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In The Know with Bridal Hairstylist Holly Carter

I get asked so many questions from brides about different hairstyles, and which one goes with which dress style. Massive disclaimer, I'm definitely no hairstylist, although I have mastered the ponytail pretty well!

I recently caught up with the lovely Holly Carter from Carter Hair & Make Up ( to talk all things bridal hair. Holly offers award-winning hair and makeup services, and being based in Bishops Stortford, and has over 15 years experience in the wedding industry. I asked all the questions about bridal hairstyling, so that we can all get clued-up on the process!

Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup
Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup

1. Where should I start when choosing a bridal hairstylist?

I think the first thing to do is to work out what kind of style you're going for with your wedding, as well as your personality traits. Are you going for a relaxed festival theme, a modern city vibe, classic and traditional? Once you've got that a bit clearer in your mind, it makes it easier to look further into styles you may like to try for your wedding hair and therefore the type of hairstylist you're looking for as everyone has their own style they specialise in.

2. Can a hairstylist help me choose what style I want for my wedding day?

Absolutely! A stylist can assess your hair type, length and texture and advise on what would work best for you, as well as asking questions about your dress and personal style. These are all important factors when considering what style to go for.

3. Can my normal hairdresser do my hair for my wedding day?

Of course if that makes you feel more comfortable, however a hairdresser and a bridal hairstylist are two very different job roles believe it or not. Many hairdressers don't offer bridal hairstyling services due to the fact it is a very different skillset and their experience is concentrated elsewhere, such as cutting and colouring. The factor to consider with your normal hairdresser is generally you would need to go to them on your wedding day, as they are unlikely to be able to leave the salon for the whole morning.

Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup at work creating a bridal hairstyle
Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup

4. How far in advance do I need to book a wedding hairstylist?

I always find this a tough one to answer as so many wedding suppliers say not to wait and to book people quickly, but it really does depend on how each supplier works. Some open their diaries early and prefer to get booked and sorted a couple of years ahead, others open their new dates later. I have found that lately, couples are having shorter engagements, and I have had brides book with two weeks to go. While this isn't common, I definitely don't think there's reason to panic. It's much more important to do your research and find the right artist for you than panic book the first person you find just so it's another thing ticked off.

5. Do I need a hair trial before my wedding?

This one is very important, not only is it a chance for you to meet your chosen stylist and find out if you click personality wise, it's also a chance for your stylist to assess your hair type, texture and length and see what would work for your hair. That way tweaks can be made on the day with different products or styling techniques, if necessary, as they will already have an idea of how your hair reacts to different situations. Also of course it's the chance for you to see how your wedding hair will look on the day, so you can go into the morning feeling confident that you'll look and feel your absolute best.

6. How long before my wedding should my hair trial be?

I would say between 3/4 months before. This is because by then, most if not all of the decisions that could influence your chosen style have been made, such as your wedding feel and your dress choice. This is another reason why it's not so important to book your hairstylist too far in advance, unless you clearly know what you want.

Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup creating a bridal hairstyle.
Holly Carter @carter_hair_and_makeup

7. What do I need for my hair trial?

A rough idea of the kind of styles you like the look of (always try to find styles the same colour and texture as your hair - there's no point looking at blonde hair styles if you're brunette as they will look totally different), any accessories you may have purchased such as a veil or hairpiece, and any jewellery you may be wearing on the day to see how it looks with your hairstyle. Although this isn't essential, it just helps you imagine how things work together.

8. What questions should I ask potential hair stylists before booking?

The most obvious one would be asking their availability, then things like do they travel to you on the wedding day, do they have other stylists for larger bookings, do they take a deposit to hold the date, if they have experience with your hair type, what their back up plan is in case of an emergency.

9. How long will it take to do my hair on my wedding day?

This generally depends on the style chosen, however most, if not all, styles take a lot of prep work which you can't see in pictures. 80% of the time is taken in prepping the hair, and the final 20% is actually creating the final look. A style like Hollywood waves usually takes the most time, and this can be anything up to 3 hours, but as a general rule, between 1-2 hours.

Check out more of Holly's work on her social media pages, or head over to her website now to enquire:



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