by A Social Affair Event Management March 31, 2017

There are so many crucial details in planning a wedding, from selecting the perfect venue to having the right vows. But on the morning of the big day, few will feel as important as having your hair exactly as you want it. Christian Garceau, Founder & Chief Planner at A Social Affair Event Management sat down with David Dault, owner at Le Coiffeur Salon-Studio to learn what you should do in the months and days ahead to avoid a collision between “bad hair day” and “wedding day.”

Christian: Thanks for joining me, David. Let’s start from the top — what is your #1 tip for wedding hair?

David: My pleasure Christian. This is an easy question — always, always, always do at least one hair trial, at least a month in advance. The day of the wedding is way too late to find out you and your hairstylist don’t share a vision, style, or compatibility.

Christian: What should happen during this trial?

David: Honesty. It’s so crucial. Be direct and forward with your stylist about what you want, and more importantly what you don’t want. It’s understandable to want to be friendly and genial with your stylist, but it’s so important I have a clear idea of what makes you happy. If that involves looking at my portfolio and telling me you hate 9 of 10 up-dos I did, then so be it.

Christian: I sense a “but” coming on…

David: Definitely. Be brutally honest but also be open to new ideas. Chances are your hairstylist has done many brides and seen many shapes of faces, and will likely have some expert recommendations that you’ve never considered.

Christian: What should a bride bring to her trial?

David: Hair accessories for sure. An objective friend you trust, but avoid that friend who always has something negative to say. You don’t need someone seeding doubt just for the sake of it. And of course, make sure your phone is fully charged to take photos throughout so you can capture every angle. 

Christian: What about “dream hair” photos and other visuals?

David: A visual always helps, but try to stick to 2 or 3. If you forget, I always keep some bridal magazines and a few issues of vogue in the studio. Also, remember to be realistic when looking at photos, particularly celebrities. Thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of time often go into extensions that may be out of your budget.

Christian: So we’re at the big day now. How do disasters usually begin?

David: They always begin the same — with the bridal party being late. It’s so important being on time. I always appreciate when a client is working with a good wedding planner because I know they’ll keep the schedule together. But to be safe, always book a cushion of time following the appointment for the inevitable. With a bit of extra time, any disaster can be mitigated.

Christian: What else should the bride know for the big day?

David: When we ask you to come with unwashed hair, we don’t mean dirty. Just dry and ready. If you show up with lots of buildup and grease, we’ll need to wash, and then blow dry — costing you time and money.

Christian: Any suggestions on styles and trends for 2017?

David: Absolutely. Imagine yourself looking back on photos ten years from now. Will you want to see a big, formal up-do that hasn’t aged well or something soft and more on the natural side? Think of Kate Middleton and how timeless her wedding day hair was.

Christian: Let’s talk price. What can a bride expect to pay for her hair?

David: There’s a huge variance, depending on the complexity of the style, the time required, and the experience of the stylist. I wouldn’t want to hire anyone charging less than $50 or $60, and wouldn’t be surprised to see some stylists charge as much as $500. But on average, in Ottawa, you can budget $100 and have lots of options. Expect a surcharge of 20% to 40% if you need the hairstylist to come to your venue or home. If they’re coming to the venue, remember additional charges like valet.

Christian: And what about gratuity? is pretty explicit that this is definitely a vendor you tip.

David: Always an awkward topic, and ultimately it comes down to the quality of service you received. Most bridal parties will tip between 15% and 25% 

Christian: When it comes to preserving the hairstyle throughout a busy day of ceremony, photos and reception, what are some suggestions?

David: As comfortable as they are, don’t wear a t-shirt to your hair appointment. Pulling it off before putting on the dress is sure to ruffle some strands! Also, a quality hair stylist should give you tips on how to fix any loose hairs or flyaways. And lastly, someone in the bridal party should carry a small bottle of emergency hairspray. Or even better, your day-of-coordinator should be prepared with a small hair kit for any and all issues that could come up.

Christian: Thanks for joining this chat, David! Any parting advice?

David: Thanks for having me. Yes — Trust yourself and trust your stylist. Be happy with your choices. Don’t let anyone else talk you out of what makes you happy — after all, this day is about you and the person you’re marrying, not what your mother-in-law thinks of your hair.

David Dault is the owner of Le Coiffeur Salon-Studio in downtown Ottawa. Visit his website at to learn more and book an appointment. 

Christian Garceau is the Founder and Chief Planner at A Social Affair Event Management. Visit his website at 

A Social Affair Event Management
A Social Affair Event Management