The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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You Look Marvelous! Bridal Hair & Beauty Tips From Stylist Taylor Roby

You Look Marvelous! Bridal Hair & Beauty Tips From Stylist Taylor Roby

Stylist Taylor Roby shares her honest advice for having your best hair on your big day! We’re talking current trends, make-up tips, and all of the different factors you should consider your hair will go through during the day (hello, sweat!). And having dirty hair for your stylist the morning of the wedding? Taylor definitely debunks this myth!

Get to know Taylor:

Taylor Roby manages the Salon at Bratenahl, a small boutique salon located in the exclusive 1 Bratenahl Place in Bratenahl, Ohio. Her mother and mentor, Marietta, has owned the shop for 26 years. Taylor Graduated from the Ohio Academy of Paul Mitchell in 2011 and has been working behind the chair for 9 years. Their focus is on non-stop education, nurturing client relationships and personal growth. Blending old school hairstyling, with new school sav you can find Taylor working Tues - Fri 9-5, or at the many hair shows (when Covid isn’t a thing). When Taylor isn’t at the salon, you can find her hanging out on the shores of Lake Erie with her dogs.

Follow The Salon at Bratenahl on Facebook!




This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineers Eric Koltnow, Sean Rule-Hoffman and Declan Rohrs.

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Leah Longbrake:
Hello, and welcome to Weddings Unveiled, the podcast for your wedding planning process. I'm your host, Leah Longbrake. We know how exciting and stressful planning the big day can be, and we're here to help, providing you with information and advice from industry insiders and those with firsthand experience. On today's episode, we have Taylor Roby, stylist and manager of the Salon at Bratenahl. She'll share the tips and tricks, dos and don'ts when choosing your bridal beauty look. Welcome to the show, Taylor. So Taylor, welcome to the show. We're going to touch upon bridal beauty. And while it's a lot of a focus towards the bride, this also applies obviously for bridesmaids and mother of the bride to some extent as well. I want to start off with what is the first thing that brides should consider and do when planning how they want to style their hair for the big day. Does the dress dictate the hair? Or can they already start thinking about their bridal look?

Taylor Roby:
So, the biggest thing is I would have to say when determining what style is best for you is get familiar with your face shape. Your face shape and your dress, Leah, definitely determine how you should style your hair. If you have a gorgeous back detail dress, you don't want long hair covering that up. But first and foremost, I think your face shape is most important. You want a style that's going to highlight your features, make you look the best on your day.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a great point about if you have a special detail back, not to have the long extensions, Rapunzel-like, because you are going to cover it. So with that though, does the season also kind of dictate it? Should you be having your hair long and down if it's a 90 degree hot summer day? And then in the winter... You know what I mean? Winter you can have staticky, frizzy hair. Should the season also dictate?

Taylor Roby:
You got it. So I personally am a freeze baby, so I like my hair down most of the time in the winter to double as a second scarf. And in the winter, you can pull that off. Your hair texture is also a super-important thing. Let's say you're a super curly girl and you're getting married on a 90 degree day in the middle of July. If you don't have your hair professional straightened with either a chemical such as a relaxer or a keratin treatment, frizz will be your worst enemy on that day. So if you have frizz, are you going to be determining to use your natural texture in your style? Or if you do want more of the sleeker look, then it is definitely best to get your hair professionally straightened in the summer if you want that style. So I think season definitely plays a part into what you're going to do with your hair and your hair texture combating the season.

Leah Longbrake:
Right, because if you have fine, thin hair, you don't want to have all these hot roller curls done and then it just wilts.

Taylor Roby:
Boom, boom, boom, it's fall.

Leah Longbrake:
I can attest to that. I've had that happen so many times. Even though my hair's become wavier as I've gotten older, it's still fine and thin. So sweat and humidity just-

Taylor Roby:
Oh, dancing all night, you're taking pictures, you're nervous too on top of it, a ton of nerves. So a lot of us perspirate from our scalp. And I don't know, I'm not used to having pictures taken of me every second of the day when you're the bride and focus of the day, that's a little nerveracking. So being realistic with yourself, your texture of your hair, your face shape, obviously what dress you're wearing.

