Why the $800 minimum?
I'm going to be fully transparent here where a lot of other professionals keep this information to themselves, or worse don't know why they're doing this and it just sounded like a good idea. Weddings are a lot of work for us and I'm not even talking about the 6 hours where we're standing on our feet at a 62° angle, heads contorted to see that part of your face where we're working without blocking our light.
For me as a small business owner managing a team, I spend a lot of administrative time between your inquiry and your wedding day to make sure that all the details are communicated exactly to your desired specifications. Prior to actually signing the contract and paying your retainer, an average of 8 emails are exchanged. Once your date is booked, there's about 25 additional emails exchanged where we're working out hair and makeup inspiration, scheduling previews, potentially amending the agreement, adjusting the initial timeline to take pre ceremony photos into consideration, billing, updating location details, discussing set up requirements, confirming that our start time doesn't conflict with the venue's allotted time for you to be on the property and if it does discussing options for an alternate getting ready location, etc. If you're working with a full service planner, I can expect double the amount of time communicating with them as they have been hired to be in the loop on every decision and will have their own questions for me that they don't ask in our group email thread. Closer to your wedding day, I reach out to any vendors whose schedules will overlap with ours - photographers, videographers, day of coordinators, florists - and introduce myself and send them our agreed upon schedule so we can make sure there aren't any conflicts. All together, a wedding I'm working without an assistant or second artist will take me approximately 45 hours including your wedding day.
I love my job, in the simplest terms, I am a fairy godmother making Cinderellas their idea of a princess come to reality on a day they'll remember forever. It's a dream job and one I worked really hard for over a decade to make happen. It is a job; I have to maintain an inventory of products to use and I don't skimp on anything, I work long hours and sacrifice time away from my family and friends to be there with you and yours, I pay to host my website and the software I use to keep track of my schedule/contracts/billing/quotes/P&L, I pay to advertise occasionally, and I pay business taxes as well as self employment taxes.
This is my dream job and most people can hear the enthusiasm and overwhelming gratitude in my voice to be so incredibly lucky that I get to be a teeny tiny part of so many love stories and after thousands of faces, the magic of that hasn’t diminished for me one bit.Nevertheless, I am running a business where I don’t cut corners or use cheap products or tools. I pay for continuing education and spend my "free time" learning more and more about the best products, techniques, and trends to stay up to date and have a better grasp on where the industry is taking us from year to year to try to predict what the styles are going to be like for next season. The work I put in during my free time pays off. I am not so self disparaging to admit that I am an excellent artist with a unique ability to bring out the best features in everyone and hone in on one's insecurities before minimizing them so you feel like the ideal version of you. Demand is growing and with that, so is my team. I am no longer accepting 2021 weddings myself but many of our lead and senior artists do have dates available
. If you’re interested in booking for 2021, please fill out the contact form on my website. I can’t wait to see the rest of my 2021 clients and meet everyone else in 2022.
Sending love - Amanda Merrell - Owner and Lead Artist