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Big Wedding Parties: How Do I Collaborate?

Okay friends, today we are talking about collaborating with others for big wedding parties! Sometimes you just need a makeup artist to work with, but sometimes you need another stylist or two to finish all of the bridesmaids in a timeline manner. Usually it is one person who gets the wedding and does all of the organizing, and then they bring someone else in to help out. So, how is this working for you? Do you collaborate with people you trust? Do you each get paid the same? Do you pay the people you collaborate with, or does the bride/bridesmaid pay you each directly? I am going to offer some options and guides that I have found helpful in my journey with collaborating that hopefully give you some good direction when working with other freelancers!

Payments: There are multiple ways to do this, here are a few options:

  1. You each have your own rates, and that is communicated to the bride in advance. She pays you each your rates on the day of.

  2. You collect the payment of your set rate, and then pay the person you collaborate with what they require.

  3. You let the person you collaborate with the set rate, and they work with you at that agreed upon rate regardless of what they would charge personally.

If you are working with the same handful of people all of the time, and you each equally give each other work, then it makes sense to each charge your own rate and get paid equally. However, if you find you are consistently getting weddings and bringing others in, but they aren't returning the favor, then I would consider doing one of two things:

  1. You charge the bride an assistant fee based on the how many bridesmaids they have and you keep that for yourself, and then the bridesmaids can pay the other stylist/artist directly. This way you are getting compensated for the work you put in for coordinating the bridal party and all of the communication.

  2. You set the rates for the bridesmaids and then pay the person you work with a percentage of that. So for example, you can charge the wedding party $75 per person and then you pay the stylist/artist you work with $65 per person. You are then getting compensated for your coordinating time and finding the bride in the first place through your own marketing.

Some things to consider when working with others:

  1. Only pick people you trust-not just their work but also your character. It's an awful situation to be put in if the others that you work with act a little cray cray and you have to apologize to the bride for their mistakes.

  2. Trust your gut when working with others. I once met with a makeup artist to see if we could collaborate with each other. She was so nice that even though I didn't feel the best vibes, I felt bad saying that I didn't want to work with her. I worked with her for over a year, and even though she was REALLY nice I always felt awkward because we just didn't mesh, and I should have just trusted my gut from the beginning.

  3. Make sure all of the rates you are charging are communicated in advance with the other stylist/artist, as well as how you are collecting payments (in advance, day of in cash, credit card, etc.) You don't want to make it uncomfortable and confusing for the bride at the end.

  4. Add the person you are working with to the bride's contract so she has visibility as to who will be part of her wedding day.

  5. Lastly, if you find yourself consistently bringing in people to work with you, but you aren't working for other people's weddings, consider hiring on a contractor!

I found in my own business that I was bringing on an additional stylist that I trusted all of the time, and I never did get any weddings from her. That is when I realized that I could actually hire someone to work with me, since my company was the one that was bringing in all of the weddings. If this is you, stay tuned as my post is all about hiring independent contractors to work with you!!

We'll talk soon!!

Heidi :)


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