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What’s hot, what’s not, and what’s classic enough to stand the test of time: These are the questions we put to wedding hair expert Jill Kozar of Up Your Do, and wedding hair and makeup expert Ryann Pilla of Radiance by Ry. Read on for the inside scoop on what you must know now about wedding hair and makeup!


What’s trending right now in wedding hair styles?

Ryann Pilla:

For the bride, half up/half down is always a classic and a popular style, and is always going to be the most requested. Right now, however, I would say down styles are really making a comeback. A lot of brides just feel sexier with their hair down. I love the look — there are so many different ways to wear it down. 

For the bridal party, a low textured bun continues to be popular. It keeps the ladies cool when they’re dancing, is elegant and you don’t have to worry about the curls lasting all night. 

For the mother of the bride or groom, I find that most have short hair, or very layered hair, so a cute half up half down, low bun or even French twist are very popular. I love a French twist; to me it’s timeless and elegant, and you just can’t go wrong with timeless.

Jill Kozar:

For the bride, a lot of low buns remain popular, but also vintage waves. Vintage waves are retro and glam at the same time! You’ll see Hollywood stars showing both styles at events and awards shows right now, too. The vintage wave is so soft and beautiful! It’s definitely not going anywhere any time soon. Still — I love them both.

For the bridal party, look for ponytails! They’re simple, classic and comfortable. We can do face-framing curls or a sleek look where all the hair is pulled back. I’ve had ponytail requests from brides lately, too.

For the mother of the bride or groom, I’m seeing a lot of one side up or half up. These are classics that remain trendy because they’re flattering and fun.

Photo by Lauren Ashley Photography

What’s super-hot right now in wedding makeup?


For the bride, the most popular makeup trend is full glammed up eyes, with the rest of the face very natural. No one wants the makeup on their face to look too heavy for the big day, so natural skin and low-key lips are usually most popular. 

For the bridal party, I’m seeing the same. They love bold eyes and more natural-looking skin. However, I do notice more people getting false lashes with their makeup which is great because it makes a huge difference in the finish and in photos. 

For the mother of the bride or groom, I’m happy to say that I see more venturing out of their comfort zone and going a little more glam. Just keep in mind that mature makeup is very different from makeup for younger skin, so a little goes a long way. 


Are there certain makeup colors that are really popular now and that you predict will have staying power? 


Pinks are always going to be popular with bridal, but since sage green is a big color this year (you’ll see everywhere even in interior design), I’m predicting that we’re going to be seeing that more in eye makeup. Sage green on brown eyes looks gorgeous and can really enhance the color of your eye. I highly recommend it, especially for fall and spring weddings. 

Photo by Megan Hoffer Photography


Are hair and makeup trends seasonal? 


For the most part, wedding hair is definitely trendy. For instance, the boho braided look was huge in 2018 and 2019; now we’re really starting to see more of a soft, sleek elegant look. However, some brides also create their look based off of their style, as well. Brides will come to me with multiple photos and say, “I like the top portion of this photo, but I like the curls better in this photo.” So, finding what works for you and your hair type is important. Seasons can definitely play a role. You’re more likely to see down styles in the fall and winter then you will in the spring in summer when it’s hot, humid or more likely to rain. I even suggest to my brides that they pick one of each style that they like so we have a backup plan in case it does rain or gets too humid. 


Yes, I find that it’s very seasonal. When it’s hot out, then everyone wants to go all up, and when it’s cold out, they want their hair down. We talk a lot about that in advance and when selecting styles. I work hard with the bride to make her wedding day hair the style that she has always dreamed about, no matter the season.


What are your top tips to those looking to hire a hairstylist? 


My top tip is to go with a company that specializes in bridal hair. Customers do not realize that specializing in bridal hair is just the same as specializing in color or cuts. Not every stylist does them and not every stylist is good at them. Just because your salon hairstylist is great at color doesn’t mean they’ll be amazing at updos, too. If your stylist doesn’t do weddings every weekend like a bridal company does, chances are they will not be as experienced, and the work will not be as polished. Especially with today’s Pinterest-perfect expectations, you’ll want to spend the extra money and book with someone who is a bridal hair specialist.


