Deciding who will do your hair and makeup is one of the most overlooked planning items in preparing for your big day. Having your hair and makeup perfected by a professional on the morning of your wedding is the ideal way to ensure you have a calm lead in to the big event. The truth is, most of your memories from that day are going to be sealed by the photos that capture the day, so ensuring you look amazing in those photos is the best way to preserve your wedding memories.
It's fairly common that in the beginning of the wedding planning process couples will start by booking their venue, but when should you look to hire a hairstylist/makeup artist? When you are planning your wedding Shayla recommends you book at least 4-6 months out if you want to reserve your wedding date. Most hairstylists and makeup artists are booked ahead of time, especially during wedding season. If not booked early, the stylist you want may or may not be available for your wedding day (and your trial day) if left to the last minute.
When booking your stylist/artist there are a few questions you should be asking.
Will they be able to come to your venue to get your party ready or do you have to drive to them? If you are planing a destination wedding this could be a make or break detail.
Are they comfortable recreating that hairstyle or makeup look you have pinned on your Pinterest board?
Will you be the only wedding booked with them that day or will the person you are hiring be double booked?
Another great question Shayla highly recommends asking before you book your beauty expert is if they have a contract. Why would you want a professional with a contract? A contract answers all the other questions you might forget to ask such as "What is the cancellation policy?" A contract also gives brides the peace of mind knowing that both parties are fully aware of how many ladies are having hair and/or makeup done the day of the wedding. Details such as starting time and ending time should also be in a contract.
As an experienced cosmetologist and makeup artists, in the salon, Shayla witnessed bridal parties coming in to get ready and noticed they weren't really enjoying the moment because they were worried about time, traffic, and traveling back to their venue.
Conversely, Shayla notes that the brides she works with on site are always relaxed, laughing, joking, and living in the moment, which is the best way to spend your wedding morning.
Seeing the big difference in wedding day experiences brides were having, depending on whether they selected onsite or salon, inspired Shayla to encourage her brides to go for the onsite option. Being pampered at the venue and being surrounded by friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere is a big reason to find the right stylist and contract with them for onsite services.
Once the hair and makeup artist is booked, the contract signed, and the deposit paid, the number one question Shayla is asked by brides is, "Do I pay for everyone or does everyone pay for themselves?" There really is no right or wrong answer to this, Shayla goes on to explain.
"I have had Brides pay for her wedding party as a gift to them. I've also had mothers pay as a gift to the bride. I've even had brides who included gratuity in the price she told her wedding party they would be paying so they didn't have to worry about any surprises or carry extra cash. More often than not I would say the party pays individually for themselves, or the Bride offers to pay for one (hair or makeup) and the bridal party pays for the other individually. Etiquette allows for both options."
The bottom line is you definitely want to plan your hair and makeup at least 4-6 months out and research hairstylists and makeup artists who will listen to your needs and are willing to explore onsite options with you.