Jessica Ciofrone, owner and lead stylist of BOLI Preferred Vendor Bridal Rush, values connection and honesty with her brides
Many brides find that choosing a hair and makeup artist is one of the hardest decisions to make. Of course you’ll want to hire someone who can fully execute your wedding day vision (if you even have one at all!) but you’ll also want an artist that feels like a best friend, confidant, and expert all rolled into one.
That’s where BOLI Preferred Vendor Bridal Rush comes in. There’s a reason you’ll find their name mentioned in countless glowing reviews, and why they were the recipient of BOLI’s Certificate of Appreciation at the 2022 Summer Soirée – their expertise, compassion, and dedication have earned them an impeccable reputation in the Long Island wedding community. It’s a standing that owner and lead stylist Jessica Ciofrone takes seriously, and one that she’s worked for decades to achieve.
“This is a work family, and I put that first.” – Bridal Rush
After enrolling in college classes and deciding it wasn’t a good fit, Jessica transitioned into a hairstyling career. However, those first few years weren’t without challenges. “I was working in a salon in my early twenties, and had built up quite a following,” she explained. “I left to have my first daughter, and when I came back, the salon made it very difficult for me to both come back and be a mom – in so far as to take all my client contacts from me, and everything that I had worked for six years to build. I was devastated.”
But that devastation led to inspiration. “I said to myself, ‘there has to be a better way.’ I had no business background, no experience, but people always told me that I was good with updos and formal styling. I wanted to create a better working environment for women, so they had the flexibility to be able to work, make some money, and then also be moms. And it all just sort of evolved organically.”
While Bridal Rush started over a decade ago as one of the first companies to offer on-site hair and makeup services, they ultimately grew big enough for their own brick and mortar. “I had my first salon space and did Bridal Rush on the side, but eventually we built our own studio separate from the salon,” Jessica said. “We’ve been building in New York for quite some time, and we’ve recently begun building teams in Boston, Connecticut, and Tennessee.”
Even as Bridal Rush grows, Jessica stays true to her core business values. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting a lot of women who come to work for Bridal Rush, and they realize that this is a work family, and I put that first.”
“Unique, individual beauty – that’s what we’re all about.” – Bridal Rush
Thanks to a diverse team of talented and experienced artists, Bridal Rush specializes in a wide range of looks. “We’ve gotten the chance to work with a lot of different people, and a lot of different styles,’ said Jessica. “We can do full glam, we can do natural looks, but we always focus on something that’s timeless.”
Years in the field led Jessica to notice certain trends. “Long Island is really known for high-glam looks and transformations, which I totally respect and admire,” she described. “But, I also feel that leaves out a group of women who maybe aren’t that type of ‘glamorous’ person, or that don’t like that look, and they don’t know where to go. We’re all about taking someone and letting them see how amazing they can look and how beautiful they can feel. Unique, individual beauty – that’s what we’re all about.”
“We represent timeless beauty and positive living,” she continued. “That’s a driving point for our brand. Making our brides feel like they belong somewhere. We’re cheering them on for a special day in their lives, and creating something that can stand the test of time.”
“We really want to connect with our clients.” – Bridal Rush
What can you expect when booking with Bridal Rush? “We really try to customize the process, and tailor it to the individual,” Jessica detailed. “Everyone has a different situation, and wedding planning can be stressful, so we try to be the least stressful part of the process.”
That customization applies to nearly all parts of Bridal Rush’s services – from trials to payment plans. “If you want a trial before booking, you can do that. If you want to book and have a trial closer to your date, you can do that too. We offer the option for on-location trials or in-studio trials. We even try to schedule the trials around, say, a photo shoot or engagement shoot. That’s not always feasible, but we try. Then once someone decides to book, we discuss payment and what that looks like for them. We want it all to be what’s going to make the bride most comfortable.”
Ultimately though, you should expect a team of artists who are ready to listen. “Our company is one that’s been around for a while, and we really want to connect with our clients,” said Jessica. “We want their honesty, we want to know how they feel about their hair and makeup or just the wedding planning experience. Sometimes you need somebody on the outside who has experience with these things, which we do. We want to be a sounding board for our brides.”
In fact, Jessica believes that a connection with your hair and makeup artist is one of the most important factors when deciding who to hire. “When you feel connected to the person doing your hair and makeup, it can change the vibe of your whole morning. I try to pair up our brides with stylists that I think will be the right fit, because everyone needs something different. Some girls want music and laughter, some want peace and quiet. So just like booking, I tailor the artists to the individual as well.”
“That reaction is everything to me.” – Bridal Rush
With over 20 years in the wedding industry under her belt, it was hard for Jessica to pick just one career highlight. However, a few special and rewarding moments came to mind.
“I worked with a handful of girls who were suffering with hair loss or alopecia, and those are the ones that stand out to me the most,” she remembered. “They come in thinking there’s no hope, there’s nothing they can do. So when you transform their hair into something they never thought was possible, that reaction is everything to me. It’s the most amazing feeling.”
“Be true to who you are.” – Bridal Rush
Jessica had a few valuable words of advice for Long Island brides. “Put yourself first, because a lot of brides will put the happiness of everyone else before themselves,” she offered. “Before you know it, it’s all gotten away with them and they’ve lost themselves in it all.”
In the same vein, she advised knowing yourself and sticking with what you like the most. “Be true to who you are. There will always be trends, or the latest looks with hair and makeup. But you want to look back at your photos 20 years after your wedding and still see yourself.”
Finally, Jessica stressed the importance of staying present. “Being in the moment with your significant other is, to me, the top priority. You can get caught up with your bridal party or acknowledging your guests which is important, but the day goes fast and you don’t get those moments back. So be in the moment with your fiancé.”