Clauses Every Bridal Hair and Makeup Contract Should Include



A well written contract can save you thousands of dollars and hours of hassle and emotional turmoil when working with brides. You should have one for all the reasons I list here.

But when it comes to actually writing one, it needs to have all your bases covered.  If you're unsure what those bases are, keep reading.  I've got everything you need to know neatly laid out for you below.  You're welcome!  And then at the end if you still have questions, or you need a template to get you started, check out The Legal Paige!*. She has full contracts or individual clauses to help beef up your already written contract.



The contract should clearly lay out the terms of payment at the beginning. It should include a breakdown of the per person service charges, the number of each type of service to be performed, along with any fees such as early start/holiday/parking/etc listed one by one and then the total, retainer payment, and balance due. 

Also, this section would outline how you will handle last minute additions, any additional fees that could occur as a result of changes (or that are not already included in the pricing breakdown such as Travel Fees for destination weddings or general driving distances).

It should also state the date of service, the location, and a start time and end time for services to be performed. The rest of the contract should be a series of If/Then strategies should any of those things change.

There should also be a separate clause detailing how Late Payments will be handled.  Will there be additional fees added?  Per day?  One flat rate?  What happens in the event they fail to pay at all? What is your cut off date for final payment before the contract is considered cancelled?  These are all very important details you need to figure out well before you ever have a bride who misses her balance payment deadline.

Also under payments should include terms related to Credit Card Authorizations (either for payments missed by the deadline or last minute add-ons from the wedding day) and language to protect you should they file a Chargeback with their credit card company.



There will be times when a wedding is cancelled altogether either by the bride, by situations outside her control, or even situations outside of your control that prevent you from performing services. All of this needs to be addressed in your cancellation policy as well as your Force Majeure clause. These are two separate sections of your contract, even though they are dealing with similar end results.


Should a bride need to cancel, you need to lay out how that cancellation will be handled. When she has to cancel by, how she has to cancel, and how payments will be handled (both already paid and future balances). This can be for any reason, such as they have called off the engagement, she’s changing her date, or she simply decides she no longer needs your services.


A Force Majeure clause is what protects you both from situations outside your control. It should include terms for both when it is preventing you from working and another for when it is preventing her from having her wedding (such as a pandemic/hurricane/etc).


I recently had to rely on my Force Majeure clause when I was exposed to COVID working in the salon and had to self-quarantine for 14 days.  While the quarantine period itself wouldn’t overlap my bride’s wedding date, the potential for me to have to recuse myself from working her wedding if I got sick called this clause into play.  I had the situation handled in a single email outlining her options for moving forward, and the whole thing was taken care of in a matter of hours.


As you can see, cancellations and force majeure events are similar but have different causes and need to be independently addressed in your contract for sufficient protection.


You can choose to include a clause that pertains to how you will deal with the bride hiring other hairstylists/makeup artists to be on site for services to her bridal party. Some artists do not care if she hires another company (usually cheaper) to provide the same services as them. 


Some others have what's called a Forced Collaboration or Exclusivity Clause- meaning that if there's another company on site doing hair/makeup they charge a fee of $XXX to accommodate the shared space and potential liability. Others flat out say it's not allowed, and if they show up and see another company working, they will leave. 


Think of it like this, does a photographer allow you to hire someone else who's cheaper to also take photos while they're working? Who has the rights as the "lead" photographer? At what point does one have control of the situation and the other along for the ride. 


The same with caterers. You cannot hire one for the appetizers and one for the entrees. They will not allow it for liability with regards to cross contamination and working conditions.


Two more important clauses that aren't technically cancellation clauses, but could save your bacon should a bride try to use them as grounds to cancel are the Artistic Style Clause and Communication.


When it comes to artistic style, this would apply if the bride has a trial and decides she doesn't like the work you did and wants to cancel and get a refund of her retainer.  This is particularly important if you do trials very close to the wedding date, at which point it would be incredibly difficult to rebook the date or if you have to do a wedding without a trial run for an out of state bride.


The communication clause is best suited to protect you in the event that a bride stops communicating with you during the planning process for an extended period of time and makes it impossible for you to move forward with the wedding day services due to lack of headcount, start time, location, or other pertinent details.  It's always best to ensure your booking process is at maximum efficiency so that you have all of these details included in your contract prior to signing and aren't waiting on anything, but we all know that last minute changes can occur.  



It’s a good practice to have a clause in your contract that addresses the use of photos by your company for self-promotion.  Your bride’s photographer will retain all rights to the images they take, and even though the bride may share them with you to “use” you can’t actually use them without the photographer’s permission.  Often, before sending them to you, the photographer will check with the bride to make sure it’s ok.  By having a clause in your contract where your bride can initial giving you permission, you can avoid that extra step and get the photos faster.  


You can also include verbiage to allow you to use the photos you take on the day of, although there is different arguments regarding the inherent rights you have as the person taking the photo.  Do yourself a favor and just include the language to clarify that you can post photos that you yourself take so there’s no question about it later.


As with everything in this blog as well as my course, these are guidelines and prompts to get you thinking about how you want to handle your business and in no way intended to be legal advice. Please be sure to have a lawyer in your own state write your contract for you in order for it to be enforceable.



You should protect your right to refuse service for those who are sick, have lice, or hair too dirty to style, etc. Included would be Safe Working Environment terms, such as temperature control, access to bathrooms, and more. I've seen artists who have had to work in summer in spaces without A/C, no bathrooms or running water (such as campgrounds or cabins), and many places one would assume no bride would want to get ready in anyway.  But it happens, so protect yourself beforehand by outlining what type of space you will not work in.


Included should be verbiage dealing with liability and abuse (meaning abusive behavior by the client.)They are called Indemnification and Harassment Clauses. These will also protect your right to refuse service.


Need a good starting point?  Check out the contract templates by The Legal Paige* here.


*Beauty Business Collective is a proud affiliate of The Legal Paige, and as a result products purchased will earn a small commission to help support this blog and the content brought to you.  If you are looking for legal templates to build your bridal business and want to support other female entrepreneurs like yourself, your purchase is greatly appreciated by TLP and BBC alike!