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How Long Does Wedding Makeup Take? with Tricia D’Costa MUA

How Long Does Wedding Makeup Take? Tricia D’Costa MUA explains the difference between industry standard timings and Wedding Day timings. You’ll be shocked!

Listen to Tricia on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Tricia D’Costa, MUA


James: [00:00:03] Hi Tricia welcome to Wedding Espresso. Thank you so much for joining me. 

Tricia: [00:00:07] Hi James thank you for having me. Hi everybody. 

James: [00:00:11] An absolute pleasure to have you Tricia. So you are a wedding makeup artist and hair stylist. 

Tricia: [00:00:19] I am, yes! 

James: [00:00:20] So we’ve got a fantastic question for you today, and that is

“how long does wedding makeup take?” 

Tricia: [00:00:29] Well that’s a brilliant question. It’s something that I always address at the beginning, for any bride who comes to me and asks questions. Because let’s face it, nobody gets, well unless, you know, you’re lucky enough to be able to work in the wedding industry, or be a model or something. But nobody gets married every day. So for a lot of people it’s a new thing. They’ve not had any experience of it. Possibly some of them have been bridesmaids at family weddings. So they might have a little bit of an idea.

So it’s part of my job to guide them through the whole process. And I always start out with being realistic with them.

And honest with them. Because I get the kind of “oh well you know, I don’t want lashes, or I just want a little bit of makeup, or something natural” and to them, something natural would be, in their everyday makeup, a little bit lip gloss and a bit of mascara. And it takes five minutes. 

Tricia: [00:01:32] But when I actually say to them that the industry standard timings, and I put this in all of my correspondence with my brides.

Industry standard timings is 45 minutes per person, per service. For a wedding day, I always allow an hour.

I’ve been doing this for seven years now, and I’ve learnt. When I first started out, I was really strict with myself. We’ll do it for 45 minutes. I didn’t really leave a gap in between each client. And you end up rushing. And it’s not good because you have to factor in so many different things on the day of a wedding. Things like the flowers arrive, everybody jumps up to go and see the flowers. Then the photographer arrives, and the photographer usually needs things from the bride, and the bridesmaids, like the dresses, the shoes. People jump up and go and get all the dresses, and the shoes. All of that time, they’re not sitting in the chair having their makeup done, or having their hair done. 

Tricia: [00:02:30] And I have to, when I work out my times, I always send out a schedule to my brides, five days before their wedding day. So if they get married on the Saturday, I’ll send it on the Monday. And people kind of ask, well, sometimes people want it sooner. And I will send it sooner. But from past experience, I’ve sent it out and then I get emails or messages saying so-and-so is not going to be at the hotel till this time, so can we change this around. And I end up spending a lot of time messing around with schedules. 

Tricia: [00:03:01] But I work it out so….

the whole idea for me, for a wedding morning, is for it to be relaxed for my bride, and her bridal party, and the mother of the bride.

And just to be chilled out, and have that time to enjoy the moment, and to be in the moment. And sometimes as well most brides have a trial, which is brilliant, but not everybody needs a trial. And I am always honest. I will never say to somebody your bridesmaids have to have a trial. I give them the option. Some people feel that they need to have a trial. That’s great. 

Tricia: [00:03:39] But on the day, you have to take into account that some people aren’t used to having somebody else that close to their face, doing makeup. And I’m quite good, because the more experienced you get, the more experience you have in how to deal with people who… Sometimes you go near them with a mascara wand or something, and they’ll kind of back away from you, and then their eyes start streaming, and then their eyes start blinking because they’re not used to it. So that takes a lot longer than it would normally, to be able to get to it. I always say for a wedding, I always allow an hour. So that gives the bride an idea. And depending on the party size as well, if it’s more than four people, then I’ll take an extra artist, another professional artist with me. And just to make sure that they still have the same experience, the same level of service, and the same experience of having a relaxed morning. And for me it doesn’t affect the cost or anything to the bride.

All I’m worried about is that they have a really nice experience. And when they look back on the morning of their wedding, it’s been fun and chilled out, and they’ve had a good time. That’s part the whole wedding journey. So that’s important to me. 

James: [00:05:08] Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up actually because when we were filming weddings, you would not believe how many times the preparations literally just run out of time. If they’re having a civil ceremony, and the registrar is there. You’ve got to go, go, go. So the amount of times that it over run, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it was over running. You know it was one of these kind of weird wedding mysteries. And I think you’ve just solved it. It is all the little things that happen. The photographer needing things, and the video guys needing bits, the flowers arrive, like you say, everyone leaps up, off they go, 10 minutes goes by, and they all add up don’t they? So I think it’s really so important that in order to have that chilled out experience, like you said, and make it fun, and make it relaxed, you need to factor in extra time. 

Tricia: [00:06:03] I always do. I got married myself three years ago.

And considering the job that I do, you would think that I would know what not to do on my wedding morning.

