While most brides spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to find the perfect wedding dress, they might overlook another important aspect of their look: their hair and makeup. Whether you’re going for a vintage-inspired ensemble or a contemporary one, your day-of glam has the power to elevate your attire and tie your look together. Not to mention, the beauty look and hairstyle that you choose help you feel like your best self. “Bridal hair and makeup is important because it can help boost the bride’s confidence and make her feel even more beautiful on the wedding day,” Mar R. of TEAM Hair & Makeup says. “This can help create a positive, joyful mood that will be reflected in the wedding photos and memories.”
Since your hair and makeup play an essential role in setting the tone of your overall look, the costs can quickly add up. According to makeup artist Kayla Strachan, brides can spend anywhere from $300 to $1,000 on beauty for their big day. Of course, the grand total depends on various factors, such as the region the couple is tying the knot in or the level of experience that the makeup artist and hairstylist have. Overall, brides are typically paying for the creative professional’s expertise, time, services, products, and travel costs when they get their hair and makeup done for their special day.
Wedding beauty is an investment, so it’s important to book trusted vendors who understand your vision. However, there are numerous ways you can cut costs on your glam without sacrificing quality. We called on a rolodex of experts to ask them for their best-kept secrets to choosing a more affordable beauty look. Ahead, the best ways to save money on your bridal hair and makeup.
Meet the Expert
- Mar R. is the director and founder of TEAM Hair & Makeup and Cheveux Extensions by MAR. She’s located in Santa Barbara, California and has been serving the bridal community for over 20 years.
- Kayla Strachan is a professional makeup artist based in Belleville, New Jersey and the owner of Kayla Strachan Artistry. She’s been doing bridal makeup for seven years.
- Rhea McCarter is the owner of Adore Makeup Boutique + Salon, which offers beauty services, such as hair and makeup, to her clients in Austin, Texas. She has 16 years of experience in the bridal space.
Ask Your Planner for Vendor Suggestions
Instead of relying on social media as the main source of information about potential hairstylists and makeup artists to book, ask your wedding planner for ideas. Your planner is an expert in this field who has years of experience working with couples in your region, so chances are, they’re going to know the best creatives near your locale. They also will understand your budget and costs of certain services. This is an especially important step if you’re hosting a destination wedding and aren’t familiar with beauty professionals in the area. By hiring someone who has been vetted, Rhea McCarter of Adore Makeup Boutique + Salon says you’ll most likely eliminate an additional hair and makeup trial. Since brides often schedule a few trials to nail their beauty look, this will put more cash in your wallet. “You’ll save on trying out other artists and know the hair and makeup team is professional,” she explains.
If you have friends or family who used a hairstylist or makeup artist whom they loved for their wedding in the same region, ask for referrals. “Many hair and makeup artists offer the same rates as the referral, which can help you save money while getting top-notch services,” Mar mentions. Additionally, relying on other people’s recommendations will guarantee that your look will turn out well, which will avoid unnecessary trials, time, and stress.
Book Your Glam Team in Advance
The earlier you book your wedding hair and makeup artists, the better. If possible, Mar suggests finding and finalizing your beauty team eight to 12 months before your special day, so the final bill is less costly. “Booking your hair and makeup services well in advance can sometimes result in paying for the current rates versus next season’s rates.” If you’re throwing your affair during peak wedding season, assembling your beauty crew up to a year out will help you avoid competing with other brides for the same professionals.
Hire Newer Artists
Since you’re paying for a hairstylist or makeup artist’s expertise, newer artists or cosmetology students typically offer less expensive rates. “They often have intro pricing that is $25 to $50 less per service without a travel minimum,” McCarter states. It’s worth noting that just because they aren’t as established in the industry doesn’t mean they’re any less talented. If you’re wary, browse online reviews, refer to social media, and ask other brides for their experience.
Schedule a Consultation
Instead of blindly trusting an unknown professional with your day-of beauty look, schedule a consultation before making any decisions. Mar explains that many hair and makeup professionals offer these preliminary meetings to get a feel for your vision and try a few potential styles, which they offer at a lower rate than trials. “This can help narrow down the look and save time and money during the trial,” Mar notes. If you can’t schedule an in-person consultation, a phone call or Zoom appointment is just as effective.
Do Your Own Hair and Makeup
For those who are skilled at doing their own hair and makeup, going the DIY route is a fail-proof way to cut costs because it’s virtually free. Of course, you’ll need to accumulate any makeup products or hair accessories that you’ll want to include in your look, but you’ll probably have most of these items on hand already. If you don’t want to totally go solo, McCarter advises booking a hair and makeup lesson at a salon, where the experts will teach you how to apply products that are long-lasting, smudge-proof, and photo-worthy like the pros.
Skip the All-Day Hair and Makeup Package
An all-day hair and makeup package might seem like a good investment, but this option is more expensive since you’re paying for the vendors’ time and service over the course of the day. You’ll probably only really need your hairstylist and makeup artist on site at the beginning of your day to create your look. If you need to make touch-ups throughout the evening, Strachan recommends bringing your own products, such as blotting pads and lipstick, so you won’t have to pay another professional.
Head to the Salon to Get Beautified
Although most brides have their beauty team work their magic in their bridal suite, going to the salon to get glam will translate to a more affordable bill if your schedule allows for it. Since travel fees affect the total cost of your hair and makeup, you’ll eliminate one of those expenses. The last thing you want is to arrive late to your ceremony, so McCarter says to make sure you give yourself enough time in case of traffic or other emergencies.