Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you have a minimum number of services? Will you service just the bride?
A. I am happy to do hair and makeup for just the bride! For brides only, this would fall under my Micro Wedding Package if needing on location services or my Elopement Package if you would like to come to my studio. Otherwise, for standard weddings I do have a minimum of $650 in day of service costs (hairstyling and/or makeup application costs only) not including travel, assisting artist fees, holiday or early start fees, extension fees, or any other fees.
Q. What is included in your rates?
A. You can read more on the specifics of what is included on my Investment page here. I have over thirteen years experience working with brides and spend thousands of dollars every year on education and high end products for my hair and makeup kits to ensure that every bride and bridal party member I work with receives the best in wedding day beauty services. The value I provide my clients is in more than just the act of making them look pretty- it is also in my commitment to a stress-free booking process and dependability. This is my full time job, not a hobby. I support my family through my business and am thoroughly committed to the satisfaction of every bride I work with. One of the regrets I hear most from women is how they wish they had invested in quality hair and makeup for their wedding day so that they felt beautiful, and it's my goal to make sure that none of my brides ever have this feeling.
Q. Why does the bride cost more than the bridesmaids?
A. This question comes up a lot, and if you think about it in terms of just doing makeup or hair, it probably doesn't make much sense why the bride is higher than anyone else. However, there is much more that goes into the bride's services than just the actual application on the wedding day. Prior to the wedding, the costs of time spent emailing and/or calling, planning, invoicing, and contracting are incorporated into the wedding day price. So does the time spent cleaning and prepping the kit, driving to the location and back, as well as post-wedding cleaning to keep everything sanitary between clients. The travel expenses such as mileage for gas and wear and tear on my vehicle are also included for all locations within 30 miles of my studio. Plus, the bride gets her false lashes, lipstick, hairspray, and touch up kit included as well. Added to the value of my years of experience and luxury beauty products and tools, you can see how those little details all add up.
Q. How much does travel cost? Do you do your work on location or in a salon?
A. All my weddings are done on location at your home, hotel, or wedding venue. The cost of travel is incorporated into the bride's costs for locations within 30 miles of my Woodbridge, VA studio. For locations in DC or Maryland, there is a flat fee listed on my Investments page.
Q. How far are you willing to travel?
Q. I am happy to travel wherever this business takes me, and I am available for travel to locations outside the United States! I do have minimums for services for travel out of my immediate service area, and additional travel costs will apply. Please inquire for more specific pricing information, as each out of area wedding is priced according to the needs of the bride.
Hair and Makeup Products
Q. What brands of makeup do you carry? Are your products Vegan? Cruelty Free?
Q. I carry a wide variety of makeup brands from drugstore to luxury to professional, all with a tested level of quality to ensure long lasting results on even the most sensitive of skins. Before all makeup application, I make sure there are no allergies to ingredients in the makeup or skincare and have several options if necessary. All allergies are requested prior to the wedding day just in case, so that additional products can be purchased or provided to meet specific needs by you or your bridal party. Some of the brands I use are Temptu, Face Atelier, Too Faced, Tarte, Sonia Roselli, Caudalie, MAC, It! Cosmetics, Inglot, Jouer, Chanel, Kevyn Aucoin, and more. Many of the brands are cruelty free and offer vegan options. I carry colors to suit every skintone and ethnicity in a clean, sanitary kit. I carry enough brushes to use a clean set on each person as well as disposable applicators for the safety of you and your bridal party.
Q. What brands do you carry in your hair kit?
A. I carry only professional quality hair products in my kit, suitable for all hair types and textures. The majority of my kit is Kenra Platinum, although I do supplement with items by Aquage, Alterna, Color Wow, Marakeesh, and Sexy Hair. I also bring a full selection of hot tools such as various sized marcel curling irons, texture iron, flat irons, and curling wand as well as a hair dryer and clean brushes and combs. Bobby pins and hair pins in several colors and sizes are also included to meet the needs of every color of hair in my chair.
Q. How long before my wedding date should I book you for my hair and makeup?
A. As soon as you settle on a date, it's best to start securing your wedding vendors. Most wedding vendors book their dates between 6-12 months in advance, and hair and makeup are certainly no exception. It's not like scheduling an appointment at the salon for a haircut. Having a good experience with your stylist is a process that takes months. We not only work with you to develop the perfect timeline for your getting ready process, but we will guide you in the months leading up to your wedding day to get your hair and skin in the best possible condition. This may mean growing your hair out, deep conditioning treatments or regular trims to combat flyaways and breakage, facials to rehydrate or resurface your skin, waxing to properly shape your eyebrows... all the little details that can make a huge difference. This doesn't mean that if your wedding is sooner that we may not be available! Please visit the Contact Page and fill out the request form to get started.
Q. If you're within my price range and I'd like to book you for my wedding day, what's the next step?
A. If your wedding day is more than 180 days away, your next step is to request a retainer to hold your date until a trial. If your wedding day is less than 180 days away, the next step is to schedule a trial run so we can meet and asses your beauty needs. This gives us the opportunity to make sure we are a good match on a personal level as well as technical skills. Selecting your wedding day hair and makeup stylist shouldn't be a rushed process. You are going to spend a lot of time with this person during one of the most stressful moments in your life. They should be a calming influence on your wedding day!
Q. How do I schedule a Trial Run?
A. It's super easy! Head on over to my scheduling page at www.Vagaro.com/BeautyBySue and scroll down to "Weddings". You select a date and time from my open appointments, and Voila! No back and forth emails to schedule, no finding a time to make a phonecall. Just a few clicks, and you're done. You can do it from the comfort of your couch or office, wherever you do most of your wedding planning.
