Ask the Experts: The Wedding Stylist Search

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Next to the groom showing up hungover and the DJ avoiding from the "Macarena," one of the biggest bridal worries is choosing your wedding hairstylist. The good news is, you can avoid "tress"-ing out on your Big Day if you've got a talented, trustworthy stylist who's committed to making your mane look it's very best. When interviewing prespective stylists, though, there are several points every bride-to-be should consider. Here, we enlisted Anthony Dickey of New York City's Hair Rules salon to give us an insider's perspective on the wedding stylist search.  The Initial Stylist Consultation Before making a decision, it's important that you consult with more than two stylists. "Be prepared for the consulation to last at least a couple of hours," says Dickey. "You want to stylist to give you two or three hairstyle options." Since you're blocking a significant amount of appointment time out of their day, the cost will reflect that. "Expect to spend double to triple the cost of what you would pay for a regular hairstyle," he adds. Red Flags According to Dickey, if a stylist is rushing your service during the consultation, head for the hills. "Really, any kind of palpable frustration from the stylist is unacceptable," he says. "The stylist is there to provide a service. If he's not willing to take direction from you, or refuses to try out more than one look, he won't be a calming presence on your wedding day." What To Expect From Your Stylist When interviewing stylists, the first thing you need to determine is that he/she can work with your hair type. "Whether you're natural, relaxed, or wear weaves or wigs, make sure the stylist has experience working with your hair type," says Dickey (this may seem obvious, but one Essence.com staffer suffered major breakage when her a stylist gave her blond highlights, assuming her long, relaxed hair was actually a weave. Horrible). Also, it's important that you choose a stylist that doesn't intimidate you. "Your stylist has to be patient and willing to work with you," says Dickey. "It's your day! You killed yourself for a whole year planning this wedding, so you want to feel comfortable enough to just let the stylist take over...and know that he'll execute your vision." Bring Your Look To Life If you haven't decided on a wedding day style, expect your stylist to walk you through different options. But if you've already chosen your look, bring magazine tears or online printouts to the consultation. According to Dickey, with full weaves, braids, wigs, and pieces, any hairstyle is possible. "Don't let a stylist tells you that he can't create a certain look on you," he says. "Of course, he does need to be honest about what it might take to achieve your dream style. For example, you might need to grow your hair out, or sew in a different hair texture." Wedding Day Fees In terms of wedding day costs, Dickey explains that there are three possiblities. "The least expensive route is meeting the stylist at the salon on your wedding day," he says. "The cost goes up if the stylist comes to your hotel/house to do your hair. And the most expensive scenario is if the stylist brings an assistant, stays the whole day, and also does your bridesmaids' hair...this can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000." Getting hitched on a Saturday? Expect to pay more than usual, since you're asking the stylist to leave the salon--and all their bookings--on the busiest day of the week. Also, if you're having an out-of-town wedding, it's customary for the bride-to-be to pay for the stylist's travel, room, and board. When it comes to tipping, Dickey says, "I've received tips, but I don't expect them. I go in with a cost I think is fair, so I don't expect more. But it's nice!" For more information on Anthony Dickey or Hair Rules salon and haircare products, check out HairRules.com. Read more: