Be is for Bridal

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It's no secret that adding bridal makeup and hair to your salon services is a great way to bring in revenue, but not many of us are fully focused on how strengthening this niche can not only help reinforce existing client relationships, but develop new ones as well.

 Johnny Lavoy and a beautiful bride
Johnny Lavoy and a beautiful bride

A wedding is one of the most important events of your client's life. Create an exceptional bridal experience for her from start to finish, and you'll reap the rewards of referral after referral and a strengthened, lifelong client relationship. At the seminars we hold at The Powder Group, we recommend following our "golden rules of bridal" to get you started stepping down the aisle on the right foot.

BE PASSIONATE. Building your bridal business is about wanting to be a great bridal business, so be excited about the process and about creating a great experience for your client.

BE COMPREHENSIVE. Explain all the options for services to ensure that your client understands the factors that will help shape your work. Discuss everything: the location of the wedding, the lighting, the size of the bridal party, the rates for other members of the bridal party and payment terms. And be sure to bring up packages that include other beauty services, such as an engagement photo or group rates.

BE PROFESSIONAL. Prepare an agreement or contract outlining all the details, terms, fees, deposit and cancellation policy. Keep track of all your discussions and details, and be punctual for all appointments.

BE PATIENT. With all the other decisions a bride must make in preparing for her wedding, make her hair and makeup decisions a calm, enjoyable experience. Be open and willing to try different approaches, and be clearly enthusiastic about making changes along the way.

BE CONSISTENT. Make sure the client is always getting the same amazing service from the start of the experience right through to her wedding day. You should even follow up with a personal, hand-written thank-you note.

BE CONNECTED. Learn everything there is to know about the bridal industry in your area, such as popular event spaces, caterers and wedding planners. It will help you get work and show your client that you really know the business.

BE CONCERNED. Nothing shows you care like being available to answer questions, make suggestions or do another trial appointment. Check in with her periodically to see how everything is going and if there's anything you can do to help things along. Showing your interest in such things as whether her flowers ended up being the ones she originally mentioned to you or how her bridal party's dresses worked out will show her that you are involved in her big day.

BE PREPARED. Make sure you're equipped for everything, including emergencies. Have on hand items like breath mints, eye drops, even safety pins and bandages. Also provide touch-up items like lip color and blotting papers.

BE REALISTIC. The day may be running late, and you should not be rushing off for another appointment; you must be ready and waiting for the bride when she is ready for you. So don't overbook yourself; in fact, offer an extended-stay rate if you're working on-site.

BE PROFICIENT. Most importantly, know the key factors in strong bridal hair and makeup looks. Explain to your client why you are choosing particular products or application techniques, and offer her tips to keep her looking gorgeous all the way through to the honeymoon. Above all, understand that there's a difference in doing great work and doing great bridal work.

Michael DeVellis is the founder of The Makeup Show NYC (www.themakeupshow.com), the first New York trade show for makeup professionals. Join him and makeup artist Johnny Lavoy for more bridal beauty and business tips at IBS New York April 30-May 2; call 800-427-2420, or visit www.ibsnewyork.com to learn more.