Hiring A Makeup / Hairstylist For Your Destination Wedding

makeupYou’re going to spend several hours with the person who does your makeup and hair styling on the day of your wedding.

It is extremely important that this person understands the look you’re going for and is also someone you get along with.

In this article, we are going to go over the best method of finding a hair and makeup artist followed by questions you should ask when hiring one.

Let’s start with how to find a reputable hair and makeup artist.

Finding a reputable hair and makeup artist

For most couples, bringing their own hair and makeup artist to a destination wedding would be cost prohibitive. In almost all cases, you are better off hiring a qualified local vendor to handle this.

Start your search by getting recommendations from the wedding venue and your destination wedding photographer, both of whom will have worked extensively with different makeup and hairstylists. They should be able to provide a list of qualified individuals they have had good experiences with.

In addition, you can also do a google search for a hair and makeup artist in your wedding location. For example, if you are getting married in Las Vegas, then search for “wedding hair and makeup Las Vegas Nevada” in Google. You’ll get dozens of vendors ready to work with you.

Once you have a list of people that you want to learn more about, start looking into each one more carefully. Do they have a website? If so, do they have a portfolio of their work online? Do they provide testimonials? How good is their work?

Once you have narrowed your choices down to two or three, start making actual phone calls to see how quickly they will respond.

While you’re speaking to them, get a feel for how comfortable you are with them. How easy are they communicate with? Do they “get” what you are looking for? Does this person seem supportive or are they talking over you? Does this person take their time to explain everything about what they do or do they seem rushed?

Here are some questions that you should be asking during that initial call.

Questions you should ask

How many years have you been in business?

What you are really asking is whether they have been around a while so you can be assured that they won’t just close shop a week before your wedding. One of the challenges of hiring vendors for destination weddings is that they can easily take a deposit and walk away with no repercussions. By hiring somebody who has been around for a while, the chances of that happening are minimized.

Do you work with brides exclusively?

Just because a vendor does not exclusively work with brides does not mean that they are not qualified. However, if your hair and makeup stylist exclusively does weddings, then their level of expertise will be far greater.

Can I see your work?

Many vendors (especially hair and makeup artists) will put up a sample of their work on websites like Pinterest. Ask to see if yours maintains a page there. In addition, your hair and makeup stylist may also have their own website. If they have neither, ask for actual photographs.

What is the total cost and what does that include/exclude?

Look to see how specific the quote is. Does it include hair and makeup? Does it include a trial session? Does the price include bridesmaids and your mothers? Is there different price for you versus your bridesmaids? Does it specify how much time he/she will be spending on you and on your bridesmaids?

Also ask what the price excludes. Many times, vendors will leave out specific extra fees which they tack on at the end. For example, some hair and makeup artists will charge a travel fee based on how far they have to travel to get to the wedding venue. Ask to see all fees that they charge including taxes and gratuities.

Do you offer packages?

Many hair and makeup stylist will offer packages for the bride, bridesmaids and the mothers. The more people you have, the cheaper it is per head.

What is the largest number of people you can accommodate?

If your makeup and hair stylist is a lone wolf, then there’s a good chance they won’t be able to accommodate a 10 or 12 person bridal party. So asking this up front will save you the headache of going through the rest of the questions.

Remember that if you have a lot of people in the bridal party, then you shouldn’t have a daytime wedding. Each person is going to take at least an hour to hour and a half with the hair makeup artist so if plan on having a daytime wedding, you and your bridal party will be up at sunrise in order to get ready.

How many weddings will you work on my wedding day? Will you be there?

Ideally, your wedding should be the only one they work the entire day. However, depending on the number of people in your bridal party, that may not be the case.

Many hair/makeup artists will book 2 to 3 weddings in a day so make sure you ask for the first time slot. If you end up being the second or third wedding they’re doing, you run the risk of having to delay your wedding.

Also ask whether the person you’re speaking to will be the person who will be doing your hair and makeup. Make sure when you go for your trial makeup session, the person who will tend to you then will also be the person at your wedding. Meeting with and talking to them ahead of time will increase your level of comfort.

Can you duplicate something if I bring you a photograph?

Many hair and makeup stylists accommodate this request. If anything, many of them prefer to know what the bride is looking for. However, some might not be comfortable working from an image so it is better to ask right up front.

Do you offer a makeup trial session?

If you are taking an advance trip to your destination, then make sure to schedule a trial session at two or three hair and makeup stylists. Simply make an appointment so you can see how comfortable you are with each one. Doing so will make your decision of which one you select a lot easier.

How much time will they spend at the actual wedding?

Who will do the touch up if your hair or makeup needs some tending to at the actual wedding? Will your vendor stick around for a few hours after the wedding is under way to provide the additional help? Do they charge extra for that?

If they don’t provide a touch-up services, then can they train someone on your bridal party to keep your makeup looking fresh all day?

How much time does the hair/makeup take on the day of my wedding?

Brides will require about two hours for hair/makeup. Your bridesmaids and mothers will require a little more than an hour each. If your vendor claims to be able to do a quality job in less time than that, then they may be shortchanging you somewhere.

How much deposit do you require?

Most hair and makeup artists will require 10 to 25% of the total package you select. In most cases, these are nonrefundable within three months of the actual wedding. While you’re at it, ask to see their cancellation policy too.

Do you have references I can call?

Most hair/makeup artists will happily provide you with a list of references of past brides. Spend a good chunk of time calling each reference and ask:

  • Were you happy with [name of vendor] services?
  • Would you recommend them?
  • Were they on time?
  • Were there additional fees that you were not expecting on your bill?
  • Were they professional and courteous with the bridesmaids and everyone else?
  • Is [name of vendor] easy to talk to? Did you find it easy to explain your needs?

Getting together a list of hair and makeup artists at each destination is not that difficult. The hard part is narrowing the list in selecting the right person for your wedding. The questions above will go a long ways to helping you figure out the right person to do your hair and your makeup.

What should you read next?

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