1. Introduction: What's your story?
Bridal Artistry DC started in the early 2000's with me doing a few weddings and then attracting a talented team of hair & makeup pros to join my vision of delivering top tier on location services to brides in the DC/MD/VA market. After a career with an international leader exchange program in DC, I was ready to use my creative, entrepreneurial bent merged with my knowledge gained working with international cultures & ethnicities. What came together over nearly 20 years has been nothing short of amazing... We have done thousands of weddings, photo shoots, special events and fashion shows (including NY Fashion Week 2018-2020) for a wide variety of brides and wedding parties of all sizes. Pursuing professional style and makeup training has kept us in tune with the ever changing wedding styles, but mostly we find that brides want to "look like themselves, only better"!
2. What's your experience as a bridal hair & makeup artist? How many brides are in there in your portfolio?
Over nearly 20 years, we have done makeup/hair styling on location for literally thousands of brides and wedding parties. We have well over 250 bride reviews on wedding social media sites and are often referred by top wedding planners in the DMV. Our brides are too numerous to quantify but I can say that we have had a great many referrals from former brides and several families that have hired our team for 2-3 weddings in their family over the years!
Most of our current Bridal Artistry DC team have been working together on weddings for us for 6-10 years, so we all know each other's style/timing/strengths and this makes for very smooth "getting ready times" and efficiency in finishing on time.
3. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
Our Standard Makeup & Hair Contract is our most popular package. It includes day of styling, a pre-wedding trial session with the bride to work out the look that she envisions, and false lashes (if she wants). It also includes a full-size lip color to keep on the wedding day for the bride + each other one getting makeup done.
Each other person wanting hair styled or makeup done as well on the wedding day can be added ala carte to the contract and numbers don't have to be locked in until one month out from the wedding day. At that point, the final numbers can't be reduced, but most likely others can be added on.
4. Do you have a team of assistants or will you be the only artist that day? What will happen if you're sick or have an emergency on the wedding day?
Currently, our Bridal Artistry DC Team is composed of 7 active makeup & hair professionals. We have always been able to cover any last minute emergencies (the few we have had) without ever cancelling services last minute! As a matter of fact, we have actually been able to "rescue" brides who have called shortly before their wedding day because their artist or team have cancelled on them.... This is the advantage of having a larger, coordinated team!!
5. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
Yes, travel fees apply to any location in Maryland or outside the DC Beltway in Virginia. Fees start at $40 for each team member coming to the wedding prep site.
Note that no fees are charged for wedding near the beltway in Virginia or anywhere inside the beltway or in DC. We are open to doing weddings within a 2 hour drive outside of the DC Metro Area, and this requires a larger travel fee based on the distance/location.
Any parking fee at a hotel is also reimbursed by the bride or charged to her hotel room.
6. Can the bride book a wedding makeup trial appointment and will you also do a trial before the wedding?
Our hair/makeup trial session with the bride is included in our contract and covered in the deposit fee. It's best to do your trial at least one month before the wedding date, if at all possible. We suggest that you schedule the trial by sending us several dates/times you would be available to do a trial session at the home/studio of one of our team members -- or, at times we are able to come to your location to do the trial.
7. What beauty products do you use and would you be open to the bride using her own make-up?
We are fully stocked with top quality skin care and cosmetic products, chosen for their hypo-allergenic and safe formulations, long-lasting qualities and the excellent results we know we get with their use. We often get rave reviews from those we have done that their makeup looked so natural, felt weightless and lasted all evening long.
We have had a few ask us about using their own makeup and it's usually because they are concerned they have sensitive skin. We can always accommodate when needed, but we often have found that they are fine with our tested and true products on the wedding day (or, if a bride, at the trial). We are flexible, basically, on this issue.
8. How can you make the bride's wedding makeup last and look good in photos?
The first step to beautiful makeup application is proper skin prep. It's not just about moisturizing, but often we need to exfoliate the skin, sometimes, pluck/shave stray hairs, tone the skin and moisturize before using a primer geared to their skin texture (filling pores/ softening fine lines, etc.) so that when we apply the concealer/foundation, it goes on a smooth surface. Oily skin needs to be prepped to absorb oiliness throughout the day and we talk about how to best blot any extra oiliness that appears unwanted as the day goes on.
We use a variety of foundations, depending on the finish a woman desires (from glowing to matte). Our Artistry Exact Fit Long-wearing Foundation is usually perfect for most brides and delivers a soft matte finish that lasts all day without much touch up. Also, using a beauty blender sponge or a makeup brush can make a difference in the the look of the foundation -- from sheer to fuller coverage.
We have had a few photographers remark to us in the last several years that our makeup photographs beautifully, needed little photographic retouching. It is HD photographable.
9. How long will makeup take on the day and how long will you be staying for on the day?
In scheduling the time we will need on the wedding day, we plan for 1 hour to do bride's hair styling / 1 hour to do bride's makeup. The others are generally scheduled for 30-40 minutes each for hair and 40-45 minutes each for makeup. On our contract, there is a space to indicate when the bride needs to FINISH with hair/makeup. That would be keeping in mind that she will be putting on her gown and most likely taking photos with her bridesmaids/mom after that before leaving for the ceremony. That timing can best be determined in consultation with the wedding planner and/or photographer.
Once we finish our services, final payment is collected and we leave. If a bride has multiple stylings or other needs that require us providing secondary services, that must be discussed at the time of booking and a customized contract can be provided to include the extra services.
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
Once a contract is completed and the deposit is paid, our services are locked in and we are turning away any other inquiries for that date/timing. Our deposits are non-refundable for that reason. If a bride cancels within one month of the wedding date, she will owe a $200 cancellation fee as well.
**COVID has caused us to be more flexible over the past couple of wedding seasons and we have allowed brides to push their contract forward to a new date without penalty, so long as we have availability for the new date. However, as the pandemic restrictions have eased, we do not expect that this will be the case in 2022.