By now, I’m sure you have read my Wedding Hair & Makeup Help blog post and narrowed down your top picks for your beauty services team. Your next step is to contact those companies to see if they are available on your date. The best way to do that is to send them an email with the information they’ll need to check availability and give you the appropriate rates and information. If they have all of the info they need from you, a good company will get back to you quickly with their availability, so you can then proceed with the process.
My company’s website has required fields for the necessary info, and wedding websites like WeddingWire and The Knot have some of the same required fields. But if you are contacting a company on Instagram, Facebook or via an email address you have, you might not know where to start.
Need help drafting that email? I got you, girl. Here’s how to do it.
Hello, My Name Is. If you don’t have an email signature and your name is not clearly in your email address, you’ll want to let the company know who you are. (Guacamolefreak612@gmail.com may be who you feel you are as a person, but it doesn’t give a company any clue as to what your name is.)
Here’s When It Goes Down. I recommend giving your full wedding date, as established companies are often always booking the current year as well as the following year. And especially if your wedding is not on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you should also provide the day of the week. “Saturday, 7/7/18” eliminates the need for any followup questions regarding the date.
Tell ‘Em What You Need. Do you need hair services, makeup services or both? This will allow the company to know whether to contact/assign hair stylists, makeup artists or both.
Where’s The Party At? If you are using an on-location beauty team, provide the location of where you will be getting ready that day. If you don’t have an exact address yet (maybe because you are deciding between two hotels or a hotel and Airbnb), then at least provide the city/town. It’s important that you tell the company where the hair and/or makeup services will be taking place, not where your wedding ceremony or reception is. They likely need this info to figure out a) who on their team is available and b) if there will be a travel fee. If you tell them your wedding is in Boston but you are actually getting ready at a hotel 30 minutes away, that could affect their pricing and availability.
How Deep Do You Roll? You may not know the exact number of people who will be getting hair and makeup done, but it’s helpful if you can provide an estimate. The reason for this is that many companies who travel have a service minimum, so if you don’t meet that, they should let you know that upon inquiry in case you can find other people who will want their hair and/or makeup done or have to look for another company. On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a big group, the company will probably find it helpful to know that, as they may want to make sure they have enough people to potentially accommodate your group size.
Time It Right. I suggest mentioning your ceremony time in your inquiry. This may also affect the company’s availability. (For example, if you have a 10:00am ceremony–they exist–and the company has other weddings booked on your date but those groups don’t need to be ready until later in the day, they may still be able to accommodate your group.) Bonus points if you also mention whether or not you are doing a First Look, as that affects timing too.
Who’s Your Connect? I always ask clients this anyway, but I (and I would think most business owners) appreciate knowing how someone heard about their company. At AB Beauty, we have a Referral Rewards Program for people who refer brides who book. Those people get a $25 Sephora eGift card after the wedding as a thank you, so it’s helpful to know if someone was a referral. And unless an email came directly from WeddingWire or The Knot, I don’t really know how someone found AB Beauty. So this is not going to affect pricing or availability, but worth a mention.
Still not sure how to craft your inquiry masterpiece? Here’s a sample.
My cousin, Joan Holloway, recommended your company, as she hired you for her wedding last spring. I am looking for hair and makeup services for my Saturday, 7/7/18 wedding. We will be getting ready at the Marriott in Newport, RI. Our ceremony is at 5:00pm, but we are probably doing a First Look. I have seven bridesmaids and two mothers who will likely want hair and/or makeup, plus three Flower Girls.
Are you available on my date? If so, can you please send me your rates* and any other important info?
A thorough inquiry means you don’t have to go back and forth with a company, giving them the info they so they can tell you if they are available on your date. It’s the most efficient way to potentially move forward with your wedding beauty services and cross that task off your planning To Do list.
If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers, so feel free to holla at me in the comments.
Have a beautiful day 🙂
*Even if rates are listed on a website, I recommend asking for them in case they change after you book and the company increases their pricing. It’s best to have your quoted rates in writing to prevent any confusion.
Hello, gorgeous! Are you a bride-to-be? Congratulations! It’s an exciting time and even though I don’t know you, I’m happy for you.
But let’s be real–wedding planning can be overwhelming. There are SO MANY VENDORS to choose from, and unless you work in the industry or have been involved with planning a wedding before, it’s hard to know where to start. Websites like WeddingWire and The Knot can help with the process, as can a good wedding planner. But when it comes to choosing a beauty services company, it can be tricky figuring out which ones are good and which ones will make your planning harder than it needs to be.
The first thing I recommend is to check out vendor listings on WeddingWire. Pour yourself a glass of wine/cup of coffee/shot of tequila, because this might take a while. You’ll see some basic info and a few pictures from each company and if you like their work, look at their website. (If they don’t have a website, you’re likely not dealing with a very professional or established company.) If their website looks legit and their pricing is in your budget (hopefully it’s on their website), then read through their reviews.
There will probably be more positive than negative reviews, so I suggest sorting the reviews by lowest rating. If you see a theme of the same bad vendor behavior in the reviews, that can be a warning sign. I’m not talking a couple reviews or ones that don’t say anything but just give a low rating. But if you consistently see the same negative comments or low ratings in the same area, be careful.