Leah Longbrake:
Hair pieces?

Taylor Roby:
Hair pieces are amazing. So determining, again, your face shape, and then factoring in your texture. Hairstylists are master magicians and illusionists. We can get there. If we know your face shape and we have determined your hair texture, then we need a piece that's going to make it look fuller, is this something low, do we need to add those things that look like you ground pins in, I don't know if you're a sewer, but to create a bun, it's like a sock bun, that netting thing.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, that classic look.

Taylor Roby:
Yeah, exactly. Depending on what you're going for, we have the tools in our toolkit to get you to where you need to go. But again, that should be determined, most importantly, by your face shape, your dress, and your hair texture.

Leah Longbrake:
And this is also why it's probably so crucial to work with your stylist in advance, practicing what to do with your hair.

Taylor Roby:
You hit the nail on the head, Leah. Consultation, you had sent me a list of bullet points, and one of the things you had on were common mistakes. And I would say the biggest common mistake is the lack of consultation and communication, and from a hairdresser and your bride in your chair. If you don't have a good consultation or if you don't have a good first trial, then have a second trial. Get on the same page. If everybody has clear expectations, then the results are wonderful. But you need to establish those clear expectations so that hairdressers can do their jobs and then the bride feels beautiful and confident for her day of.

Leah Longbrake:
And it doesn't even matter if you have been going to the stylist for years, if the stylist is your family member or friend. Full disclosure, Taylor is one of my best friends and then my personal stylist and did my hair for the wedding day, and we made sure we had a couple of consultations to make sure that the style I wanted would work. So I think brides, and even maids, should know that even if you know and trust, you still need to work it out in advance.

Taylor Roby:
Oh, hands down.

Leah Longbrake:
But how far in advance should we be having the consultations?

Taylor Roby:
Well, in our case, Leah, I was doing your color and I was in charge of your color and your haircut, so I see you... I would say we started the moment you got engaged.

Leah Longbrake:
That's true actually.

Taylor Roby:
You were talking about engagement photos and then basically setting up the foundation for how we wanted your hair, whether that's a year later. So granted, if we didn't know each other, let's just say you were doing an out of town wedding, which I've had definitely in my chair, she came in, I would say when she was testing out the food. So that was at least four months. I'd say at least give yourself six months, four to six months in advance if you do not know the hair stylist. If you know the hair stylist, she is in charge of your cut and color and you know she'll be taking on your wedding for the future, the earlier you can tell her that you'd like to choose her to be your stylist, he or her, the sooner the better. Because then your hairstylist can start thinking about what you want to do and then ask you the questions to determine what you'd like to look like on your wedding day.

Leah Longbrake:
Especially if you want something that is more of a process. Like you mentioned curly-haired girls maybe wanting to have their hair relaxed or keratin. Or if you have shorter hair and you want long extensions, because extensions take time, if you want braids, if you want something a little more complex, even some updos, obviously, are really complex and take time, so you need that practice because one, to see if it actually works for your hair, but two, I would think so you know how long it's going to take the morning of.

Taylor Roby:
Oh, yes, this is very, very crucial. Because on my end as a hairstylist, if I've gone through two pretrials, I can basically do your updo, Leah, in my sleep. I should know where every pin is planted, my base and foundation is planted, that way you're smooth sailing and you're able to, instead of as a stylist be in your head flipping out, Jesus, you're responsible for somebody's pictures for their wedding day that's going to be with them for the rest of their life.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, no pressure or anything.

Taylor Roby:
Yeah, no pressure, no pressure. You can be of comfort to the person in your chair. You can tell them how awesome they're going to look and calm down their nerves. Because I'm sure not only... We have a little bit of nerves, but all eyes are on you, babe, [inaudible 00:10:53]. So it's really nice to know what you're doing so that you can get out of your head and help somebody else on their special day.

Leah Longbrake:
Now we talked about length and texture a bit. What are some styles that you recommend based off of that?

