How COVID-19 Is Affecting The Bridal Styling Business
Changes Bridal Stylists Can Anticipate In The Short- & Long-Term
COVID-19 put weddings and bridal-related events on hold for months, and in a post-lockdown world, it may be some time before the wedding industry recovers. How has bridal hair styling changed so far, and what should bridal stylists expect going forward? We talked to five bridal styling experts—check out their advice below.
How Bridal Bookings Have Already Started To Change
Pre-coronavirus, brides reached out very early in the planning process to secure their hairstylist. Post-coronavirus, Christi Piontkowski (@knoxvillebridalhair)—who is based in East Tennessee—says there’s some uncertainty, resulting in a decrease of inquires. Because there’s no clear answer as to how weddings and other large events will be affected in the next few months, brides are hesitant to commit in fear of being stuck in a contract or out a deposit.
The Process Of Rebooking Brides
When rebooking, LA-based Alisha Jared (@alishajaredhairartistry) gave priority to her brides in the order they’re currently booked. “Most are contacting me, but if I haven’t heard from them and the wedding is within a month, I’m reaching out and just asking how I can help and if they need to look at alternate dates,” she shared.
What if a bride’s new date is taken? Alisha says she’ll return any deposits and refer other bridal stylists in her area who fit the bride’s aesthetic. Or, if you work on a team of stylists, UK-based bridal stylist Deborah Lola (@deborahlola) recommends finding someone from your team who you trust to take the client. “Where possible, I stay involved with the process to make sure that everything goes according to plan,” Deborah says.
Note: Not sure what to do about pricing? Whitney Burkhart (@wb_upstyles), who lives in Lancaster, Pa., is keeping hers the same for brides who have to rebook BUT she will raise her prices for new incoming brides in 2021.
Scaling Back For Your Brides
With MILLIONS of people currently without jobs, some brides may have to scale back financially for their big day. For those clients, Cintia Jasso (@cintiapjasso), who is based in Mexico, says she’ll offer a smaller package of her services to better accommodate her bride’s new budget. “With brides who had to cancel or reschedule due to COVID-19, I put myself in their shoes and try to adjust whatever is possible so I can provide my services and they can get the hairdo they have dreamed about,” she shared.
The Big Day Will Look Different, Too
Services are not the only thing that may need to be adjusted. Christi says she’ll definitely be adjusting the day’s schedule. Between the extra sanitation required between clients and having to wear a mask, you’ll need to give yourself breaks to drink water and get some fresh air. “I put together a list of my state’s guidelines that I send out prior now,” she shared. “It lets the client know why there is a change in the schedule and any sanitation/safety rules that have to be followed.”
Also, know that you’ll likely be working with a smaller bridal party, which Christi says will give stylists a chance to slow down and put more emphasis on detailed work. “Smaller bridal parties could mean having to raise prices or book twice as much though,” she added.
The Future Of The Bridal Business
So what long-term changes do bridal stylists anticipate? While Whitney predicts there will be a greater percentage of smaller bridal parties, Deborah says get ready for last-minute reach outs. “There may be an impact on how far in advance bridal bookings are made, which could potentially lead to an increase in last-minute bookings,” she explained. “Although my advice to my brides would be to book as far ahead as possible and we will deal with any situation that arises.”