A few things to watch for in the reviews.
Punctuality. Many of the bad reviews I’ve read start with “They showed up 15/30/45 minutes late.” If you see several reviews that mention artists/stylists being late the day of, bustle your gown so you can run. Wedding hair and makeup professionals are usually the first vendor of the day, so if they don’t start on time, that can have a domino effect and make your whole day run late. There’s enough to worry about with the day-of timeline, so why put the start to your day in the hands of a vendor who dismisses the importance of that?
Responsiveness. Wedding planning is a time sensitive thing, and sometimes you can’t make your next move with one vendor until another vendor answers you. And that should not take days. If you see multiple reviews that say a hair and makeup company was slow to respond or brides often had to chase them down for responses, do not book them. They are guaranteed to add stress to your wedding planning, and that’s the last thing you need! WeddingWire has a specific “Responsiveness” category, so I strongly recommend looking at that in the overall rating for a vendor.
Running on Schedule. An experienced wedding hair and makeup team should run on schedule, so buyer beware if you see a lot of reviews stating a particular company ran late. As long as the people in your group show up on time, know what they want, and don’t get up from the chair during their services, the hair stylists and makeup artists should be able to complete all services in the allotted time.
One Contact Person. Multiple points of contact for any wedding vendor transaction can add a lot of confusion to the process. If you come across reviews that mention this issue, tread carefully. A company with constant turnover or lack of internal structure is likely to add some unnecessary frustration to your planning process.
No Excuses. Most wedding review websites will allow vendors to respond to reviews. If you read negative-review responses that are full of excuses from a beauty services company, I strongly suggestion you move on. Excuses and defensiveness are signs that a company lacks professionalism, and is that really who you want to deal with?
After you’ve narrowed down your choices, you’ll want to ask some questions once you establish that the company has your date available. If they can’t answer some of these questions or seem to be evading certain ones, proceed with caution.
How long have you been in business? Not just the hair stylists and makeup artists on the team, but how long has the company been around? Experience doesn’t guarantee that a more established company will always be better, but being in business for at least five years means there is a good chance the company has come across (and hopefully smoothed out) all the normal issues on the operational side and has learned how to make the entire hair and makeup process smooth and easy for their clients. A brand new business may not be aware of how to handle everything because it’s hard to know how to address issues you haven’t encountered yet. If you have a question they haven’t heard or a situation they haven’t come across yet, that may cause delays and confusion that will negatively affect your experience.
Do you do this full time or part-time? Ideally whoever your main point of contact is (the owner, your hair stylist or makeup artist, a bridal coordinator, etc.) will work full-time. Wedding questions are sometimes time sensitive and having to wait several days for a response because your point of contact only works three days a week can be frustrating and cause delays with your wedding planning process.
Are there any hidden fees? At AB Beauty, all of our charges are covered in the rates list and/or FAQs we send upon inquiries. There are no surprise charges and your rates are locked in once you book, regardless of company rate increases. If a company can’t provide you with all of their rates and charges in writing, don’t trust them. That’s not tinnitus you’re hearing–it’s warning bells.
Do you use a contract? Steer clear of a company that doesn’t use a contract. I’ve gotten several calls from panicked brides over the years whose hair and/or makeup team last minute cancelled on them, and in those situations, the services were always “booked” without a written contract. A good contract will protect both parties, and is also a testament to the level of professionalism that company has.
How much is the deposit? Amounts can vary depending on the services you book, but you should be able to get a definitive answer on how much your’s is. If a company can’t provide that answer for you, or seems like they are just saying a number, that’s suspect.
Do you travel? Let’s face it–it’s way more convenient and comfortable to have your beauty team go to you. It eliminates the level of stress that accompanies having to get to a salon and back, nevermind the chunk of time that takes out of your day. If this isn’t important to you, that’s cool. But it’s something worth asking about if you are even slightly considering having a team go to you.
Do you use a schedule? At AB Beauty, we do an average of ten hair and ten makeup services at each wedding (but have done as many as 22). Without a schedule for hair and makeup, things can get very chaotic very quickly. And do you know what chaos leads to? Things not running on time. We are sometimes booked for just hair services or just makeup services and work with another company for whatever we aren’t doing, and when they don’t have a schedule, it always causes the day to run less smoothly than it would with a schedule.
How do your trials work? If you are going to do a trial–and I strongly recommend you do–you’ll want to find out where the company does their trials, how much a trial costs, if they have certain days or hours they do trials, etc., as some of these factors may influence whether or not you want to book with them. Your point of contact should be able to give you clear answers to these questions without hesitation.
What kind of makeup do you use? There are lot of great product lines out there, and maybe you like specific ones. An experienced makeup artist should be able to name two or three of the lines they use most. I personally wouldn’t recommend booking a makeup artist who has a kit full of drugstore makeup, as it those products overall (with a few exceptions) don’t tend to stay on as long or blend as well as higher end makeup products.
