Nicki & Deej’s New Forest Wedding

Just received these gorgeous images by Emily & Steve Photography of Nicki and Deej’s wedding, held in my hometown of Lymington! As Nicki loves festivals and was due to have an outdoor wedding in a stunning marquee, she wanted her bridal makeup to reflect this loose boho feel. Keeping the eye makeup simple with just a bone colour with plenty of sparkle, I then focused on creating a classic flawless base to keep the design ‘bridal’ x

My favourite venues in and around Wimborne, Dorset

I get to travel to a lot of beautiful places in and out of the UK. However, there is one place that keeps calling me again and again, Wimborne in Dorset. And I love it! With its rolling hills and sweeping landscapes, hidden stately homes and vast family histories – you can completely understand why so many couples choose Wimborne for their english countryside wedding. Here are just a few of my faves that I have had the pleasure of working in x

Deans Court

An elegant historic house set in ancient gardens, a stone’s throw from the centre of Wimborne Minster in Dorset. Run by William and Ali Hanham, Deans Court has been in William’s family for nearly 500 years. Today the estate hosts a venue for weddings and events, a vintage lifestyle shop, health-food café and holiday cottages & houses. Pop-up social suppers, open-air theatres, courses and workshops, tours, beekeeping, fly-fishing, rearing sheep and growing organic vegetables in a walled kitchen garden – are just some of the other activities taking place here – all of them under the ethos of living sustainably within a heritage environment in the 21st century.

St Giles House

This beautiful family house has a long and rich history. In the past 400 years it has been at the heart of politics, philosophy and social thought. It’s inspired generations of people who have had influence on the world around them. In recent times an award winning restoration has seen it brought back to life and become a family home once again.

10 Castle Street

10 Castle Street is a Grade II listed Palladian mansion, remodelled into a luxury hotel and private member’s club.

Nestled in the picturesque village of Cranborne, East Dorset, 10 Castle Street is within easy reach of historic Salisbury and Stonehenge, the Jurassic Coast and the New Forest.  This beautiful area of the Cranborne Chase was a favourite of medieval kings as a hunting ground, and also has links to Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

10 Castle Street features 9 luxury bedrooms, a formal restaurant as well as relaxed drawing rooms, several private event spaces, divine bar, large terrace and stunning gardens.

Why do you charge what you do?

As this can be quite a complex subject, I thought I would fully go into this and explain my prices and why I charge what I do. It’s also a question I know many of you would have asked yourselves before contacting me to book, or maybe even questioned this on the initial enquiry. I think it’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for, and see how the cost is broken down. As the wedding and beauty industry seem to vary widely in costings, I thought this would go someway to explain at least my prices to clients.

✨ Why do you ask for a £100 non-refundable deposit?

It is quite common for businesses (especially in the wedding industry) to ask for a deposit. The deposit ‘holds’ the date for a client and ensures that their chosen supplier is available for their special occasion. Personally, it also means that I will NOT book any other event on that same date, meaning I am completely focused and dedicated to my client for anything they need me for.

The deposit works in three-fold; 1. It holds the date, 2. It secures against anyone else booking that same date, 3. It roots out time-wasters and means only genuine clients book.

Any why is it non-refundable? Well this is actually for two reasons. The very fact that it is non-refundable puts a lot of people off, so for me as a business I only get clients book who like my work and really want me to be a part of their special day. It also serves to protect myself financially if a client decides to cancel.

✨ Why do you charge less for a trial than the wedding day?

This is actually quite a common question, and can leave a lot of people scratching their heads trying to figure out why the cost has suddenly changed.

It’s standard practice in the beauty industry to charge less for a trial than the wedding day. This is for a few reasons, but mainly it is because it allows clients to experience their wedding ‘look’ without committing too much money. It also gives the client the freedom to walk away if they don’t get the feels! The trial is also the time when things are discussed, experiments are made, things are changed and notes are taken – so when it comes to the big day everything flows smoothly and everyone knows what they are doing.

The trial is usually just for the bride, as I feel it is important to focus on my client completely without the distraction of the whole bridal party. However, I know it can be lovely to have the full gang together for a treat – so if you would also like the bridesmaids to have a trial, please let me know at the time of enquiry and I can work out a price for this.

✨ Why do you charge more for the bride on the wedding day than the other guests?

Ok, the big one! Why charge more for the bride? It seems unfair right? Well, I’ll try and break this one down so you can see where the extra costs come into it.

So firstly, the person who communicates with me from the start until the end is the bride. So whenever I reply to an email, text, phone call or Instagram message (which can be at all times of the day) this is my personal time. Don’t get me wrong I love to chat to my clients and I want them to feel as if I am there for them no matter what is going on, but as a business I still need to account for this time.