Taylor Roby:
Okay, so, we are talking about your wedding day. Some people think the aisle, any aisle, whether it be a church or outdoor, it is not the catwalk. So your wedding day is about romance and your love. So the party girl hairstyle, I would say more of the super-trendy, like when you're going out for your girlfriends with the wave with the straight on the bottom, the straight ends, that's more party girl, fun. This is your wedding day. We want to be a little bit more romance. So romance is a full curl without a fishhook on the end. We have seen a lot lately trending braids, very soft braids, very soft twists to create interest and design. I've also seen a lot of low chignons. And low chignons... A chignon is just word, it's a very fancy word, but there are so many different types of chignons. There is not just one type. So don't get bent out of shape about the word. It just means basically a low bun at the base of your neck.

Leah Longbrake:
A prime example would be Meghan Markle to the wedding with Harry, prime example.

Taylor Roby:
Yes. Sure.

Leah Longbrake:
It's a very classic, 1940s, '50s, look. It's timeless.

Taylor Roby:
Yes. So if you scroll through your Instagram feed or Pinterest, a lot of the things you're going to be seeing are low, kind of at the base of the neck in between your occipital bone in the back of your head and the nape of your neck. Some like to come over on the side. If you have a beautiful back detail and you want to push your hair over to the side, you can. If you have a very symmetrical dress and you want something center, that's also very popular right now. So that's kind of what I'm seeing as far as what's trending nowadays. But again-

Leah Longbrake:
It works for most textures and lengths.

Taylor Roby:
Most textures and lengths, yes, exactly. Because like I said, you have short hair, then guess what, maybe we start talking about extensions so that we can be able to achieve that style, if that style is appropriate for your face shape. So it's not necessarily what's trending, but what style makes you look and feel the most beautiful. And as a good stylist, you should be reading the face shape to determine where your volume, if you will, where the height of your style goes. And as a bride, being open to suggestions is really important. Because you may want this style, you may see it all over Instagram and Facebook or Pinterest or wherever, and maybe you think that person in the picture's really beautiful, but their face shape is completely different than yours. So my good rule of thumb is to put your thumb over their face and see if you really like that style or do you just really like that person in the picture.

Leah Longbrake:
That was actually my next question for you is have you ever had to tell a bride that a look that they want wouldn't work?

Taylor Roby:
Yes. Yes, and I have no shame in my game. To really get comfortable with yourself, to know the shape and bone structure of your face, and to let... It's a really beautiful experience to get to share that with somebody. And I try to do it really gently and let them know, "Well, look at your cheekbones right here, and if we have volume..." And you know what? Nine times out of 10, they get it. And I've never had anybody that didn't appreciate the advice. I guess the delivery has a lot to do with it. I always [inaudible 00:16:11]. Because nobody likes to hear that what they want is wrong. It's not wrong, it's probably a very beautiful style, but it's just not achievable. And like you were saying about dancing all night and sweating and stuff like that, you want to be able to give them a look that's going to last them from the early in the morning until they're dancing at midnight.

Leah Longbrake:
It's a long day.

Taylor Roby:
Yes, it's a very long day. Very long day. And all of my brides, I am happy to say, have thanked me either the next day or two days after if they're a little hung, and said, "My hair lasted all night. This was awesome. Thank you so much." And that's a really great feeling. And again, you just want your bride to look and feel themselves for the whole day.

Leah Longbrake:
You mentioned probably your biggest don't earlier. What are some other dos and don'ts that we should be aware of when it comes to styling our hair and beauty in general for the big day?

Taylor Roby:
Oh yeah, I've got a few of those. So talking about those low chignons, which are very popular right now, a lot of people don't look the best when they pull all their hair back. I'm talking-

Leah Longbrake:
Severe.

Taylor Roby:
Yes, severe pony-tail. I would say there are very few facial structures that can support and carry off that style for a wedding day. So the biggest mistake would be all this detail in the back, but there's nothing around your face. So what's going on around your face I think is most important for you as a bride to be aware about, and also your hairstylist needs to be aware of that. I think that's one of the biggest mistakes is that these girls look like they have no hair, it's all in the back of their head. So that's one, and I think a pretty big mistake is to not be cognizant of what's going on around the face.

