Industry Insider Q&A: Ashley Riddle

Meet Ashley a the Wedding Savvy Summit!

Q: What field are you in in the wedding industry? 
A: I’m in the beauty field – hair and makeup 

Q: What are some unrealistic expectations or perceptions brides and grooms or their families have in general about your market category? 
A: The biggest thing is that brides tend to be unaware that most photos printed in magazines and featured online are heavily edited. Another issue for us is that we often have to explain how we differ from a traditional salon environment. Unlike salons, where they juggle cuts, colors and other clients, our team of experts specializes in weddings and our only focus is bridal beauty. We travel on-site and the team of artists assigned to the bride caters to that one bridal party only. This provides a relaxing and enjoyable morning or afternoon for the brides and their bridal parties.

Q: Any unrealistic expectations specific to your service? 
A: A big misconception many of our first time clients have is trusting us with their beauty timeline. With over 13 years of experience, we have perfected how to handle large bridal parties within a shorter timeframe.

Q: How do you try to properly re-frame those expectations? 
A: In order to handle a bride’s concerns, we help create a timeline that makes chronological sense. We use our artists’ average time per service to create a start and completion time. We always include cushion time for touch-ups and adjustments. Once a bride sees the average per person and the list of bridesmaids written out, it almost immediately calms their fears.

Q: What do you want brides to know about your field when comparing vendors?
A: There are many qualities to look for when hiring an on-site hair and makeup company. Most importantly, ask if the company is licensed and insured. Experience, online portfolios and reviews should also be considered. 

Q: What things do brides forget to include in their decision making process when selecting vendors in your field? 
A: Brides should take into consideration whether or not they are doing a first look prior to the ceremony. This will heavily affect the beauty timeline. Additionally, ask everyone in the bridal party if they want both hair and makeup. Don’t forget to ask about the flower girls, grandmothers and aunts!

Q: What do you feel is a typical price point for services in your field in your market? 
A: This can vary based on region and whether a company is traveling on-site. On average, we have found the rate to be between $90 -$150 per person, per service.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to your field? 
A: Not having a trial. You need to test out options and be vocal about what you like and do not like. This is the time to get it right! The artists will not know there is an issue if the bride does not speak up.

Q: What’s something you wish every bride and groom knew about any category of the wedding industry?   
A: You are not just paying for the wedding day. As a client, you are also paying for a service that starts at the initial inquiry and continues until after the event. The rates reflected in the contract pricing cover multiple emails, meetings and phone calls that go into making the wedding day flawless