Now the next level in price is due to the physical application, skill and experience taken to do the bridal hair and makeup. I always allow extra time for the bride. No question. She will come first. This is where my 7 years of experience comes into affect to produce a hair and makeup look that my client is comfortable with, and which makes her feel absolutely exquisite. I am always striving for the next best thing so constant training with some of the biggest names in the industry is a must for me, but can also be pricey, so I have to balance this in the books and so therefore in my costings.

Finally, the last bit of cost for the bride is the ‘just in case’ scenario. I always like to leave myself a few extra pennies for peace of mind, just in case I need to purchase a special product for my client that she has asked for. Sometimes, this extra cash will be used to absorb any travel cost that maybe local but still a bit of distance.

✨ Why are the additional guests prices less? Does that mean they have less makeup/worse hair?

Absolutely not, and please don’t interpret the costings this way. Again there are definite reasons behind the price for guests; 1. It allows the guests to take part in the festivities without escalating the overall cost, 2. Guests are usually less concerned with their hair & makeup requirements, and are happy to take my lead when it comes to this – so I feel to reflect this attitude a dip in price is best.

But there is no way they will receive less of a service, and will definitely not have bad hair or hardly any makeup on.

✨ Why is there a surcharge of £90 for an additional hair/makeup artist?

I have a carefully selected team of individuals I like to have assisting me on larger jobs. These professionals usually have been working as a makeup artist, or hairstylist for 7+years and their skills are closely matched to my own. However, because they are also freelance sourcing their availability takes time.

The surcharge reflects the additional work I have to do to source the right person for the job. Securing that individual and guaranteeing them work at the end of the day is very important as a business.

✨ Why do you charge the amount you do?

So throughout my 7 years I have gone through all sorts of pricing mock ups, some with more success than others. It has been a tough learning curve, as wanting to reflect my experience and yet not price myself out of jobs has been no picnic! I’ve also learnt not to feel upset when another artist undercuts me, as I know deep down the job was probably not right for me in the first place.

I recently trained with Katy Djokic and The Bridal Stylists, and after speaking with Katy I soon realised I am very much close to her style and experience (especially when it comes to makeup) therefore I decided to match her costs. I hope in this way I have gone somewhere to even out prices and make it more fair to clients.

I hope all of this has made sense. If you do have any questions please do contact me x

REPOST // 6 things to consider if wanting an ‘up-do’ hairstyle for your wedding

When deciding on your ‘bridal style’ it can be really difficult to determine what you do and don’t like.  Instagram and Pinterest are filled with ideas that can make choosing all the more tiresome.  Below is my simple guide to help you cut through all the chaff, and really decide on want you want.  I use these questions myself to pin-point what my client does want, without them even realising it x

1. Do you prefer your hair up or down?  It’s a really simply question but you would be surprised how often this gets over looked.  If you are comfortable with having your hair down most days, then having an up-do can feel exposing and not natural.  Likewise, if you often have your hair up – leaving it down can make you feel hot and bothered.  So consider how you naturally behave with your hair day-to-day.

2. What’s your wedding gown like?  Does your gown have a high neck with detailing at the back – do you want this exposed or covered by your hair?  Alternatively, does it have a long back – therefore do you want your hair to fall onto your bare back?

3. What is your hair colour like?  Clients often bring me images of looks they love of hair up – and what do all of them have in common?  The model almost always has blonde or blonde highlighted hair, when in fact the client stood in front of me has deep brown hair.  They love the style because with blonde hair you can clearly make out the detail in the design – that gorgeous braid or pulled out twist.  It’s sad but true that in darker coloured hair this detail gets lost, so either consider a different style with similar colouring to your own, or take the plunge and book in for highlights.

4. What’s the weather likely to be?  If you’re getting married in peak heat wave season then you’ll want to minimise the risk of curls falling out, or frizzy hair sticking to your back so an up-do is your perfect style ticket.  Likewise, if you’re having your wedding during cooler climates, then gorgeous cascading curls is the perfect choice to keep a tad warmer.

5. Are you having a veil, hair accessorie, flower grown or alice band placed in your hair?  Generally speaking veils work better on hair that is down, due to the fact that the sheer weight of the veil can knock the air out of a wispy up-do.  A sturdy low bun is often better if wanting both.

Modern hair accessories are usually made in mind of how they are going to be placed in the hair for a either an up-do or down-do.  I can highly recommend the following retailers that have been carefully designed to with-stand the pressure of both.  Kelly Spence / Victoria Fergusson / Donna Crain

6.  And lastly… is your hair long enough, thick enough, has enough texture for the style you want?  9 times out of 10 the styles on Pinterest have been achieved using hair extensions.  It’s a well known trade secret.  This makes it incredibly hard for brides to realise their expectation is not completely realistic.  Luckily, hair extensions exist for everyone to buy- so if you really want that ka-bow style we can achieve it! x

UPDATE // Last Saturday weekend wedding dates available for 2019!

