Finding a brief moment to sneak away from the reception without anyone noticing was the tricky part for bride Kayla and her sister AJ. They kept the big surprise a secret from everyone for months, including the groom, but with her scissors in tow, AJ quickly swept Kayla into the back room of the reception hall for the 15-minute window between the best man’s speech and the couple's first dance. As soon as they were out of sight AJ snapped a black nylon cape over Kayla's stunning white lace gown and quickly began lobbing off her long, blonde hair, watching the soft waves spill to the floor.
Just imagining Kayla’s quickie wedding day haircut might bring about heavy breathing and a rapid heart rate — like adding the 100th tier of crazy on top of a day that's chockablock full of stress. But it’s actually the most innovative bridal hair trend we’ve heard about in a long time — and for good reason.
Seasoned hairstylists AJ Palace and Matt Fugate tell us that most brides want to style their hair into a second look for their reception, and interestingly, those same brides almost always have an in-salon appointment to chop their hair after their honeymoon, so why not knock it out in one fell swoop? "More than half my brides cut off their hair immediately after their wedding," says Palace, who still raves about the rush from her sister Kayla’s wedding day chop. "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?”
Two very different wedding stories that both involve a wedding day hair chop, ahead. What's more, the wedding galleries are so cool, they might just convince you to ask your hairdresser stick around for your reception.
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"Kayla really wanted to change her look for the reception," Palace says. "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."
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The tricky part of pulling off a wedding day haircut? It has to be fast, because no bride should be away from her own wedding for more than 15 minutes or so. "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."
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Kayla made her big reveal to Griffin, and the photographer was able to capture the intimate first-look at the reception, before the newlyweds headed out for their first dance. "He loved it so much," Palace admitted, initially unsure of how her brother-in-law would react. "All night, he just kept thanking me and telling me how special it was that I was able to give Kayla this new look."
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"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."
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For bride Tracey's destination wedding in Belize, she knew she wanted Fugate, her longtime friend and hairstylist, to give her different styles for her ceremony and reception. For the first part of her wedding day, Tracey opted for long, luscious waves that spilled down her back, which was the perfect style for the bohemian vibe of her and fiancé Luke's ceremony.
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"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," explains Fugate. "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."
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Like Palace, Fugate ran into the issue of time, because he didn't want to keep Tracey from her guests for long. "I knew I could give her a precise cut when we were back in New York, but I didn't want everyone to be waiting an hour and a half for the bride to come to the party," he said. "So, I took like five minutes, grabbed my razor, and just started hacking her hair. We both loved the energy of the whole thing."
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After the cut, Tracey threw on her more casual party dress, popped on a brighter lip color, and when she and Luke were announced as husband and wife for the first time, she ran out with a totally transformed look. "Everyone was excited about it, and the shock and awe was awesome," Fugate explained. "It also made for a great photo op — the second look was so different, but so crazy-cool at the same time."