Trying to relax while my stylist works on me. Personal photo.
Saturday morning came around, bright and early...ok maybe not really bright, but it was definitely early. We woke up at 5 a.m., and with my headache gone, I was ready to start the day! I had resolved to not let anything keep me from enjoying the day, that no matter what freak-out inducing bomb might appear, I'd just file under the "worry-about-later" category and move on. Little did I know that one big one would drop on me real soon!
At 5:45 a.m., my stylist, the wonderful Michelle Kimme, arrived at my hotel room to set up for my hair and makeup appointment at 6 a.m. Two of my bridesmaids, my mom-in-law and mom, met in my mom's hotel room for their hair and makeup appointment where my second stylist would work on them.
Ok, this calls for a little background info.
I was about to go through the Paul Mitchell School's Design Team (at $65 a person, they were a great deal), but they couldn't offer on-location styling, which we needed since we all had to be at the church by 9 a.m. I decided to book my own hair and makeup stylist through my wedding coordinator who gave her a great reccomendation. She offered on location hair and makeup styling, including a trial, for $221.
Since my mom, mother-in-law and two of my bridesmaids wanted hair and makeup as well, I had to find one that fit their budget. I didn't have much to work with: less than $60. So I hit Craigslist, since that seemed to be the mecca of deals and bargains.
I contacted several stylists and I found one with a good portfolio and an affordable price. She offered to work on all four ladies for $210. She was a freelance stylist who was in her last year of styling school. I decided to take a chance on her.
Before the wedding, we met and talked about the styles.
The thing is, I should have trusted my gut about this girl. For one, she said she would have her own freelance contract for me to sign, but she didn't. Luckily, I brought my own contract stating the services and the time, date and location of the agreed services, which she and I both signed. I mean, what professional doesn't have their own business contract?
And also...she didn't make a whole lot of eye contact with me. She also seemed like she was in a hurry to leave. These should have been a no brainer...I should not have trusted this girl. But I was under a lot of pressure to find a decent on-location stylist at an affordable price in a hurry (we were two weeks out from the wedding) and in my naive thinking, I thought a contract and a deposit (I paid her half the fee) would seal the deal.
But I guess I was wrong...6 a.m., our agreed upon call time, came and went. At 6:15 a.m., I called our stylist. No answer. I emailed. I texted. No answer. At 6:45 a.m., still no stylist and my bridesmaids and moms gave up. They had waited nearly an hour, taking an hour out of our already tight schedule. My stylist worked on the two bridesmaids, but there was no time to work on the mothers. We all had to be at the church at 9 a.m.
I felt horrible. I felt soooo bad. My bridesmaids and moms assured me that everything was fine (the moms said they would rather do their own hair and makeup anyway). Although my stylist's fees for bridesmaids' hair and makeup was considerably higher ($100 per bridesmaid) she was a lifesaver. A true professional. We decided to cover the difference for the bridesmaids and they looked fabulous! And, yes, I loved my hair and makeup! Sometimes it is worth it to pay more for piece of mind and a true professional.
I was still determined not to let this debaucle ruin the rest of the day. So, once we got our hair and makeup done, and I got helped into my dress, we sprinted to the cars (yes, sprinted) to make it to the church at the call time of 9 a.m. I had forgotten everything else by then.I was getting married. Nothing was going to get in the way of that. Not even an irresponsible, shady stylist I found off of Craigslist.
So 1) trust your gut about people you enter into a contract with. Do they seem like trustworthy, dependable people? If not, walk -- no run -- far, far away!, 2) Always have a contract. After the wedding and honeymoon, I had to bug this girl for 2 weeks before I was able to receive my deposit back in full. (Her excuse was that she got into a car accident the morning of the wedding...um, sure). I reminded her that I had a contract which she signed and if she didn't return my money, she would receive the full legal wrath. 3) I'm not saying Craigslist is bad (it's been a lifesaver for a lot of budget brides) but have caution when dealing with people there. There are definitely some crooks.