styles.

  2. Budget
    Be clear of what the financial arrangement is and what you expect in return.  You don’t want to be paying half the wedding charges before having had your trial.  Be clear of any travelling charges and when the final payment needs to be made.  After the wedding, it should feel like money well spent.

3 Qick Questions

Karen’s favourite…………

1 Hair style – Loose messy buns very popular and a real classic.  What’s great about it is it can be made neater or messy depending on the bridesmaids request.  A style that will never go out of date!

2  Wedding venue in Suffolk / Essex – I have so many! Unfortunately I rarely get to see the actual wedding venue it self only the bridal prep room or suite  If I had to choose one though it would have to be Gosfield hall  http://gossfield hall  I used to work there before it became a wedding venue so for me it has an emotional pull.Image

3 Your personal favourite wedding picture – Other than the face of Karen’s beautiful Brides it has to be the photo of myself and the bride smiling. This is what a wedding morning should be all about.


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