Hair we go! Getting the best out of your bridal hair.

Don’t worry, it’s not a blog post where I am about to rant (although if let off my lead for long enough, I could find plenty to rant about!) but instead a post about my bridal hair experience.  My wedding hair was my biggest (and most expensive!) wedding regret.  In this blog I’ll talk you through my experience and my recommendations as a result.  I’m certainly no hair expert, you just have to see the way my two girls leave the house in the morning to understand that point, but I did learn some hard lessons.

If you’re anything like I was, you will be really struggling with what to do with your hair on your wedding day.  I started to grow it although I think I did this because that’s what everyone seems to do when they start planning a wedding.  I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my hair so the decision to grow it without a plan, in hindsight, seems a bit odd.  But we all do odd things when it comes to our wedding planning and we rely on ‘experts’ to help guide us.

I picked a local hair salon where I’d been getting my hair cut and coloured for a long time.  The owner was young and charismatic and I felt comfortable.  Again, in hindsight, perhaps too comfortable as I failed to recognise that this should have been a business relationship and I allowed myself to be taken in by the friendly and welcoming environment.  Now, please don’t get me wrong, there was nothing sinister afoot with the salon, this was all to do with me and my confidence (at the time) in not speaking up for what I wanted for fear of upsetting those involved in my wedding hair.

I wasn’t happy – I was the one responsible for saying so.  

Here ends lesson one…  If you’re not happy with your hair during the trials or on your big day, say something at the time.  Don’t worry about upsetting their feelings.  So, they may have just spent the best part of a few hours doing your hair but if it’s not doing it for you, then say something.  Be honest.  Don’t walk away thinking that it’ll be alright on the day or you’ll ‘just have to live with it’.  If they are professionals, they will do their utmost to help put it right and provide you with the reassurance you need.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with the two trials I had which cost nearly £350 (I hope Mr Tantrum doesn’t read this blog!).  At that point, the right thing to do would have been to walk away and to find a hairdresser that ‘got’ me.  When I think back to my trials, I think that the style and nature of the salon was not a good fit for my wedding hair.  I often tell brides when they buy a headpiece that it is an extension of your personality.  If you’re not into showboating or being the centre of attention, steer clear from statement making headpieces.  The same is the case with bridal hair.  If you like sleek, calm and sophisticated hair, you’re not going to feel comfortable opting for a messy up-do for your wedding day.  It’s just not a good fit for you and you are what is important here.  Therefore lesson two is:

Go with your gut reaction to your bridal hair and above all be comfortable.

At the beginning of this blog, I talked about growing my hair and not really knowing why.  Again, on reflection I think that this didn’t help.  For someone who makes bridal accessories, you’d think I was on top form when looking at bridal hair styles but for myself, I just couldn’t see it.  I needed help to identify what was best.  Mr Tantrum was no good, he just told me not to have an ‘alien head’ (a french roll to you and I).

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Credit: Stylesweekly.com

I relied solely on the opinions of those that didn’t really know me or get who I am.  Those I was paying to help me.  I should have asked my friends.  Those that know me would have been far better placed to help advise.  I suppose in a way it’s like dress shopping.  You don’t take those with you that you don’t trust the opinion of so why do it with hair?  Lesson 3 to share then is:

Know what you want and get trusted advice.

Finally, some practical tips about wedding hair.

If the hair package offers additional services such as breakfast, like mine did, make sure you ask for details as to what time it will be arriving and if pre-orders are necessary.  My package involved bacon sandwiches but we had to ask repeatedly and in the end, my Matron of Honour had to run out and get them as the salon was ‘busy’ and they didn’t have the staff to do it.

That’s another good point, if you’re paying to have bridal hair done and quite a few of you, you kind of expect that you are going to be the only customer that is being focused on.  This didn’t happen with me and regular clients were coming in to the salon.  Not a problem if you’re expecting it but I certainly didn’t expect my hair to be done in amongst these clients.  Perhaps selfishly I wanted 100% paid to my hair and not to have different people dip in and out whilst colour was put on another lady or a quick trim carried out.  Get confirmation about who is going to do your hair and what other commitments they have.

And lastly… Get a quote for the wedding hair on the day in writing and if possible, pay via credit card in advance.  My hairdresser gave me a quote but half an hour before I was due to be at the church (still not dressed or made up!) the hairdresser kept me whilst she tried to tally up what had been done.  It was the same amount but the stress of those extra 10 minutes whilst this happened was awful.  It was £420.  So, yes a total of £770 for hair I did not like and an experience that has marred my wedding day memory.

