So you have it all planned out to the smallest detail...a beautiful wedding deep in the mountains of Colorado or on the beach in Bali. The perfect destination wedding. But wait...who's going to do your hair and makeup? You have looked around for artists in the area of the wedding, but find nothing. Or even worse, the people you find have work that just isn't up to your standards. What's a gorgeous jet-setting bride to do? Well, you have a few options...grab your coffee, let's discuss.
1- Take your makeup artist with you! No, really. Can I tell you how much I enjoy working on destination weddings? It's like a vacation, but there's work involved, so I can totally justify letting myself go out of town! (And yes, I do keep my passport current ;) You still get to relax and know that you'll look super foxy, and your artist makes sure you have the best skincare, makeup, and setting products for the climate and overall mood of your big day. Every artist may differ in how their rates would apply for something like this. Some may charge you a full day rate for every day, including travel days, while some might say "Hey, pay for my trip and feed me and we'll call it even". Most are somewhere in between the two. Regardless what rates and services you decide and agree upon, be sure that you have a signed contract for what you expect of your artist on what days of the trip. Just because you may have your artist travelling with you, do not assume that they are cool with doing your aunt's cousin's daughter's makeup 3 times a day, every day, unless this was what you agreed upon.
2- Hire a local makeup artist whose work you like to give you a series of wedding-specific makeup lessons. Whether you are good at doing your own makeup or completely clueless, it's important to know that there is a huge different between everyday makeup and bridal makeup. Not only the look, but the application and amounts. Lighting and environment can make a huge impact on how your makeup actually photographs vs. how it look in person. Not to mention direction on what kinds of products and tools you will need to purchase. Most makeup artists will also be willing to make you a face chart to take with you, so you are more easily able to replicate the exact look you decide upon on the day of your wedding.
So how do you decide which option is the right one for you? Some things to consider are:
- Lifestyle - Are you typically a more natural girl that doesn't wear makeup? If so, the investment that you will make on lessons, products, and brushes might not be up your alley. But if you enjoy wearing makeup, it could be the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. When Cincinnati photographer Lauren DiFulvio contacted me about giving her bridal makeup lessons, it was a match made in heaven. Lauren loved makeup, and wanted to be more knowledgeable on application for every day and work purposes. All told, between our time together and her makeup/skincare purchases, Lauren invested around $1,800. She now has a makeup kit that rivals my own personal stash!
- Confidence- When it comes to doing your own makeup, are you a nervous wreck? Is putting mascara on a surefire way to poke yourself in the eye? Some people just don't have the hand/eye coordination it takes to do really great makeup on themselves. Or perhaps your are farsighted or have shaky hands. Nothing to be ashamed of, just be honest with yourself and then make the best decision for you.
- Mood- On your wedding day, is doing your own makeup something you even want to worry about? Do you want to feel pampered and spoiled and relaxed? What about the days before and after the wedding- will there be other events that you'd like to look amazing for? If so, then you probably want to consider hiring your artist to come with you. Look, even though I can do some pretty killer makeup on myself, you can bet your Spanx that I will be hiring someone to do my makeup the day I get married. Why? Because that's the one day in your life that it's all about you! And on that, I fully intend to take advantage.
- Budget- Money, of course, is always a factor. But whichever route you choose, please choose your artist wisely. If the artist you really want is $50 outside of your planned budget, take a step back and decide if saving that $50 and going with a different artist is worth it. I once heard a photographer say, "A $50 makeup artist can ruin thousands of dollars worth of pictures", and I couldn't agree more.