Are false lashes included? If you are interested in false lashes, you’ll want to ask if they are included in the makeup service (they are at AB Beauty!) or are a separate cost.
Will I have the same makeup artist and hair stylist the day-of as I would at my trial? If you are doing a hair and makeup trial, you’ll of course want specific hair and makeup looks, but you’ll also want to make sure you like and trust your artist and stylist. Some companies will put you with different people the day of your wedding and while they may be able to duplicate your trial looks, you may not have the same rapport as you did with your original team. I strongly suggest working with a company who does not switch artists and stylists from your trial.
How many weddings do you normally do each year? If you are unclear as to whether or not you are dealing with an established company, hit ’em with this question. If they tell you they only do five or ten weddings a year, it’s either a part-time or new business and they probably don’t have the type of experience a company who does 50+ a year does. That will likely translate into a less of a smooth process, so I’d keep that in mind.
Do you have any references? If a company doesn’t have many reviews but you like everything else you have seen or read, there’s no reason you can’t ask for references from past brides. If a company can’t or won’t honor your request for this, something is up.
One more thing that’s worth a mention: As you comb through websites and Instagram, you may see some people who call themselves “celebrity” hair stylists and makeup artists. True celebrity hair and stylists and makeup artists don’t usually promote themselves as such, and if they are full-time celebrity makeup artists, they are likely not doing weddings. I have noticed that some people in my industry refer to themselves as celebrity artists/stylists, and they are people who have worked with maybe a couple “celebrities” (and I use that term loosely). I’ve worked with a few celebrities too, but that doesn’t make me a celebrity makeup artist. It’s one thing if someone refers to an artist or stylist that way in an article, but if you see the person promote themselves as one, check out their IMDB page and website portfolio and make your own judgement.
I hope this post is helpful to anyone trying to figure out how to book a professional, experienced and talented hair and makeup team. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment.
You met our makeup artists last week, so now it’s time for me introduce you to the hair magicians of Allison Barbera Beauty.
Alexandra Eisemann, Hair Stylist
I can’t say enough about Alex’s work. She is so talented and the styles she creates are Pinterest-worthy. She is a master of not only duplicating styles from inspiration pictures, but creating a look for a client who doesn’t know what they want. Alex is in super high demand for weddings, and she does a lot of photoshoot work. She has done StyleWeek Providence, and her work has been featured on The Rhode Show. She also has her own one chair salon in Warwick, where she does cuts and color for many loyal clients. Alex is so easy to work with and all of our clients enjoy having her around. She is reliable, flexible and hard working–the kind exact type of person I want representing my company. Alex is a huge asset to Allison Barbera Beauty, and I am so thrilled that she is on the team.
Ana Araujo, Hair Stylist
Ana has been with AB Beauty for longer than anyone else in the company–she was the second person I ever hired. When I got her resume, I noticed that she had worked at a salon where another stylist I knew worked. So I contacted that stylist, and she gushed about Ana. That was absolutely justified–you can’t say enough good things about Ana. She is a consummate pro–there is nothing she can’t handle. Braids were a huge wedding trend for a while, and Ana was the queen of that trend. She is meticulous with her work and listens intently to her clients’ wants and needs. Many of our reviews about Ana mention how she is such a calming presence at weddings. It’s so true. If Ana gets frazzled, which I doubt, it certainly doesn’t show! Ana’s portfolio is beautiful. Any time a potential client looks at it, they are sold. In addition to working for AB Beauty, Ana has a steady stream of clients at The Hair Studio, the salon she works at in Tiverton. You can’t go wrong booking hair services with this superstar.
Emily Buffi, Hair Stylist
Emily was with AB Beauty for a few years when we first started and quickly became very popular with brides. She also did a lot of photoshoot work and became a photographer favorite. Emily wowed everyone with her ability to create anything from beachy waves to 1930s Hollywood Glamour looks to elegant updos. She left for a while to focus on her jewelry company, That Hippie Chic (thathippiechic.etsy.com or follow on Instagram at thathippiechicaccessories) and is now back with us for this wedding season. I was SO excited when Emily said she would like to re-join the team. Besides being mega-talented and professional, Emily is laidback, easy to work with and fun to have around. There’s a reason people were still requesting her a year after she left! I’m so excited to see more hair masterpieces done by Emily this year. (Photo credit: Peter Silvia, http://www.petersilvia.com)
Kerri Bakalalis, Hair Stylist
Kerri came highly recommended by another beauty pro, so I knew she would be a good fit. Kerri joined us last fall and she has been a great addition to our team. She is the ultimate polished professional, and could not be any nicer. Our clients always love the beautiful hair styles Kerri creates, and they always say “She was so nice!” Kerri is dependable, genuine, easy to work with and super talented. She really takes the time to listen to what each client wants and works with them to make sure they are 110% happy. It’s obvious that Kerri takes her job as a hair stylist very seriously, even though has another job as a dental hygienist and is a mom (When does this woman sleep?). Since Kerri is new to the company, I don’t have any pro pictures of her work yet, but the one above was taken at a bridal trial. I’m psyched to have Kerri on the team and look forward to seeing the hair styles she creates at the many weddings she is already booked at this season.
