I will never pressure someone to book with us. Our work is very visual and we have the reviews so if you don’t book right away that is fine with me. We don’t “pencil you in” and this is why…
When I first started my freelance career I believed clients who said “pencil me in” so I would literally put them in my book, and count on them to honor their booking. No contract, money exchanged up front and no commitment. I would decline multiple inquiries and decline any invitations to personal social events. Guess what happened? I got burned and burned bad. When clients cancel last minute, I would lose money and time. It’s part of owning a legitimate business to ask for legal documentation of your reservation. This is my career not a hobby and I treat it as such. Without contracts and retainers there is no confusion on what happens if your booking is cancelled, postponed or moved to another date. Those contracts also protect the client in the event that things don’t go as planned.
Bride: Kelly/Photo by Allen Adams Photography
Makeup by Pamela Butler Hair by Brooke Meadows
My contract covers everything from allergies to location to payment options. It also explains to the bride what happens in the unforseen event of me being sick, unavailable or stuck in snow storm (we know that’s possible in Kentucky). I have had 4 brides last year who paid another makeup artist money up front without a contract only to find out that their money was lost due to negligence from the makeup person. I refuse to call them an artist and let’s just stick to “con artist”. Those contracts state what is paid in advance and that’s the only way to have it in writing should the bride need to take action.
Makeup and Hair professionals are not excluded from protecting both the client, and their livelihood. When you cancel or don’t committ in writing you run the chance of getting scammed, stood up or even inconvenienced by your wedding vendors. There have been several local vendors who made the news because of such shenanigans. Brides had to sue vendors to recover monies paid for services/products not delivered based upon a CONTRACT!
While it may take some time to read over your proposals, signing a contract, paying your retainer to secure services, it is the best practices and necessary information for you and your professional.
I only want to provide all my clients with a positive outcome and laying the foundation for clear expectations is a start.