Dakota & Andrew’s Mountaintop Wedding – Photo Credit: Siobhan Lorraine Photography
When you think about the morning of your wedding, it’s easy to daydream about being surrounded by your best friends, drinking mimosas and being totally pampered. I mean, who doesn’t love having someone play with their hair and make them look totally fab?! But before you can jump into the pampering, you’ll want to find the perfect hair and makeup artists for your wedding day so that you look your best and have a relaxing wedding morning. So how do you hire the right hairstylist and makeup artist to boost your wedding day confidence?
Pick Your Style Preferences
Before you start sending emails and setting up trials, it’s so important to have a good idea of what you actually want. Yes, your stylists should be happy to give you advice and suggestions, but they probably don’t know you and your personal style. Whether you go to Pinterest, bridal magazines, or lookbooks, you’ll want to be prepared with a few hair and makeup styles that you think would look great on you for your wedding day. Keep the model’s skin tone and hair type in mind to see if the same look could work on you, and ask your potential stylists what they think about those looks.
You may have preferences beyond just the style; if you have specific tastes in makeup brands, hair products or styling tools, feel free to ask about those products. Some makeup artists only work with a few specific palettes, so if the artist is all about Too Faced and you strictly use Urban Decay and want the same for your wedding day, you can ask your potential artist to use your preferred brand or opt for a different makeup artist altogether.
Hiring a Team or Two Solo Acts
You’ll also want to think about if you’d prefer to hire a hair and makeup team, or if you want to choose individuals. This will really affect the way you search for your artists, and you can narrow down your search once you determine your preference. If you plan on having a bunch of ladies styled by the hair and makeup artists, we highly recommend hiring a team, because they’ll have the best experience with styling multiple girls at the same time – it takes some serious teamwork to get 7 girls styled on time without making the morning feel rushed, and a hair and makeup team will know how best to work with each other.
There are great reasons to opt for individuals, as well, so don’t think a team is the only way to go. If you have a hair girl who’s been taking care of you for the last few years, please, PLEASE ask her. She already knows your hair and everything that’s been done to it, so she’ll know how to make it look great. Plus, hello! She is already invested in your hair since she’s been dyeing, styling and cutting it for as long as you both can remember, so she wants to make you happy, see you look your best, and she might even cut you a deal that she wouldn’t give to a stranger.
Whether or not you’re opting to hire a hairstylist you know, you can always ask if the stylist has recommendations for makeup artists they love working with. And the same is true if you hire a solo makeup artist first. Ask for recommendations so the day goes smoothly and everyone feels their best.
As you start emailing with hair and makeup artists, consider asking the following:
- Are you an individual stylist or part of a company?
- Do you specialize in hair, makeup, or both?
- How many weddings have you done?
- How would you describe your style?
- Do you have a portfolio I can see?
- Do you have references or past clients I can talk to?
- What is the price of your most popular service, and what does it include?
Set Up Consultations
You’ve probably heard a girlfriend or the internet complain about how expensive hair and makeup trials can be, so before you think you need to set up trials with your top three options for each, STOP, do not pass go, do not throw out hundreds of dollars.
Consultations and trials are different, and you definitely want to set up consultations first. Take the top three or four stylists you’re interested in working with and set up a phone consult. If you’re working with a company that has multiple stylists, we recommend asking to chat with a stylist who will be available on your date. Use this time to talk about your hair/skin type, their recommendations based on your favorite styles, and what working with them looks like.
You’ll also want to get to know their personality a bit – this part is pretty important since you’ll be spending a lot of time around them the morning of your wedding! They should be someone who makes you feel comfortable, cared for, and confident so that you’re glowing on wedding day, and not just because of the makeup. If you feel like they might be a good fit, don’t forget to ask these questions:
- Do you have a written contract?
- What payment methods do you accept?
- Do you require a deposit or any payment upfront?
- Is there an added fee for a trial run, or is it included in the booking price?
- Can you duplicate a look I like from a magazine or picture?
- If someone in our party has a makeup allergy, what are our options?
Go to Trial with Your Fav
After you’ve had a consultation to see if you like the artist as a human and you like their suggestions, ask to set up a trial! Yes, you’ll likely end up paying for this trial service, so plan to meet with your favorite stylist/artist from your consults (if the favorite doesn’t work out, you can always set up a trial with someone else later).
When it’s time for the trial, bring those inspiration photos with you, even if you talked about them during the consultation, because you want to make sure the artist styles you the way you want. Also, don’t forget to bring your chosen hairpiece to see how they can work it in. If you don’t have the hairpiece yet, bring something similar to what you want, or ask the hairstylist what kind of hairpiece or veil they would recommend with your look.
As the hair and makeup artists work through your trials, they might try things you’re not crazy about, but they should be more than happy to make changes until the look fits your style – be sure to take photos of each finished style so you can reference what you love and want to change. Ultimately, you need to be fully confident and in love with your look, so don’t worry about hurting the vendors’ feelings if they did something you’re not crazy about. Advocate for yourself, and if that’s not your strong suit, bring along Mom or a bridesmaid who can help you.
Discuss the Logistics
So, you’ve had your trials, love your look, and feel ready to book the hair and makeup artists. But before you lock in, make sure you ask those all-important questions that will make sure you’re working with the best vendors for your day.
Do you bring all your own supplies (makeup, hairdryer, curling iron…)?
Do you travel or do I have to come to you?
What is the cost to style the bride?
Can you style the whole bridal party? What is the cost per additional person?
Do you have any assistants who will be helping?
How long will everything take?
Will you help you plan out the getting ready schedule?
Will you leave anything for touch-ups?
What is your backup plan if you’re unable to be there?
Do you offer extensions or lashes, or any other specialty services?
Do you offer and recommend airbrush services for my skin type?
And finally – don’t underestimate the importance of this question – ask your potential stylist if there is anything you should do before the wedding to prepare your skin/hair to look its best. The stylists should care about having a great canvas to work on, want you to look amazing, and be more than willing to give some great tips. If they aren’t willing to help you prepare, they honestly might not care as much, and that’s no bueno. Surround yourself with friends and vendors who are all in on supporting you and helping you look and feel your best on such an important day.