Lindsay Cardinale, Hair Stylist
Lindsay also came highly recommended from another beauty pro/salon owner who I have known for years. Lindsay loves weddings. Loves loves loves them. Whether it’s 6:00am or 1:00pm, Lindsay shows up happy, energized and ready to work (this is especially impressive when you learn she has a young child at home!). Lindsay is big believer in making the wedding day hair services a true experience. She often gives her client a shoulder massage while chatting them up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a wedding job where Lindsay was already with a client and thought “Oh, she must know that person.” Nope! She is just super friendly and makes everyone feel at ease. Besides creating gorgeous wedding styles for AB Beauty, Lindsay works at Newport salon, Natural Creations. (Photo credit: Julie Furtado, Rhode Island)
Liz Tucker, Hair Stylist
A couple of years back, I was having trouble finding a new hair stylist. I asked around and a hair stylist/fellow beauty services company owner I know recommended Liz. I saw pictures of her work and was sold. Liz is confident, experienced and efficient–all musts for wedding and event jobs. She makes creating the perfect updo or “Oh my God, I love it!” downstyle look effortless. There are many times I have been beyond impressed with Liz’s work, and one time was this past summer. It was a rainy, humid July day and the mother of the bride had naturally curly, frizzy hair. Liz gave her a super sleek blowout and it stayed the whole day (I saw the pictures that prove it). Liz is a great communicator and easy to talk to. When not with AB Beauty, Liz works at Eden XO in Cranston, where she has a loyal following of regular clients. Liz is a true pro and a definite asset to the Allison Barbera Beauty team. (Photo credit: CC Design Studio www.ccdesignstudio.com)
I don’t know how to create the gorgeous wedding styles Alex, Ana, Emily, Kerri, Lindsay and Liz do, but I know enough to recognize how talented they are. It is not easy to design a hair style that works with a client’s hair type, length, color, face shape and their dress, but these stylists do it every time.
In the early years, Allison Barbera Beauty was Allison Barbera Makeup Artistry (Facebook still won’t let me change the damn name). It was a one-woman show–just me, just makeup services. By the end of my third wedding season, I was turning down more weddings than I was booking. Why? Because due to unfortunate quantum physics restraints, I can only be in one place at a time. Also, brides were booking larger and larger groups–an average of eight people at that time–and some did not want to start as early as I would need to to do all eight services myself.
It broke my entrepreneurial heart to have to turn down business because I couldn’t do two weddings at once and to lose clients who just wanted another makeup artist. So I hired Marissa, a makeup artist and hair stylist. Hair stylist, you say? So I could accommodate more brides–the ones I was losing because they wanted to book hair and makeup with the same company? Done. (Marissa is not with my company regularly anymore, but still does a few weddings with each season. She is a fantastic artist and stylist who has a great sense of humor and had a lot of patience with my changing policies as I figured out how to grow the company.)
I now have a top notch team of professional, talented, punctual artists and stylists who are passionate about what they do. They are all independent contractors–which means they have other jobs outside of AB Beauty–so they book up very quickly. All of my artists and stylists get along well and work together seamlessly. There is no gossip or bad blood. I would like to think I have good intuition, and I know from the first interview whether or not an artist or stylist would fit in with the team. If I have even a little bit of doubt about that, no matter how talented they are, I don’t hire them. I want the AB Beauty artists and stylists to enjoy working with each other. If they don’t, clients are going to pick up on that and possibly feel uncomfortable. That’s just not something I am willing to risk.
If you like our Allison Barbera Beauty Weddings Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AllisonBarberaBeautyWeddings?ref=hl , you have probably seen statuses about and portfolios of the artists and stylists. But I think they deserve a proper introduction. Each artist and stylist has their own style and techniques, but they create beautiful work across the board. I’m going to break this down into two posts–one featuring the makeup artists and one featuring the hair stylists. I’ll start with the makeup artists.
Ready to meet them? Here we go!
Alexis Frankian, Makeup Artist
Alexis is a talented, highly skilled makeup artist. She has 13 years of experience and her beauty product knowledge is obvious to anyone who speaks to her for even five minutes. She got her start at CMU College of Makeup Design in Toronto, and later worked for Shiseido and Estee Lauder. She was an assistant instructor in Makeup Design at John Robert Powers and did training with Dany Sanz, founder of Make Up For Ever. Alexis currently works as a Beauty Consultant and Fragrance Expert at Sephora. Alexis is a huge believer in skincare products and always recommends what she thinks will work best for our clients. She is honest but tactful and really wants to help people not only while she is doing their makeup, but before and/or after the service. Although she is very modern in her approach to makeup, Alexis loves vintage clothing and retro makeup looks. Alexis also offers airbrush makeup for our clients. If you want a knowledgeable, polite and professional makeup artist, Alexis is your girl!
