Three gown changes for the bride during the wedding? That’s so last year. This season brides are discovering a new big reveal to make their nuptial style a standout. While many brides switch to an updo hairstyle after the ceremony so that they can enjoy a night of partying, a daring few are going a step further. The bride vanishes during the reception only to return a few short minutes later with a stunning haircut. All that’s needed is considerable courage and a trusted hair stylist standing by for a lightning fast chop.
“More than half my brides cut off their hair immediately after their wedding,” says hairstylist AJ Palace, who is still energized from cutting her sister Kayla’s hair between the best man’s speech and the couple’s first dance. “If you’re planning on cutting your hair after the wedding — why not just do it at the wedding, and make it the coolest second-look reveal?”
“Kayla really wanted to change her look for the reception,” Palace said. “She knew she wanted to cut her hair short right after the wedding, so she floated this idea to cut her hair as her second look. She asked if I would feel comfortable cutting it at the reception, and I thought it was the best idea.”
Matt Fugate says his client and friend Tracey knew she wanted something different for the long waves that cascaded down her back during the wedding ceremony. “We talked about doing an updo for Tracey’s second look, which is what most of my brides opt for, because it gets their hair up and off the neck for the dancing and partying portion of the night,” said the stylist.
“But I knew Tracey wanted to bring out a drastically different reception look — and she wanted to cut her hair after her honeymoon anyway — so I asked her if she’d be up for a quick cut at the reception. She loved the idea,” Fugate added.
Speed is essential in pulling off a surprise wedding haircut. Fugate grabbed a razor and started hacking away at Tracey’s hair. He was done creating her textured, choppy waves in five minutes. “We both loved the energy of the whole thing,” he said. “Everyone was excited about it, and the shock and awe was awesome. It also made for a great photo op — the second look was so different, but so crazy-cool at the same time.”
Preserving the surprise requires secrecy as well as speed. “We kept it a secret from everyone, so we only had about 10 minutes total blocked off to do the cut,” said Palace. “Kayla and I snuck away quickly, right in between speeches and her first dance. I cut her hair dry, basically taking a few inches off the ends, and just touched up the style a little, making it cute and piecey with some soft bends for texture.”
“She added a red lip, had her hair chopped short, then walked out onto the stage for her first dance,” Palace explained. “She had this whole new energy — I’ve never seen her so confident.”