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What Beauty Providers Wish You Knew About Bridal Styling

No vendor at a special event such as a wedding wants to be the one responsible for a late start. Hair and makeup artists are often seen as the reason why brides are late getting to their photo session. As a member of an online bridal beauty pro forum with members worldwide, I asked, "What are some of the things that have happened that were out of your control, making the ready time go over schedule?" I felt they should be shared with others in an attempt to bring awareness to the many situational difficulties artists have had in staying on schedule, to hopefully bring about cooperation and understanding.



A beauty provider also can be at fault for a bride's lateness for many embarrassing reasons,

like being late to work, substance abuse, forgetting equipment, sleeping in,

not being prepared or skilled, etc.

Some claiming to be professionals have even failed to show up

for the wedding altogether!

That stuff makes other

bridal artists look bad, too.

(Sadly, unethical people and unprofessionalism happen in all businesses)

Promising artists are at the beginning in their career

and have not built up performance or speed.

They can cause other artists

to have delays.

Here I am talking about when seasoned, skilled artists with great work ethics

and a high level of professionalism have been

given a situation which,

through no act of their own,

results in the party being late.

Some delays are nobody's fault.

Most are 100% preventable.


Here are some of the things that these wonderfully talented,

passionate, and seasoned pros listed:


"everyone was late...hungover and crabby"

"... the fact that almost everyone in the bridal party are drunk by 12 p.m..."

"...intoxicated bridesmaids...hard to perform a great makeup..."

"...stopping in the middle of application to...vomit from hangover..."

"...excessive alcohol consumption that causes an interruption in any way to the services being performed or yet to be performed. For example, but definitely not limited to, incoherency, profusely sweating, vomiting... I now have a clause in my contract after this."

"...hungover bridesmaids are ALWAYS late because they overslept, are wandering hotels looking for Diet Coke (or out buying Starbucks) or outside smoking when needing to be in my chair."

A long time ago, I read about a bride who was so drunk she was falling out of the makeup chair. It took lots of time out of the schedule to sober her up enough to sit for makeup. Imagine being that poor makeup artist! I shudder!


"...flower girl needs her mom every few minutes..."

...the flower girl destroyed her hair, causing it to have to be redone several times..."

"...children running in and out..."

"...children in your kit or people that need to hold children or dogs while having their makeup done..

"...when children are not supervised and allowed to jump in and out of your chair, touching your gear..."

"...having to stop kids from getting into my kit because no one was managing them..."

Kids are great, but having anyone touch your kit is bad, because this is a sanitation issue.


"...Please...tell us ahead of time if you are wanting extensions clipped in. Or better yet, have them applied correctly BEFORE you come in...""

...I've started doubling my rate if you want clip in extensions added to your hair style...they are often matted and tangled and take 30 minutes to prep...""

...the last wedding, I was told there would be 2-3 girls bringing extensions. Oh wait...turns out there were 6!! Next season I'm adding an extension rate..."

"putting in extensions takes more time than we planned look good it has to be done right."


"...florists arrive and everyone must go see the flowers this instant"

" never fails that the florist brings the flowers in when the bride is in my chair."

"...the flowers arrive and need to be fixed...."


"...I swear another bridesmaid stuck her face in a bowl of soup during lunch after having her makeup freshly applied..."

"...everyone is late then they eat breakfast before they will sit in your chair despite warnings..."

"...Oh one more- lunch arrives, And girls on the schedule sit down and eat. That kills me!!!"

"...I tell them to eat while I work..."

"...leaving to go get Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, etc. and not being there when it's their turn."

Off-Site Service Delays

"Not having hair services done on site and instead going to a salon which inevitably means someone (or everyone) is going to be late for the start of makeup services, which makes you rushed and look unprofessional even though it is 100% not your fault. "

"...coming to and from the salon for hair...enough said"

"..caught in traffic from the hairdresser's"

Late Starts, Last Minute Change of Plans,Tardiness, Napping, & Showers

"Bride messaged me late last night and said she wanted to sleep in and to start the makeup later than previously agreed upon"

"after a night of rehearsal dinner drinking, nobody wants to get up early and get in my makeup chair. They want to sleep in, and they have only budgeted for one artist. It's gonna be a rough day for me..."

