As we’re now officially less than one year away from saying “I do”, we’ve jumped back into wedmin mode to make a few more bookings – starting with bridal hair and makeup.
When I studied makeup at college, a lot of people said “oh great you’ll be able to do your own makeup for things in the future”. But a year or two after I completed the course, I packed up the kit and forgot most of what I learned.
So no, I won’t be doing my own wedding makeup.
But as someone who has studied it and likes to wear makeup most days, I’m pretty fussy when it comes to somebody else taking control of my face.
And then there’s the hair, which I have zero skill in.
Needless to say, I started the hunt for my bridal hair stylist and makeup artist fairly early to make sure I could secure the right ones for me.
I didn’t enjoy the process at all, but I’m over the moon with who I’ve chosen, so here are my top tips for finding your perfect bridal beauty squad.
Starting the search
Where on earth do you begin? There are a few routes you can do down for this:
- Recommendations from someone you know
- Recommendations from your venue
- Finding them at wedding shows
- Looking through online directories such as Hitched or Guides for Brides
- Scouting them out on social media
I personally found my makeup artist via Instagram (though I knew of her already it turns out), and I found my hair stylist via a recommendation from someone who booked them for their wedding.
The social media method is really great if you have the patience for it. Here are a few tips:
- Use local hashtags (for me that would be something like #buckinghamshiremua or #buckshairstylist), play around with a few for your area/your venue location
- Look at the tagged photos on the Instagram page of your venue, most suppliers who are active on social media will tag the venue in their posts
- Take a look through photos posted by your photographer and see if they’ve tagged any suppliers
- Search ‘wedding mua’ or ‘bridal hair stylist’ under Accounts and see what pops up
To book individually or as a package?
This was my biggest dilemma. I found some great packages, but I had a few fears running through my mind.
Would they be more skilled if they just focused on one thing? Not necessarily, but it’s a reasonable thought.
If I hate the result of one of my trials, I guess I have to cancel both hair and makeup and start again? Probably, unless it can be resolved for the big day.
What if they’re sick, do I lose my hair and makeup artist on the day? Potentially, though many use a team of people.
There are so many pros and cons to both options, but I decided to go with separate suppliers to eradicate any of the above fears.
Cost wise – I didn’t find it worked out too differently. Whacking the figures into a spreadsheet really helps you break it all down!
What sort of person should I book?
That all comes down to your personal taste. I must have looked through 20 makeup artists and 20 hair stylists, and they varied massively in their ‘signature styles’.
By that I mean some MUAs tended to do more soft glam while others did barely there makeup, and some hair stylists went for bouncy loose waves while others did tighter curls.
I’m sure most can accommodate what you want, but it’s generally easier if you can find a photo of exactly (or near enough) what you want and use that as a guide for them.
At least you know they can do it that way, and it helps if it’s a style that somewhat follows how you wear your hair day to day, so you know you’ll feel confident with it.
If not, it’s like going to Starbucks and saying I want your pumpkin spiced latte, but without the pumpkin, twice the spice and maybe serve it in a different cup. Oh and I’ve never tried this before so I might not like it.
What should I be paying?
Again, that’s down to you and your budget. My budget is fairly small for this, but I saw some people in the various wedding Facebook groups that are paying a small fortune.
First consult your budget, and second their skill level. If they’re award-winning and near impossible to book, they’re probably worth the money, but if not, maybe they’re charging a little more than they should be.
Another thing to bear in mind in that they may want a minimum number of bridesmaids etc to make it worth their time, in the nicest way possible. I definitely encountered a few that wanted at least three bridesmaids in addition to myself.
Lastly, most will charge travel fees that can make or break the booking.
Final words of advice
Find someone local to save as much as possible on travel charges.
Spend plenty of time looking through their photos, and tagged photos, to make sure you’re definitely happy with their work.
Check they’re appropriately insured.
Check they’re completely free on your date and can accommodate all your bridal party members, if necessary.
See if you can find any reviews of their work online, especially from other brides.
And that’s about it! I hope that helps anyone starting this wonderful pre-wedding journey, but please drop me a message if there’s anything I haven’t covered.
All I need to do now is decide what looks to go for. Roll on the trials!