Realistic Bridal Beauty Expectations

The Wedding Industry has many facets, but when it comes to booking a beautician for your big day, we have you covered. This is Amanda Goldstein, CEO of Fort Lauderdale Beauty – writing for Iconic Bride Magazine; and this is our guide to realistic price expectations for bridal beauty services.

The Wedding Industry has many facets, but when it comes to booking a beautician for your big day, we have you covered.  This is Amanda Goldstein, CEO of Fort Lauderdale Beauty – writing for Iconic Bride Magazine; and this is our guide to realistic price expectations for bridal beauty services.

There are four main components to consider when looking for your dream beauty technician: Who, Why, What, and Where.  Who the service provider is and their reputation. Why are they charging these prices? What type of services are you requesting? And finally, like everything else: Location, Location, Location.

Let’s hit the most important first: Who.  

You’ve searched the internet far & wide – Yelp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and you happen to notice that a couple of women or businesses keep popping up in your feed. So you call and inquire about their prices – only to be astonished at the cost. Don’t be.  First, take into consideration that if you keep seeing them on multiple platforms, that means they bring in enough revenue to spend a pretty penny on marketing and advertising.  Because more people know about them from seeing their ads, the more in-demand their services will be, which in turn raises their prices.  It’s basic economics, high demand = scarcity.  The less time they have available, the more in-demand their services, the more they can charge for those services.  If you need to stay within a particular budget range, you may need to dig and search deeper to find a hairdresser or MUA that isn’t quite as well known or established in their career, meaning they usually will charge less.

But, why?

This leads us into the other reasons why bridal beauty artists have to charge what they do.  There are many elements to crafting a price for services that extend outside of the products they must continuously buy, and, you know – paying their bills.  This usually depends on how their system of delivery is set up.  Do they have an assistant they have to pay?  Is this a one-person show, who is alone working on volume? Or are they the leader of a team? The leader may charge a higher price and only deal with the bride, while the rest of the team members will cost less and work on the bridal party and family members.  Then the number of people in your wedding party becomes a factor as well.  Will they be traveling to your hotel or are you coming to their salon?  Is it a far drive from their location? And let’s not forget the trial run.  All of these things affect pricing and will be discussed with you by the professional.  

Up-do? Airbrush?
All the upgrades or none?

The next important subject to think about is what services you are requesting.  The longer your hair is, the thicker or more dense, the more it will cost to do. The more manipulation of the hair you want done (just curls or a full up-do), the price will continue to go up. A bridesmaid with straight, shoulder-length hair and medium density [how much hair you have, some people have much more hair on their head than others] who is only looking to have it curled and styled will probably be looking at $45-$60 in the Fort Lauderdale area, at the very minimum.  Not only does it take more arm strength the longer/thicker the hair is – it takes more product and much more time.  And time is the main factor here, skill needed and time consumed, because we are working against the clock making sure that 8 women are ready to walk down the aisle in 4-6 hours. Medium-length girl will be done much faster and easier than the girl with thick, coarse, curly hair down to her waist that wants a full up-do.  It’s just Facts.  

It’s the same for makeup. A basic “make me cute, but nothing too crazy” makeup application is quick, easy and usually quite affordable.  Most MUA’s in South Florida start at the base minimum of $50 for a bridesmaid who is not getting any upgrades. That means no false lashes, no serious contouring and definitely no major color blending on the eyes. [This being for a mid-level makeup artist in the Fort Lauderdale area, not South Beach or West Palm Beach – it would probably start the base price higher at $60]  Everything else is an upcharge.  If we’re talking airbrush makeup, that’s $80-$100 just to start out.  Then we add glamour contouring and “Extra AF” eyeshadow colors/blending.  Oh, you want a cut crease and winged eyeliner for the Gawds and some lashes that wave at him from across the room? Cha – Ching! It all stacks up because good makeup is expensive and full glamour makeup can take over an hour to do at a time, depending on the artists skills and the state of the skin they are working with.

Location, Location, Location!

It’s true for many subjects and the beauty industry is right there with it.  Depending on where you live and where you are holding the event affects the prices you will pay.  It’s safe to say that a hairdresser in Frankfort, KY will cost less than a hairdresser in Rockaway Beach, NY.  The price you pay for services in Minneapolis, MN are not the same prices you pay in Seattle, WA.

We ran a survey in a beauty professionals group on Facebook.  Take a look at just a couple of samples:

When all is said and done – having realistic expectations of your different vendor prices will help you stay within your wedding’s budget, and help you keep your sanity.  You may feel like these services being provided can be expensive, and sometimes they are.  But when you take the time to think of all the details that go into the way you look on your wedding day, there’s only one tried-and-true saying that comes to mind: “You get what you pay for.” 

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