Taylor Roby:
Number two is there is a lot of this boho, natural, romantic, loose kind of style going on right now. And that is all well and good. But unless there is a foundation to ground those pins, you'll be dancing and whipping your head around and that hair is going to fall right out. So as a hairstylist, we need to be able to construct a foundation on the interior of the style, kind of like... You do this with teasing. So when you look at your stylist and you're like, "Why are you teasing my hair?" Well, a tease is basically like a net for that pin to ground into, if that makes any sense.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, absolutely.

Taylor Roby:
So then your loose curls can be very loose and flowy, but where they're pinned in, they're pinned in to basically a Velcro. That pin is not moving. Even though that style looks very loose and flowy, it still has a great foundation.

Leah Longbrake:
It's not sticking to the sweat from dancing and stress and running around.

Taylor Roby:
Yeah. Exactly. Because all of those things can loosen the grounding of the pin. And that pin needs to be placed in a spot where it's going to be secure and it's going to last all night. Granted, we are all human, and girl, if you are getting it on the dance floor, a pin can come loose. So another really big tip... I don't know if it's a mistake or a tip, but put a couple of bobby pins in your purse, in your little bag, or some dresses have pockets. Throw five or six bobby pins in there. That is huge. Because if there is a piece that's really bothering you around your face and by the end of the night, you're just like, "Get this piece out of here," you can put the bobby pin in and get them out. Not everybody's fortunate enough to have their stylist at their wedding to help and say, "Okay, wait, let's go to the bathroom really quick and pin this up."

Leah Longbrake:
Save me from all this wind damage.

Taylor Roby:
You got it.

Leah Longbrake:
That was my problem, all the wind.

Taylor Roby:
Yeah. The weather, what are you going to do? So that's another one. The lack of consultation, obviously. Don't pull all your hair away from your face, be aware of what your face in the front looks like. Throw some pins in your purse. And I would like to touch just a second on makeup. So two makeup sort of dos or don'ts, again, this is not the catwalk, huge, glamory, super-dark smoky... A lot of times people get married in the day, so you want to have a daytime look, and they want to go for the more natural approach. You need blush. You need eyebrows. And you not contouring. Those things are very important because in photography, they drown out. But if you don't have a little bit of blush, and it may look a little aggressive at first, but through the camera lens, you need to show your face shape and highlight those beautiful features on your face.

Leah Longbrake:
Great point.

Taylor Roby:
So let your makeup artist contour your beautiful features, let her put blush on you, let her add a little bit of either a pencil or powder to your eyebrows so you don't lose them, especially the tails, the tails seem to get lost if they're a little thin. And then my all time favorite mistake is way too much glitter. Glitter, it is a girl's best friend, of course, but glitter correlates to sweat in pictures.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, yeah.

Taylor Roby:
So we want maybe our top of our cheekbones where you would put the highlighter to have a little bit of sheen and look dewy. But we don't want necessarily your eyelids to look like they're sweating. So using a matte finish is I think of essence, especially on your wedding day.

Leah Longbrake:
No, those are great tips, great dos and don'ts, especially the don'ts. And I can see those all being common mistakes, not only for the wedding day, but I guess in general technically, for any big event, really.

Taylor Roby:
Yeah, definitely. Well, this is an event. Your wedding day is totally... It's a big party, not only for you and to celebrate the love of joining two people together, but it's an event where your families and friends get to know each other. And they can be really, really beautiful things. And there's going to be... Any time there's going to be a photographer involved or a videographer, you want to make sure your style and you look the best on photography and camera.

Leah Longbrake:
I don't know if this would be considered a do or don't, and I don't know if it's as trendy as it used to be, but what is your take on brides that make their maids have a specific style?