Q. What if I can't do a trial until closer to my wedding date? Can I still book you now?
A. Absolutely. I service a lot of out of state brides coming home for their wedding, and I'm happy to fit your trial in around when you'll be here. Please message me your exact needs so that we can work out a booking process that fits your schedule. Please note that dates are still not held without a contract for day-of services, so you will still be required to complete that part of the booking process and pay the deposit prior to your trial if you are unable to be in town for a trial prior to 90 days before the wedding date.
Q. How long is a trial run? And where is it held?
A. A trial for hair or makeup takes approximately 60 minutes. A trial for both services is scheduled for about hours. This allows us plenty of time to look through inspiration photos, asses your skin and hair, try out a look or two, and make necessary tweaks. We'll also fill out all the information in your contract and sign it to secure your date. All final headcounts are required at your trial run to avoid losing your date. Dates are only held for a maximum of 48 hours after your trial appointment in order to allow you to sign your contract and pay your deposit.Trials are held in my home studio in Woodbridge, VA.
Q. Can I bring my mom/friend/bridesmaid with me to the trial?
A. Yes, you may bring 1 additional guest with you for your trial appointment. While it may seem like a good idea to bring a bunch of people, take it from me when I tell you that too many opinions can make the process much more stressful and confusing than it needs to be. You should make the decision on how you want to look based on what makes YOU feel beautiful, not what other people think makes you beautiful. This is your day, and your body. Your opinion is the one I listen to.
Q. Can my mom/friend/bridesmaid have a trial, too?
A. I understand that sometimes a bridal party member or family member will be hesitant about getting hair and makeup for the big day. Everyone has their own style, and it can be intimidating to have someone else be responsible for creating a look you are comfortable with. I'm happy to do a trial run for anyone who is interested. The cost is the same for them as it is for the bride, however. The same amount of effort and time is put into creating their look as yours, and so it is priced accordingly.
Q. What should I bring to my trial appointment?
A. The most important thing you can bring is inspiration photos of the look you are going for. Whether that is on Pinterest, magazine pages, or your phone, seeing what you like for hair and makeup goes miles towards a smooth and effective trial run. Try to look for images that represent your own looks already. If you have dark hair, try to look for reference images on dark hair. Styles can look completely different depending on how the hair is colored, especially if it is highlighted. If you have fair skin, look for images of models with fair skin. Kim Kardashian is probably not a great reference in this situation. Keeping in mind what your starting point is will help to guide you to a look that will be flattering and more "you". If you have any hair pieces such as a comb, veil, silk flowers, etc it's a good idea to bring them as well.
Q. How many looks will we try?
A. The appointment is based on time, not necessarily the number of looks. After a thorough consultation, we will determine if it's necessary to do multiple looks or simply adjust one to better suit your needs. Such as starting with a half up style and then pinning the rest of the hair look, so you have an idea of how much you want to leave out. If you want to try multiple different styles, please let me know ahead of time so that we can schedule extra time for your appointment. Additional time is billed at $75 per 30 minutes.
Q. How many people can you do hair and makeup for on the wedding day?
A. I can accommodate wedding parties of all sizes with the help of day-of assistants. For weddings with less than 7 services, I will be the only artist on site doing hair and makeup. For weddings where the number of services exceeds a getting ready timeline of 5.5 hours, I do require the use of assisting artists to get everyone ready on time. Assisting artists may also be required if you are unable to get into your venue early enough to accommodate the needed timeframe to get you and your bridal party ready on time and we have to work with a shortened timeframe. Example: Your venue will not allow you on site until 10 am, but your photographer wants to start photos at 1 pm, and it will take 5 hours for everyone to get ready. An assisting artist is required to shorten the timeframe to 3 hours instead of 5.
These artists are skilled makeup and hairstylists in their own right, so no need to worry that their quality of work isn't up to my standards. It is simply to get everyone ready quickly. I will always be the lead artist for the bride and any party members she indicates. There will be a fee of $175 added for each required assistant in order to cover their travel and associated scheduling costs to hold the date for you.
Q. How long does it take for each person to get ready?
A. In order to schedule enough time for your wedding party, I multiply the number of services done by 45 minutes, and then add a 30 minute buffer window for touch-ups at the end. For groups where there are multiple artists working, the time is roughly half as each artist will be working on someone at the same time. The maximum amount of time I will book for a getting ready process is 5.5 hours, with assisting artists added as needed to fit all services into this timeframe. This is for the maximum comfort and enjoyment of the bride and her bridal party, as nobody really wants to spend longer than that before the photos even start! Your wedding day will be long enough already, so your relaxation and enjoyment of the process is my utmost concern.
Q. Will you come to me if it's just the bride who needs hair and makeup?
A. Absolutely! You are just as important as any other bride, no matter how large or small your wedding party is. I'm happy to come to your hotel or home on the wedding day to make you look and feel fabulous for your big walk down the aisle. I do require that you have both hair and makeup done, but beyond that I don't require a minimum number of people. Please see above for information on minimum pricing requirements.
Q. Do you provide any touch up items?
A. Yes. You will receive a deluxe touch up kit that includes your wedding lipstick or gloss in addition to my standard touch up items, and your group will receive a can of luxury brand hairspray to share. I keep a record of everything we use during the trial, so if you find a product you love I can let you know where to buy it for every day use.
Is there something else you'd like to know that I haven't answered here? Drop me a line! I'm happy to answer any of your questions. suzanneminskey @ gmail.com