Erin’s Engagement: Trials and Tribulations

It’s wedding-hair-and-makeup time—Erin gets her trials done.

Erin gets a trial run on her wedding hairstyle at the Andre Chreky salon.

Most brides want to feel like a princess on their wedding day. Not me. Princesses are so 1981. I want to feel like a celebrity. I had my first opportunity to feel just a teensy bit like a movie star this past Friday when I visited Andre Chreky salon for my hair-and-makeup trial.

I chose Andre Chreky based on the recommendation of one of my friends and the glowing reviews I found on, a collection of vendor reviews from hundreds of women who have gotten married in the Washington area. I’ve found it very helpful in researching local vendors. The first step was visiting the salon’s Web site, taking a look at its list of services and pricing, and then submitting a request for more information. Shortly after that, the salon’s bridal coordinator got in touch with me to schedule a trial.

Some salons will do a hair-and-makeup trial for free, but Andre Chreky charges a pretty sizeable fee: $200. It was worth it to me, though, because I want to look great on my wedding day and I don’t want to leave anything to chance—I’ve had a couple of bad experiences having my hair styled as a bridesmaid in friends’ weddings. I hate the feeling of sitting in the stylist’s chair, watching with growing panic as my hair is styled into something gigantic and poofy. I needed to know well in advance of my wedding day if I could trust the stylist at Andre Chreky to do a great job on my hair.

When I arrived at the salon, I was introduced to my hair stylist, Tatiana. I liked her immediately, probably because, when I showed her a photo of the updo I liked, she nodded approvingly and said, “Well, you have the hair for it.” Good job, Tatiana. The way to my heart is through a compliment about my hair.

Less than an hour later, Tatiana had curled, twisted, and pinned my hair into an updo that very closely resembled the photo I’d showed her. I felt really good about it. It was pretty and simple, and I felt like I looked like me instead of some teased and beehived version of myself. We talked about some changes that might be made on my wedding day, and then it was off to meet my makeup artist. (I love how that sounds!)

My makeup artist, Dani, was stationed in a little nook in the front of the salon, next to a big window with a lot of light. She asked me what kind of look I had in mind (fresh? radiant?), then introduced me to airbrushed makeup. I was a little worried about being airbrushed. Would I look weird and overdone like a pageant contestant? Dani assured me that airbrushed makeup was fabulous because it stays put all day, despite hugs and kisses from relatives, eating, drinking, and dancing.

I believed her and was more than willing to give it a try, but I was a little freaked out when she pulled out a silver nozzle, filled it with foundation, and began spraying my face. My back was to the mirror, so I wasn’t sure what I looked like. I just closed my eyes and tried to relax without breathing in the makeup. When Dani was done, I turned around and looked. Wow. The makeup actually looked natural and even. Best of all, I wouldn’t have to touch it up for the rest of the day!

I left the salon feeling pretty great. I loved my hair and makeup, which means that I’ll feel relaxed and confident on my wedding day. Getting the celebrity treatment takes a lot of time. From start to finish, the trial took two hours. I had a lot of fun, though, and I look forward to repeating the experience on my wedding day—with a glass of Champagne in my hand and an entourage of bridesmaids to keep me company!

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