I had a civil ceremony and I was 20 minutes late for my own wedding, because I had flower girls and bridesmaids, and I had a three year old, a five year old, a seven year old, and two ten year olds. We were all in a big bridal suite. My sisters miraculously disappeared because there was other stuff going on, so I had the little ones running around the room jumping on the bed. I was trying to get my hair and makeup done. My mum came in. We were trying to sort the girls out, the little ones out. And I remember putting that dress on, and I was at one point sweating trying to get into this dress. And then because I was panicking so much, the dress was sticking to me, and I couldn’t pull my dress up. So I thought oh my goodness what are we going to do? They were lovely, the registrars, and they waited. 

Tricia: [00:07:17] But I learned from that experience. Because I had something else happen with a wedding that I was working on. It’s fairly similar. It was a mature bride of mine, and she had her granddaughters in with her. And they were both under the age of two. So they ended up throwing the most almighty hissy fit. Screaming and crying because they wanted to sit with Mum. Mum was having her makeup done. So having two little ones climbing up the makeup chair, which isn’t right for health and safety either. And then we had to stop everything for about 10 minutes until the dads came to get the little ones. 

Tricia: [00:07:59]

So there’s all these sorts of things that people don’t consider on a wedding morning.

And I do get people, like at the weekend just gone, “do we really have to start that early?” Yes we have to start that early! And I’ve had people say to me, who are mega organised… a couple of years ago, she was a financial consultant. And she said, “Trish, I know what I’m doing, we’re doing it this way”. I said, I’m just saying I’ve got the experience, but we will go with what you want. And on the day, she had a meltdown because it was all going to pot. So it’s not just the hair and makeup. You have to kind of consider everything else that surrounds it. There’s been so many times, you know, getting brides into their wedding dresses, where I’ll stay.

I do not leave my brides until they are ready, and they are about to walk down the aisle, or get into their car. And I’ll help them into their car. 

Tricia: [00:08:58] So you know, the whole, how long does wedding makeup take? In short, forty five minutes is professional standard. That’s the standard timings. For a wedding day, it’s one hour. But I always kind of look at the whole bigger picture, because it saves a lot of heartache. And it works because I keep getting a lot of great reviews. Weirdly enough, I’ve got a bride coming next Friday for a trial with her mum. And her sister has contacted me, and she’s getting married in 2020. So both the sisters booked me. And the younger sister wants to book me. But I end up doing a lot of repeat things for sisters and cousins and mums. I have in the last few years, and it’s great. 

Tricia: [00:09:48] But also it’s managing brides expectations, and everybody else. And people ask how do you deal with a bridezilla? And it doesn’t really bother me. I just think, well it’s their day, and I always say to them this is the only time in your life where you can throw a massive hissy fit and it’s OK. So just do it. Get it over and done with. 

James: [00:10:17]

The wedding day! Anything that can happen, will happen.

Yeah. So planning ahead. Great idea. Well that’s fantastic Trish. Thanks for clearing that up for us. Before we go, we’ve just got a fun quick question for you, and it goes a little bit like this. “What is your favourite part of what you do?” 

Tricia: [00:10:40] My brides and their families. Because I come from a big family. I’m the oldest of four children. I have one child. I don’t know how my mum did it. But I love meeting my brides, and then their families, and just seeing… People interest me and excite me. Because I just think, it makes me kind of appreciate every day. And you get a little snapshot into people’s lives. Because I have people from all walks of life. And you have all sorts of family dynamics and I don’t know, it’s exciting.

And it’s also such a privilege, because it’s so personal. Somebody is getting married. And being there on their wedding morning when it’s the prep work and stuff. It’s so personal. And I actually do feel really humbled and honoured to be chosen to be a part of that. 

Tricia: [00:11:34] Because you see people in their most raw states of you know, completely stripped back, literally. Because it’s quite, you know, there’s a lot of emotions running high. And there’s a lot of things going on. And I think that’s probably the most exciting thing about it. I know you said one thing, I love that.

But I also love the fact that when I do somebodies hair and makeup, and they look in the mirror, and they’re kind of just blown away. And I know that I’ve helped them get to that point, but feel that way as well, about themselves.

Because I do a lot more than just make up. It’s a journey from when they come to me, right through to their wedding day. I help them with skin care. A lot of people come to me with skin problems and skin issues, and we get it solved, we get it resolved. We get it better. And they go away feeling so much better about themselves. That’s important to me, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. So I think those two things. And they’re all kind of centered around helping people feel good about themselves. So I’m glad it was something like that, that you asked me. 

James: [00:12:53] Yeah. We aim to please! That’s amazing Tricia. Thank you so much. That was really, really insightful. A great chat! We look forward to speaking to you again in the very near future. 

Tricia: [00:13:04] Thank you ever so much for having me and catch up with you guys soon. 

James: [00:13:08] Absolute pleasure. Bye for now. 

Tricia: [00:13:10] Bye, bye for now. 

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