Chic updo, casual, loose curls… There are many different types of bridal hairstyles, but what are the options for you? A professional Bridal Hair stylist can help you like no other and create the perfect bridal look for you! Natali Garuccio is a talented bridal hair specialist. A bridal hair specialist has the expertise to advice you and make sure you look your best on your wedding day. In this interview she will talk about all the ins and outs of her profession and the latest bridal hair trends!
Tell us about yourself and your work as a bridal hair specialist
Being a specialist goes beyond just doing a few pretty curls. Although bridal hair was something I fell into accidentally, it quickly became my sole purpose and passion. I created Stella Fatalé to give brides incredible confidence and a luxury experience that helps them feel like the most glamorous version of themselves.
I was a traditional salon stylist for the first few years of my career. My boss at the time felt the same way about weddings as my dread for messy color and sent me on my first on-site wedding in 2012. In spite of the cliché, it truly was love at first sight. I took as many weddings as I could, shifted my portfolio to event styles, and immersed myself with bridal blogs to help brides plan their style. By 2014 I was so busy with weddings that I had to give up my weekends at the salon and even start an LLC to manage it as a full-time business.
Weddings were exciting, but I became bored with the same one or two looks. I remembered for my wedding I didn’t want to look traditional, but rather classy with a unique sexy vibe. When all of the inspiration I found looked the same I saw a need to expand into more new styles, to break out of the standard Tiffany-blue box and modernize beach waves.
With that, I experimented and practiced my craft continuously and now pride myself on being able to create a variety of looks but with narrowed focus for an elevated look: classic romantic styles with a modern edge. This vision became “Stella Fatalé” to give women the chance to feel like their glamorous celebrity alter ego!
As getting ready on-site became more popular, the personalization aspect needed refinement to accommodate elevated service. Brides want guidance on the details of their day planned along with their hairstyle for better photos, as well as professional styles for all of the events leading up to wedding day.
This is more than just a show-up-for-an-hour type of service. Brides can rely on me for full service events from engagement photos, bridal shower, and even though wedding day touch-ups. It’s truly understanding their overwhelm of planning a wedding and having many events to piece together. Through the process I use a Welcome Guide, a bridal portal, appointment reminders, and monthly check-in emails to keep myself accessible to brides and reduce their stress and workload.
My process provides fashion-loving brides a personalized luxury experience that focuses on their unique vision and specific needs for the day. Communication is my top priority, listening to what the bride wants as well as knowing what she needs to make that happen, all while giving them iconic style for their most important day of beauty!
How do you help a bride discover her wedding day look?
We start with a discovery call for personal attention and customized packages. Even in the booking process, brides don’t just pick from a menu about something they’ve never planned before. We chat about what they want in style and service. I learn about their plans to put together experiences they need to make that happen.
This bridal consult also allows me to get to know them better so that I can hear their insecurities and favorite features, which is vital to planning a hairstyle that will make them feel comfortable and confident.
Then, after she plans the aesthetic pieces of the wedding and says yes to the dress, we meet virtually for a Vision Session to discuss and pick the hairstyle. Doing this closer to the wedding, 5 to 6 months away, allows brides the chance to get clarity on their overall wedding vision so that the hair and entire beauty and fashion matches cohesively. We use a collaborative vision board to put the pieces together and focus on her complete ideal look.
During an in-person preview, I create a version of her dream hairstyle with options based on what we noted during the Vision Session. This detailed session is 2 hours of fun to get to know her hair and explore the different ideas she may want to see on her. It also gives her a chance to try out hair extensions and color matches so that I can assist with ordering a custom set for exactly the style she needs.
The extra step in planning a style helps gives the bride clarity, explore options, narrow down the details, and get a better understanding of what makes her feel comfortable and beautiful.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Being a business owner and mom of three requires much scheduling and systems to run a smooth and happy ship.
I break may day into categories, getting the most important tasks done at 4am before anyone else in the house is awake. Because communication is most important to me, bride and team-facing items are usually handled first and circled back again last in the day, such as emails, scheduling, writing timelines, proposals, contracts etc).