"'s humanly impossible to get that many people ready with just me hired to do hair and that late of a start. Do the math..."

"The bride texted the night before the wedding , said that we would have to move the hair styling set up to another place midway through the morning. Just that process alone will take an hour out of our prep time and nobody understands how hard it is to tear down a station and set it back up again. She doesn't think she should have to pay extra for that. Really?"

...I have had people want to go take a shower right when it's their turn in my chair"

"I once had a bridesmaid take a nap after her hair and makeup were finished resulting in smushed hair and creases all over her face with smeared lipstick."

"TARDINESS! The most extreme example was when I had a party arrive 2 HOURS after the start time even thought they knew my late fee. Sooo many more, but these work for now."

"Well last week wedding for me was the most irritating one I've ever had! Short time frame only four people to do. Said I. Be there are 8 to start. Now this is for hair! They all had wet hair and bride said she still needed a shower!"

" ...bridesmaid was supposed to be in my chair five minutes ago, nobody could reach her by phone. she came in casually 15 minutes later and the whole schedule was shot...."


"...When the photographer takes over your space, asking you to move an entire table of gear, stand in formation for the "lipstick" shot, asking the hair stylist to get the "hairspray" shot WHILE the makeup artist is faking lip color and as a result, causes said artist to breath in the spray..."

"...when photographers/videographers ask you to turn off your makeup light, Or ask you when you'll be done and can clean up your area."

"...they act like we are in the way."

"a videographer stood between me and my station, and I had to walk around them to reach my tools. It was unnerving and threw me off my work flow. You wouldn't do that at the dentist's office."

"the photographer slowed me down. Of all the areas in the rooms she wanted to shoot from the corner I was working on. She got so close to me I had to stop working completely."

"...the photographer kept telling me to wait so he can capture every single second..."

"..photogs booking out too much time to do photographs (yes, we all want to cover our asses with plenty of wiggle room, but by the time the photog gets them, THE"YRE READY!!! cutting into extra time for the situations mentioned above."

"the photographer rushed us but there was actually plenty of time and they had over an hour to kill later"

"...and do brides really request the photographer get a shot of me putting on the faux lashes? Is that a must-capture moment?!?"


...any time a bride is distracted enough to leave my chair,.. this is a problem. I've had entire wedding parties leave the room because they had to go check out the hotel's reception space...I've now got a "delay fine" in my contract..."

..."kept wanting to take before pics and group pics while I was still doing bride or mother of bride and so on."

"Turning around to talk to ppl like I'm not doing eyeshadow or eyeliner..."

"...people wanting to mess around on their phones while in my chair, people interrupting my session with the bride- making her have to leave the chair multiple times to address insignificant issues like decorations...people wanting to discuss/debate/alter their makeup looks after they'd been agreed upon previously...people wanting to eat or do their hair before getting into my chair when they should have been done previously..."

"...they kept turning their heads to talk to someone..."

"...When the bride sits down and everyone suddenly needs to ask her a thousand questions or she needs to send a quick text. when they talk too much in your chair and think you can put eyeliner on while they're laughing..".

"...never fails: bride sits around for HOURS and no one pays her much mind but as soon as she sits in the chair everyone wants to watch, talk, open gifts, and letters, feed her, and freaking visit. The aunts and cousins that stop by to say "Hi!" HONEY. She will see you later and trust, your presence at this very moment is going to be long forgotten when the bride is Spazzing about running late bc we are constantly being interrupted."

Weather and More

" the humidity that horrible summer day caused the bride's hair to fuzz up and it was so hard to work with. I couldn't do anything with it, it took a lot longer and she wanted a smooth style too"

"...once during a hurricane the electricity went out and they couldn't get a generator out until the start of the ceremony. We did makeup traditionally with all the bridesmaids surrounding the bride with their cellphone flashlights and hair was done without irons by flashlight."

"...the hotel's air conditioning was busted leaving all 7 bridesmaids and the bride hot and sweaty in the room...(this is a tropical island)...which we tried to make work because no, this major hotel chain did not possess a FAN!!! Mid way the the middle of getting the bride and the bridesmaid done they ask us to pack up all our gear, lighting, makeup, etc, and switch rooms to a smaller room...

