It’s no secret that weddings can be crazy expensive. Even the best laid budgetary plans often go astray. So, like many brides, I tried to be cost conscious and save money where I could. PSA: hair stylists and makeup artists are not the place to be frugal.
I got married in St. Helena, a cute little town in Napa Valley. In smaller markets, bridal beauty experts tend to be more limited and you may end up paying a premium. When I was looking into options, I basically found three tiers of talent: good, better, best. As you can imagine, the prices reflected that. As a writer, I have access to a lot of awesome beauty goodies, so surely, if I brought an arsenal of products and selected a practiced artist it would all be fine. Not quite.
Things seemed okay until my wedding hair and makeup trial. I walked into the salon and it just didn’t feel...right. From how the original pro—let’s call her Sarah for the purposes of this article—washed and styled my strands to the heavy makeup, it was all wrong. We discussed what I didn’t like about the results in detail. She suggested wearing the look for a few hours to see how it settled. That didn’t make it better.
A couple of weeks before our nuptials, I freaked out. Backstory: one less person was getting hair and makeup, so the salon decided to send two pros instead of three and have us start earlier. The problem was that no one told me this! I found out when I glanced at the work-in-progress wedding timeline. The schedule was far too tight and it was not feasible to get everything done. Furious, I emailed my planner. We jumped on the phone and that’s when all the emotions that I’d been concealing came out.
I shared my anger in regards to the schedule change that would undoubtedly impact the wedding day in a major way, then told her I hated my trial and was exceptionally anxious to be working with Sarah. Until that moment, I didn’t realize how much stress this was causing. My planner offered to reach out to a top-tier expert and get into touch with my existing vendor to see if we could cut ties.
The next day, I had a call with Carrie Aldous. She came highly recommended and I immediately fell in love with her positive energy. I wanted to move forward with her, but was locked in with the other pro. Now what? I didn’t have an actual agreement with the original salon, a logistical oversight on their part. They agreed we could part ways if I paid a fee to cover the hair stylists and makeup artists that were holding that date. Did I want to fork over more money? No. (I had already shelled out a few hundred as a down payment.) However, it was worth it to move forward with someone I loved.
So I wrote a check for the requested amount, and signed my contract with Carrie Aldous that same day. Yes, she was much more expensive, but you can’t put a price on talent and professionalism. By the day of the wedding, I had zero doubts my hair and makeup would be flawless—and it was!
Carrie and her team did a phenomenal job! I only wish I had booked her in the first place, saving myself the stress and aggravation of switching last minute. Lesson learned.