Your wedding day is one occasion on which you want to look your absolute, top-dollar best. Not only are you going to be immortalized in wedding photos for eternity, but since it should be one of the happiest days of your life, you want your external appearance to match the greatness you’re feeling inside. In order to put your face quite literally in the hands of a fabulous wedding hair and makeup artist, you’ll need to budget for hair and wedding makeup costs. Find out exactly what you should expect to pay for wedding hair and makeup costs with our ultimate guide below.
How Much Do Wedding Hair and Makeup Cost?
The cost for wedding hair and makeup will vary considerably based upon your location, how many people and/or services you’re looking to schedule, and the intricacy of your styles. On the low end, wedding hair and makeup artists might only charge around $60 for a single application, but in large cities, bridal hair and makeup could cost over $1,000. However the average price most couples spend on wedding hair and makeup is around $300, but anywhere within the range of $150-$600 is typical.
If a wedding hair and makeup artist needs to travel to the event (or to your getting-ready location), the cost could go up, as he or she might add a travel fee. If you’d like your stylist to remain on-site for touch ups, that could also raise your costs: most wedding hair and makeup artists will charge by the hour to remain at your wedding location, ranging anywhere from $30 to $125 per hour.
What’s Included in the Price of Wedding Hair and Makeup?
As mentioned above, you’re primarily paying for your wedding hair and makeup artist’s time. The higher the number of hours that you’ll need to book your stylist, the higher your price tag will be. In general, the tools and materials required to create your wedding hair and makeup look are included in the cost, but certain types of hairstyles, products, and makeup applications will run you more:
- Wedding updos tend to cost more than blowout hairstyles, with the average price of an updo costing about $45 more ($51 for a blowout versus $95 for an updo).
- Airbrush wedding makeup will cost more than traditional makeup. Expect to pay around $50 more for airbrush application, as the average cost of airbrush makeup is $155 while traditional makeup costs on average $100 per face.
In addition to beauty services on the actual day of your wedding, some artists offer free consultations and/or hair and makeup trials before the wedding—but some artists charge anywhere from $50 to $150 for trials. See below for more information about trials.
How Much Do a Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial Cost?
It just makes good sense to get a hair and makeup trial before your wedding to ensure that you and your stylist(s) are on the same page about what kind of wedding look you want. Yet not all hair and makeup artists offer this service for free (or as part of their consultation appointment). If you’re asked to pay for a wedding beauty trial, you could be looking at a cost of anywhere from $50-$150, with the average price being around $75.
Should I Tip My Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist?
Just like at a regular salon, tipping for wedding beauty services is generally expected. You should prepare to tip your wedding hair and makeup artist(s) anywhere from 15-25% of the total bill for their services if you think they’ve done a great job.
Are There Any Add-On Costs With Wedding Hair and Makeup?
We’ve already discussed a few of the “hidden” or add-on costs that you might discover when budgeting for your wedding hair and makeup. Here are some of the extra charges you might encounter for fancier styles, more expensive products or applications, or for simply more complex logistics:
- False eyelashes, updo hairstyles, or airbrush makeup are usually more expensive.
- Travel fees might occur if your hair and makeup artist(s) are required to travel to your location. Factor in additional costs if mileage (for long distances) or parking fees also come into play.
- Trial runs of your wedding hair and makeup might cost you an additional $50-100 per trial.
- Extra people beyond just the bride—such as bridesmaids or the mother of the bride—will naturally add to your costs. Your hair and makeup artist might even need to bring an additional stylist or an assistant.
- Extra hours beyond the initial styling (for example, if you want touch ups later in the evening, or a different hairstyle for the reception) will cost you more, as you will be paying your hair and makeup artist by the hour to remain on-site.
- Tipping your wedding hair and makeup artist(s) is generally expected, just like at any salon appointment.
How Much Does Bridesmaid Hair and Makeup Cost?
Wedding makeup for a bridesmaid or a mother of the bride generally costs around $150 per woman, or if you want to break it down, around $75 for makeup and $50-$75 for hairstyling (blowout versus updo). Again, this number can go up based upon the location and the complexity of the style or the logistics.
Who Pays for Bridesmaid Hair and Makeup?
It depends: if the bride is requiring that her bridesmaids have their hair and makeup professionally done, then it’s expected that the bride (or her parents, depending on who’s paying for the wedding) cover these beauty costs. But if professional hair and makeup are being offered only as an option, then the bridesmaids should expect to pay for their own services. A bride might also consider whether she’d like to pay for her bridesmaids’ hair and makeup as part or all of the traditional bridesmaids’ gift.
How Far in Advance Should I Book My Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist?
We recommend you book your wedding hair and makeup artist(s) no less than three months before your wedding date. Of course, it’s always better to check this item off your Wedding Planning Checklist earlier if possible—you’ll want to have plenty of time to choose your wedding hair and makeup artist(s) carefully, get to know him or her so you’re really comfortable on the big day, and schedule a trial run to iron out all the kinks before the wedding-day timeline begins ticking. Head over to Zola Inspiration to browse wedding hair and makeup stylists in your area right now!