Ashley Onges, Makeup Artist
Ashley is a triple threat in the beauty industry–she is a makeup artist, a nail tech and an esthetician. Beauty is in her blood–her mother is a salon owner in MA. Ashley does beautiful work and can handle a high volume of clients without blinking an eye. She really loves doing weddings, and it shows. She is friendly, easy to talk to and always on top of new trends and techniques. Ashley also offers airbrush makeup for our clients. Besides doing wedding work with AB Beauty, she works at a JF3 Salon at Celebeautique in Newport. Ashley has been with AB Beauty since 2011 and I’m so glad she is a part of the team.
Jennifer Smith, Makeup Artist
Here’s a true success story. A few years ago, I was looking for another makeup artist to join the team. I was interviewing, interviewing, interviewing but no one fit the bill. I finally put a status up on my personal Facebook page, in the hopes that someone would know of a makeup artist. A contact of mine, Caitlin, said that she knew a girl named Jennifer who wasn’t a professional makeup artist but seemed to do great work. Caitlin gave me Jen’s Facebook page, and after I saw her pictures, I contacted her right away. Talk about natural talent! This girl has it in spades. I got in touch with her to see if she would be interested in training with me then working as a makeup artist for my company. Turned out that was her dream job! We did about four months of intense training, and then Jen started doing bridal parties. Everyone, from other artists to clients to photographers, was impressed with her work. And me? Blown away. Jen was born to do this. She has a serious passion for makeup, always trying and buying new products and researching makeup classes. And how’s this for full circle? She did Caitlin’s wedding makeup last summer. I can’t imagine not having Jen on the AB Beauty team.
Jessica Puleo, Makeup Artist
When I describe Jessica to someone, I always say the same thing: She is really good. Not really good, but really good. The first time Jessica did a wedding for me, I was contacted by a bridesmaid from that group the next week–she wanted Jessica to do her wedding makeup. That bride already had a hair stylist, and Jessica did the wedding makeup at that hair stylist’s salon. Soon after that, the salon owner contacted to me ask if Jessica could come in to teach makeup classes for their clients. And that is how things work with Jess! Her talent speaks for itself. She worked for MAC Cosmetics for several years before leaving to pursue a freelance career. Jessica has done weddings, films and photoshoots and I have no doubt she will succeed at any other area she decides to pursue. She is a kind, funny, free spirit and a true artist. Jess left AB Beauty at one point to work for Laura Mercier, but now she is back with us and I couldn’t be happier. She also does astrology charts and readings (she did mine–it was great!) so if you are interested in that, I would be happy to connect you. If you are a looking for flawless makeup done by an experienced, well-loved makeup artist, Jessica will not let you down. (Photo credit: Peter Silvia, http://petersilvia.com/)
Shaley Teeter, Makeup Artist
Shaley came to me while she was in esthetics school. She sent me pictures of some makeup work she had done, and I could see her obvious talent. I don’t know if it is in her gene pool–both her mom and uncle work in the beauty industry–or if she taught herself, but she just has it. Shaley trained with me for several months before doing weddings for my company, and although she was already very good when she started, she has become an awesome makeup artist. Shaley does beautiful makeup in a natural, modern way and her personality makes her a blast to be around. When I hear someone laughing at a wedding job, usually I turn around and see that they are getting their makeup done by Shaley. And she is not just a great makeup artist and funny girl–she’s also a fantastic singer! Shaley is a vocalist in a band, Dr. Slick, that does shows in Rhode Island. They are really good (I’ve been to a show) and of course Shaley’s stage makeup is always perfect 🙂 (Photo credit, Armor & Martel, http://www.chris-martel.com/)
I feel lucky that I have such a kickass team of artists. They all bring a lot to the table, and I think their other jobs and interests only enhance that.
Planning a wedding is time-consuming. And expensive. The venue, the photographer, the flowers, the music, the hair and makeup (call Allison Barbera Beauty for that!) and of course, the dress. The dress is such a key part of the day. Whether it’s a mermaid gown, a princess gown, a retro lace gown or anything in between, every bride has a picture in her mind of the dress she wants to wear on her wedding day.
Now imagine not being able to go dress shopping because you are serving in the armed forces and are deployed. Or your fiance is deployed, and the financial hardships of planning a wedding make it too difficult to buy a wedding gown. Enter Brides Across America.
My friend, whose husband is in the Coast Guard, told me about this organization, and I think it is wonderful. Brides Across America, partnering with bridal salons, holds events twice a year where they give away donated wedding gowns to military brides. If you are a military bride who is in need of a dress, or a woman who has a wedding dress that you would like to donate, it’s definitely worth checking them out.
In an ideal world, I would do nothing but eat pomegranates and watch Shark Tank for the majority of my waking hours. That may seem like an odd combination, but everyone has their thing. And mine happens to be enjoying a low calorie, antioxidant-packed fruit while watching successful, creative entrepreneurs (and some, um, interesting ones) pitch their products/services to the sharks, in hopes that they can win over one of the mega rich investors.
While watching Shark Tank recently, my ears perked up when Jacqueline Courtney of Nearly Newlywed came into the tank. As the owner of a beauty services company that specializes in weddings, I am always interested in products and services that may be useful to my bridal clients. If there is something new or different in the industry, I love to be able to share that with my Allison Barbera Beauty brides. And Nearly Newlywed definitely falls into that “new or different” category.
