“Enhancing the bride’s own beauty”
Before their wedding day, most people want to ensure that they look as good as possible. This might mean spending a lot of money on their outfits, spending hours in the gym to lose weight, or investing in a good hair and make-up stylist. To find out everything there is to know about hiring a bridal hair and make-up artist, I’ve spoken to Janet White-Ashby & Co.
1) How far in advance are you normally booked up for wedding makeup?
Janet: We do get bookings up to 2 years in advance, but the bulk of bookings are 1 year in advance and some in the same year.
Before hiring your hair and makeup artist, you’ll need to know the exact date and time of your wedding. This may mean that booking a stylist is further down on your priority list, but this is how it should be. Knowing where and when you will be married is likely to impact the style of makeup you need; for example, if it will be a sunny and outdoors wedding, you might want your hair in an up-do and lightweight, bronzed makeup. Also, you may want to know the style of your dress before deciding on your style of hair and makeup. This means that ensuring other details are finalised before booking your stylist might be a good idea.
2) Should clients come to you with a direct idea of how they want their makeup to look, or do you generally suggest locations and styles?
Janet: We do have a style we tend to adhere to, a natural look enhancing the brides own beauty, but some do come with specific ideas, which don’t always suit, we aim to work with the bride and their wedding party to create her wedding day image. We do trials in their home or where they prefer.
A wedding day is often special because of the way that it reflects the couple and their personalities. Therefore, if the bride walks in looking unrecognisable with huge fake lashes, fake tan, a heavy eye and a bold lip… well, the look might not go down so well. Having natural makeup on a wedding day is important especially if wearing a white dress, as lighter makeup will definitely complement the pureness of the white. Also, orange makeup smudges won’t look good on that dress you’ve just bought!
3) Would you normally do the entire bridal party, or just the bride?
Janet: Having a large team, we are able to do several weddings in one day, whoever does the trial for the Bride does the makeup on the day. With larger wedding parties and depending on the time of the wedding, team members are allocated to assist. All my girls are trained to work in the same way, working with the bridal party to create their wedding day image.
If you have a large bridal party, it might be nice to consider having your bridesmaids’ and the mother-of-the-bride’s makeup done. Not only will this be a nice treat for them on the day, but it can also make sure that everyone looks co-ordinated and will be happy with how they look in the photographs that will be around for years to come.
4) What kind of preparation work goes into planning a look?
Janet: At the trial we talk through the Bride’s requirements for herself and the wedding party, asking her what she normally wears on a day to day basis and evening makeup. We do our natural makeup suitable for the bride/wedding party in hand, and if more is required, we can then add and adjust to the requirements. Photos are taken and notes on makeup used on a makeup chart. For hair we ask for ideas of styles they may have in mind, and work with the bride’s hair type, face shape, hairline, taken into consideration, to create the best style adapted for the aforementioned.
One thing that I hadn’t thought of that Janet mentioned, is ensuring that the hair style matches aspects such as face shape, hairline and hair type. Now she’s said it, it seems obvious, but I think that this is a problem that those who are attempting their own hair and makeup might come across. Yes, the chances are that you do your own styling on a day-to-day basis, but the benefit of hiring a professional is that they will be able to give you an objective opinion on what will look good. They’ll also have industry knowledge of what is likely to stand the test of time on your special day.
5) How long does the entire process take on the day?
Janet: A trial takes longer, approximately 1 hour for makeup only, getting to know the bride, we discuss and get to know the client, but on the day, we allocate 40 minutes, sometimes it takes longer if the wedding party have not had a trial, sometime less. 2-3 hours for a trial for both hair & makeup, 2 hours on the day. 1-2 hours for a hair trial only, 1 hour on the day.
From films and television shows, it always looks as though the bride is always late and finishing up their hair and makeup in the car. Of course, this probably isn’t the case in most real weddings! As an organised person myself, I would likely have all my hair and makeup done about an hour earlier than necessary. This is just my own personal choice because there is nothing that I hate more than being rushed. Not only this, but I’m always the person that is ready for a night out by 4pm, so I’ll need to keep to my own traditions!
6) How much would a full hair and makeup look cost?
Janet: Bride for both hair & makeup on the day £120, Trial £135, (as we spend more time at the trial getting the look right for the wedding day). Wedding Party £100 on the day, £115 trial for both hair & makeup. (as of June 2019)
While it might pain you (or your bank account!) to pay twice for hair and makeup, I really do think it’s important to do a trial run. There are so many elements that you can alter in this stage, but if you have just booked the makeup for the day, there is no time to do-over. It would be a real disappointment to look back on your wedding photos and feel as though you didn’t look as good as possible, or think that you should have worn less eyeshadow, or more powder. Investing into looking good, is investing into feeling good!
7) Do you think that everyone needs a hair and makeup artist and why do you think it is such a worthy investment?
Janet: Most definitely, from primer to finishing spray gives a professional and lasting look, and very worthy of the investment.
Perhaps a reason why some people don’t want to book a hair and makeup artist is because they think that they are able to do it themselves. This might be true for the generation of makeup enthusiasts that have watched endless tutorials on YouTube or have been scrolling through Pinterest looking at every hair style under the sun! However, if you know very little about makeup, or simply want to feel pampered on the day, then booking a hair and makeup artist might be the perfect solution.
8) To you, what makes a wedding unique and memorable?
Janet: Everyone has their own style, and we try to create their wedding day image, taking into consideration the venue, theme, dress, accessories etc., so to us every wedding is unique in its own way.
With something as personal as style, I would expect that a lot of thought goes into what products to use and what look to go for. It may not be something that anyone but the bride really considers, however, I truly believe that a lot of people wear makeup for their own pleasure rather than anyone else’s. I certainly do! It would be so special to tie in elements of the wedding with the way you look, whether it’s having floral accessories in your hair that match the bouquet or a hint of pink to match the colour scheme. There are so many unique aspects that can be completed with a perfect bridal look.
9) Out of any wedding that you’ve attended as a guest or one of your clients’, what has been your favourite?
Janet: We do not normally attend the weddings, we have done hair & makeup for friend’s wedding, but I tend to end up only half dressed for the occasion, returning to finish myself off after the vows. My most favourite wedding was Nikitta Edwards, who got married at Welsh St Donats, from her dress to her bridal floral crown, the look was perfect for her… once I reduced the size of the flowers, tearing off petals from the roses to make them smaller. Nikitta was upset the floral crown was not what she asked for and was very large, but looked fabulous after I adjusted her hair to accommodate it. Also, Llama’s attending, beautiful photographs from O & C Photography. The food and cake looked tremendous.
I love the idea of a bridal floral crown, as I mentioned earlier, this would be a beautiful way of tying in the bridal look with the rest of the wedding.
10) As part of the something old, something new wedding rhyme, have you heard the last line “and a silver sixpence in your shoes” and what do you think of it?
Janet: I have heard of this rhyme and is still adhered to at most of our weddings, a topic of discussion at the trial and on the day. I love traditions and this is one of my favourites. The sixpence in the shoe can be a little uncomfortable so I see brides gluing it to the arch of the shoe on the outside.
This is a great idea, which would also mean that more people would be able to see the silver sixpence!
Thanks to Janet!
I’d like to thank Janet for her help with compiling this blog. As a former make-up artist myself, this is a topic that I’m very passionate about! Janet White-Ashby has been working in the industry for over 25 years and now has her own team of talented associates. The company ethos focuses on natural beauty with a unique sense of style. Check out their Instagram: @JWAandCo and Facebook @JanetWhite-Ashby & Co.
With love and wedding wishes,