Wedding Hair and Makeup

2022’s Guide to Epic Elopements

Guide to Elopement Hair & Makeup


Hair and makeup not your thing? We’d recommend hiring a professional hairstylist and makeup artist for your elopement or micro wedding. While it is an additional cost, it’s a worthy investment. Your beauty pros will make sure that your makeup looks flawless all day and that your curls stay intact. After all, you’ll be looking at those wedding pictures forever! 


But we all know that these professional services can add up, so we’re here to breakdown the estimated costs (and additional fees you maybe didn’t know about!) so that you feel confident before you head to a trial. You’ll also find the questions you should be asking your potential stylists below and some beauty inspiration if you’re looking for a place to start.

How Much Does Wedding Makeup Cost?


Whether you’re going for a no-makeup makeup look or red carpet style glam, a professional makeup artist will make it happen. They are likely to know all of the trending beauty you’re saving on Pinterest and Instagram, as well as insider tips and tricks to make sure your look lasts. Most makeup artists will bring their own kit equipped with high-end cosmetics and brushes — from airbrush machines and concealers to false lashes and lipsticks. 

The average cost for wedding makeup is around $100

According to a 2019 study by The Knot, the average cost of wedding makeup was $100. But keep in mind that this number can fluctuate depending on artist experience, location and availability (we’re sharing more about that later on!). Having someone to do your makeup will save you both time and stress on the big day, so choosing the right artist is important. Before you book, there’s some important questions to ask so that you feel confident in your makeup artist from the consultation to the ceremony.

6 Important Questions to Ask Your Makeup Artist


bride showing wedding hairstyle

Photo by Amber McWhorter Photography


1. Do you have a portfolio that I can review?


Make sure to do your research ahead of time! Nowadays most makeup artists have Instagram pages or websites with full photo galleries where you can see their previous work and client testimonials. Not only is this a great source of makeup inspiration, but you’ll get a clear picture of their beauty skills before you even book a trial.


2. Do I need to bring any of my own makeup products?


In most cases, makeup artists will only use their own assortment of preferred products. But if you happen to be allergic to any specific ingredients, this is important for them to know ahead of time. Beauty professionals will also typically use their own brushes, but all will be cleaned before your application. If you have a favorite lipstick, eye color or blush that you want to wear on your wedding day, bring it to your trial! Most artists will try to incorporate any favorites that you have if it aligns with your desired look.


3. Do you charge by the hour or per person?


If you aren’t planning on having a bridal party for your elopement or micro wedding, then this question may not apply to you. But if they are doing makeup for any bridal party members, you’ll want to confirm if prices are the same, as bridesmaid makeup packages typically cost slightly less than the bride. It’s important to know how all of their pricing works, the payment method they prefer and when final amounts are due so there’s no surprises on the wedding day. 


bride with hairstyled up for wedding

Photo by Ledia Tashi Photography


4. Will you come to my wedding venue or ceremony location?


Depending on where your wedding location is, your makeup artist may require you to come to their studio for makeup application. But most artists are willing to travel to your venue or bridal suite on your wedding day. There is a possibility that there will be an extra fee for this, so be sure to clarify before booking.


5. Can I book a trial before the wedding?


Not sure what kind of makeup you want for your wedding day? Book a trial! It’s the perfect time to experiment with different hues, decide on matte or glitter eyeshadow, and determine which set of false lashes you like best. Again there can be additional costs for each makeup trial, so be sure to find out if your makeup package includes a full trial.


6. What happens if you get sick or there’s an emergency on my wedding day?


Life happens sometimes! Rather than worrying about what might happen in the event that they have to cancel, make sure to ask during your consultation. Oftentimes they will have an assistant or backup artist that you can be referred to if they are unable to make it on the day of your event. But in the case that they don’t have a backup plan ready, make sure that you’ll receive a full refund.

Wedding Makeup Ideas & Inspiration


What kind of look are you going for — “no-makeup makeup”, neutral hues, bold eyes or red-carpet glam? The possibilities are endless! Here’s a few of our favorite wedding day makeup looks to consider.

“No Makeup” Wedding Makeup


Neutral Wedding Makeup


Glam Wedding Makeup


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How Much Does Wedding Hair Typically Cost? 


As the bridal world continues to explode, pricing for bridal hair continues to change. You’ll want to pay close attention to what’s included in each hair stylist’s packages or price list as you consider different style options. Working with a professional can help you narrow down the best style for your face shape and hair type, which can lead to less stress on your wedding day.

The average cost for the brides hair is between $100 and $350

In an article released by Brides this year, the average cost of wedding hair was found to range between $100 to $350. Just like makeup, this price can fluctuate based on location, stylist experience and availability, as well as some style customizations that we’ll share more details on below. Here’s some of those key questions that you’ll want to ask your stylist when you start searching for your beauty vendors, too!

8 Important Questions to Ask Your Stylist


1. Do you have a portfolio that I can review?


Similar to wedding makeup artists, bridal hair stylists usually have online portfolios (Instagram, Pinterest and their website) that you can look at before setting a consultation or appointment. If you’re leaving towards an intricate braid or modern style, take a look at their gallery to make sure it’s something they’ve mastered. 


bride in gown with beautiful wavy hairstyle

Photo by Kristen Joy Photography


2. Do I need to bring my own styling tools (blow dryer, curler, etc.)?


Again just like wedding makeup artists, hair stylists usually bring their own kit with all of their preferred hair products and tools. But if they don’t have something you need for your specific style, you’ll want to know in advance. Some hair stylists may even operate out of their hair studio or salon, so they’ll have plenty of tools available for use.