Looking for a wedding gown? Nearly Newlywed has gowns designed exclusively for them, as well as sample and pre-owned gowns at 50-90% off. Their selections include gowns from designers Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang, Valentino and more. Whichever gowns you choose are shipped to you, which is great for those brides who don’t have the time or desire to visit several bridal boutiques. Nearly Newlywed gives you five days to try on your dresses, and whatever you don’t like, you send back for a flat $25 fee.
Want to sell your gown? Simply take your measurements, send photos and a description of the dress and pay the $25 listing fee. (If you bought the dress from Nearly Newlywed, it is already pre-approved for listing and you won’t pay the listing fee). They handle the transactions with any potential buyers and notify you when your dress has sold. Then you ship it to them and receive 75% of the sale price.
Jacqueline didn’t end up getting a shark to invest, but hey, that’s their loss. As someone with 6+ years in the wedding industry and hundreds of weddings under her belt, I think this is a really smart business idea that will continue to gain momentum. Check out the (very gorgeous) Nearly Newlywed site here: http://www.nearlynewlywed.com/ And here’s the Allison Barbera Beauty site, for all of you brides-to-be: http://www.allisonbarbera.com
There are a million crappy photographers out there. Sorry, but it’s true. I have looked through literally thousands of professional photographs during my 6.5 years as a makeup artist and while I have been fortunate enough to work with some true pros, I have realized that there are a lot of amateurs in the game. I don’t mean to be harsh, and I’m not claiming I know how to take a picture myself. But people hire photographers for weddings, editorial shoots, corporate jobs, etc. and I have to cringe when I see what some of these people have unfortunately paid for.
Luckily, there is Joe Laurin. Joe is insanely talented and in huge demand in the New England wedding industry. I have done several weddings and photoshoots with Joe, and I always recommend him without hesitation. Not only is he damn good at what he does, but working with him is like having a standup comedian with you. I try really hard not to make an ugly laughing face when Joe is in the room, for fear of him catching it on film, but it’s not easy. It’s not unusual for me to have to stop doing makeup for 30 seconds to compose myself (but don’t worry, I still always run on schedule!) while he is cracking a joke or telling a story about his kids.
I recently re-designed my website, www.allisonbarbera.com, and realized how many beautiful photos I have from weddings and shoots with Joe. I thought “This would make a great blog post.” So here you go. Feast your eyes on this, then go check out Joe’s website, www.joelaurinphotography.com, for more. And if you want to hire him for your wedding, DO IT NOW! He books super fast.
Newport’s Own Allison Barbera Beauty Wins a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award® 2015
Newport, RI – January 9, 2015 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Allison Barbera Beauty as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 for Wedding Beauty Services in Newport!
The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues towedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.
While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Allison Barbera Beauty. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.
“It’s always exciting to start the year by honoring the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network who represent more than two million reviews on our website,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Each of the businesses recognized are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We applaud Allison Barbera Beauty for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”
As a Couples’ Choice Awards® winner, Allison Barbera Beauty is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.
Allison Barbera Beauty is proud to be one of the top Wedding Beauty Services companies in Rhode Island in the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® 2015.
WeddingWire, the leading technology company serving the $100 billionwedding and events industry, is the largest online vertical marketplace connecting engaged couples with event professionals. With more than two million consumer reviews, it is the industry leader in consumer reviews. The site enables engaged couples to search, compare and book from an extensive database of more than 200,000 recently reviewed event professionals, from venues to photographers. WeddingWire provides event professionals with the technology they need to serve their clients, including a SaaS platform, which powers advertising, marketing, and CRM needs of local wedding and events businesses nationwide.
A big part of my business, Allison Barbera Beauty, is wedding hair and makeup. My crazy talented team of artists and stylists and I did 60+ weddings this year, as well as many engagement shoots and rehearsal day hair and makeup services. We love love love doing weddings and are thrilled that 2015 is booking up so quickly.
2014 was a busy year for us. We did our first wedding of the year in February and our last one in late November. Lindsay, Olivia and Kerri joined the team as hair stylists and Shaley joined as makeup artist. As a company, we did around 500 hair and makeup services. We got to go to tons of beautiful homes, hotels and venues, we worked with several talented photographers and most importantly, we met so many fun and interesting people. As stylists/artists, we get to spend 30-60 minutes (more with our brides) having one-on-one conversations with each client . There are not many jobs that I can think of that allow you to meet so many people and get to talk to them for more than five minutes. We get to interact with new people while doing what we love. That’s a win-win.
Here are a few highlights of our 2014 season:
1) The Gorgeous Venues. OceanCliff. Castle Hill Inn. The Ocean House. Bristol Harbor Inn. The Chanler at Cliffwalk. 41 North. The Island House at Belle Mer. Hotel Viking. Glen Manor. Mount Hope Farm. The Attwater. Tower House B&B. Several beach homes and private mansions. Whether the bride was getting married there or just getting ready there, we got to set up shop in so many beautiful places. As a former real estate agent who chose that profession mainly to see inside different homes (admittedly not the best reason), I love this perk of my job as a freelance makeup artist.
