This is a topic that comes up again and again on all the bridal forums and facebook groups online. I was reading a post by a bride yesterday which inspired me to write this blog piece today.
The bride wanted to know why Bridal makeup has a significant price different to special occasion makeup. She said, she felt like, as soon as she mentioned that she was getting married, to a supplier, the price would double.
I completely understand why this could be frustrating for brides and so i felt it was very important to write about. I’d like to shed some light on the subject and go into detail as to what the difference really is. Bearing in mind, this is my personal opinion and this is how I run MY business. Other makeup artists may run theirs differently, so this is how I do it, and my reasons for it.
Planning a wedding can be super stressful, it’s a big event and there is lots and lots to consider. Sometimes, you don’t realise what your supplier is doing behind the scenes, to make sure your day is an unforgettable one.
So let’s look at the main basic details as to why bridal makeup costs more than special occasion makeup (birthdays.engagements, nights out, maternity etc)
A client calls me and tells me her birthday is coming up, it’s in May on a Friday. I check my diary and let her know my availability. She confirms and sends me a deposit. On the Friday in May, I turn up at the clients desired location, I find out what kind of makeup they want. I deliver the makeup and then I leave. A special occasion makeup takes 30-45 mints.
A bride calls me and tells me she is getting married in 6 months. I check my availability and tell her I am free on her date. I then ask her to give me her availability for a phone consultation which lasts one hour.
The phone consultation goes over things like the location of the bride for her preview, the wedding location, the time the bride needs to be ready for, the bride’s personal style and makeup style, the wedding theme and feel. How many people are in the bridal party, what kind of lashes they want and what the benefits are, why airbrush makeup is amazing for brides and weddings, what their skin is like etc.
Then I will go on to find out more about the dress, the details, whether there is embellishment or not, the style, the fabric, the way it flows. According to these details, i design a bespoke makeup which will enhance but not overpower the dress. This means the bridal makeup is unique to the bride. It compliments her colouring, her face and eye shape and most importantly her dress and wedding.
Bridal makeup needs to look amazing, bring out the best in the bride but not be overpowering. You want to look back on your photos and think, wow, everything flows, I look amazing. Not, yeah the makeup looks great here, and it be the first thing you notice. It should add and compliment to the entire image.
I then run through the different packages I offer and the prices and discounts available. We will then proceed to book a preview. A preview, also known as a trial, is where the bride and I meet up in their desired location and I show them my vision for their wedding makeup. The bride then has the opportunity to make changes, play around with lip colours, styles of liner, different eye shadows etc. I don’t put a time limit on the previews, I am there until the bride is happy and we find a look she feels beautiful in. Usually I am with the bride for 2-3 hours.
I then take professional pictures on a professional camera (just like on the big day) and show the bride how the makeup reads on camera, but more importantly how it reads in different light. Daylight, indoors, outdoors, flash, low light etc. I then email these images to the bride so that they have them for their wedding planning albums, but also, so they can look over them in their own time. As a bridal makeup artist, i don’t just design a makeup which looks good in person, i design a makeup which looks good in person, on video and on camera in lots of different lights.
On Average, between the first phone call and the preview, 30-40 emails are exchanged between the bride and I. Compare this to one or two phone calls/emails from a special occasion booking. Between the Preview and the wedding I probably exchange a further 10 emails with the bride. I want to find out about the bride, how she is doing, and make a genuine connection, this means there is a trust and bond created and makes the wedding morning super enjoyable and lots of fun! Many of my bride’s I am still in contact with years later after the wedding. I do their maternity makeup for their photo shoots, I do their makeup for special date nights and so on. I like to establish a relationship which is hopefully an ongoing one!
Another part of this is that I am also there if the bride is unsure about anything beauty related, waxing, tanning, sunbeds etc. I am here to advise and support the bride in the lead up to the big day. There is lot’s of do’s and dont’s and sometimes finding information online can be quite overwhelming. I can recommend suppliers who I have worked with directly so the bride can feel confident in going to this person, whether its for nails, lashes, cuts and colour etc.
So, there is a lot more communication, and a lot more time. Emailing is a part of my job, and hours and hours go into it. When you work you get paid right? This is another reason why preview’s are not, and should not, be free. But often Bride’s expect them to be. You wouldn’t go to work for free would you? I will be writing a post on the importance of Previews soon.
Another huge difference between a special occasion booking and a bridal booking is the contract. Every bride receives a contract which agrees the details of the wedding and also is a legally binding document which guarantees me turning up on the big day. Now, that’s not to say because special occasion clients don’t have a contract, i won’t turn up, of course i would, i am a professional. But having a contract guarantees this, which for a bride on a wedding day, is super important. This applies to any supplier delivering a service on the day. Without a contract, there is NO guarantee an artist or supplier will show up.
Once the bride confirms the booking I will contact the photographer/videographer and introduce myself. I find out more about how they will be shooting, the more information I have, the better i can ensure the makeup looks amazing in any format. I also find out what time they need you ready by. A Lot of brides think their ‘I must be ready by’ time is the time that gives them enough time to get to wherever the ceremony is taking place. But usually the photographer will want to take photos before the ceremony and so time needs to be scheduled for this – usually half an hour to an hour. I will also very often contact the hotel and arrange for their to be a room near the bride’s room for makeup. Usually where the bride sleeps the night before the big day, will have clothes and other bits and bobs occupying space. Not only this, but there are always people in and out the room, it can very quickly become stuffy and stressful. Having a separate room just for hair and makeup means only people getting made up are in there, it creates a calm, relaxing and enjoyable environment for everyone.
I will also contact the hairstylist and make a schedule for the wedding morning which accommodates the hairstylist, the photographer, videographer and myself. This is sent to the bride so she has nothing to worry about on the big day, and ensures a smooth sailing morning.
For every bride I book, I keep a file. Notes from our phone consultation, Notes and Pictures from our preview, important key information such as addresses and times and schedules. This is an extra expense, printing, plastic wallets and folders, and of course, more time.