On your wedding day, as you’re walking down the aisle to exchange vows with your spouse-to-be, all eyes are on you. If the thought makes you sweat and forces your belly to do a little flip, you’re not alone. To give yourself a little extra confidence and look as stunning as you can, one of the big things on your mind will be your wedding beauty.

But, with couples spending an average of £650 on wedding beauty, and the fact that the average overall wedding budget is £19,184, looking and feeling great on your big day certainly isn’t cheap.

In this post, we’re going to look at all the ways you can save money on bridal hair and makeup, so you don’t need to spend a fortune on wedding day beauty.

What is wedding beauty?

Photo © Tara Sanger Makeup | See their Bridebook profile

Wedding beauty is the steps you take to look your beautiful best o,n your wedding day. This, of course, includes hair and makeup on the morning of the ceremony but can also include so much more, such as nails, skincare, tanning and teeth whitening.

Unfortunately, beauty can be expensive. Whether it’s a trip to the salon, a tanning studio, the dentist, buying makeup or any other part of the other pre-wedding beauty regime, none of it is inexpensive. But, there are plenty of ways you can reduce these costs so they fit within your wedding budget.

Why you should choose your look early

Photo © Lessandras Beauty | See their Bridebook profile

On your wedding day, you’ll want to look as stunning as you can, which means plenty of additional stages to your day-to-day regime. That means you need to choose your wedding look early, because:

  • It gives you plenty of time to buy makeup and supplies, or budget accordingly
  • It ensures you co-ordinate your beauty with your and your spouse-to-be’s attire
  • You won’t be forced to make any last-minute decisions which can be stressful
  • You can try out various looks and get it perfect
  • It can be far cheaper because you’re not having to pay last-minute rates

10 ways to save money on your wedding beauty

Photo © Hair & Makeup by Gabrielle | See their Bridebook profile

On top of planning your look early, here are 10 tips and tricks for saving money on wedding beauty. And for even more tips, check out our ultimate guide to saving money on your wedding.

1. Hire an assistant instead of an artist

Photo © Julie Holmes Makeup Artist | See their Bridebook profile

Makeup artists have mastered their craft through years, or even decades, of helping brides look their beautiful best for their big day. As a result, their rates can be high and may exceed your budget. However, instead of hiring a makeup artist, you could hire an assistant instead. An assistant works closely with an artist, learning from their knowledge and skills over a long time. That means they have the necessary skills to do your makeup, but perhaps not as much experience. Hiring an assistant will be far more affordable, and the look still exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Do your own hair, makeup, nails and tanning

Photo © Niki Lawrence Professional Make-up Artist | See their Bridebook profile

If you feel confident enough, why not do your own makeup? You know exactly what colours and styles suit your face, and exactly how to get that annoyingly persistent kink out of your hair, so why not? If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for anyone.

If you want to try a new look, before jumping straight in on your wedding day make sure you practice the look beforehand. For some inspiration, check out makeup and hair influencers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube first.

If nothing else, you’re more than likely already confident at doing your own nails. An emery board and a nail polish or varnish set will be far more affordable than a trip for a manicure and pedicure (although admittedly, not quite as fun). In a similar way, a self-tanning at home can be a more inexpensive option, as well as not as damaging to your skin.

3. Ask a bridesmaid to do it 

Photo © Glamorama Makeup | See their Bridebook profile

One thing many of your bridesmaids will have experience in is doing their own hair and makeup – and you’ve likely admired their handiwork plenty of times in the past. If they’re brave enough to take on the responsibility, you could ask them to do the honours. Similar to if you were to do your own makeup and hair, make sure you have a few practice sessions during the weeks and months leading up to your wedding.

4. Travel to your makeup artist

Photo © CJ Beauty & Co | See their Bridebook profile

Another great way to save some pennies is to travel to your makeup artist, instead of having them coming to you. You will still get all the professional help you could possibly need, but save on transport and time. If you go down this route, it’s always worth asking your artist to give you a touch-up kit so you can top up your makeup for photos and throughout the reception.

5. Take makeup lessons

Photo © Katy Djokic Hair & Makeup | See their Bridebook profile

For a little extra confidence when it comes to doing your own makeup, lessons from a professional artist can give you the tips and tricks that videos or pictures might miss. Plus, you’ll be able to get feedback in real-time, helping you to improve much quicker. Lessons aren’t exactly cheap, but they should still be more budget-friendly than hiring a pro to do it for you on the day. Check out our article featuring bridal makeup tips from the fantastic Bobbi Brown.

6. Don’t use the M or W words

Photo © Beautiful Hair 4 Weddings | See their Bridebook profile

This is an important one and something to bear in mind whenever you’re making a booking or getting a quote – don’t mention that you’re getting married or going to your wedding. Some vendors will increase their prices if they get wind that you’re having your hair and makeup done for your wedding, so it’s best to keep schtum if possible.

7. Prioritise skincare ahead of the wedding

Photo © Make Up By Jenni | See their Bridebook profile

This is also good advice to stick to generally, and if any of us are honest it can sometimes be forgotten. But, make sure you have a strict skincare routine for at least three months ahead of the wedding to reduce blemishes, spots, dry skin and any other issues that can arise. This includes cleansing, moisturising, exfoliating, drinking plenty of water and never going to bed while wearing makeup. Not only will you feel far more confident, but you’ll also spend less on cosmetics, too.

8. Stock up on makeup and other items way before the big day

Photo © Bridal Makeup By Sam | See their Bridebook profile

If you usually only use a small amount of makeup, then you might be shocked by how much certain items cost, which can be a big hit if you leave it until the last minute. Start buying the makeup, teeth whitening kits, hair dyes and other items you’ll need early so it spreads out the cost.

9. Book a department store beauty session

Photo © The Bridal Stylists | See their Bridebook profile

Big department stores usually offer beauty sessions which you can book ahead of time. They’re normally used to test out certain looks or colours, which means it can be a little risky, but if successful it means you’ll get a professional look while saving a ton of money.

10. Go to your regular hairstylist

Photo © Jane Bellis Bellissimo | See their Bridebook profile

Because it’s your wedding day it can be tempting to book a professional who specialises in pre-wedding hair and beauty, but who knows you and your preferred look better than your usual stylist? Chances are, they’re far more affordable than a specialist, too – just remember not to mention your wedding until after you’ve paid.

Save money by planning your wedding with Bridebook

Here at Bridebook, we have a huge variety of wedding beauty stylists and artists available to suit every look and budget. Sign up and start planning your wedding today!

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Happy Planning!