I am not here to give you a text book version of how to conduct a bridal trial, but there are certain things to remember, and certain things to stay away from.
Before you go in, make sure you know your prices. If you and the bride negotiated a cheaper price, make sure you know that price so that the bride doesn't think you are trying to cheat her.
Most likely you will be going to the brides house to conduct the trial so dress casual. Please do not show up in a shirt where your cleavage is hanging out for her soon to be husband to stare at if he's there for the trial!
If you need to make room for your makeup, ASK before you move the bride's personal belongings.
So far you might think these tips are common sense, but believe me, many makeup artists have forgotten these little tips of etiquette and it can cost you a client.
If you are using airbrush makeup, make sure you have a cloth wrap or towel to cover the brides clothing. She won't be happy when foundation has splattered on the clothes she plans on going out for the day in.
A little something extra is you can take a photo of the bride (before & after) and email it to her after the trial. This could be the clincher for hiring you because she can see what a difference makeup makes. When people have their makeup on for a while, they forget what the before looks like lol.
Be ready for all kinds of payment excuses. I have shown up for trials where the bride has no cash or check on her. Now luckily I have a credit card swiper from Square Up. If you are freelancing, definitely get one. They send it to you for FREE. They take 2 or 3% from what you charge, which is why I prefer cash, but if cash/check is not an option, at least you are still getting paid. Sometimes they will ask you to follow them to the nearest ATM. So just be prepared. Either come with change, or let them know before hand that you only accept cash if that's the case.
Biggest advice I can tell you is that you need to give the bride what she wants. You already know this right? Well, I have heard many makeup artists complain: She didn't like the eye shadow when it was perfectly fine! She's crazy!
Well guess what, this isn't like doing makeup on a model where they get no say, a bride gets every say she wants for her special day, so the best thing for you to do is to start off with light makeup (even if they ask for heavier) and if she wants it more dramatic, etc, then you can build up the makeup. I have had brides or bridesmaids tell me they want a bright pink or dark black, and hand pick the shadow themselves, and once they see the look, hate it and want something else. It's aggravating yes because now you have to take it ALL off. But if you start off light, you don't have to take it off, you can just build upon it!
Also, make sure you write down all the products used on the bride in case she hires you for her big day. You don't want to scrounge through your kit trying to remember what you used on the day of the trial. But be aware that foundation color could change if they've had a tan or vice versa.
Have a bridal contract where it explains parking expenses need to be taken care of and that a 50% deposit needs to be paid in order to book the date. This is a win for you because if they cancel on you, which means you lose out on money that day, at least you got 50% beforehand.
Many brides I encounter do not wear makeup on a daily basis, so make sure you can explain to them what you are doing every step of the way in case they ask questions. Most of my brides tell me they want the makeup to look natural. The problem is that because they don't wear makeup, even natural makeup looks like they are wearing tons of makeup to them. So I try my best to explain that no matter what, you will look like you have makeup on because you do, but that the good thing is that you won't notice in photos. And photos are wear it counts because with no makeup on, you will look washed out in photos. This will usually reassure them.
Hope this was helpful! Any tips you guys want to add?