Having a friend that can style your hair and makeup is truly an awesome perk! There are
a few things that you should definitely consider before taking the plunge and saying
"I do" to the offer.
My recommendations are based off of personal experience and working in the wedding industry for 10 years. I have seen almost everything imaginable! I was that friend that could always do makeup and hair, I think every group of friends has that one friend. In High school,
I was already getting requests for homecoming and prom makeup. It was truly my first experience in doing makeup on other people. I had no idea what I was doing as far as sanitation, but I certainly could put together that highly sought after smoky eye. In college,
I was the go to gal for my friends to get that fierce cat eye for the evening or for that date they had been looking forward to all week. I never minded doing the makeup and genuinely wanted to help out my friends.
I started working in weddings 10 years ago, it was until this point that I started to realize all the planning that goes into weddings. I’ve seen a lot and learned so much about the importance of what each wedding vendor contributes to the wedding process.
There are a few things to consider if using a friend as your hair and makeup artist for your wedding day.
1 Is your friend punctual? If your friend is the type that’s always running a good 45minutes late to everything, as she is walking in with her Starbucks drink; then you need to really think hard if this is a good idea. I have worked weddings where the bride decided to have a friend do all the hair at the same time as hiring a professional for makeup. The difference between the two was night and day. The friend arrived late, forgot her curling iron and caused major delay in the timeline. Not only did she cause the bridesmaids to run late, but she delayed the professional Makeup Artist in the hair and makeup rotation. Ultimately, the bride was late for her own wedding. Bottom line: If your friend is not punctual.... then stop here in your decision making. Think about all the efforts that have been put into creating a schedule from the getting ready time, to the first look and the start of pictures. I’ve seen brides forfeit their pre-ceremony pictures because of delays in the getting ready process. Your friend needs to know how to plan out how much time he/she will need for each person and start on time.
2 Does your friend do well in a high stress situation? Weddings are a joyous occasion, but occasionally they can become potential ticking time bombs. Weddings carry a huge emotional element, and this can change the vibe of the room throughout the day. Typically, the day starts out fun and relaxing...but as time gets closer and closer to the ceremony the atmosphere changes. I know that by the time the bride gets into my chair, the butterflies have started and the realization that she is about to walk down the aisle has kicked in for her. Professionals can tune out the emotional aspect and focus on getting the job done. I’ve had crying moms and brides in my chair many times, and not because they didn’t like what they saw aesthetically. They were stressed over a planning situation or an unforeseeable issue that arose. We as professionals keep the show going and know exactly what to say to help them to remain calm. We take on a therapy role all the time.
3 Can you be honest with your friend? Really honest? We always recommend getting a trial run done. Trials are the best way to visualize your ideas and see if they are truly going to work for you. Trials typically take longer than the wedding day application. There is a lot of discussion involved in developing your wedding day look and what you think you originally wanted you may end not wanting at all.
Professionals only want the best for the client. They want the client to feel good and love their look, this is how we rate our overall satisfaction with the job. Of course, we love the creative aspect and seeing what we can do with our hands. Ultimately though, we want YOU to love it. Most professional that are really good at their job will welcome any and all feedback. We are all ears. Sometimes it’s a little tweak here or a small change there. Sometimes, the bride completely changes her ideas and realizes she really didn’t want that smoky eye after all. Regardless, we don’t take it personal. It’s part of the job. We want to make it right. Sometimes, I can tell when a bride is holding back because she is such a nice person.
I will eventually pull it out of her and we both feel better about it. This comes with experience and confidence in your artistic ability. If your friend is not the type to take constructive criticism well, this will be challenging for her. As the bride, you shouldn’t have to settle for something that doesn’t excite you just because you want to spare someone’s feelings. If he or she is your best friend, and you can be completely honest in your feedback with that person then go for it. Otherwise, you may not end up with what you want. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a bride ask for my advice on how to get out of getting her friend to do her hair and makeup, because the trial did not go well.
4 Does your friend have a workable hair or makeup kit? An organized and properly filled kit is imperative to getting the job done correctly and efficiently. If your friend isn’t use to packing a kit, she may not have all the items that are necessary for completing the job. Artists don’t just pack the basics; they pack anything they will need to get them out of a sticky situation. The other issue to consider is sanitation. Brushes should be kept clean in between clients to stop the spreading of possible infections. Brush cleaner, alcohol, and disposable are completely necessary to apply makeup to multiple people in a sanitary way.
5 Will your friend care if she doesn’t look very good on your wedding day? Every wedding that I have worked and attended I was either late to or I had to get ready in 10 minutes, and didn’t feel like I looked my best. It’s just the truth- if you are getting everyone ready, you won’t have very much time for yourself. I’m the kind of person that was OK with not getting to spend an hour on myself, but for others they want to look amazing at your wedding too! The other truth.... weddings are tiring. Really tiring. Standing on your feet for hours, not eating, and cranking out person after person will leave you famished and exhausted. Don’t be surprised if your friend can barely make it to 9pm at the wedding.
6 Is your friend knowledgeable in bridal beauty? Bridal beauty is different than regular everyday makeup. It’s different than fashion or editorial beauty. I describe bridal beauty as the art of making someone look their absolute best while still maintaining their authenticity. Bridal beauty entails making sure that the hair and makeup can withstand for hours, waterproofing everything. Hair and makeup has to be able to stand up to heat, wind, rain, and dancing.
How do we do this? Well, we all have our beauty secrets on this. It’s not something you read out of a book or watch on YouTube. It comes with years and years of completing weddings in every kind of season imaginable. The other part of bridal beauty is how the hair and makeup will transfer to Photography and video. Will your friend know how to style you to look proper in both types of media? There are Do’s and Don'ts for both of these types of media.
These are my basic recommendations when considering to use a friend for your wedding day. There are of course exceptions. If your friend is a working hair or makeup professional, then by all means go for it! If your friend is just concentrating on you the bride and not 5 other people then you will probably be fine. I understand that everyone has a budget, and sometimes hair and makeup will get cut from the budget. You gotta do what you need to do, hopefully this will help you and your friend to plan accordingly.
Good luck and Happy Planning!