"...what about the bridesmaid who keeps coming up to you while you are trying to finish the rest of the bridal party, who just keeps bugging you to fix her lip, or more blush, or "are you sure my eyes don't need to be a little bit darker? why don't mine look like hers? ...when in fact the issue is, is that she....has severely hooded eye in comparison to that bridesmaid who has that defined, almond eye where anything would look amazing! But where do you start explaining? who has the time???"

This and overdramatic mothers who ask for grand transformations ("my ex will be there and I want to look 30 years younger") And are disappointed when I can't give them a 30 minute facelift."

...the opening of the gift from groom during makeup or after makeup that causes the bride to cry!

"...the mom and sister wanting to all of a sudden get their makeup done ..."

"I feel like have to have more buffer time because I know this is going to happen."

"the bridesmaid had hair that would NOT Cooperate no matter what!" and she kept moving around! It was terrible!"

"the coordinator tried to decide how much time I needed to complete services. um...that's my department! only I know how long it will take me to pull off some of these styles"

"...picky bridesmaids..."

"...bridesmaids who are either scared to have their makeup done and therefore need to talk about it forever, or they don't have ideas ready and can't articulate what they want, or want a ridiculous amount of attention paid to them, or are late and have attitudes which does have the power to affect me if I let it. It's really hard to maintain an upbeat attitude if people are moody jerks or divas. Sometimes moms don't understand that there is a timeline and try to add on services like it's no big deal."

"...I was doing makeup for someone who had been sick and the bride was halfway through getting her cooch waxed.""

'...A mother of the bride would NOT sit down. She kept getting up for nothing, she kept changing her mind on what she wanted for makeup, and she was never satisfied with what I did. She wanted winged eyeliner on small eyes with many wrinkles... I tried to make it work but there is only so much you can do. She was sensitive and allergic to everything ..., and after getting to know her, it was obvious she just needed extra attention on her about everything. I felt so bad for the bride..."

"...When you have the bride in your chair finally and EVERYONE keeps coming up and asking her questions as well as asking the bride to open gifts in the MIDST of doing her makeup causing her to cry;

"....if the room isn't properly set up when you arrive, i.e., no chairs or stools, no clear work space--and we send a very detailed "Wedding Day Prep" sheet"

"...had to park in a undesirable area two streets away from the house, in pouring down rain! originally it was suppposed to be at the hotel ...would've never took this wedding if I knew then what I know now, I hope the rest of my season's not like this!"

...there is always that unmarried/ single bridesmaid who is unhappy with her makeup or hair and demands that we redo all over. In reality she just wants to look better than a bride and is jealous of her.

"...she kept wanting to try a different lipstick..that took up a lot of extra time as she studied each color in the mirror..."

"...when they are not properly prepared, meaning leftover makeup, unruly brows, food crumbs on their mouth. When they don't know what they want until the end when they thought their lip would be "more pink, more brown", more whatever it's not. When the bridesmaids wants to talk for ten minutes about what she wants but contradicts every statement. "I want eyeliner but like, no eyeliner" ...Stopping, for anything..."

"when she arrived with yesterday's makeup still on when I have no extra time. I then have to remove all of it and start over to have a proper fresh face. It takes me so much longer because of that process.

"Pinterest hairstyle expectations without having Pinterest hair"

"there was such tension in the room, it felt awful. They had been arguing at the house I was styling at. Some of the party left. and took their sweet time coming back"

"the mother of the bride made her cry"

"The bride told me to slow down, we can relax. Then later she said we are on a time crunch!"

"the bride went to the lake and got a terrible sunburn that took a long time to cover up."

"she decided she wanted her huge back tattoo covered up at the last minute."

These are just a sampling of all the reasons for a blown schedule. Please understand that a hair or makeup artist worries about the safety of each and every client, while working as quickly as possible under all these circumstances. They have to worry about professional liability, especially afraid of getting bumped into while using a sharp object near eyes, all while keeping upbeat. When you think of this, taking into consideration that a very low percentage of beauty school graduates stay in the field, it might give you some insight into the difficulty and challenges of working in the personal appearance fields. Those who do it really love their craft! Please be kind.:)

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