Wedding Day Makeup Planning

Feeling beautiful on your wedding day can sometimes be an overlooked detail. Feeling flawless and confident in your skin is key to walking down that aisle with a smile on your face so you can focus and be present.

If you've read my journal before, you know I stress the importance of hiring the pros. I've brought on Kari Roberts from Kari Roberts Makeup Artist based in Atlanta, Georgia to guide us on this subject. She's given us excellent insight into what to look out for when hiring your wedding day makeup artist and what to consider when it comes to pricing.


Most freelance makeup artists, like Kari, are mobile – meaning they go on-location to provide you your makeup service. She is planning ahead so that she can arrive on time to make sure you're on schedule to walk down the aisle. A good makeup artist will have you sign a contract that protects you so that she is not a no-show. You can legally hold her to a standard that you both agree on. Keep in mind that she is also providing a service. While you can get your makeup done for cheaper at the counter, when you book a freelance MUA you are able to sit back, in the comfort of your own home/hotel room/set location, and wait for her to arrive.

Novice artists might focus more on getting bodies in her chair and getting her brushes on as many faces as possible (Kari admits that she did this early on in her career). But as an artist transitions from novice to seasoned, she begins to provide more of an experience, and charges accordingly. She fosters trust with you from initial contact and through to your event date. She can provide suggestions on timing and ideal looks that you are confident in because of her past experiences. She brings a measure of calm to you on your special day. She is very prepared and never shows signs of being frazzled. She is focused on you and leaves home or personal issues at the door. She is quick and efficient with her set up as well as with the cleaning of her kit. She takes everything with her and doesn’t leave trash behind.  When she is done beautifying you, the only thing you're left with is peace of mind, a beautiful face and an enjoyable experience.

A professional makeup artist, like Kari, has spent many hours (hundreds, sometimes thousands) honing her (or his) skills. She has educated herself to be the best artist she can be for you on the most important day of your life. She has invested her time to attended classes, read books, and has even been a mentee to other successful artists. After all of this, she must continually study all that she's learned so as to not lose any of her skills.

She's also spent SO much time practicing techniques on herself. Once she has mastered these techniques, she practices on friends, family, even past clients so that she is always up to date with the trends.

Before your event, she has spent a lot of time researching the best tools and products for you specifically. Then, she spends time packing her makeup kit, packing her lighting equipment and then loading her car in preparation to meet you. Post-event she spends time cleaning and disinfecting her tools so your skin is safe.

On your event day, she is spending time traveling to you and applying your makeup. She might even stay later for additional touch-ups.

Everything mentioned above comes at a cost. (They say you have to spend money to make money, right?) She has spent her hard-earned money on books, formal education in a classroom or with a mentor. She is continuously investing in herself as an artist so that she can help you shine when it matters most.

She has also invested in her professional kit, but those details are reserved for part 2 of this blog so stay tuned for that. She has taken the time to understand her kit and has the knowledge of when to use each item and how to use it.

Having a trusted makeup artist to enhance your beauty is an invaluable resource. You will always look good in pictures, feel good in pictures, and have memories that last a lifetime. When you inquire for MUA services, remember you are paying for a lot more than makeup. You are paying for the time, talent, investment, and confidence that makes that artist desirable.

Part II of this post will be on Kari's website later this month. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter to get the skinny on that. I got a sneak peak of it and it's really good info and detailed in the product and pricing.


I've been wedding planning for quite a few years now and I'll tell you that these points are valid. I've seen the other side of the coin with the newbie makeup artist and that’s not something you want to go through on this day. The newbie MUA is stressed out, doesn't have a schedule, may have booked another wedding without not knowing her capacity and is rushing, doesn't have a reliable assistant to help on the larger weddings and the list goes on.

On the wedding planner side, here are some logistical tips for you take away as you embark on this part of your planning journey. 

  1. Book a trial - SUPER important

  2. Create a makeup mood board and send to your makeup artist well before your trial - it'll save you hours on your trial day and you will get as close to your desired look as possible.

  3. Figure out how many total services you'll need between your bridesmaids and family members.

  4. Don't wait until the last minute to book your hair and makeup artist.

  5. Create a schedule with your artist on who goes at what times.

  6. For longer wedding days with a first look several hours before the ceremony, ask your MUA to stay later for touch ups (there is cost for this).

If you found this helpful and would like to hear more, please email at so I can make sure to bring more of this information your way.