Booking a Bridal Artist: What to expect

Real Bride Mckenzie, Photograph by Nicole Elizabeth

Just got engaged? Common questions I hear from Bride’s to be are “when is the best time to book my bridal artist?” ,”What price should I be paying for hair and makeup?”, ” Do I need a hair and makeup trial?” Although all artist have different systems and pricing I will help give you a general break down from beginning of planning to the day of your wedding day based on my 7 years of experience in the business working as a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist and also being a team member of several bridal artist companies.

Timing: You just got engaged and you plan to have your wedding next year. You may think waiting until closer to your date to choose a team of makeup artist and hairstylist is a good idea but any professional vendor that specializes in weddings is usually booked a year in advance so I highly recommend starting your search and locking down your vendors. A professional will have a contract therefore your date is secured and you don’t need to worry about searching for someone available last minute.

Bridal Trial/Preview: Almost all bridal makeup artist and hairstylist will ask you to do a trial or preview (same thing) this is the opportunity to meet the artist, see how you work together, practice the complete look of your hair and/or makeup look. It’s an opportunity to see how your hair and makeup last throughout the day and address any concerns or changes you’d like to make in order to secure your look for your wedding day. All makeup artist have their own set prices based on their experience and many other factors however most of the time the trial is around the same cost as the wedding day service being that they are doing a complete application (including your lashes or airbrush foundation) and also usually spend more time with you that day to discuss your look and make any changes necessary .

Contracts and pricing: Being that Hair and Makeup Artist can be booked through a company or independent freelance artist, pricing does vary. Pricing is based on each individual artist own skill level, experience, products and equipment used, business expenses, etc. What I am getting at is that bridal artist have their set rates and, if professional, do not budge. So if you contact an artist and they are out of your budget I recommend keeping up your search for someone that is in your price range. A deposit is most likely required upon booking to save your date and each artist/company will have their policies in their contract.

The wedding day: Most likely your artist will travel to your hotel or getting ready location. They will then set up their makeup and hair equipment, light stand and makeup chair. I highly recommend when booking a hotel to make sure there is enough room for all of the artist equipment and, good lighting in the room. The professional will have a schedule made of the order in which each service is being done. Usually the Bride is somewhere in the middle to make sure you aren’t the first person being done and also with enough time to make sure you can finishing getting ready and get those beautiful “getting ready”photos.

I hope this helps with your planning! If you are in the San Diego, Orange County or Los Angeles area please refer to my website to book me and my team as your bridal hair & makeup artist!