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Hair & MUA's Styling Destination Weddings- What's stopping you?

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Are you an established bridal hair or makeup artist wanting to expand your business model and add destination weddings to your portfolio?

This is me in 2019 on the Greek Island of Santorini, I'd just finished styling an amazing U.K. wedding in Oia, one of the most beautiful, scenic tourist destinations in Europe

Can you see what possessed me to go outside my comfort zone and expand my bridal hair business to Greece?

I think my smile says it all!

One of my first experiences that got the ball rolling was flying to a destination for work was in 2017 when I was asked to be part of a styling team for The Cannes Film Festival in the South of France at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc (I have a 2 blogs about the experience on here, for those who want the in-depth version!) Working with some amazing professional in the industry. Totally loved it! No brainer!

This experience got my entrepreneurial head spinning into action

-Did I want to fly to each individual wedding?

-What countries would I be happy to fly to?

-Should I base myself in one location, or travel around?

Research told me that over 50,000 couples were getting married abroad, with the main appeal being guaranteed sunshine and a cheaper outlay. With many using, and flying out U.K. hair and makeup specialists

So my head told me 'You're doing this' ;)

Having a family home on the Greek Island of Crete (which was helpful!) became my base. It was basically a case of starting my business from scratch in another location

I'd successfully established myself in the U.K. winning industry awards in the process. So I knew the hard work I'd have to put in which 80% of it did not involve styling hair! It was admin and research....and a whole lot more!

Things to consider.....

-The costs involved

-The time involved

-Making connections

-Pricing yourself correctly

-Setting achievement goals

-The pitfalls to avoid

-Adding your service to your website and social media

-Making yourself look appealing to the market

-Getting the work/life balance right

The costs involved

If you're styling a destination wedding then you are ideally going to allow 3 days, 1 either side of the wedding to travel, so when pricing a wedding consider the 2 days of travel where you are unable to work

Not only are you pricing for the wedding, there are also the extra additional costs, flights, visa's transfers, car park charges, car hire or taxi charges, accommodation and meals

The time involved

Booking out sufficient time in your diary. Ideally a day either side of the wedding. But if the flights work then you could potentially fly home after the wedding. I wouldn't recommend flying out on the day, this would be stressful and you never know if a flight will be delayed or even cancelled

Making connections

Remember when you first set up your business? Well think of it like that, setting up, expanding your business to the next level. deciding if you want to go wherever the jobs take you or locate yourself in one place.

Networking with other suppliers, looking into agencies and wedding planners, possibly setting up photoshoots

Pricing yourself correctly

From my experience I have kept my pricing structure the same as my U.K. price list. This suits the location in Greece where I'm located. However I stay in the location for 2-3 months

When travelling for one wedding then I think it's sensible to work out a day rate or even a destination rate covering potentially the 3 days you are away. Then the extras of flights, accommodation, meals etc can be discussed with the bride and added on accordingly

Setting achievement goals

Set a 5 year business plan as to where you would like to see yourself in 5 years time. Make lists, bullet charts to add goals, stepping stones to how you can up your game and research what has to go into you business to get to your desired level

The pitfalls to avoid

Don't undersell yourself, this is your business at the end of the day. Don't let brides dictate to you how long you need to be there, I've heard stories of brides insisting you can get that late flight home or even fly out very early in the morning for the wedding! No-one should be getting up at 2am to fly 6am to style a full on wedding at 11am. A simple explanation should suffice if this were to come up in conversation, they simply wouldn't get the best of you, and you might not get there at all if the flight is delayed!

This is your professional business and you know how to run it efficiently

Adding your service to your website and social media

Essential in marketing your business. I would suggest a website makes you look more professional and it also gets you found on Google. I have created an additional page to my website for destination weddings, adding images, all the information needed plus my price list too

As I am located abroad in the same location this works well for me. But as suggested before you may want to add a day rate or ask potential brides to get in touch for a bespoke quote

Social media is ideal and it's FREE! Promote your destination wedding package, using appropriate hashtags. I also have another account just for my weddings in Crete and use both this and my primary account to post

There are lots of Facebook groups you can join for destination weddings, it's literally a minefield, spend time looking for the ones that suit you and where you'd ideally like to go

Making yourself look appealing to the market

First impressions count right? It take just 3 seconds for someone to decide to read or scroll on. So if you're still here then i'm doing okay! ;)

Make sure you website looks professional and check for any spelling mistakes and that all your links are working correctly

Go through your social media posts, archiving any that you're not happy with. Less is more, this helps your amazing posts stand out. always post on your STORY on Instagram this is where you get the most interaction

A great idea is to team up with a makeup artist and promote yourselves together. This would be a great incentive for a bride to book you both as you can share a room and transfers too. Together you're stronger!

Getting the work/life balance right

This can take some adjusting. After the pandemic this was something I really thought about. Streamlining your business can help create a better balance.

Focus on your priorities (the 5 year plan) In our business we do need to outline a couple of years ahead due to brides booking way in advance. Make sure you are booking out 'You' time when planning your work schedule.

Styling a destination wedding can be a great opportunity to live life, have a mini break and see the world! The beauty of running your own business is it's your choice!

11 years ago I was a mobile hairdresser bringing up my daughter solo (You can read My Story here)

By year 6 I was a multi award winning bridal hair stylist and educator, working in both the U.K. and Crete with my perfect work/ life balance, plus I was achieving all my goals

Now I want to pass on my knowledge to you. I hope you've enjoyed this blog post!

Looking to update your styling skills, then don't miss my Virtual Styling Masterclass where I'll be creating 2 current bridal hairstyles for the 2024 season. You'll be able to style along with me, with my guidance and styling top tips. Spaces are limited so


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