• 06/29/2022

The Average Cost of Wedding Hair and Makeup in 2021

makeup bridal

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Putting together your bridal look is such a fun part of planning your wedding. Many different elements go into creating this look, including your dress, ring, hair, makeup, bridal colors, and flowers. 

There are so many beautiful options for bridal looks – you could go simple and elegant, romantic and bohemian, or vintage and classic. Whatever you choose, your hair and makeup are an essential part of the finished look. 

Because they’re so important, it’s helpful to factor hair and makeup costs into your wedding budget. To give you a reference, here’s everything you need to know about the average cost of wedding hair and makeup in 2021. 

Cost of Wedding Hair

According to bridal hairstylist Sarah Naslund, the cost of a wedding updo is usually between $100 and $350. However, several different factors can affect this cost, including where you live. Brides who live in a big city are likely to pay more for their vendors than those who live in rural areas. 

Expertise is another factor that impacts price point. In general, more experienced stylists charge more for their services than those who are just starting out. Total cost is also determined by how much time you want to hire a stylist for, and how intricate you’d like your hairstyle to be. 

However, when you book a stylist you’re paying for more than just a hairstyle. Compensation includes their time, expertise, tools, products, and emotional support. For many brides, their hair and makeup team are the first people they see on their big day. Some brides choose to pay extra to have their hairstylist stay for touchups throughout the day.

If you’d like to have your bridesmaid’s hair done professionally, you can expect to pay $50–$75 per bridesmaid. Because American bridesmaids pay for their own bridal wear, it’s thoughtful to cover this additional cost for them. Of course, you can also make professional hair optional to take pressure off your bridesmaids. 

Cost of Wedding Makeup

Professional wedding makeup is priced similarly to hair, at an average of $100 to $150 for brides. The total cost for this vendor depends on what you’re looking for with your bridal makeup. If you want air-brushed foundation or lash extensions, you can expect a higher overall cost. 

For bridesmaids, professional makeup comes in at around $50–$75 per bridesmaid. This can add up quickly if you have a large wedding party, so it’s important to include this cost in your wedding budget. Some brides choose to have their makeup professionally done and let their bridesmaids decide for themselves about whether or not to complete their looks professionally. 

Many brides cry and sweat more than usual on their wedding day, which can smudge or damage their appearance. Hiring a makeup artist is a valuable way to reduce stress on your big day – artists have professional tools to keep you looking and feeling fresh from the ceremony all the way to your honeymoon. 

Book a Trial Run

Not every stylist requires you to book a trial run with them, and typically trial runs are a separate cost from wedding day services. However, most stylists strongly recommend you book a trial run because it can be so helpful in securing results you’re happy with. 

Investing in a trial run gives you the opportunity to get to know your stylist, explore style options with them, and see if your dream style really looks the way you imagined. You can also wear your hair and makeup throughout the day to see how it feels and if you like the way it looks in pictures. 

You can take these findings to your stylist so they can adjust their approach and help you create exactly the look you were hoping for. Working with your wedding vendors is all about partnership, and spending more time together will build your confidence in them and in the success of your final bridal look. 

How to Prepare for Appointments

Your vendors should communicate any specific requirements to you before you meet with them. Some makeup artists prefer brides to wear their everyday makeup look to the appointment, while others prefer a fresh face with no makeup. Most hairstylists will want you to avoid having wet or freshly washed hair at your appointment, as it creates a slippery texture that doesn’t stay up well. 

This is your wedding, so it’s important for you to be vocal about your preferences and concerns. Ask your stylists for their opinion, but be firm about the things you care about. Some brides like a lot of makeup, while others prefer a more natural, understated look. The important thing is to find a stylist who listens to you and will help you achieve your vision – and ideally, improve on it. 

Although it may sound too simple, another way to prepare for appointments is to care good care of yourself. Adequate water and sleep can do wonders for your complexion, reducing stress levels and helping your skin heal more quickly from breakouts. Eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly will boost your mood and give your skin a natural, healthy glow. 

Finally, it’s not a good idea to try something new right before your wedding. If you’d like to get a tan, plan in enough time to allow it to fade and look lived-in. The same goes for highlights, lash extensions, and facials. Every person reacts differently to beauty treatments, so it’s best to stick to tried-and-true self-care right before your big day. 

You Do You

Your wedding is unique to you, and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. If you’re comfortable doing your own makeup, you can decide to purchase extra flowers and forgo hiring professional hair and makeup artists. On the other hand, if you want to reduce stress on your wedding day and feel uncomfortable completing your own look, hiring professionals may be the way to go. 

Whatever you decide, make sure you don’t forget to enjoy the process. Your wedding day will be wonderful regardless of how your hair and makeup turn out – because ultimately, what matters is that you’re marrying someone you love and celebrating that commitment with friends and family. With so much joy packed into one day, there’s no way you won’t be glowing!


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