Battling the Bridezilla, a guide to taming monster clients …
Inside the real world of Makeup and Brushes by Mackenzie
Every now and then you get a special kind of client, a kind of client that usually rears its head around the months of April – May and then possibly again in Sept-October, this creature tends to like the months of spring and autumn, when the weather is not too warm, not too cool, flowers are in bloom and Bridezilla rears her dainty little head and begins to run havoc on your life.
I guess I am a professional Bridezilla battler. Like Deaneries and her dragons, I am usually haunted by girls of the ‘zilla’ variety. The kind that have had several trials with artists you know are fantastic and mild mannered, and just don’t seem to be able to book, somehow they wind up with my number.
I am not entirely sure what happens to a female, when she is getting married, maybe something chemical happens in her brain and she loses all sense of human decency, not sure, but over my time I have had some true doozeys that have taught me a few things about how to handle them.
Oh and the ‘zilla’ variety aren’t just limited to Brides, I once had a mother of the bridezilla, mobzilla, if you will, hand me a pile of inspiration images for her look for the day. They were all a pubescent Miley Cyrus, like before she had the shavey head thing going on. Like, lady, you are flipping 70, I can’t make you look like Hannah Montana! She also went onto bitch about the bride – who was a complete doll and paying for the lot of them to build a relationship between the families. I think that was the day I discovered my pristine ability to cover my ‘are you serious I would prefer to poop a lego ship’ face.
Because the thing with these girls are, that if you can manage them, you will get so much work from them, they are the most loyal clients and all their friends will want to book you because “You must be good to handle *insert crazy-ass-bitch name here*”
Anyways, here are a few of my best tips for taming girls of the zilla variety, whist still being professional and maintaining a good relationship with your clients:-
- I cannot stress the importance of Terms and Conditions and Booking Forms. As soon as I get an enquiry I flick those bad boys onward. Why? Because when the proverbial shit hits the fan, I can always lean on them to save me. I particularly love my car parking clause, the amount of times zillas have tried to get out of paying is crazy, especially considering most of them are pretentious wankers who want to get married in la-de-dah hotels. You can still be their cool, funny buddy and just politely refer them to the part in your terms and conditions where they signed that taking care of it was it was their responsibility. Look I’m a good person, but I am trying to run a business here, rocking up at your apartment with a $50 parking fee really affects my overall cost for the day – that is almost half a makeup free – no thanks!
- TRIALS, lets rehash over this, do not take her on unless you have met her and tried out her makeup and/or hairstyles. Firstly, for your own piece of mind (and their own good), will the look they want work? Also – will you be the right personality fit for their big day? If something seems off, or they seem like they could be trouble, now is the time you can get out and save yourself potential drama. Make it your rule that you don’t take clients who do not trial, don’t let them hustle you, just put it in your good old Ts and Cs. This is hard for me to admit, but I once had a Bride’s hair fall out, Why? Because we didn’t trial and I tried too hard to please her rather then to concentrate on logic. Think big greek wedding, long ass vale and plenty of dancing. I got a text at 8pm that night while I was sitting in my bathtub listening to some calming music from a frantic bridesmaids fretting the bride’s hair. I can not describe to you how bad that feeling is – so don’t let yourself get there in the first place – but let me tell you, if from that point you handle it correctly, you can gain a client for life. That exact bridesmaid ended up booking me for her wedding later in the year – I shit you not. But I will go into damage control another day.
- Learn the art of saying ‘No’ and back yourself. Hair too short? Eyes too small for thick black liner, say something. Look I am a huge people pleaser, but better off you saying something rather than your work suffer. People book you for your vision, there are 10,000 other artists out there your client could book, but they chose you, so stand up for your what you are all about, because otherwise your going to end up with some squinty eyed looking bitch on her wedding day – trust me netter of you want that. You are the professional, faces are your jam, back yourself.
- Get paid before the day. This is a no brainer, you do not want to be chasing cash from one of these women. Get rid of them straight after the job with a hug and a cheek kiss, rather then haunt them by email for that last $200.00.
- Draw the lines and make them clear. I remember one year, it was New Years eve and I was getting Facebook messages from one of my zilla’s talking about smokey eyes, I politely said I needed to go, our conversation could wait, I mean, her wedding was not until late March and also, IT WAS NYE! Holy hell, by the morning that woman had torn me a new one worse then the tequila shots the night before all because she was on my Facebook, seen that I was out and was appalled that I couldn’t talk to her about the God damned Naked Pallet.
This was absolutely not on, when you work for yourself, if you don’t draw the line where your business finishes and your personal life starts or you can being haunted by what once started out as a passion. Whenever someone contacts me for makeup bookings/ advice I direct them straight to my email. That way I can keep a better check of my bookings and avoid people taking any sort of offence to me deciding that Friday night expresso martinis are a better idea then dealing with client emails.
- Lastly, if you get a particularly terrible creature, do your job to the best of your ability, no, scratch that, fucking kill it, walk out with your head held high, because sometimes shitty people will find you and they will book you! Just go and buy yourself a bag of burgers and breath a sigh of relief that this woman can now go on to harass her brand new shiny husband.