Every bride deserves to feel like a million bucks on her wedding day.
To look your absolute best you’ll want to enlist the help of a professional hair and make-up artist. Finding someone you like, with plenty of bridal experience, is a must.
Madeleen Strauss van der Merwe, founder of Madeleen Health and Beauty Studio, is an industry veteran. She believes her role is to not only provide the hair and make-up service, but also to keep the bride calm yet energetic.
Tell us a little more about your company and the service that you offer…
Ideally we’d like to walk a journey with each bride from just after their engagement. Your confidence on the day comes from knowing that you look flawless from head to toe. We care for the bride’s skin from as early as nine months prior to her wedding day. Pedicure, manicure, waxing and tanning appointments can all be scheduled in preparation. Finally we provide a full bridal hair and make-up service on the morning of the big day itself. We even offer slimming treatments to achieve centimetre loss and cellulite improvement for that honeymoon beach body. We’re a one stop, effortless shop!
How long have you been working in the industry?
On 24th September 2004 I prepared my first bride, Isabelle. That makes it 14 years.
What price range is your service?
Prices for skin treatments vary from R170 to R1100. Bridal hair and make-up is R3250 which includes a trial.
How many weddings do you estimate you have been involved in?
504 on the dot!
What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?
Clients not respecting pre-determined timelines is difficult. Sometimes people find it hard to understand why you need to stick to a schedule. The other challenge is advising when a desired hairstyle is not going to work with a particular type of hair. However, I have been very blessed with mostly smooth weddings and friendly brides.
What makes your service unique?
I pay lots of attention to detail and love to arrange little unexpected things that “wow” the bride and make her feel special. I get goose bumps surprising clients and seeing their faces light up.
Tell us about a wedding that you remember and why…
I’ll never forget one specific bride from the UK. There was a bottle of champagne in the room and she mentioned to me that she wasn’t comfortable opening it. I offered to do it for her a little later. Clearly she couldn’t wait as I had just finished curling her hair and was starting on the bridesmaid’s hair when I heard a pop! I turned around to see foam overflowing and the bride, having gotten a fright, instinctively put her mouth to the bottle to stem the flow. In the process she chipped her front tooth!
What piece of advice would you most like to offer brides and grooms reading this?
Follow your gut when it comes to choosing service providers. You need to get along with your choices. Opt for people that have been in the industry for a while with good references. Also, always ask if VAT is included! I have seen many brides crying over hidden costs.
What is your service mission statement?
Driven by passion, motivated by results!
Read other interviews in our wedding supplier series:
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