How do you prepare for your bridal look if you are having a destination wedding?
As if planning a destination wedding wasn’t challenging enough, ensuring that you look your absolute best on your big day can add even more stress. So in this blog post, I talk with Ashley, the founder and lead stylist of The Stylist Abroad, about the most frequently asked questions concerning all things bridal look for your destination wedding. From virtual trials to beauty emergencies and how to fix them, this blog post has got you covered.
Meet the Expert:
The Stylist Abroad is a bridal, event, and editorial on-location hairstylist team serving clients worldwide.
“I’m Ashley! I’m the founder & lead stylist of The Stylist Abroad where we celebrate the most beautiful you with ease. You can expect a completely custom look for your needs & wants all done on location of your choosing. We come to you so instead of stressing you can sit back, relax & get pampered by expert hands with premium products that are 100% cruelty free & vegan. ALL hair types, textures, curl patterns, traditions & style ideas are not only welcomed but adored, (with oodles of experience to boot). We are Equally Wed Certified Inclusive and an LGBTQ+ ally welcoming ALL couples. This is all about you!”
Image by Bobbie-Anne Jordan
A: I think the biggest tip is to find an artist that can create your dream look with your hair texture. Taking out the factors of local to the destination or far away ultimately the most important thing is making sure their aesthetic matches your desired outcome.
A: Either way can work depending upon your wants and needs. An artist at the location will be more cost effective but there is the possibility of the style you want not being popular or common knowledge at that destination or that your hairstyle may not be as commonly dealt with at your location. There is also the risk of things being lost in translation. Saying you want glamorous curls could mean different things to an Italian artist vs. a British artist etc. You also most likely won’t be able to do an in-person trial which can work out absolutely fine but some individuals feel this is too risky for their comfort level. If you were to bring an artist with you there would be more of a cost but you will also have the option to make their time with you into more of a package. Instead of just the wedding hair and makeup they can also provide services for the rehearsal dinner or the day after brunch. You’ll likely be able to have a trial and communication may be easier.
A: Be mindful of the weather where you are going and how your hair reacts to it. Make sure to choose an artist who understands how to work in those conditions and even see if they can stay throughout the wedding for potential touch ups. Generally styles that are pinned or braided (buns, ponytails, braids, etc.) hold up better in humidity because they are literally held in place versus all down styles.
A: Some of the best ways to find your styles are on social media (Instagram & Pinterest primarily). Simply search just like you would on google and see what the results are. Don’t be afraid to mix up the word search as styles get tagged as so many different buzz words. Look at your artist’s website and social media since you already love their work chances are you’ll find some inspiration. When choosing a style consider your length, color and texture as well as if you’re willing to make physical changes ( extensions, highlights, etc.) to get the desired look. There’s not a specific style I would recommend besides just to be mindful of the weather and to perhaps have a backup look in case it’s more wet or humid than you anticipated prior to arriving at your destination location.
A: Yes I absolutely recommend a virtual trial. It’s always been something we’ve offered our couples but became even more valuable during the pandemic. A virtual trial is essentially a video call that allows the stylist to see your skin and hair. Often an individual will say they have long hair and based on their friends and family as a point of reference they do but compared to the amount of hair needed for a style… they don’t. A perfect example is collar bone length hair… is it long or short? Depends who you ask. Prior to your virtual trial you will send over inspiration photos so you both have them to reference during the conversation. It’s also helpful to have your questions listed out so that you don’t forget any. While you can always follow up you also don’t want to leave the trial feeling like details are missing because the questions weren’t asked. Then during the virtual trial you will have a conversation just as you would during a traditional trial. We also always add more time to the day of if a virtual trial is done to allow extra time for adjustments.
A: On average 60 minutes for the marrier. If a virtual trial was done in lieu of a physical trial I would add 15 minutes for adjustments to make sure the look is perfect. If other adults are receiving services it would be 45minutes for each adult. Also if anyone is using hair extensions plan to add 15 minutes. We include buffer time in our allocation because while we can work faster we want to make sure no one is rushed. Everyone knows that when it’s attendant Mary’s time to have her hair styled is when she will be using the restroom. So as to not cause delays we build in buffer time. Plus we want to make sure attention to detail is given to each individual to create a completely bespoke look.
