Today, I'm wrapping up a popular summer series where a number of talented vendors gave us a behind the scenes look at their life on a wedding day. I've always known that wedding vendors work incredibly hard to make their clients happy, and to make sure their big day goes off without a hitch. But man, even I've been surprised by just how much time and effort goes into executing their jobs perfectly!
Although hair and makeup artist Hannah Conard is no exception to this, she chose to take a different approach when writing her segment. Rather than a moment-by-moment reflection, Hannah writes about the whirlwind of emotions she goes through on a wedding day. Upon reading this, it became clear to me – Hannah cares about her clients! Like really cares! She'll do just about anything to make them happy, and I love her unique perspective to this series. It's no wonder she's one of the most coveted beauty professionals in the city!
Now, Hannah, come to my house every morning and make me look fabulous.
There is this amazing quote by Maya Angelou where she says, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When I thought about giving someone a glimpse into my life as a wedding hair and makeup artist, for me it's not the specific events or a timeline, but rather the emotions I experience that paint the best picture of a day in my life.
Restless – It's 3 a.m. and I should be sleeping, but my mind is racing. I never sleep the night before a wedding. I feel privileged to be part of this monumental day, and I care just as much as (if not more than!) the bride about how all the hair and makeup is going to look. Thoughts of something not going as planned or someone not loving how she looks keeps me awake a little longer before I’m able to get some rest.
Anxious – No matter the amount of planning and preparation, I can’t help but feel anxious in the morning. I want everything to be perfect for my brides. I spent all day Monday making and sending the schedules for all four weddings that weekend. Tuesday and Wednesday were non-stop emails, going over and changing details, talking with all of my team, making sure that they have all the supplies and information they need. Thursday included multiple shopping trips to stock my supplies, cleaning brushes, and organizing and packing my kits. I'm ready! Right? I walk out of the door at 6 a.m. and can’t help feeling uneasy that I might be forgetting some detail or be heading into some unforeseen obstacle.
Focus – I get in my car, put on some motivational music, and drive. Everything has been thought through and timed. I’ve packed enough cushion into the timeline to account for mishaps. I clear my head of distractions and spend the 90 minute commute going over everything.
Excitement – I arrived at the venue and start to set up with my team. I'm excited to spend the day making magic happen! I’m pumped to start the day and see the bride, her friends, and her family. I’ve been doing makeup for weddings since I was 15, and it never gets old. I get so excited during the process because I can’t wait for them to see how amazing they look! Everyone is here, and I can’t wait to get started.
Panic – Halfway through the morning, the inevitable happens. In spite of all the planning and attention to detail, thing go haywire. Bridesmaids arrive late or with wet hair. Now, someone wants to add on a service…no, two services. After last week's three hour demo, the bride is having second thoughts about how she wants to wear her hair. Suddenly, my cushion of time just got eaten up with last minute changes. We are officially behind schedule!
Determination – Amidst all the chaos, shear determination kicks in. It's time to make it it work. I’ve been here before. I know I can count on my team. Experience has taught us how to flex, make up for lost time, and still deliver amazing services. With only an hour to go, I refuse to let my stress become hers. Just as important as the service is the experience, and I want a calm and relaxing one for her.
Relief – I am fortunate to work with some amazing artists! Everyone is done on time, looking fabulous, and thrilled with what they see in the mirror. For the first time since this morning, I have a chance to check in with my second team, working in another location on a separate wedding. Once I am sure that their wedding also went well, I feel like I can take my first breath of the day. We did it!
Exhaustion – I had a wedding yesterday, and, now after wrapping this wedding, I’m off to do a demo for an out-of-town bride. I generally don’t do demos on Saturdays, but it was the only day that could work for her. My feet are throbbing from standing all day, and I haven’t eaten yet. Arriving at my studio on the North Side, I end up doing seven different looks before she is able to decide. I’m not done yet. After that, I have to make a detour to a supply store because we went through more product than I anticipated, and tomorrow I wake up and do it all again.
Gratitude – I get home and my whole body aches, but my only thought is that of overwhelming gratitude. My days are long and hard, spilling into weeks and even months, but I am blessed with the opportunity to do something I love. Only a year ago, I made the decision to leave my salon in order to start this business, focusing on it full-time. And it's working! People are finding me. They recognize my passion and believe in my profession. The business has grown enough to support fellow artist and friends. Six of the last eight weeks I was out of state and even out of the country, working on some amazing projects. It’s a dream come true, and I couldn't be happier or more thankful.
Delight – I wake up to an email from yesterday’s bride reading, ” I can't possibly thank you and the girls enough for our hair and makeup. I absolutely LOVED everything. All of my girls loved how they looked! We had so many compliments, and I will definitely recommend you to anyone who asks! Thank you SO much; you are so very talented!” That's what it's all about! There isn't a more satisfying feeling than knowing my bride looked and felt fabulous and loved the services we provided. I know most of the details of the morning will become a blur, but I hope feeling beautiful and taken care of is something she will never forget.
Hannah, you're so sweet! Congrats on getting to do what you clearly love! Oh, and next time you're in Paris, take me with you! A special thanks to you, and to all of the other vendors, for contributing to this series!