When booking a client one of the first things things I do is to send over a little Q&A to get a better idea of what their styling needs will be. Its a quick 10-12 set of questions covering the basics like venue, total number of people who will need makeup and hair, the photographer they are working with and who will be paying for all the bridesmaids. All of this information helps me to get an understanding of the bride, her organization and the vendors she has chosen to make her day perfect!
So, that was my old questionnaire... Let me take a step back, a couple of years ago I was on Orcas Island styling a wedding. It was a gorgeous summer day for a cute little wedding at a small private vineyard. Upon arriving I was ushered into a tiny room with my assistant where we had to move every piece of furniture around to even find space to set up. Really no biggie, I can handle most situations with ease.. The bride finally arrives late, completely overwhelmed already at 9 am with table settings, the lunches she needed to order for everyone, the seating arrangements to balance a delicate dysfunctional family (no judgement, we all have them), who had the marriage license?, did grandma make the ferry?, and why the tasting room at the venue was open when it wasn't suppose to be!?.. the frustration wore on her face like a bad contour, it was heavy
One thing to know about me is that I pride myself in my timelines, I get you can't control time but I am not one of those makeup artists that gets everyone out late but here I was trying to wrangle my bride and get her to sit down, get her bridesmaids to show up because we were now running 30 minutes behind schedule. I could go on and on with all the craziness of the day, like the time the bride had to get out of my chair (one of 12 times) to find the bologna for the groomsmen sandwiches or when two family members got in to a screaming match over the seating chart...
But I wont, I will say I left that day adding one more question to my list, WHO is your wedding planner? Because this is exactly the kind of stuff that happens when you don't have one and let me explain the stress level of the bridal suite, it can be high! I mean reeeeeeally high! From 'momzillas' to 'bridesmaidzillas' things can go astray but when you have your own hollywood director who comes with their entire production team all of that just melts like butter! So now, I always ask WHO is your planner? It doesn't mean I won't work with a client who didn't hire one but it does give me a heads up to plan extra time, to understand that they will need a little more hand holding and things just might go off the path at some point. It tells me I need to book more time in the schedule for the unknown, and to get some extra sleep. When a client doesn't have a planner, I always suggest hiring one of our many talented pros even if it is for just the day of. I work with some incredibly skilled planners, these women are the masters of time management and just make magic happen. I reached out to some of my favs and asked what is it that you do that makes such a difference?
but, seriously ladies and gents hire the planner if even just for the day because this should be the best day of your life, to celebrate with family and friends and not to worry about where someone hid the lunchmeat ;)