Taylor Roby:
Well, just based off of everything we've been discussing today, not everybody has the same hair texture. Kudos to you if all your bridesmaids have long, thick hair that can pull off anything. But not all hair is created equal. Not all body shapes are created equal and face shapes to support that particular style. It's really cool, you can definitely go with a theme, like a theme of braids, and then incorporate it where you can. But what if you have somebody with really fine angelic hair that can't really support that big braid that you see a lot of times going into the low chignon? What if their hair can't support it and then they feel really bad or that they're not good enough to be in your bridal party because their hair can't support it? And nobody ever wants to make anybody feel like that. So I would just be aware and cognizant of all the girls in your bridal party. And maybe if you want a specific style, choose more a theme. Again, in a perfect world, that would be awesome. But again, not everybody's hair texture is created equally.

Leah Longbrake:
We talked about the chignons being a big trend right now. What are some other trends going into 2021, '22 that we should be considering?

Taylor Roby:
I really think the whole naturalistic boho approach, everybody's kind of getting back to their roots, getting back to nature at the moment. Hey, we're in COVID pandemic time, and people are getting out in the park systems, and it's a really beautiful thing to see. And we're also seeing more of that natural look that correlates to beauty. And we're also seeing... Oh my gosh, with wearing a mask, do you put on foundation during the day?

Leah Longbrake:
No.

Taylor Roby:
No. The only thing that I do is put mascara on. I mean seriously. In society, we're kind of getting away from the heavy caked-up really super duper made up and we're going for more of the natural vibes. So think natural, romantic, bohemian, those are the definite vibes of I think 2020 and then leading into 2021.

Leah Longbrake:
And this is even with classic church, black tie weddings.

Taylor Roby:
Well, so I am a big fan of classic always wins.

Leah Longbrake:
Agree.

Taylor Roby:
So if you want a very split side part, slicked back, like a nice bun, that the hair is all going in the same direction and it's very beautiful, or a French twist, if your face shape and bone structure can support that, then I say yes, go for that. Classic will never go out of style, regardless of the time, like a bob haircut will never be out of style, it will always be in at [inaudible 00:29:23]. Again, because it's your face shape that dictates what style looks good on you.

Leah Longbrake:
But for the trends, we're just going to keep seeing natural, which is fantastic.

Taylor Roby:
Natural and romance, romance for sure. Romeo and Juliet, yes.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, I love it. And that's, I think, technically would be considered a classic.

Taylor Roby:
Totally.

Leah Longbrake:
Whether it's a 1950s glamorous Hollywood red carpet movie star wave, very Veronica Lake, or if it's a Disney princess, you have the curls and the long side braid as you mentioned.

Taylor Roby:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
Pairing with a red lip or a light pink lip, you can't go wrong.

Taylor Roby:
No, no, no, no. Those things will never go out of style because they're beautiful. They encompass what beauty is in our brains. What we have seen on TV, what we see in our pop culture, those iconic beauty styles I don't think will ever go away. But as far as 2021, I think we're in more of a loose, relaxed, not pulled back, not so tight trend at the moment.

Leah Longbrake:
I want to touch upon one more thing with bridesmaids, going back to what we just spoke about with if the bride wanted everyone to match. Whose responsibility is it for if the bride wants the girls to have their hair professionally done, not even saying if she wants them all to look the same, but she wants them to have their hair done that day? Is it up to the bride then to pay for them? Or does the bridesmaid have to agree? What is your advice for that situation?

Taylor Roby:
So, if you've got it like that and you want to treat your bridesmaids to their hair and makeup, I've seen some women use that as their gift for their bridesmaids for the wedding. Some people do jewelry, other people do hair and makeup for the day. I think that's a really great gift, especially if you know some of the girls in your bridal party are like, "Oh, I don't want to do it. I don't want to get my hair done. And she's making us get there at 8:00 am [inaudible 00:32:15]." Oh, you get all of that. You get all of that. But I would say just be aware of who the people you have in your bridal party. If they can support dropping $100, $175, anywhere to... Depending on your stylist and your location around the country, prices definitely vary. And really, if you're doing something on location or if you're doing something in your hairstylist's salon, prices vary. So for a bride, it's completely up to the bride. I don't want to take full responsibility of that. I would like the bride to do that, because I don't want any fighting. I would like this to all be handled before the day of.

Leah Longbrake:
Don't bring the stylist in is what you're saying.

