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A Guide For The Bride: Top Questions to Ask Before Booking a Makeup Artist

Feeling overwhelmed planning your big day? You're not alone; I have met more brides recently who are feeling more overwhelmed than ever planning their special day. I wanted to write this post to help guide all you brides-to-be in asking the right questions to your potential makeup artist. If you're still not sure if you need a makeup artist, click here to read my post about why you absolutely need a makeup artist for your wedding!

1. Get in touch with prospective MUAs by emailing their email or calling them, do not DM them via Instagram or Facebook.

This isn't really a question, but if you're serious about booking a makeup artist or finding out more about their services for your wedding, please go through the proper channels of communication. I can't tell you how many people I have missed connecting with because they have used the DM feature on Instagram or Facebook Messenger instead of contacting me via phone or email. Instagram and Facebook don't always notify the user that there is a message request from someone they haven't spoken with before. The email button or text/phone buttons and/or contact information are listed for a reason, please use them.

2. Ask them if they're available on the date of your wedding.

Makeup artists book out quickly these days, often months in advance, so contacting them in plenty of time for your special day and being upfront about when you need them will help you book a makeup artist faster than if you simply contact asking the price of their services. Also seems obvious, but I have fielded a lot of emails from brides who list a ton of great details about what they're in search of for wedding makeup, but fail to mention the date. Putting it in the subject of your email (if emailing) helps save time.

3. How much? But you have to provide the details!

The question everyone wants to know, but are you including the important details? This is more crucial than you think! I want to be able to have as much information about your bridal party and the services you seek so I can provide you with the most accurate price. Include the following in your initial inquiry:

- Size of your bridal party and who is in the bridal party (example: a bride and 3 bridesmaids, mother of the bride and a flower girl)

-Location of where you're getting ready (you want to make sure that your makeup artist is willing to travel to wherever you are getting ready and/or if they have a travel fee they can add that in to the price)

-Time the bridal party needs to be ready (If you have a bridal party totaling 8 people and have a small window to get ready in, that will require multiple assistants and probably also cost you more)

-What exactly you are looking for (the makeup style, services you're seeking, like makeup and hair or makeup only...)

4. Is a bridal trial included? What about for the bridesmaids?

If the makeup artist does not include a trial, it is important to insist on one. I have had brides decide they don't want a bridal trial and while it can be done, I advise against it. The trial allows you to see how the makeup artist applies makeup on you and will tell you whether or not they will be able to translate your vision to your special day. Think of the trial like an interview. If they don't meet your needs on the trial you have some options, schedule another trial to make it right or decline that artist and search for another. If a trial isn't included in the price, ask them how much for one, it's not a detail that you want to leave out! A trial before the wedding will also help you get ready faster on your wedding because the artist can make a note of products used and recreate the same look in half the time. If you want a trial for your bridesmaids, ask about that too and whether or not that is included in the price. I do not offer that as part of my overall price for a wedding party, but that does not mean that I won't do that upon request.

5. Are lashes included? What do we have to provide?

Some makeup artists to not include false lashes into their pricing. If that is something you want, please be sure to either mention that in your wishes in your initial inquiry. If you want to provide your own special lashes, please mention that to them too. Also, if you want lipstick for you and/or your wedding party to touch up with during the wedding day, please mention that. Some brides only want a sample cup for one touch up, other brides want a brand new tube of lipstick for each member of the bridal party. Whatever your wishes are, be honest, and ask what is an option. A lot of brides elect to have their wedding party provide a lipstick they want to wear so they have it to touch up with. Discuss this with your MUA so you know exactly what you need to provide.

Professional artists should not make you go out and buy a full face worth of products to use before the wedding, they should be providing a full kit in my opinion. Always a good idea if you're not sure to find out by asking if you have to provide anything when going to your trial and/or on the day of. This could influence your decision about whether or not to book that particular artist.

6. How much is required for a deposit?

A makeup artist is just like any other vendor for the wedding, they are in demand and will require a deposit to hold the date and/or purchase supplies. Find out when they need the deposit and how much it will be.

7. Does the artist supply a contract?

Protect yourself and make sure you know the conditions of the makeup artist's terms. If your artist doesn't provide a contract, insist on one. It's up to you whether or not you trust your artist and your relationship with them prior to the wedding. For a number of years I used to not provide a contract and was lucky that I didn't have to. I have been really lucky and have had the best clients, but is now something I provide to every bride, regardless of our relationship. A contract is something to request as a bride if for nothing else, your peace of mind and to summarize for you what it is you're getting and what you can expect if you need to change the terms of your contract, like adding or subtracting people from your wedding party.

8. What are the artist's forms of payment?

Nothing worse than showing up for the day of your bridal trial and/or the day of the wedding to pay the final amount and you don't have the correct form of payment. Know before you arrive and if you're not sure, ask, do not assume! With the rising cost of fees for things like Square, it makes it difficult for artists to make their full amount, especially for small wedding parties. Be open to other forms of payment besides credit card or check. Apps like Venmo and PayPal make it so easy for artists to accept payment and it's pretty easy for all involved.

9. Do you accept payment from one person or can the cost be broken down per person?

This might have been addressed in your initial questions or their response to you, but the more information you can provide about who will be paying is so helpful to the makeup artist. If you plan on paying for the whole thing, tell the artist that. I have a lot of brides who aren't sure how to track whether or not each member of the bridal party paid and it can be done if it is set up ahead of time. If you wish for the bridal party to pay for their makeup separately, provide your artist with a list of names of your bridal party and how they will be paying. That way when the wedding day comes around, the makeup artist knows exactly who is in the party and how they will pay so they can expect that form of payment. It's a small detail that will help save so many headaches right before the ceremony.

10. Any other questions, ask!

Your makeup artist is here to help you. If you open the lines of communication with your makeup artist it will help make all of your wedding day stressors go away before the wedding. I appreciate brides who feel comfortable enough to come to me and ask questions. I feel good helping the bride have the wedding of her dreams because I knew exactly what she wanted and exactly what her needs were before the big day.

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