This supplier spotlight is on the fabulous Gemma Holiday of Gemma Holiday Hair Artistry. She is going to tell us what she offers brides and answer some frequently asked questions from brides and grooms.
Gemma is a multi award winning super talented hair artist, most recently winning regional hair stylist 2018! This is the 4th year in a row that Gemma has won an award from the very prestigious Wedding Industry Awards. Gemma’s work has taken her all over the UK, Europe and USA. Her work has been featured in many wedding magazines and blogs countrywide. Not only is her work amazing and the pictures speak for themselves, but she is really just an all round lovely person. In recent years due to high demand for her services, she has crafted her own pro team, all trained to the highest level by Gemma. You can be sure you are getting the best level of service that you would expect from Norfolk's best hair artist!
I love all latin music
Dream wedding hair client?
Crispy ringlets, grips being visable in a hairstyle, hair forced up and looking so unnatural.
What's your favourite look for wedding hair?
I love a glam look. We are definitely in a boho trend at the moment and I am loving all the plaits and the flowers, but for me a glam look is totally classic and is my go to, and always fun to do!
What do you feel like the next trend will be?
I think the boho trend will stay for a little while longer, but I think it will transition towards a more red carpet feel. Not as crisp as previous structured glam looks, but a softer version.
Even with the boho trend at the minute my brides are asking for a contemporary twist to make it a bit more current, so its already on the way!
What are your go to hair products?
Dry shampoo is the best thing ever, I use it every day without fail, so great for hair up. I've used a lot of dry shampoos but my favourite is always Batiste. Kenra professional texture spray - I like to use this for hair up as well, it gives more grip, but it's also great for that boho wave look as it gives more body to the hair. My favorite tools are Cloud 9 irons and Babyliss Pro Spectrum Tools.
What are your pet hates?
I hate the word bridal hair! The first thought that comes to my mind when I hear this word is crispy ringlets, hairspray and grips showing. I like to think the styling that we do is a million miles away from this; modern bridal hair, just dreamy hairstyling no crispy ringlets or grips in sight!
How many weddings do you do in a day?
Only one as I would never want my bride to feel rushed! I will also always stay on hand, up until you walk down the aisle, in case you need a touch up or even a hand doing button holes etc. I'm just there to help really. I have been known to stay late to do a second look and I can also stay with a makeup artist to make a pamper bar to touch up you and your guests as you party the night away.
Do you like to see inspiration from brides or any other bits of their weddings?
Before the trial I will ask clients to send me a handful of images of hair inspiration for the wedding. If they aren’t sure what they want and are looking for more input from me, then sometimes I will ask them to send me images that they really don’t like - as this is actually really helpful to find out what they do like. I also really need to see the dress - as you may want a boho look but have more of a classic dress, and depending on neck lines etc this will have an impact on the hair design.
After they have sent me a handful of images, I will save these to a folder and add some of my own inspiration I think the client will like, it gives us more options to discuss at the trial. At the trial itself I will take photos of all your looks and send them to you, but I will also keep them downloaded so that they are available on the day. This is also the same with the bridesmaids and MOTB etc. We will discuss what they need to have done and I will save looks that we have agreed on so we are on the same page for the day itself.
How long before the wedding should they have my hair trial?
I would recommend 1-3 months before. The reason being that the bride's hair will be similar to on the day, and the closer you do it to the wedding the style stays fresh in your mind. Of course, if they're unsure about booking and would make them feel more at ease, then I would do one whenever. We can always do another one later on to nail the final look!
Do they actually need to have a trial?
Yes - I would always recommend one - you want the day to run smoothly and be relaxed and calm. You might have a style in your mind thats not reflected by your stylist, so you both need to make sure you're on the same page with the look. I personally wouldn’t do a wedding without doing a trial to make sure we are both happy.
What do you recommend with scheduling? - do you prefer to set the timings, or be told when to turn up?
After the trial I will sit with the bride and we will work on a schedule for the day. I will always allow more time so that everyone feels relaxed and it's a fun environment. I like to have everyone ready at least an hour before, this gives time to relax, take a few pictures and see the registrar.
Some things people don't think about is the time of their wedding with regards to getting ready etc. If you are getting married at 11am and have 8 bridesmaids and want to do a first look before the ceremony, then obviously time will be very tight, and you might have to start getting ready at 5am! It's just something to bear in mind. Most of the time it's never a problem, but just think about how you want your day to run, as it's a regret i’ve heard a few times before from brides.
If they change my mind, can you do a retrial?
This has only happened to me once, as I will always try a handful of styles in the trial to be able to get an idea of a different looks you could do. Even if you fall in love with the first look that I do, I will always say well lets have a play and try some more just to see.
It's also nice to try a few out in case you decide you want a second look to maybe change to in the evening. But, if you are undecided and want to have another trial then that's fine by me, I want you to be 100% happy on your day.
Do you like to do trials with the veil or accessories, or does it not matter?
It is a catch 22 with hair accessories as you may buy one for the trial that you love, and then it doesn’t end up fitting in with the overall style and you're out of pocket. I have a selection of hair accessories to allow you to be able to visualise your look for the day, then after the trial you can go away and look for the perfect hair accessories. I am happy to liaise with you before you buy as well so we feel it is the perfect fit for your day. So unless you are 100% that you want that hairpiece and want to work the style around that, then maybe wait until after the trial.
The exception to this is the veil. If you already have the veil then please bring it with you as it's important where it sits in the hair and it's helpful for you to see the look as a whole. If you haven’t got one yet, we can have a chat about what types of veil will work with the look that you’ve picked.
What about people who want fresh flowers in their hair?
If you love flowers and want fresh ones in your hair on the day, then I highly recommend bringing fresh flowers for the trial. Speak with your florist and get a few key pieces from your flower selection that we can work with. We will design the perfect arrangement for your hair.
On the day, the florist will wrap the in wire and green tape and I can work them into the style. Don’t worry about timings, I can style your hair and then we will add them just before you're ready to go so they will stay as fresh as possible.
What kind of prep do you want the bride to do before the day?
We will discuss this in your trial as it's dependent on your hair type, but generally speaking, the day before is the best time to wash your hair as it is easier to work with on the day and will hold the style more. If this doesn’t appeal to you or if your hair is fine and needs to be washed daily, then we can always stiffen up with dry shampoo. Whichever way you do it though, I always say - shampoo but no conditioner!
What happens if your ill or have to cancel on the day?
Well for starters I’ve never cancelled on anybody in all the years I’ve been working. I would have to be dead not to turn up!
One of my pro stylists had a car accident and broke her back and her leg, and there was no way she could make some of her commitments. However as I have a pro team behind me, I was able to send someone else to do her work, which is the benefit of booking with me, whereas an independent supplier might not have anyone able to fill in.
This is a question that is relevant to so many suppliers though for weddings, and I would say, it is very rare, but on the unfortunate occasion that it happens, I would do my best to find an alternative. I work with so many lovely suppliers and I know they would say the same.
Thank you Gem for such a lovely chat, and insight into all your hard work!!
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