All of the above mistakes made by me cost me valuable time at home getting ready, spending time with my father, drinking fizz with my closest friends and being the chilled out bride I had planned to be.  Time was also too short to get pictures with my bridesmaids before I left the house too and by the time I was married, this got missed.  I therefore don’t have any pictures of me with my bridesmaids.

I arrived at the church frazzled, stressed and with a hairstyle I was not overly happy with.  Whilst I think it bore some resemblance to what I asked for, it wasn’t right.  I had intended on putting an image in here for you to have a look but on reviewing my wedding pictures, I don’t have many where you can truly see it to appreciate!  It wasn’t just about the final hair though, it was the experience that let me down even more.

I hope the above has helped you when planning your wedding hair, if I’ve saved just one bride from feeling as I did, I’ll be happy.

Ooh and one final top tip for after you’ve had your bridal hair done…

If you’re going to have a lot of backcombing, grips and hairspray, you’re going to need a bit of help.  My top tip, once you’ve removed all of the pins, is to take a large bottle of cheap conditioner into the shower with you.  Pour the contents onto your wet hair and let the conditioner work through the hairspray and backcombing with ease.  Once you can run your fingers through your hair again, wash it as normal and happy days, you’re done!

What’s on offer?

Whilst I do offer a full bespoke service where you can work with me to create something from scratch, it’s good to know that there are other cost free options to customise your jewellery and headpiece.

I like to ensure that my headpieces have a refined finish to them.  There is nothing worse than paying for a headpiece, getting it home and finding out that the wire on the band is all exposed or the band itself tarnishes or pinches.  I therefore only use bands that are fully adjustable to ensure you don’t get that horrid pain behind your ears.  This is particularly important for those brides that wear glasses.  I like the bands to feel comfortable but they should look good too.  I therefore offer free band wrapping on all headpieces sold on my website.  I offer dark brown (most popular), light brown, latte, light gold (great for blondes – see sample below), gold, silver, bronze, black, white and ivory.  You just need to tell me what you’d like.

When it comes to other changes that can be made, you can request the pearl colour on made to order pieces is changed.  I use Swarovski pearls in the majority of my pieces so changing pearl colours is not difficult. The standard pearl colour is ivory (see below) but I am happy to change them to white at no extra cost.  The other colours will depend on availability as to whether or not there is an additional charge but if this is the case, it is usually fairly minimal.  Again, you just need to tell me what you’d like.

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Finally, crystal colours can also be changed upon request.  I love working with colour and don’t get a lot of opportunity to do it in bridal unless a bride asks for it so you’d be helping me out!  Below is the same headpiece shown in two colour schemes, this is an old favourite of mine and although she’s no longer on the website, her name is Alison and is still available on request.

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Why me?

In my first blog post I took a little time to introduce myself so you knew a little about who I am.  I didn’t however go into detail about why you may want to chose me to help create your accessories for your big day.

I could go into masses of detail here about how fabulous my skills are in terms of making headpieces. My wire work and wire weaving skills are awesome, my stitching is neat and uniformed and my finish is impeccable but if you’re a true Tantrums and Tiaras bride, that is just ‘stuff’ and whilst important I believe you want more from me.  And so you should!  It is your wedding day after all.  Buying a headpiece or anything for your wedding should not be just buying a product, it should be an experience. You should love what you buy but also the process and this is something I believe in strongly.

My belief is that you should feel special when buying a headpiece from me.  You should expect something that has been expertly crafted, packaged beautifully and with first class service.  As it is only me here at Tantrums Towers, you’ll always be dealing with me directly when you purchase online.  The same is the case for my Etsy shop, you’ll only ever be dealing with me.  This means you’re in a perfect position to ask questions about the products you’re thinking of purchasing, where you can make special requests about changes to a product or engage with me to design something from scratch.

When commissioning a bespoke piece, some brides get nervous and ask themselves a lot of ‘what if’ questions.  “What if I don’t like it?” or “What if it’s too expensive?” are amongst the most common.  Well don’t worry!  I will not proceed with an order until such time as you are happy that you’re ordering what you want.  There have to be rules of course, there have to be for obvious reasons.  These are all detailed within my terms and conditions (the boring small print) available on my home page.