A: In general for any wedding maintaining healthy skin and hair is important. Drink lots of water, eat healthy, use heat protectant and deep conditioning treatment. Prior to traveling have your color and cut refreshed. About 2 weeks prior to your wedding color should be refreshed and hair trimmed. Trimmed is .25″ ( .635 cm). I personally like to travel in a braid or double dutch braid (boxer braids) as it reduces frizz. Not necessary for your wedding but just a fun fact to look fresh when you land from your flight!
A: I think the biggest beauty emergency is a pimple or cold sore. The most important thing to do is to reduce the swelling prior to the makeup being applied. Then the artist will color correct and create an illusion to make sure it’s not visible. When it comes to hair there’s always the wild card of weather. A torrential thunderstorm is not ideal but we can make the best of it. You will need to have a conversation with your stylist about whether it’s better to go with the original plan or modify for longevity.
A: It’s always important to make sure they have experience with your desired look, and texture but there are also some specific questions to ask regarding destination weddings. The most basic and what should be so obvious you shouldn’t have to ask regards passport & vaccination requirements. While it’s boring it’s important to ask to ensure that big issues don’t arise because of assumptions. You also want to ask if they have experience with destination weddings in general. This will allow you to dive into questions about when they would arrive ( to avoid jet lag), are they familiar with the electrical outlets and subsequent voltage conversions, transportation at destination ( driving, train, etc.) and anything else logistically to make sure you feel like they are prepared for any unique possible hiccups that are realistically more travel related than hair or makeup. You can even ask about their backup plans for things like lost luggage. ( P.s. I suggest they split what they can between carry-on and checked). Truly you can ask anything! You will be investing for this artist to be your glam squad so be confident in who you choose.
A: I started The Stylist Abroad because I felt there was a need for couples to celebrate as they uniquely are. So often people feel like they “MUST” do certain things or look a certain way for their wedding. I wanted to help all the people out there who wanted to do things their own way. One of the things I love about destination weddings besides seeing beautiful places is being able to make it a full experience for my couples. They have full access to my services for rehearsal dinners, photo secessions, the wedding, brunch… really whatever they can think of. So for a week or a weekend they get to feel like a movie star with a glam team at their call. I love the joy you can see this pampering brings to them as a smile grows across their face.
A: Braids are very popular but we’ve moved from messy boho to “clean ethereal”. So incorporate a broad into style but the curls are more likely wanded and overall have a cleaner aesthetic. It’s a blend of intentional with whimsy. Personally I love it as there are so many ways you can make it your own and it still looks elevated for their special day.
A: This is a tough one! City wise is by far Amsterdam. I loved how green of a city it is and the food was so delicious. More rural favorite is Tuscany. Also amazing food and the sunsets just let everything else melt away. You can’t help but relax. A bucket list place… also a tough choice! I would love to go to Portugal or Mexico. Something beachy and warm but also a bit raw when it comes to nature. Bucket list city would definitely be Paris!
A: Equally Wed certified means that we were verified by Equally Wed as an inclusive vendor. This means that we welcome ALL couples regardless of gender identity, orientation, etc. Our services are actually completely gender neutral & you’ll notice we use terms such as “marrier” and “couple” vs. “bride” until an individual requests otherwise. Being certified allowed us to learn about nuances to be the most helpful as possible and it lets people know we really are a safe space.
I hope you found much value in this post. If you want to find out more about The Stylist Abroad and what this incredible team can do for you, follow Ashley on Instagram @thestylistabroad or head over to the website https://www.thestylistabroad.com/!
Did you know that I’m a destination wedding planner for Amsterdam and Dubai? If you are interested in how I can help plan your elopement, get in touch with me to set up a complimentary consultation call!