Last 2019 weekend wedding dates available for either hair, and or makeup! Email hello@francesmooremua.co.uk or use the contact form on my website to book any of these remaining dates x

Saturday 30th November | Saturday 14th December | Saturday 21st December | Saturday 28th December

MORE hair training with Katy Djokic of The Bridal Stylists

I’ll fully admit I don’t know everything about hairstyling. Products, techniques and styles change. That’s why I totally believe stylists need to constantly be seeking more. More knowledge and experience is so valuable in this industry, plus it’s so much fun and such a buzz connecting with others all striving to learn x

UPDATE // Last WEEKEND wedding dates available for 2019

These are the last weekend wedding dates available for 2019. Some weekday dates are still available to book. Simply contact me either via my contact form on my website, or by emailing directly at hello@francesmooremua.co.uk

Saturday 26th October | Saturday 30th November | Saturday 14th December | Saturday 21st December | Saturday 28th December

REPOST// The big questions – No. 5: Will I look overdone and not like myself?

A very common worry among brides (when considering to hire a makeup artist) is that they will not look like themselves, or that they will be too heavily made up.  There isn’t a bride alive who doesn’t want that pleasant in-take of breath when she enters the room, and see’s her guests and partner for the first time.  You want to be breathtaking for all the right reasons, and any makeup artist worth her salt will always strive to help create that moment for you.  Here are a few myth busters to help you make your choice.

1. One of the most common fears surrounding hiring a makeup artist, is that you will be made to look too heavily ‘made up’ and covered in foundation.  Believe me, no one wants that!  True, we will use slightly more products than than your usual everyday look, but that is only because the makeup design has to work well for meeting guests, different lighting effects, professional photographs and lasting the distance on what is a joyful – but long day.

2. At the makeup trial you will be asked what is usual for you in terms of your everyday look, and what products you like to use.  That way we can design something that is very typically you, yet slightly tweaked to be the very best version of yourself.  A makeup artist is not there to experiment and try out the latest trends on you (only if you want to though!)  We’re here to give a guiding hand to create something that is uniquely you, yet translates well to all mediums.

3. Ok, yes we use a lot more products than you’re used to.  There are eye primers, facial primers, an array of eyeshadows, setting sprays, vitamin sprays the list is endless.  But we only use what we need to, to achieve that flawless base or that gorgeous smokey eye – the key is thin build-able layers that just looks seamless in it’s execution.  Basically, don’t panic when I open the makeup kit!

Nicki and her festival wedding…

I have actually had the pleasure of designing Nicki’s makeup on a couple of occasions for her parents subsequent weddings, so I feel I know Nicki’s face pretty well and her personal taste – which is always a bonus when approaching a look a client is comfortable with. Nicki needed a few things from her wedding makeup. As she was having a festival type party wedding in a local field in Lymington, she wanted it to be quite natural as she was going to be outside for the majority of the day. She also wanted it to be quite fun and light with a touch of sparkle. Lastly, it still needed to be ‘bridal’ for the photographs – so we worked on a design together combining these elements together.

Nicki simply loved her makeup and felt very confident in it when leaving for her big moment x

REPOST//The big questions – No. 1: Should you hire a makeup artist for your wedding?

Yes, the big question… should you hire a makeup artist for your wedding?  It’s a question every bride puts to themselves – shortly followed by the follow up question… or can I get away with it myself?  Often I think the answer is in the ‘get away with’ part.  Do you really want your wedding makeup to be something you ‘get away with’?  If you’re at that stage of questioning, then here are my top 5 reasons for booking a professional make up artist for your wedding.

1. Your wedding day is not a day for ‘everyday’ makeup.  You’re going to be photographed all day – and not just by a professional wedding photographer.  Remember your friends and family are all equipped with cameras too.  Whether it’s for photographs using natural or flash photography or meeting your guests in sunshine or by candlelight, professionally applied makeup will translate well to all mediums.

2. Do you have a million different bridal looks on Pinterest and still can’t decide what to choose?  A makeup artist can translate these looks, picking out key elements that will compliment your wedding gown, hairstyle, theme and colour scheme.

3. Makeup artists know skin (!) and we can help identify the areas that may become an issue on the big day.  For example, that patch of dry skin or the potential breakout that you don’t know how to deal with?  We can quickly analyse the condition of the skin and give you advice on the steps you could take to avoid future problems.  It’s just one less thing to worry about… and it’s all part of the service.

4. Much as I hate to admit it, weddings can be stressful!  And no one would blame you for feeling a bit nervous on the big day.  Having a makeup artist means there will always be a steady hand to apply that cat flick eyeliner or tackle those false eyelashes.  And we’ll always have a tissue nearby as well in case things get a bit teary!

5. OK, and this is the big one: hiring a makeup artist is not cheap!  But you’ve spent oodles on that gorgeous wedding venue and catering, an eye watering amount on that perfect wedding gown… why skimp on yourself?  It is your wedding after all!  This is your chance to be pampered by the professionals so sit back and enjoy it!