2) The Stunning Wedding Gowns. From bombshell mermaid cuts to cap-sleeved vintage perfection to classic, romantic princess styles, we saw some absolutely breathtaking gowns this year. One bride had a Vera Wang gown with a Grace Kelly feel and another wore a blush gown while her bridesmaids wore ivory (love that idea!). Sometimes hair and makeup is done in one location and the bride changes into her dress at another, so I’m always psyched when I get to see the photos after, with the bride in her dress. Check out some of our glowing brides here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.437545619630091.120576.437543879630265&type=3
3) The Beautiful Bridesmaids Dresses. Navy and blush were the most popular colors that we saw, and for good reason–they were flattering on everyone! Some bridal parties all had the same dress, while others wore the same color in different styles. A few bridal parties wore different shades and styles from the same color palette, which stands out beautifully in photos. And oh, the Indian weddings! They make me want to wear a sari every day. We also saw a ton of cute getting-ready robes–a trend that I think is here to stay. Take a look at some of these beauties here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.437545072963479.120575.437543879630265&type=3
4) The Hugs. I’m pretty sure my whole team is with me on this one–there is nothing better than getting a hug from a client because she loves her hair or makeup so much. These hugs are often followed by “My hair/makeup has never looked this good!,” “Can you come to my house and do this every day?” or “I can’t stop checking myself out!” Knowing that we have made people that much happier and more confident on such an important day really means a lot.
5) The Amazing Reviews, Thank You Cards and Emails. I’ll admit it–kind words from a happy client make me tear up. Even after six plus years of doing this, it never gets old. We work so hard to make our brides and their parties happy, so when they take the time to tell us that we did, it really makes my day. If you are interested in our reviews, click here: http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/allison-barbera-beauty-newport/2fd8029397da9264.html
6) The Bright Lip Trend. Alexis, Jennifer, Shaley and I loved how so many brides, bridesmaids and mothers requested bright or intense lipcolors this year. When done right–the only way we do things!–a lipcolor that pops really makes the whole look. We are hoping this trend continues in 2015!
7) The Crazy Amount of Referrals. Past brides, bridesmaids and just people who know me sent us a ton of work in 2014. We have an Allison Barbera Beauty Referral Rewards Program where I send people a $25 Sephora giftcard (or somewhere else, if they prefer) for referring any bride who books, and I sent out more this year than I ever have. So thank you, referrers!
8) The Optimistic Rainy Day Brides. Mother Nature does whatever the hell she wants and sometimes that means a couple gets a rainy wedding day. I understand how this could upset a bride, but all of our 2014 rainy day brides were troopers. Even if they were a little bummed out, they didn’t cry or scream or take it out on anyone. In fact, they all said a variation of the same thing: “I’m just happy to be getting married to ___.” Really sweet and, I think, very admirable.
9) The Family and Friend Weddings. I got to do several weddings for family and friends (or friends/family of close friends) this year, which I loved. It’s so nice to be there with them as they get ready for their wedding, and I am always honored when they ask me to do their makeup. I have a few already lined up for 2015, and I hope that list continues to grow.
10) The Conversations. As I mentioned, I love meeting and talking to new people. I don’t want to get too preachy here, but I believe that human interactions are kind of the point of life. I’m so interested in what other people do, where they are from and what their lives are like. I feel like I made a great connection with dozens of people this wedding season, and that is something I’m really grateful for.
Thank you again to all of our brides, the people who referred us and of course, my rockstar team. I appreciate the business, the conversations and the mimosa offers (which we sadly can’t accept because, you know, professionalism!) The 2014 wedding season was absolutely wonderful and I am full of gratitude for that.
You’re getting married? Congratulations! It’s such an exciting time, and I really hope you get to enjoy planning your big day.
If you are looking for hair and/or makeup services in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut, we would love to work with you. (We also go outside of those areas whenever possible.) You may have already started looking for a hair and/or makeup team for your wedding day services and found that there are a lot of companies to choose from. Chances are this is your first time planning a wedding, so all of the choices–for one vendor alone!–can be overwhelming. Allow me to put forth a compelling case for why you should choose Allison Barbera Beauty for your wedding hair and/or makeup services.
Before I get into it, I want to make it very clear that this post is in no way intended to insult any other companies, or imply that they are doing things wrong. I don’t know the inner workings of other companies or what their numbers are, and that is not my concern. I have had zero issues with beauty industry pros and you won’t see me hinting at anything negative on social media or a public forum. That’s not my style and it never will be. I have seen and worked alongside some talented artists and stylists, I won’t deny it. But this post is not about them. This post is about Allison Barbera Beauty and why you should choose us for your wedding day hair and/or makeup services. There is no disrespect or snarkyness intended.
