How Much Does Wedding Beauty Cost? The 2023 Average Revealed

On your wedding day, all eyes are on you and you’ll want to feel as beautiful and confident as you can be as your friends and family watch you say, ‘I do!’

Achieving that perfect look can take time, dedication and – unfortunately – money. But, it’s worth it when you look back on your photographs and admire just how great the two of you looked on your big day.

But how much does wedding beauty cost and what should your regime be during the build-up to your wedding? In this post, we’re going to take a look at how much wedding hair and makeup costs, and the money you might spend on beauty ahead of your wedding.

What’s the average cost of wedding beauty?

Photo © Kristina Gasperas Makeup Artist | See their Bridebook profile

In the UK, the average amount of money couples spend on hair and makeup for their wedding is £650 (the breakdown is £300 for makeup, and £350 for hair).

A big chunk of this cost goes towards the bride’s hair and makeup on the morning of the wedding, but other parts of the pre-wedding beauty regime contribute towards this cost, such as nails, tanning and teeth whitening.

If you’re on a strict budget, there are things you can do to save money on wedding makeup. You can also get an overall idea of what your wedding might cost with our ultimate wedding budget breakdown. Below is a rough guide on what you might expect to pay when it comes to your beauty regime.

Hair

While you’ve been doing your hair yourself for years, there’s nothing quite like how it looks when a professional does it. A hairstylist knows exactly what to do to get your hair looking perfect for the moment you walk down the aisle. Costs for the bride’s hair start from £100, but highly skilled and experienced hairstylists can charge as much as £300 or more.

Makeup

Along with hair, makeup is possibly the second most important aspect of a bride’s beauty routine. Costs start from around £100.

Lashes

Eyelash extensions are a great way to give yourself fuller, thicker lashes. Costs start from around £30.

Nails

There’s a variety of different nail extensions to choose from, including acrylics, hard gel, dip powder and more. Even if you’re not interested in extensions, having a manicure (and even a pedicure – why not?) will help you feel gorgeous. The cost of a basic manicure starts at £20 and the cost of extensions can start from £35.

Getting your nails done is also something you likely won’t want to leave until the morning of the wedding, and is something you should do a day or two beforehand.

Male grooming

A pre-wedding beauty regime isn’t something exclusive to the bride – the groom should look great and feel confident too. A pre-wedding haircut and shave (or beard trim) by a professional barber will do just that. Costs start from around £25.

What about the bridal party?

Photo © Spence and Oliver – The Bridal Beauty Co| See their Bridebook profile

It’s also possible to hire a stylist to do the hair and makeup of other members of the bridal party, including parents, bridesmaids and flower girls. While there will be a cost for each extra person, it will usually be less than the cost of the bride’s beauty.

What’s the beauty regime before your wedding?

Photo © Ana Ospina | See their Bridebook profile

While your stylist will take great care with your hair and makeup on the morning of your wedding, that’s not always where it starts. There’s plenty you can do ahead of the big day to prepare. However, each of these will add to your budget and aren’t necessarily a vital part of your routine.

  • Nail colour – Why not test out some colours, which you can apply yourself to save money?
  • Hair colour – If you’re colouring your hair for your wedding, try out some possible colours during the months before your wedding.
  • Teeth whitening – You can arrange for professional teeth whitening, such as through your dentist, or buy at-home kits.
  • Exfoliate – Look after your skin as well as you can during the months – and especially the weeks – before your wedding.
  • Botox – If you’re having Botox for your wedding, this can take a couple of weeks to take effect and can last several months.
  • Eyebrows – Wax or thread your brows around two weeks before your wedding to avoid spots or red skin.
  • Tan – A spray tan can be done a few days before your wedding, but if you’re hitting the sun beds make sure to do it over a few weeks and no more than two or three sessions a week.

What factors can affect the cost of wedding beauty?

Photo © The Bridal Stylists | Wedding Hair & Makeup | See their Bridebook profile

Several factors play a part in the cost of wedding beauty, which means you may pay considerably less – or more – than the average. It also depends on what you’re looking for – many couples are happy with basic hair and makeup and still look absolutely stunning on their big day.

Expertise

Much like any other wedding vendor, makeup artists and hairstylists will base their prices on their own experience. For example, a recently qualified or inexperienced artist might charge as little as £50 to do your wedding makeup. An experienced artist with an established reputation, on the other hand, could charge upwards of £180 for bridal makeup.

Location

You can have your hair and makeup done at a salon or you can ask the stylists to come to you. If your stylists are travelling to you, they’ll add travel fees to their wedding makeup prices. That means that travelling to your stylist’s salon can save you as much as £60 since it doesn’t require any petrol, toll charges or extra time from the artist.

Where you are in the UK can also affect how much you’ll pay. For example, stylists in London often charge a lot more than those outside the capital.

Trials

If you’re planning to have a make-up trial (and we recommend that you do if it fits your budget) before hiring your artist, many will charge you because trials still use up both products and time. An experienced artist could charge you as much as £90 – £150 for a trial. To save some cash, look out for a package deal which will include both the trial and the makeup for the day.

Need more makeup guidance? Discover the correct wedding makeup for your skin tone.

Number of people

In addition to having their own makeup done, many brides like to treat their bridesmaids or mum to professionally done hair and/or makeup. Since this doesn’t require as much time as bridal makeup, almost all stylists will charge a little less for this service. A trial and day of make-up for a bridesmaid or mother-of-the-bride tend to come in at £85.

Should your bridesmaids pay for that? Check out what your bridesmaids should and shouldn’t pay for.

DIY makeup

Photo © CJC Hair & Makeup | See their Bridebook profile

Many brides, including Kate Middleton herself, choose to do their own makeup for their wedding day. However, we would strongly advise that you book a lesson beforehand. It’s the best way to learn some new techniques and find the best products for a long-lasting look. Head to your favourite makeup counter (our favourites are Bobbi Brown and MAC), where you’ll be able to get some free tips and stock up on beauty products. For more information, check out our article on wedding makeup by Bobbi Brown.

Plan your dream wedding on Bridebook

Here at Bridebook, we have thousands of hair and makeup artists to suit every budget and style. Sign up today and start building your wedding dream team!

And if you’re looking for ways to save money on your wedding beauty, be sure you check out our budget-friendly tips and tricks. 

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Happy Planning!