3. Do you charge by the hour or per person?


This is an important question for hair stylists because each one can be different, especially if they offer bridal hair package pricing. Some stylists may charge based on the amount of time they spend on your style, or they can charge a flat styling fee. Either way you’ll also want to find out their preferred method of payment and when deposits or final amounts are due. Not all hair stylists will offer to work on-site, so you may be asked to travel to their studio or salon. Make sure to confirm in advance so your wedding day timeline is accurate!


4. How many weddings do you do in one day?


It���s very common for hair stylists to plan for multiple weddings in one day or still see their regular salon clients during the day. You should get a sense of their schedule on your preferred date to make sure there’s enough time to complete your style (and anyone in your bridal party if applicable). If you’re planning to have multiple looks in one day — one for your ceremony and one for your reception — you will need to discuss the idea of booking them for the duration of your wedding or for a full day. 


bride with gorgeous hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Elizabeth Le Photography


5. How long will my hairstyle take?


Some hairstyles may require a decent amount of prep time like letting curls set and cool, styling extensions or a full blow-out. Depending on what’s needed for your desired style, you may have to start early and account for any bridal party members as well. On average, you can expect to spend about two hours with your stylist and one hour for each bridesmaid. More than likely, your hair style will be the last one completed so it looks fresh for the ceremony and wedding photos.


6. Do you have a team of assistants that works with you?


If you and your bridal party need to be styled in just a few hours, your stylist may need to enlist the help of their assistant or a second stylist to make sure everyone is ready on time. It’s also important to ask if there will be any additional fees required for their assistants or another stylist to join in on the day.


7. Will you do a trial run before the wedding?


A trial run before your wedding day can be extremely helpful! It will allow your stylist to actually work with your hair to see how it holds and if you may need to consider alternative styles. Most stylists will allow you to test two to three different styles during a trial so that you can compare, i.e. a half-up style and an updo. If you plan on wearing any hair accessories, bring them with you to the trial so you can see how they look!


8. What happens if you get sick or there’s an emergency on my wedding day?


Just in case there’s an issue, confirm your stylist’s policy in the event that they have to cancel on your wedding day. If they work with a team of assistants or additional stylists, they may have backup plans in place. But in case they don’t, make sure you’ll get a full refund!

Wedding Hair Ideas & Inspiration


Not sure where to start when it comes to wedding hair? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re considering a sleek updo or Hollywood waves, here’s a look at some of the most popular wedding hairstyles we’ve seen lately.

Up-Do Wedding Hairstyles


Braided Wedding Hairstyles

Half-Up and Long-Hair Wedding Hairstyles

Wavy Wedding Hairstyles

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Additional Costs and Things You Should Know


It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and completely forget about some additional fees that can pop up when working with beauty professionals. To save you any headache, below are some of the most common costs you’ll see on your bill and some additional questions that we frequently get from our Epic Elopement couples:

Travel Fees: If you’re requesting for your makeup artist and hair stylist to travel to your ceremony location or bridal suite you may have to pay a travel fee, especially if they live in a different city or state. If they will need to book additional travel accommodations, you can expect to cover the costs of their flight, rental cars and hotels. Most local beauty professionals will charge a minimal, if any, travel fee to a nearby location (on average ~$15-30).


Makeup Extras: Be sure to read through your makeup artist’s proposal carefully as some may charge additional fees for false lashes, lash extensions, touch-up kits, airbrush makeup and more.


Hairstyling Extras: Most stylists will tell you to come to your appointment with clean, dry hair. If you arrive with wet hair, they may charge a fee to blow dry and style as it will take up more time. Also, if you plan to wear extensions on your wedding day, your stylist may charge a fee for extension styling and application. You can also expect to pay more for any additional styles, if you plan to have more than one on the day.


Hair and Makeup Trials: More often than not, wedding trials are not included in standard pricing and will be an additional fee for each trial. Some of the additional makeup and hair fees listed above can also apply to trials, so be sure to clarify in advance. On average, most wedding hair trials are around $100-$125 and wedding makeup trials can range between $75-$125.


Time of Day: If you need to start wedding hair and makeup early for a sunrise ceremony, your beauty pros may charge a fee. Similarly, if they have to stay later than their normal hours you may also incur a fee. Be sure to talk through the timeline of your day with them to ensure there’s enough time for travel and they won’t be rushing to finish your hair and makeup.


How much should I tip my wedding makeup artists and hair stylist? Most brides will tip their beauty professionals between 15 and 20 percent of the final total. If your bridal party will also be requiring the services of your makeup artist and hair stylist, they can expect to tip around the same amount per person. Be sure to read through your contract ahead of time, as sometimes the tip is already included in the quoted pricing.


Does the bride pay for the bridal party’s hair and makeup? The short answer is: it’s entirely up to you! Traditional weddings call for the bride to pick up the costs for any beauty services or requirements of the bridesmaids. But nowadays, bridesmaids have covered their own beauty costs or split the cost with the bride. Take a look at your budget to determine if it’s something you can and want to do, then talk to the rest of your bridal party members to get their thoughts before booking.


Does wedding hair or makeup come first? This is primarily dependent on the hairstyle that you choose for your wedding day. If you’re planning on a hairstyle that requires a decent amount of prep time, you may start hair first and have makeup applied in-between. Once you’ve landed on a style, chat with your stylist to see what they recommend based on the amount of time that you have available.


How long does it take for both wedding hair and makeup? We’d recommend budgeting around two hours for wedding hair and an hour for wedding makeup. Your hair stylist and makeup artist will be able to give you more specific time estimates once you’ve landed on final styles.





Our team of elopement planners, coordinators, and writers are happy to share their insights and expertise to help educate and inform those looking to elope. Their goal is to make your lives easier and spark inspiration! And when you’re ready to elope, they’ll be here to help you with your special day.

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