You want to go with someone who specializes in wedding hair — it’s a whole different thing than getting your hair done at a salon. Your wedding hair style is going to last a lifetime in pictures and videos! So, look at wedding hair stylists’ Instagrams to see if you like their style and vibe. Scroll — a lot! If you don’t see a style you like, then they might not be the best for you.


What are your top tips to those looking to hire a makeup artist? 


Go with a makeup artist that has at least 5 years of experience doing makeup on someone other than themselves. I think a big misconception these days is that if you can post pictures of yourself with amazing makeup then everyone thinks, “Wow, she’s so good at that! I’m going to hire her.” Just because someone can do makeup on themselves does not mean they know how to do it on others. It’s way easier to put makeup on yourself since you know your face shape, eye shape, the tone and texture of your skin, etc. If they don’t have experience with other faces, then this will be a challenge — and you don’t want that on your wedding day. This is especially critical for mature skin, like the mother of the bride or groom. You want to choose someone who specializes in bridal makeup and has experience working on clients of all ages. 

Photo by Peach Plum Pear Photography


What can the bride and bridal party do in advance to make sure the day goes smoothly hair- and makeup-wise? 


First, be realistic with your timeframe. Most bridal teams are traveling to you, which is different than going to a salon. We need time to set up, perform services and clean up. Makeup and hair have evolved immensely over the years. Styles take a lot more prep work and product to make them look incredible and effortless. If you want Pinterest-perfect hair and makeup, then your stylists need to have the time to do it. I now require an hour for a hair or a makeup service. This gives me enough time to have a proper consultation with each person, and to prep the hair and skin properly so that the style and makeup lasts all day and doesn’t look cakey. It also gives me extra time in case there’s a lash application or extension installation, and gives me enough time to make changes if needed.

Another tip is to talk to your venue if you plan on getting ready there. A lot of venues have a limit to how early you can get into suites, and some are extremely late, like 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. If you have a big bridal party and you all must be ready by 1 or 2 in the afternoon, that’s not going to be enough time for services to be completed, so you may need to book a hotel room or another location instead. 

Last tip: Prep the night before. It’s a misconception that hair should be dirty when getting an updo. Dirty hair contains more oils, and will require more prep product, which then has a higher chance of falling out because it’s too slick. Wash your hair the night before and add a quarter size amount of mousse, blow dry your hair with your hands only (a brush can make it too smooth) or just let it air dry. As for skin, most people think they have oily skin, and that’s not true. Most skin is actually dry and is overproducing oil because it’s constantly being stripped of its natural oils. Skin needs a proper balance of oil and water. So, drink lots of water that week, and apply hemp seed oil at night. Hemp seed oil will not create breakouts, unlike coconut oil, and will make your skin feel amazing. We suggest exfoliating first the night before, then applying the oil, letting it soak into the skin all night while you sleep and by morning your skin will be ready so your makeup won’t cake.


Make sure your hair is clean! Same for the entire bridal party. It’s 100% not true that dirty hair is best to style, and there’s never time to wash it when I arrive. Wash it the night before and make sure it’s dry (air drying is OK) before you go to bed. I’ll discuss products to use the night before during my consultation.


Anything else that I didn’t ask that you’d like to say? 


For veils, choose a comb that’s metal not plastic. The metal ones are bendable to move around bobby pins, whereas the plastic ones have no give and can be difficult to get in and out of the hair. Don’t be afraid of clip-in extensions. Extensions really can change the game on how well an updo looks and turns out, especially for fine hair clients. 


Let your vendors help with creating your day-of timeline — we do it every weekend! We don’t mind and, in fact, we’d prefer it so that we have the time needed to create beautiful results. We’re happy to work with your venue or event planners because we truly want you to have the day of your dreams, one that’s stress-free and filled with fun.

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Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Nina Malone

Featured photo by Samantha Jay Photography