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  • Writer's picturePaula Pace

Budgeting for Your Wedding Day:Why is Wedding Makeup so Expensive?

Updated: Apr 25

Why is Wedding Makeup so expensive? How Much Does Wedding Makeup Really Cost?

Hot busy bridal suite
Wedding Hair and Makeup in full swing

I've heard that old saying so many many times over the years, 'As soon as you mention the word weddings, the price goes up'' or 'why do weddings cost so much?'

So why is Wedding Day Makeup so expensive?

Well the answer is, quite simply put, is because its specialist and carefully crafted Wedding service. Crafted to bring you the wonderful wedding Day experience you would expect. Why? Because Weddings are special. And you want and need everything to go to plan, run like a well oiled machine. "#10 Ways to Stay Calm and Stress-Free on Your Wedding Day" (

But why do Weddings themselves cost so much, like wedding cars, flowers and cakes?

Just stop for a moment and really think about it.

Let's take my sector for instance. Wedding Makeup.

It's just makeup honey... get over yourself...


I mean, its no different to doing a night out makeup, so why the extra cost?

Alright lets dig a little deeper then,

Well for a start, the Wedding Makeup service itself is nothing like a 'night out makeup' or just 'slapping a bit makeup' on someone's face.

Y'know They do it free on the makeup counters...

Oh do they? Great, maybe try there and see if you like the Makeup. But that is nothing like a Wedding Makeup service provided in your wedding venue. I don't really need to tell you that they won't be doing the same job as me, that is   they won't be getting up at 4 am on a Saturday morning, or some Sunday mornings? They won't be travelling to the venue for an hour or longer, carrying (heavy awkward) cases and equipment up lots of stairs? (I'm looking at you Lumley Castle) and then prep out all of their equipment.

Then remain on their feet sometimes up to 7 hours, selecting timings, soothing an upset mum, or a hysterical bride, touch ups, tears, helping with dresses, holding babies, working with photographers and other suppliers, not breathing, having the bride done in time, helping with the dress, not eating, barely time to go to the loo, packing up the disaster area they created, carrying stuff back down stairs, back over the gravely drives then driving home for an hour, grabbing any old shit too eat and then barely being able to string a sentence together for the rest of the day/night.

You getting a better idea now?

If I'm charging for night out makeup, then I'm only doing night out makeups in a static venue.

And that my lovely friend, is why wedding makeup at your wedding venue is so expensive...

But what about the cake - the photographers etc the cars?

Weddings are a big event. Each service provider sacrifice so much to get it just right. Time is one major and often overlooked factor that we all give up to make sure everything works out perfectly. I could do a whole other Blog on this for each individual Wedding service. Let me tell you that, for every person who enters the Wedding Industry, there will be another leaving it, due to stress and many other factors.

Weddings are like working on a film set and you, the bride, are the leading lady in your own incredible production and the rest of your awesome wedding party are the supporting crew.

Just as a side note - I have never worked on a TV set (I did have the opportunity once but I have suffered from impostor syndrome way before there was a name for it)

Keeping it relaxed and steady for the eyeliner application
Keeping it relaxed and steady as eyeliner is applied.

But I'm not here to complain. I love my job. Always have. And until I can do it no longer - I always will.

But back to the topic, wedding budgets vary and I say, save where you can and splurge on the things your really really want. Sure there's someone in the family who's good at makeup, someone to make a Wedding Cake, someone you know who might be in a band and play for your wedding, a student photographer, printing your own invites and table planners. But they take up time. Or they may not be quite what you were hoping for due to the lack of Wedding experience. I can't tell you the amount of times Brides have gone for a cheap Photographer (its just taking pictures isn't ?) and been bitterly disappointed with the finished results. I have a photographer blog coming on this very subject)

You can do a beautiful DIY wedding on a small budget, you really can if you're prepared to put the work in (and you don't need me to say that weddings are a beautiful stress, but they are indeed an unavoidable stress so I'm compiling a blog on how to stay calm on your wedding day). Maybe look at preloved wedding dresses.Second Hand Wedding Dresses | Buy & Sell Pre-Owned Gowns (

I remember a bride had her heart set on a very expensive wedding dress. After sometime, she found it being sold on for a 1/3 of the price and I have to say it looked absolutely jaw dropping. OK so she didn't have the dress fitting and Prosecco experience that is enjoyed by many, (unlike in the film Bridesmaids) but she did get the dream dress, achievement unlocked!

But back to Wedding Makeup. You could always look into booking a makeup lesson and do it yourself on the day but you would need to factor in the cost of new products, such as makeup and brushes and timings. Sometimes this can work out just as much as having someone do it for you on the day and the stress is then removed.

I did a wedding makeup last year where the bride had saved on her car (a family owned vintage car - stunning) the venue, the dressing of the venue, the cake, her dress, her flowers by family and friends pitching in.

The wedding was outstanding. A real team effort!!!

This incredible planning had left the bride with a small budget to have the thing she wanted above everything else, her hair and her makeup professionally done on the best day of her life. She had said that this would be the only day she would ever feel this special and when would she ever again have the chance to feel like a star.? She looked and felt stunningly beautiful and Simone Whitehead, my amazing wedding hair stylist was responsible for her soft loose romantic curls.

A meticulously planned wedding and a family team of superstars helped Hannah achieve her dream day
Relaxed and Happy - beautifully styled hair and natural Makeup

The Cost of Wedding Day Makeup

Wedding and Bridal Makeup Artists will charge accordingly, inline with their experience and value of their kit and where you are in the country. Other things that will factor in the price are (just the businessy things)...

Insurance, (yawn)

Advertising (honestly it costs us quite a bit for you to actually find us)

Car maintenance.

Wedding Makeup Artist Kit maintenance, cleaning kit and replacing kit (I've replaced so many bags and chairs over the years)

Communications (emails do take up quite a bit of time).

Travel (sometimes a little extra is added for certain mileage)

Time spent cleaning brushes (I don't factor this time in, its just part of my routine, but it does take time and we makeup artists don't love it)

And then, there's the time and care that goes into the service itself, looking after the bride with respect, patience and understanding. We have perfected our calming influencing and communicative skills over the years. I love to keep the bride calm, to reassure her its all going to be fine, to take that big deep breathe and simply enjoy it all.

I could of course go on, but then that's just a bit boring. Most Wedding Makeup artists charge similar to me, give or take a few quid and some charge way more, and some way less. (ask on a Facebook wedding supplier page and you will be inundated with offers to do your makeup 'cheap' and so prices will vary. But please be aware that you may then end up paying for several trials until you find the right person for the job. You might strike lucky and find a perfect fit, but if not, what you thought might be a bargain money saving makeuppy person (it's just a bit makeup after all) could end up costing you way more.

If you really want your chosen Wedding Makeup artist, or hair stylist, or wedding photographer, or florist, or videographer, cake people, don't leave it too late to see if there's enough pennies in your budget. There's only one of them and lots of other brides marrying the same day as you who will want them too. Maybe you can save elsewhere on your wedding so you can have the film star treatment on the most magical, unforgettable wonderful day of your life.

And if you have all the right suppliers, a cracking bridal squad to help you, it should go super smooth and you can relax, sip the champagne and let them take care of everything. Then all you need to do is just walk down the aisle, say 'I do' and just look absolutely amazing..

A few recommended suppliers.


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