Taylor Roby:
Yes, yes. If you want to be kind and pay for everybody up front, that's really cool, and then that takes the stress out of... Because it's a little awkward. Okay, Leah, you know my salon. I am the front desk lady, I am the cleaning lady, and I am the person behind the chair doing the hair. So when I have to stop to take a payment, and on the wedding day when time is of essence, if that's already taken care of, I would say that definitely makes my job easier because then it's a smooth flow and your bridesmaids don't have to bring money with them or worry about that during the day. You don't even have to deal with that. So I think it's a great suggestion. That would be a great thing to pay ahead of time because then you don't have to worry about monetary things on the day of. That's a great planning point.

Leah Longbrake:
And then you know your budget too.

Taylor Roby:
Then you know your budget. Oh, yeah, and I did have something to share in relation to bridal parties.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes.

Taylor Roby:
A little bit of advice from just a little hairdresser over here. Please, I know you have heard this in the past, it's better to have an updo on day two or three dirty hair, that is a complete lie. Let me just tell you, that is a complete lie. I would like to say it again. It is a complete lie.

Leah Longbrake:
I'm so glad you're debunking this because I always thought that that was the ideal thing until you.

Taylor Roby:
So, clean, dry hair, dry, I would like to specify that again, dry. Because a lot of times, these bridesmaids come and you're on a time schedule the day of the wedding. And I block anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour per updo. The bride, I like to block an hour and a half. And that's just hair. So, if your time slot is 8:30 and you show up at my salon at 8:15 with wet hair, that means that I have to dry your hair and then you're cutting in to your time of your style. And we can't have any of that when time is of essence on the day of. So, your hair needs to be clean, whether you wash it the night before, and nine times out of 10 you have the rehearsal dinner the night before, and it also needs to be dry when you walk into the salon.

Taylor Roby:
Another thing to do for bridesmaids is if your bride is allowing you to choose your style, bring pictures, pictures are great for inspiration. And again, we'll give you our professional advice if your hair texture and bone structure can pull that off. But pictures are great. They're great for inspiration. You can let us fly with our creativity if we're really in the groove and we're like, "All right, I got you," which nine times out of 10, that's completely acceptable too, if you have no clue as to how you want your hair done. We can definitely suggest things. But if you want to have a little bit of say into how you're going to look for the day, bring some pictures. It's great.

Leah Longbrake:
Because even if the picture that they show you, maybe that won't work for their hair, there could be a similar style that you can recommend.

Taylor Roby:
You got it. You got it. Exactly. That's exactly... Pictures are great. Again, the more time spent in a consultation, the more we understand each other and have clear expectations, better results come with clear expectations.

Leah Longbrake:
That is such a great tip and a great point. Is there anything else that we haven't touched upon that you want to make sure we know when it comes to bridal beauty?

Taylor Roby:
I guess just a quick recap. I think we've hit it all, Leah. And really brides, get to know your face shape, get to know your hair type, please bring pictures, bring if you would like if you have a hair piece or a veil, your type of veil that you like, bring all of that to your stylist's attention and talk about it, and have a really great conversation, have many conversations, bring a bottle of wine, chat about it. Because this is your special day and these pictures last forever. And your hairstylist, it is, I'm sure, the upmost important thing to her that you feel beautiful and your best on your wedding day.

Leah Longbrake:
How can we get more information about you and the Salon at Bratenahl, Taylor?

Taylor Roby:
You can call me any time at the salon. I'm working Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, those are our COVID hours. You can always email me at [email protected] And you can look me up at the Salon at Bratenahl. That's my home. That's how you get ahold of me.

Leah Longbrake:
Taylor, thank you so much for being with us today. This has been fantastic advice, and we really appreciate you helping us look our best.

Taylor Roby:
Leah, I can't thank you enough for having me and thinking of me. I adore you. I adore you. I adore you. And I look forward to our next visit in the salon.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes. Thanks for listening to Weddings Unveiled. Make sure you subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. A special thank you to Bridgette Coin and audio engineer, Sean [inaudible 00:40:25] Hoffman. Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

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