If we had a mission statement–and you know, maybe we should–it would say “Allison Barbera Beauty strives to make every bridal hair and makeup service as professional, seamless and beautiful as it can be. We put our clients first and do everything we can to ensure that each person has an exceptional experience, both on the wedding day and during the time leading up to it. ”
As the owner of the company, I personally handle all client communication. Every phone call, every email and every text is answered by me. I create the invoices, contracts and schedules and I handle the complete booking process. I coordinate the trials and work with your other vendors as needed. Even though you might have one or more talented people from AB Beauty on your wedding day, all of the communication is filtered through me, so it is one stop shopping.
Am I qualified to do this? Do I know how to run a business? I can answer that without hesitation: Yes! I have been working in small businesses since I was 15 years old. My first business card–my 16th birthday present–said “Allison Barbera, Administrative Assistant.” I opened my father’s Massachusetts real estate company with him, then went on to be an Office Manager at two small companies in Florida and one in Rhode Island. In college, I majored in American Studies (basically Liberal Arts) with a concentration in Business. If you have any doubt about my love for small businesses, please know that my favorite make-believe game as a child was “Small Business Owner.” I devour business books and articles on the daily and I am constantly thinking of ways to improve the AB Beauty experience for our clients.
So what does that have to do with your wedding? A lot. Wedding hair and makeup services, especially when done onsite, require a ton of organization. We don’t just show up the day of the wedding, saying “Okay, we’re ready. Nice to meet you. Now who is first?” From your initial contact, which I always answer the same day (typically within hours, often minutes) until after I have followed up post-wedding, you will experience nothing but professionalism from AB Beauty. You won’t have to worry about your contract being received with no confirmation. Your invoice will be done well ahead of time, and your services will be scheduled so your best friend from college–who flies by the seat of her pants–knows when to show up. There are no surprises with AB Beauty. No hidden charges, no undisclosed policies. You will get all information up front, in writing, and can ask me as many questions as you want at any time during the process.
Any questions you have during the process, from “Can my mother bring her own favorite lipstick?” (Sure!) to “It’s two days before my wedding and I have a zit–what should I do?” (Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide spot treatment and don’t pick!) will be answered quickly and clearly. I know that you have 8 million things on your plate. AB Beauty is not going to be the vendor who makes you wait several days for an answer. I know that that answer can impact other things. I realize that many brides are planning their wedding during lunch breaks and precious free time on weekends, so unless I am with a client or on set, I get right back to you. This is my full-time job. I don’t take days off, my phone is always on me and I work stupid hours so that you can get the answers you need without delay (or limited delay, anyway).
I’m not tooting my own horn here. I have simply benefited from many years of working in small businesses, and having a wealth of knowledge (via my entrepreneurial and administrative family) at my fingertips. This business savvy is, I believe, a big part of what separates AB Beauty from our competition. I am also a licensed Esthetician and have had a makeup addiction since childhood. I love doing makeup and learning everything I can about it, from the history of eyeliner to the current runway trends.
The other major factor that we have on our side at AB Beauty is the talented, professional and creative makeup artists and hair stylists on our wedding team. Every single one of them has blown me away with hair and/or makeup looks they have created and I could not be happier to have them on the AB Beauty team. They love what they do and it shows. The are not factory hair stylists and makeup artists, pumping out wedding updos and makeup services in 15 minutes. They are genuinely interested in talking to each client and creating the look they want. We have no singular AB Beauty look, because we take each person’s face, hair and preferences into consideration. If you see a portfolio for a company and every single bride or bridesmaid has, for example, shimmery eyeshadow, light pink lips, and a messy side updo, that might tell you that that is all those artists and stylists know how (or want) to do.
Because I take care of the business side, my artists and stylists are able to completely focus on your hair and/or makeup. They are constantly learning new techniques through classes they take, salons they work at and photoshoots they do. (I do the same, with some business seminars thrown in too.) They are professional and fun to work with. Walk into an AB Beauty wedding while hair and makeup is being done and you will hear lots of animated conversations and laughter. But never former-bride-bashing or trash talk. I made sure that each artist and stylist I hired was not into the gossip thing that is unfortunately pretty prevalent in the beauty industry. Everyone on my team genuinely likes each other and we work together seamlessly.
As an AB Beauty bride, you can sleep well (no wedding day nightmares!) knowing that I will be there to guide you from start to finish. I have been involved in several hundred weddings during my almost ten years in business, and I know how to make this an experience that will be easy, clear and will exceed your expectations. There really is no substitute for experience. Between weddings, films, photoshoots, television, commercials and corporate jobs, I have applied makeup to over 1,000 faces. I have encountered every skin type, color, issue, eye shape, brow color, etc. I have learned so much in the past decade and as an AB Beauty bride, you will benefit from my experience and knowledge.
I love what I do (both the business side and the makeup side), and I hope that comes across. This is my dream job and I am incredibly happy and honored that so many brides have chosen to work with us over the years. I hope you will too.
If you need more proof, check out our reviews on WeddingWire.com and on our Allison Barbera Beauty Weddings Facebook page. I also have a list of past brides who volunteered to be references, so I am happy to put you in touch with them too.
I can be contacted via email at AllisonBarbera@AllisonBarbera.com, by phone at 774.696.4546 or via our website.