How to Start a Wedding Hair & Makeup Business

Are you planning on starting your own wedding hair & makeup business? Keep reading then, this article is for you.

Working in the wedding industry is a great career opportunity and a noble and responsible profession. As the bride’s makeup artist and hairstylist, your role can be one of the most memorable. You can be the person who’ll make lots of women the most beautiful creatures in the world for that one special day! Besides, average US couples spend approximately 30,000 $ on their wedding. So if you’re a beauty professional, choosing this line of business can be a rather lucrative endeavor. What will it take to start a promising wedding hair & makeup business? We’ll show you.

Steps to start a Wedding Hair & Makeup Business

Step 1 – Get your Certifications

Naturally, the first step to opening any business is to obtain proper certifications and different permits and licenses. The most common qualification you can get in the beauty industry is a cosmetology diploma. Consider joining an apprentice program during your studies. This way, you can gain practical insight right from the start. 

Regarding permits & licenses, you’ll need to get the following: beautician license, business license, health and safety compliance permits, seller’s permit.

Step 2 – Create a Financial Plan

The next step to start a wedding hair & makeup business is to create a financial plan. There will be a tremendous financial impact on you when starting your wedding hair & makeup business. First of all, you’ll need to invest in equipment, tools, and products. Since you won’t have a salon as a base, you’ll need everything. Also, building a website, running paid ad campaigns, making printed marketing materials will be an ongoing expense if you’re not a DIY type of person.

It’s always best to create a financial plan before making any grand decisions. Write down all the things you’ll need to invest in with the most accurate price you can find. Then, make a priority list of the things you need and purchase them in that order. 

If you have limited sources, try reducing the costs by shopping the sales and using discount codes. There will be a few items that you can also get second-hand from salons. 

Again, how to price your services is a complex question that requires a lot of attention and consideration. In the beginning, it’s better not to expect a fast business boom. You may need to be conservative with your prices at first, but make sure you’re covering your own costs. Don’t go too high, nor too low. It’s best to do research to find out what similar professionals are charging. Once you’ve earned a reputation, you can gradually increase your prices. 

Discount campaigns and promotions are excellent marketing tools, but you need to think carefully before running them. It’s always good to bring in new clients with a smart little incentive, but make sure that the numbers work for you too!

Step 3 – Design your Brand

The third step to start a wedding hair & makeup business is to design your brand. Figuring out your personal brand is crucial for a number of reasons. On the one hand, you need to discover your business’s personality and the image you want to transmit to your audience to attract the right clients to your business. On the other hand, it’s essential to present yourself as a business with a consistent style. Having a cohesive brand personality shows that you’re a real professional, making it easier for your clients to recognize you. 

Make sure to choose a color palette that contains no more than 3–5 shades and use it on all your platforms and marketing materials. Also, use the same profile pics and covers on all your social media accounts. And in general, try to keep your shared content logical and harmonious.  

Step 4 – Create a Lookbook

Supposedly, you have already done some styling work for your acquaintances or maybe even assisted a bridal hair and makeup pro. If you happen to have good photos of the past work you’ve done for brides and other special events, organize them into a nice-looking portfolio. Another option is to hire a model and a professional photographer. Create 7 to 10 different makeup looks and hairdos, and have them photographed. 

Having a promising lookbook or portfolio is the first step to building trust when offering wedding hair & makeup services. When a potential client sees various astonishing looks that you’re able to create, she’ll be optimistic that you can deliver on her big day. Make sure to smuggle something special, something outstanding in your showcased work. A little plus will convince your customer that her final look will be unique and rare. We all want that now, don’t we? 

Step 5 – Build your Network

Once your lookbook is full-blown, it’s time to start building your network by partnering with vendors. Connect with wedding planners, photographers, florists, caterers, other wedding hair & makeup artists. These more established professionals might be down to partner up with you if they like your portfolio. They can help you get started by referring your work to people or even their own clients. Take a chance and visit a few bridal shops and leave your marketing material there. You’ll get more exposure this way, especially to their walk-in customers. 

Step 6 – Go to Expos/Trade Shows

Joining bridal expos and trade shows is amongst the best things to help you build a name and get the word out about your services. However, you’ll most likely need to shell out a bit for this. Again, teaming up with someone established in the wedding business can solve this. You can divide the expenses among yourselves! Makes sure to bring all of your marketing collateral and business cards to the show. 

Step 7 – Provide Immaculate Services

Once someone has chosen you for their big day, you’ve got to make sure to be extra considerate about everything from trial to wedding day. Ask the following relevant questions:

  • Does she have a wedding planner? (If so, ask for a name and contact info. It may come in handy!)
  • Where will the wedding be held?
  • How many people will be needing wedding hair & makeup services?
  • What time would she like her hair and makeup to be complete?
  • Will she be wearing a veil?
  • Will she be wearing hair accessories, earrings, necklaces, etc.?
  • When will the pictures be taken? Before or after the ceremony?

These questions alone will suggest that you are a real pro who stands out from most wedding hair & makeup business owners. Asking these questions shows that you actually have an interest in assuring that you will do everything according to your client’s vision on the big day. 

The rest is really up to you and your skills, which we are convinced to be remarkable.

We highly recommend you always get a non-refundable deposit for special event styling as a bonus tip. This practice is important because a wedding usually requires several hours of booking time. Your time is valuable too, so in case the bride-to-be cancels the deal, you’ll at least generate some revenue and save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Step 8 – Keep on Learning

Standing out from a highly saturated line of business means that you can offer more than just the basics. How can you do that? With learning and training, of course. You can never be too qualified in the beauty industry because new trends arise day by day. Not only do you need to be up to date with all the bridal trends, but you also need to be the trend-setter!

You can only get ahead of the game if you continue educating yourself. Attend bridal shows take classes and online courses throughout your entire career. If you do so, you’ll be the wedding hair & makeup pro who’s known for dealing with all kinds of requests with ease and confidence.

Starting a business may feel like a massive risk at first. But as the wedding industry grows, there will also be a need for more wedding hair & makeup artists. If you have confidence, punctuality, creativity, a professional and positive attitude, you’ll be on the right track with this line of activity. And hey, you don’t have to do it alone. If you like creative energies that emerge in a community, you should consider building your own team—having someone to help you and discuss new ideas with can be very beneficial for your business in the long run.

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