As a bride to be you have a lot of choices, what shade of blue do you want your bridesmaids dresses, the type of linens for your tables, how to fold said linens and about 500 more decisions. Booking your vendors are some of the most crucial decisions that can make or break your big day. As a seasoned wedding professional I have seen many perfect teams of vendors work harmoniously to create your vision of the perfect day. I also have seen a few disastrous and miscommunicated messes that have created a stressful and upsetting day. 98% of the time wedding days are smooth, wonderful and one of the best days of the bride and grooms life. Selecting your vendors for your wedding day is a tedious process, researching, emailing and calling many to find the perfect team for your day. Now I can't tell you exactly what chair vendor you need and what to look out of in your catering contract. What I can tell you is how to find the perfect hair and makeup team for your wedding. As a professional wedding artist myself providing services on over 400 weddings, working for many award winning teams in Florida I have learned a few things here and there. So here are a few common questions I get asked when looking for a hair and makeup team.
Where do I look to find the best teams in my area?
Over time I have found the most trusted sources to look for vendors are actually the most obvious. WeddingWire is
one of the top sites for finding vendors, it will give you the ten best vendors in your area including reviews and portfolios. As always on sites like this teams do pay to be on this site, so pay attention to the reviews, and visit their website. As a new Bride I always recommend joining The Knot a very helpful tool to assist you in searching a wide variety of vendors in anything and everything you would need.
Instagram is probably one of the easiest and most accessible ways to find artists. I personally love instagram it gives you a very simplistic view of the style of work the artist provide and you can really go off of aesthetics. If you are looking for super glam artist you just search for makeup artist in the area of your wedding, and look at the work. Do you like the style they have? Is it too much, or not enough? On the other hand be cautious on instagram, not everyone is a licensed pro and can cause you future headache.
Once I find an artist how do I go about booking?
A few things to note before you even make the first contact with a perspective hair and makeup team. Always make sure they are licensed in your state you can check this on your states DBPR .
Ensure they have a legitimate website and booking process, most companies will have you fill out a contact form. When reaching out to a artist/company a few things to make sure to include, what time your ceremony is, how many people want services, what time your photographer arrives, where you will be getting ready, and if you want a hair and makeup trial. Once you have discussed that the artist is available for your wedding and can accommodate your number of services here's a list of things you need to make sure happen in the booking process. Your artist should ALWAYS ask you to pay a deposit this ranges from 15%-50% of the final total. This ensures that your date is secure and they have it on the books. Secondly you should always make sure that you have a legitimate signed contract ensure you carefully read over it and ask ANY questions, no question is a dumb question. My biggest advice is to make sure you have a paper trail of everything discussed all the details and communications incase something happens.
Check every vendors website, make sure they have a legitimate way to make contact with them. This is my contact sheet this is how my clients make first contact with me. I get all the general information I need to know to properly book your wedding.
What are some red flags to look for when booking?
Just like a bad relationship, you have to pay attention to those red flags when you are hiring someone. It is crucial you know what questions to ask and what information to give. One of the BIGGEST reg flags is not having a legally binding contract. I have heard this story over and over on weddings that contact me last minute. I get hit with "well I found her on facebook and she said she had me on the books, but she cancelled a week before my wedding." Or "she just ghosted me." I know social media is the way a lot of people conduct business and that's perfectly okay. Just make sure you have a legitimate agreement. This ensures if something goes sideways the artist is on the hook for it, you will get your money back. I know everyone has a friend or a family member that is "really good at doing their own makeup." Girl listen as wonderful as that is you need a professional. You are paying most likely thousands of dollars on video and photos. Doing your own makeup and doing someone else's is a whole different beast. Without getting too preachy about professionals we have knowledge and experience that you cannot get from doing your own makeup. So I recommend just avoiding it all together and spend the little bit extra and hire a pro. Another big giant red flag is being sanitary, does your artist know how to properly clean and sanitize? You should never get a product applicator used directly from the bottle, you should ALWAYS see them scooping cleaning and using disposables. The biggest red flags are the most obvious, look for clean, insured and licensed professionals and you will be good to go.
Now the green flags.
Let's talk positives, things that should make your brain light up like a christmas tree with bridal bliss. Number one, they are quick communicators some artist have agencies and some run everything solo. I define quick communication is being contacted within 24 hours of inquiry or contact. If you are in the trenches of wedding planning you will soon find out quick communication is not as common as you think.
Number two is being questioned, if your first call with your team doesn't feel like a lightweight police interrogation odds are they don't have all the information they need.
Number three is talking you through the process and setting you up with expectations of the services you are being provided. Expectations are very very important for you to know exactly what you are paying for.
Number four is price transparency, now I am a big believer in laying it all out. No hiding fees no "well this is going to be added later." or "If this happens then you have to pay this person 10 dollars." You should know about the fees, all the possible fees that can apply. A few examples, traditionally companies will either have packages or they do a la carte. When you are looking at a price sheet, do they have all the possible fees like an early morning fee, a long hair fee, do they specify if airbrush or traditional makeup is more or less. Check with them what fees can possible be added to the services so you don't get a surprise charge when you are enjoying drinks on the beach during your honeymoon. Being informed and asking questions is the key to a successful booking.
Booking hair and makeup can be easy if you do the work to pick the right people. It's always a toss up when I speak to brides if hair and makeup is one of the first or the very last. I will leave you with a few last piece of advice. Never book hair and makeup less than 3-6 months out. After the pandemic brides are booking earlier and earlier, so your saturday for your dream artist could be taken a year out and you are in the business of trying to find someone else. If you want someone specific, or you want the good ones, DON'T WAIT. Find a reputable and experienced artist, that you like their work, and you like their vibe. You are spending a majority of your wedding day with this artist and their team, you vibing with them is probably the second most important behind the actual work they provide. Finally enjoy your process, this is a day you will remember forever pick the people to make it.