As a bridal makeup artist in Chicago for over 20 years, I had a wedding makeup contract for 19 of my 20 years of running an on-location wedding business.
My first year in biz I didn't quite treat my bridal makeup business like a business!
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well my new wedding makeup business was going to do - since I was the first makeup artist to this in Chicago. Was it going to take off? Or was it a bad idea? I honestly had no clue.
22 years later, I laugh that I doubted myself because I should have known how great of a thing doing on-location makeup for brides would be!
Failure Led to Success
I learned very quickly that doing makeup on-location for weddings was going to be a big thing. And while I had verbal agreements with my first few brides, what I wasn’t banking on was how wishy-washy brides could be when it came to the details about their wedding day. It only took one real ass burning for me to realize real quick how important it was to have a bridal makeup contract.
Case in point: For one wedding, I thought I was showing up to do eight bridesmaids at a wedding, only to discover, when I got to the wedding, that the bridesmaids went to a nearby salon for makeup. I was only doing the bride in her home! Needless to say, I was pissed!
On the drive home I knew right away I needed a wedding contract. On this particular wedding date, I had turned down so many other weddings as I was verbally committed to this bridal party. Instead of making almost $1000 (and paying my rent for the next month), I walked out with only $200. I was like "NEVER AGAIN!" would I do a bridal wedding party without covering my ass -- and my bank account!
For my first wedding contract, I ended up booking a delightful attorney who said she would write up my wedding contract in exchange for wedding services! (Shout out to Demita!) I took her up on it immediately!
The original contract I bartered services for has evolved over my 20 year career as a bridal makeup artist. As I got my feet wet doing wedding makeup, the contract went from 3 pages to 12 full pages as things came up that were deal breakers. The reality is, a good makeup contract is a living document. That means it will evolve as you find yourself in those precarious situations that you don’t want to find yourself again. From when you have bride's changing locations on you at the last minute, to going from room to room chasing all the bridesmaids! No thank you!
The moral of the story? 20 years of getting my ass handed to me when brides try to pull a "fast one" led to me tweaking and adjusting my contract over the years into a beautiful work of art.
Then 2020 Happened.
It’s funny. I only had to use my force majeure clause once in my entire career, and it was during a year when Chicago had a horrible blizzard. Then 2020 and Covid happened.
When things like this happen, we must adjust and rework. While our contract would have totally protected us against Covid-19, what I saw happen after that had me fuming.
Makeup artists and hair stylists were showing up to jobs where the entire wedding party acted like we weren't all living in a global pandemic. No masks. No safety precautions. Just a wild good time without any care for the service providers who were doing the actual jobs.
When it came to updating this contract, we decided to wait to rework our wedding contracts to be prepared to see things that we wanted to be prepared for in the future. When it comes to Covid-19, we wanted to have terms and items inside, along with an addendum, to keep you or your team safe. As we navigate weddings in this pandemic and beyond, there may be times you need to add or adjust things as we go along. This is unprecedented and we must make notes to be ready for whatever can be thrown at us in our bridal makeup business.
So what’s covered and what's new for the 2022 Bridal Makeup Contract Template?
- *Covid-19 terms and conditions and what expectations you have for providing beauty services for your clients
- *Covid-19 Addendum
- Make sure you’re always getting your head count and that brides won’t remove people from the list.
- Location expectations and travel fees set in advance
- Timing expectations and overtime charges that are transparent
- Set monetary expectations and due dates
- Build in a gratuity for parties of 6 or more
- How to get paid even if the bride cancels the wedding
- *Act of God (Force Majeure clause) to protect you from pandemics, terrorism, etc.
In closing, we’re all in this together as makeup artists and hairstylists for our brides. Brides who care about the same things you care about will be thrilled you have such a nice and tidy contract.
I hope this bridal makeup contract template helps you feel more comfortable and confident navigating through this shit show called Covid.
Have you had your ass handed to you with clients? Leave me a comment below and tell me your story! I’d love to hear!
Yours in service,