Do I need a contract for my makeup or hair artist?

You might not have thought of this, but all too often brides-to-be have their wedding day turned upside down into a ball of stress due to makeup artists or hair stylists not showing up or cancelling the night before - never to be heard from again. So you may have already guessed the answer, but I'll do my best to paint this picture for you below. 

You're getting married, planning and decisions galore! Not to mention the countless options that are out there for every vendor you could ever want or need. Selecting the perfect professional takes research, due diligence and time. When you find that person or company that you click with, and you feel confident in them, is important to solidify the relationship with a legal agreement or contract. It is equally important as a professional to secure a client relationship through a contract. 

Wedding contracts for hair and makeup

I've been in the business of weddings for years now, and unfortunately, my company has become an expert in crisis management. I know what you're probably thinking... "Crisis management? For makeup and hair?" Oh yes. More often than I like to admit (for the sake of the reputation of my industry) we have clients that come to us that have had their beauty team bail on them last minute OR worst yet...not show up at all! When I ask if they had a contract with them most of the time they say no. I am here to tell you, a contract is a non-negotiable item when it comes to a vendor-client relationship and you should never operate without one.

I could go on for days on this topic and bore you to tears with all the reasons why you need to have a contract in place with every professional you hire. I promise, though, I won't do that here. I've highlighted below three of the most important reasons for having a contract in place.

It keeps everyone honest. 

Transparency is key. A good contract should list out all of the company's/vendor's policies on payment, deposit, cancellation, prices, additional fees etc. There should be absolutely no room for error when it comes to additional fees that you, the client, would incur if "X" happens. If down the road something gets called into question, you and your hired professional will have the contract agreement to fall back on. With the craze of planning your wedding, it's easy to forget some of the details you agreed to early on in the planning process. Your contract is a record of those items and keeps you and your professional honest and on the same page. Likewise, as a professional your contract is a tool to hold your clients accountable to what you've agreed to.

If something goes wrong you have a leg to stand on.

Heaven forbid your hired professional doesn't show up on the day of your wedding! What happens? If you have a contract in place, is this covered? Do you get a refund...what action can you take? If you don't have a contract in place and legal action is necessary it will be very difficult and a major stress on you to pursue. This goes for both the client and the professional. If your client's payment fails to process; what action are you able to take to ensure you get paid? Are you obligated to complete the service(s) without payment?

A professional standard.

A true professional will require a contract in order to secure their services and your wedding date. If the person/company you're looking to work with doesn't require a do not walk. You might get lucky and all will go well, but you might not. Do you really want to risk it on one of the most important days of your life? Industry pros, if a prospective client doesn't want to sign your contract and pushes to hire you without do not walk. Signing a contract in order to secure you should not be up for negotiation. 

Here's a snippet from an actual bride's comment on Wedding Wire's client forum

This past weekend I went with my mother to get my hair done for the first time with her hair stylist. We were thinking of hiring her to do our hair for my wedding but I wanted to see her work first. After meeting her (and she did a wonderful job with my highlights) I feel confident in hiring her. The only problem is that she does not use contracts nor does she require a deposit and I don’t think I feel comfortable taking her on her word that she’ll be there when the time comes. The same goes for the makeup artist who works at the same salon. My mom just trusts her because she’s been to her a bunch of times but I don’t feel comfortable not having it in writing. Especially being that my wedding is on a holiday weekend. Does anyone have an example of a contract they’ve signed with hair/makeup artist for their wedding? Maybe I can present it to her myself and simply explain that it’s not that I don’t trust her, but it’s common practice to protect both of us?
— Wedding Wire Bride

The final word on wedding day contracts

The last piece of advice I'll give here is, make sure the contract, is an actual contract. Email and text message conversations do not count. Pros, invest the money and time into hiring an attorney to draft your contract(s) for you. Clients, trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right ask the pro to explain or consult your own attorney. A good contract should protect BOTH the professional and the client.

Does this seem like a lot of hassle? Well... it is your wedding day. Ensuring that things are done right and that your day is filled with a stress-free, luxurious experience is a top priority for every bride-to-be. It's just about doing your diligence (or maybe you plan to hire a wedding planner to do it for you). Here are some top points to consider when hiring a glam squad to perfect your wedding day beauty looks.

  • Ensure that communication is clear, open and professional. 
  • Ensure that a trial run/consultation is as important to the artists as it is to you.
  • Ensure they have some processes in place, like contracts and billing schedules. 
  • Ask about reviews, techniques, specialties and client work. 
  • Have a budget already in mind. Good Artist have horrendous costs - they charge accordingly and they are specialists in their craft. 
  • Find an artist or agency whose work you love.
  • Expect a contract. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on how important contracts are. Please keep all of these things in mind when planning your dream wedding! For more information hiring beauty professionals for your wedding day, read our blog on "Should I Hire A Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist For My Wedding Day?"

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