Since self-care is both a value and a necessity to help me function better, I work out as soon as I drop the kids off to school. Other business necessities such as newsletters, social media, and skills practice are tackled after I get my body some physical activity.
I break in the middle of the day to take care of the kids (school pickup, homework, dinner, etc). Then the evening is filled with virtual calls for Bridal Consults, Vision Sessions, and Wedding Month Check-ins. I try to make myself available at times convenient for my current and inquiring brides so they can quickly see that planning their wedding and making things easier is a priority for me as well.
No two days are ever exactly the same. I balance what my brides need with what my business needs. I try to create systems so everyone is organized and has my attention when it’s needed the most. So in between that normal routine, I have designated days and times for Previews (hair trials), content days, and education and training for my hairstylist team.
I start preparing for weddings the day before, from a personal greeting video to my bride, prepping hair extensions, and reviewing the schedule with my team and assistants. The morning of, I make sure to get up early, fuel with breakfast ahead of time, and pack enough coffee to skip the Starbucks. I dress professionally, regardless if it’s a 3am call time. Showing up with a neat appearance is super important-no bride wants a hot mess in the background of her wedding photos.
Before heading out, I post a congratulatory Instagram story to get the celebration started and let the Bride know I am on my way! When I arrive, the bride is usually getting makeup done before hair, so in the meantime, I set up my station and prepare the bride’s extensions, if I didn’t previously have them in my possession.
I introduce myself to the group and help everyone feel at ease with knowing my routine for time. If I am servicing anyone in the bridal party, now is when I style their hair. When it’s the bride’s turn, we briefly review any notes regarding the look to make sure of any changes or adjustments.
Usually I style in one sitting but if need be, I set her hair then return to it after makeup is done. When her hair and makeup are complete, I start to pack most of my kits. One of the biggest stresses for brides is the veil. After getting dressed and doing bridal party photos, I set the veil so that she is ready for her walk down the aisle. If she’s doing a first look, we usually save the veil until after so her partner can get a good full look at her.
Since you never know what could happen, I offer full-day touchups. Most days I stay for bridal portraits or first look, often all the way through the ceremony for touch ups. This gives them comforting security to have me assist with perfect photos. The hair always lasts, but my extra set of hands ensures nothing gets moved out of place by accident or to make adjustments as weather changes.
As a bonus, I get to capture some photos of romantic BTS moments. There is nothing like white glove service and IRL photos from this perspective throughout the day. Plus I get goose bumps seeing each couple’s love story come to fruition during the vows – it’s my favorite part, the real reason we are all there.
After a quick food or coffee break, I find the venue’s bridal suite and set up my touch-up kit for a fun style change or last minute touch-ups. My true fashion-loving brides are excited by this opportunity to showcase a second look, often with a party dress to match!
Are there any bridal hair trends that you noticed?
The most popular trend I see is brides opting for a second or third dress complete with a hairstyle change and a makeup enhancement. The option to add a fun party look to the beauty lineup gives them additional glam and comfort for dancing through the party! Cue the party-pony along with frills of beads and bling! Who doesn’t love another photo-op?!
Ponytails are definitely a leading style for engagement parties, showers, and photo sessions.
Waves are still a classic favorite for wedding day, but becoming more varied with softer and more moveable options. Updos are still preferred to show off the back of the dress or for a chicer vibe. Brides are leaning towards clean chignons, larger soft-glam buns, and nape-low piecey-buns.
All of these styles are incredibly versatile; they are perfect for so many brides with options of individual style differences for a personalized look. Even though they’ve been around for decades, the details are what is changing trend.
Thicker, sweeping face framing pieces are a favorite for softer romantic looks, while fully back styles are being embraced more than ever for a bolder look. Brides want softer texture rather than ringlet curls for both updos and down styles.
Flashy headpieces are still a favorite focus for glamorous styles, especially when matching crystals or beading on a dress or adding embellishment to a hairstyle to enhance simpler looks. However, pearls and satin are the latest popular hair accessory as more simplistic textures are becoming a classy favorite as well!
Veils are still in style, with a pretty even mix between fingertip and cathedral lengths.
Visit her Instagram page: @stellafatale