BEAUTY CORNER: Expect outcall service fees for weddings

  • Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Dear Scott: I've bee reading your articles every week. What would be considered protocol for the problem I am having?

I just got married and asked the girl that has been dong my hair if she would come to the church to do my hair, and my bridesmaids. I have been going to this stylist for years and was shocked when she charged me extra to come to the church.

Since I have been a customer of hers for long time, I don't think she should have charged me extra just to come to the church. It ended up costing more than I had planned.

I paid the bill but I'm not very happy about it. I am looking for someone new take care of my hair for me. Do you charge extra for a customer that has been coming to you for a long time when you go to the church for a wedding?

Answer: The wedding day is a wonderful magical day that little girls dream about, everyone gets excited about, people plan a whole year for it, and it causes all kinds of trouble.

This issue came up the other day with a couple while they were having their hair cut. They are in the process of finalizing plans for their daughters wedding. They have been clients for as long as I can remember, their daughter too, who I watched grow up since a little girl.

The father of the bride and I have been chatting over the past year about how the tradition of the ceremony has manifested into an exploitation of human emotion. Once an intimate celebration of family and friends, it has evolved over the years into an expensive affair elaborate enough to be featured in people magazine. Two hundred guests are considered a small wedding.

Like many fathers-of-the brides have attempted to do, he offered his daughter a substantial amount of money in the form of a check, instead of having a big wedding ceremony. Like so many fathers-of the brides try to do, he tried to explain that the savings would amount to thousands of dollars. But like every father-of-the bride who attempts this maneuver, the offer was declined.

He was sitting off to the side reading the newspaper while I was cutting his wife's hair as he waited his turn. She had asked me a few months ago for a referral to do the hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids and began telling me what transpired.

She is a lovely, understanding woman, who already knew that I didn't do weddings anymore when she asked for the referral. The family dynamics that are involved, the possibility of financial disagreements, and the elevation of female emotions surpass my nervous systems capabilities.

I had given her the name of a hairdresser in Augusta who loves to do weddings, and specializes in the service. She was telling me that the hairdresser did not provide makeup services, but had given her the name of a makeup artist.

She told me there was an outcall fee for the hairdresser to travel to Aiken and that the makeup artist was quite expensive. When she totaled everything up it came to a substantial amount of money. She said that she had also called a local establishment capable of providing provide both services at the salon for a fraction of the cost and asked my advice on how to proceed.

I started by explaining that it is customary for a hairdresser to charge a fee for services provided outside of the salon. As I was telling her that I didn't know first hand of the wedding services provided by the local salon, I looked over at the father-of-the-bride as he pretended to still be reading the paper while the fees were being discussed.

This is a man with such a positive outlook on life that he can find sunshine on a rainy day. The look on his face at that moment was the same as a 6 year old that had just fell down and got a boo boo.

I know his daughter. She is a very happy bride, and incredibly easy to please. When I finished by saying “But they have a very good reputation” I'm pretty sure I heard a sigh of relief escape from him as he went back to actually reading the newspaper.

The odd thing about weddings is that when couples are asked how much of their wedding they actually remember after five years, very little can come to mind. Being the center of attention of two hundred people can become overwhelming. They remember it was expensive, but the actual event and hassle of the planning is a complete blur.

There are always unexpected expenses that arise with a wedding. You will probably forget any of the problems with the caterer, florist, booking of the venues, price of the wedding dress, or any other things that cost more than you expected. But five years from now I bet you will still remember your hairdresser charged more than you had planned.

There is a reason you are taking this issue personally. It is because your hairdresser is a regular part of your everyday life and you have formed a bond of friendship with her. You will probably never see any of the other people again.

There is usually a fee anytime a hairdresser packs up their equipment and travels from their place of business to another location. For reasons that escape my comprehension, I think people sometimes forget that we do what we do to make money. Hairdressers go to school, pass examinations, and are licensed professionals. No matter how much passion a hairdresser says they have for hairdressing, most of us need to be paid just like everyone else that works for a living.

You and your bridesmaids could have gone to the salon the busy day of your wedding. But instead, had a luxurious experience that made things more convenient for all of you. For your hairdresser to go to the church, she probably had to close off her appointment book to accommodate you. It was probably the only money she made that day.

Because of this disagreement you say that you are looking for someone new to “take care of your hair” for you. Since you have been happy with your hairdresser until now, I hope you will reconsider. Your hairdresser was doing more than “taking care of your hair” when she went to the church. She was taking care of you.

You might want to bring her a pie instead of being mad at her.

Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and Master Colorist. He can be reached at 803-979-2126 or for questions or comments.

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