Price also gets people worried.  Well, the good news is that I don’t charge a design fee.  I’m sure I probably should and there are businesses out there that do, but I don’t.  The reason I don’t is that I believe it is all part and parcel of ordering a bespoke piece.  If you’re taking the time out to share your ideas and dreams with me, then I’m honoured to be part of that process.  When calculating the price, I use my experience to determine how much time it will take me to make it and the cost of the materials.  I place all of this detail into my pricing framework which enables me to help create your quote quickly and accurately.

Finally, there’s time.  I am fairly quick with my orders but I do have lead times to consider when ordering throughout the peak wedding season (March to October).  My lead times during this period are usually 6-8 weeks.  This also allows for the ordering in of specialist materials.  You’d be surprised sometimes how long some components can take to arrive, particularly those in rose gold!  My lead times for standard web orders are usually a lot shorter and if there’s ever likely to be a delay, you’d know within 24 hours of placing your order.  Items that are one off original pieces are usually dispatched immediately and in any event within 72 hours of being placed.

So, hopefully you’ve got a little glimpse into how I work and why I’d love you to order from me.  What I’ve not told you is that being a small business, every order means a lot to me and I do a little happy dance inside!

Now, what are you waiting for? E-mail me today at enquiries@tantrumsandtiaras.org

Kelly x

Who am I?

No, this isn’t a post where I’m trying to ‘find myself’! I thought I ought to take a moment to say hello and introduce myself to you all personally.  After all, if you are going to work with me to create something bespoke for your wedding, you’re going to want to know who you’re working with.  So, hi.  I’m Kelly Scully.

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Kelly Scully, Designer/Maker at Tantrums and Tiaras

Yes, I’m ginger!  Now, don’t let that hold you back particularly as I look fairly decent in this picture thanks to the awesome talents of Katy from Make-up by Katy and Eliza from Eliza Clare Photography.  As well as having the best hair colour known to man, I am also a married mother of two girls (3 & 5) and work from my studio at home in Bicester, England. And yes, that is the same Bicester that houses the Designer Outlet.  In fact, the studio is just 5 minutes drive from there!

Designing and making for Tantrums and Tiaras isn’t all I do either, I actually work full time.  I’m often asked where I find the time to devote to being a mum, working full time and running a successful business.  The quick answer is I don’t know!  There are only 24 hours in a day and however much people say it’s about ‘managing time’ I’ve got to be honest and say I don’t agree.  You’re never going to able to manage to negotiate more hours in a day so for me it’s about energy.  If you manage your energy effectively, you can do anything you want and I’ve been running this business for over 10 years now.  I LOVE IT!

My skills are entirely self taught.  I didn’t get an arty qualification at college or even do art as a subject beyond middle school.  You’d appreciate this fact quite quickly if you ever saw glimpse of my sketch book!  I’ve learnt how to do what I do over the years, starting with making jewellery as a child.  I used to use gardening wire from the ironmongers back then but it was the 90’s and I was young so I can be forgiven I think.

When making a new headpiece I usually have a really clear idea in my head of what it is I expect it to look like on.  I’ll do some blogs later about how my brain was working on the days I designed some of my collection as they usually all have a story behind them. Sometimes I make a piece from scratch without even knowing where I’m going with it.  I’ve made some absolutely fantastic pieces this way and if I’m honest a few shockers too.

I’m currently re-branding the business as I felt for a little while I lost who I was in what I was doing and making.  Therefore you’ll be seeing a lot of change over the next few months whilst I go through this process.  The name ‘Tantrums and Tiaras’ will be one you’ll associate with class and elegance.  I will be keeping my ‘Affordable quality’ strap line as this is something I still believe in strongly.  Quality workmanship and high class design does not have to have a ‘designer’ price tag with it.  I do still have to pay the bills though so don’t expect a bargain either.  I can promise that when ordering a piece from me, whether it’s something from my website, a bespoke piece or something from my Etsy shop, you will always be getting great quality, top workmanship and the best in customer service.

I look forward to working with you in the future and if you get a moment, swing by and follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, whichever you prefer (secretly hoping you go for all 3!) and engage with me on those.  I’d love to hear from you.

Welcome to my Blog

After holding out for years, I’ve decided it’s time to start a blog.  So, over the next few days I will establish how I’d like the blog to look and once that’s done, I’ll begin blogging away.

If you have any areas you’d like to see covered, please let me know.  I have a list already but knowing what brides actually would find helpful in the world of accessories would be fantastic.

See you back again soon!

Kelly