What is the average spend for bridal makeup?
As a rough guide, prices for the bride’s makeup on wedding day including a pre-wedding trial usually start at around £140 and can go up to £300+ depending on location. For bridesmaids and all other wedding guests on the day it can vary from £40 to £90 per person. For an average wedding booking
for the bride and three bridesmaids you can expect to pay around £300-400 depending on location.
For me & my business I would say I am in the mid-to-high end price bracket for makeup artists in my local area of Suffolk, East Anglia. I would say my prices reflect my passion and experience and give me a great balance between booking the right amount of clients each season and maintaining the quality
and value in my work.
What can affect bridal makeup prices?
1) Location – Travel is usually included for local bookings (e.g up to 15
miles) and then an additional mileage fee eg. £0.50 per mile thereafter on the return journey to cover fuel and time. If the location is further afield or with a very early start, overnight accommodation may be required. If the location is in a city centre there may be additional tolls and parking to be paid.
2) Wedding Date – Some Bridal Makeup Artists have a ‘peak’ and ‘off peak’ price. Weekends, during the summer months and around Christmas and bank holidays can be priced higher as dates are more in demand and artist’s will likely get multiple enquiries for the same date. (For example some Saturday’s in August can get requested up to ten times!) I don’t personally have two different prices (as my standard of work is still the same whether it is January or June!) however I do have minimum booking numbers for peak months and certain days of the week.
3) Timings – For early ceremonies and/or larger bridal parties (6+ adults) a makeup assistant may be required at an extra fee of £50 per person. Some venues will have limitations on access time, so for example use of their bridal prep room at 9am, but if your ceremony is at 1pm that will only be enough time for 3 makeup services. If the artist has to pack up and travel from your home to a second location to get everyone ready there may be an extra charge.
4) Extras – As an additional service, trials can be added on for the Mother of the Bride and Bridesmaids. This is an optional service, a fun and girly experience to share and a great opportunity to try out different products and colours ahead of the day. For those with sensitive or troublesome skin, we can test out suitability and I can recommend skincare products to improve your skin in preparation for the big day!
5) Hidden Costs - There shouldn’t be any, as a breakdown of costings and travel will be discussed prior to booking. However, some artist’s may add an additional charge on for false lashes. I believe they enhance and complete every bridal look whether it is natural or full glam so it is totally complimentary in my pricing!
What can you get for your bridal party budget?
Budget up to £200 – At this price bracket you will either be looking a trainee or student artist offering a few services at an introductory rate. Take into consideration that the artist may be amazing at applying makeup to themselves but may not fully understand how to adapt that newly learned skill to individual clients faces or know how much to apply makeup for wedding photography.
Budget up to £300 – At this price bracket you will be able to have bridal makeup and couple of bridesmaids on the day. The artist will likely be mid-priced and have a few years’ experience on the job to have a good understanding of how weddings work and be able to apply makeup that will last and be captured well in the photos. The products they use will likely be a much higher quality and there will be a wider variety of shades and textures in their kit.
Budget up to £450 – At this price bracket your artist will be well seasoned in weddings often recommended personally by the venue or other suppliers. The products used will be all luxury and the overall client experience will be highly efficient and professional. The artist will have a strong understanding of makeup and photography and naturally adapt it to the individual photographers edit style. They will not only be able to make someone look beautiful but they will be able to create a real ‘wow factor’ and go the extra mile for their brides staying to do final touch-ups before she departs.
‘Why are Bridal Makeup Artist’s so expensive? What a good question...where do I start?
Firstly bridal makeup always costs more than normal occasion makeup as there is hours of extra time spent in correspondence and prior planning. After a successful completion of a bridal trial I personally document it all with photos and a detailed face chart with notes and shades used. I will also create a timings schedule for the bride based on numbers and ceremony time, liaising with the venue and the hairstylist to ensure everything will run smoothly and to time on the day! I also provide some little extra touches and include a mini top up kit for my brides including a pot of their chosen lipstick shade and thankyou cards to go the extra mile!
Next the professional kit costs thousands! Each product you will need multiple colours of to ensure you are fully inclusive and cater for all skin tones and ethnicities. Depending on how premium the brands the artist uses it can vary from £15-£50 per item and there is also brushes, the kit bags and all the hygiene and disposable applicators. And unfortunately for the artist, makeup expires so after a year or two you have to throw it away and replace it! In my professional kit, everything is thoroughly tested on a few different faces before it goes in to ensure I have the best of the best available to my clients.
As well as my past professional training courses, I’m also a member of an online makeup academy to continuously learn and improve my craft to ensure the looks I am delivering are fresh and modern. I’m also fully insured and have an annual policy to cover me for any emergencies. Hygiene has always been a top priority for me too, pandemic or not! Before and after every wedding I spend time thoroughly cleaning my kit, disinfecting products and tools and packing the appropriate PPE and sanitisers.
Something that is key for me is that my brides feel 100% comfortable so they can truly relax and enjoy their wedding day feeling like the best version of themselves, not someone else! Many of them rarely wear makeup day to day but want to look glamourous on wedding day. Although they take longer, I much prefer to use individual lashes as opposed to strip lashes as I am able to make them fully custom to the client filling in gaps in the natural lashes and tailoring the length and pattern to suit their individual eye shape. This also ensures they feel light on the eye with no chance of them lifting at the inner corners after a long day of laughing, drinking and dancing!
Bridal Makeup can seem like a lot of money to spend, but if your artist can make you look and feel amazing on your wedding day, then surely it’s the best investment!
A little about me!
Emily is a luxury makeup artist specialising in bridal makeup with a focus on making her clients look beautiful and feel confident! She offers a mobile service and is available to travel throughout East Anglia to Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge for weddings.
Her signature style for bridal makeup is soft, glowing and romantic. Her brides feel polished and glamorous yet still looking natural!
With a background in Art, she understands colour and is able to choose the right tones to make women shine and enhance their best features! She is also a brow technician and one of her best skills is creating amazing eyebrows for her clients.
Her kit contains high-end products and tools from luxury brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Dior and Nars catering for all ages and skin tones.
Emily is a true professional who makes the whole experience fun and easy, staying with you until final touch-ups to ensure your makeup lasts so you can relax and enjoy your magical day!
Emily Chantal Makeup