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How much to charge for wedding hair and makeup?

Woman having her bridal makeup done

New Zealand’s bridal industry is worth over $300 million and shows no signs of slowing down. As a beauty lover or established beautician you might be wondering – is a bridal makeup training course the way to go? Could it be the perfect side hustle or a profitable business plan? How much can I charge for wedding hair and makeup in New Zealand?

Weddings are, for many, that special fairytale day that has been dreamt about for so long. So it’s natural that a bride would want to have a healthy budget for hair and makeup, to help them achieve their ultimate look walking down the aisle. 

As a trained makeup artist, you could specialise in offering these services and become the go-to service provider in your area. Adding a string to your business bow, and boosting your beauty income. 

Have you always dreamt of making client’s glow? Do you love the idea of making their day as perfect as it can be? Do you adore creating high end, glamorous and unique looks? Then this is the article for you. 

This blog will give you a full lowdown on the bridal beauty business world, and what it could mean for your career. We’ll run you through the qualifications to consider, the bridal makeup artist & hair courses to consider and the potential earnings you could expect to achieve in this sector. 

Let’s start with a breakdown of what bridal hair and makeup actually entails.

What does a bridal hair and makeup artist do?

A bridal beauty specialist is adept at applying wedding day cosmetics, treatments and hairstyling to wedding parties. This used to be simply for the bride, but more often these days many bridal artists now cover the bride’s attendants also. This could include the groom and groomsmen too!

Want some inspiration? Check out our 5 Classic Looks for Brides. 

The skills and duties involved can include: 

  • Fielding and sorting incoming enquiries from bridal parties
  • Meeting and holding consultations with potential clients
  • Advising on styling, cosmetics and beauty procedures
  • Travelling to and from venues, transporting all necessary equipment
  • Providing a range of beauty services and styles to a diverse array of clients
  • Using extensive knowledge of beauty techniques to apply treatments professionally to a range of skin types and personal styles 
  • Ensuring makeup application is optimised for photography, duration and a bride’s unique style
  • Marketing your services and updating your portfolio
  • Managing social media and ongoing website maintenance
  • Managing a busy diary and handling payments and invoices make up courses.

How much can I earn as a bridal beauty specialist?

Earnings as a bridal beauty specialist can vary depending on your offerings, your skills, your experience, any travelling involved and the packages you choose to provide. But, as a rough guide, how much should you charge for wedding hair and makeup? 

One survey found the following costs per state, the price quoted is the cost for the bride alone:


Hair $98

Makeup $104


Hair $105

Makeup $123


Hair $113

Makeup $91


Hair $115

Makeup $110


Hair $136

Makeup $119


Hair $77

Makeup $130


Hair $125

Makeup $127

Other figures suggest that the average costs of wedding hair and makeup for brides alone can be between $140 – $200 per service, so around $300 – $500 for both. Often brides are priced separately as their looks are more intricate and take longer than other looks.

According to a recent Easy Weddings report, the average cost for a bridal party, as opposed to a single bride, are between $600 and $900. 

So say you offer makeup and hair services to a bridal party and their bride, you could earn up to $1400 a day, and this could rise higher with strong post-pandemic demand and years of experience under your belt. 

If you offered weddings services for, say, 23 days of the year, you could be looking at adding over $30,000 of income to your beauty business! 

How to run a profitable bridal hair and makeup business

Get the best training

It goes without saying that exceptional training is a must in the bridal industry. Brides are looking for perfection, so only those with the best skills will be recommended to their friends for that all-important word of mouth. 

A bride has to feel confident and trust their artists can deliver, and you can charge appropriately when they can clearly see your skills and expertise. This is where a recognised certificate from hair and make-up courses can make all the difference. 

Here at New Zealand Beauty School, we offer both makeup courses online and hair extension training online. These two highly sought after skills can be the foundation to a strong bridal beauty business, all while learning at a time that suits you. 

Our industry professionals will impart their wisdom and expertise, offering the perfect platform for your bridal makeup artist course. Combined with learning about the secrets of flowing wedding locks by applying perfect extensions, you’ll be ready to set up a professional beauty business aimed at impressing those brides to be. 

Invest in your kit

There’s nothing cheap about a wedding, and the last thing brides want is a flawed finish. So it’s important, for the longevity and health of your business growth, to invest in top quality materials when starting out. 

That’s why we offer our online makeup course with a kit in New Zealand, full of all the professional quality materials you need. And it’s the same with our hair courses so that your business can be ready to run as soon as you graduate – with the best quality accessories to let you shine. 

Find your niche

Operating in a unique niche is the best way to boost your profits in business. This makes you a ‘go-to’ in your prospective client’s minds, ensuring you are found by clients looking for what you have to offer. 

You could try collaborating with other professionals that offer complementary services to help you achieve this goal – such as barbers male cosmetic specialists, or vintage dress suppliers. 

However, you could also choose to create your own bridal beauty empire by following our next tip…

Diversify & expand 

Offering extensive bridal packages is a fantastic way to target the luxury experience market, and to boost your profits for a day’s work. 

If you are already offering a package for bridal party services on the day of the wedding, what about expanding your business to offer other services on the day, or even hen-night spa packages! You could offer these services in-house, as a mobile technician, or work with a local salon to provide them. 

To boost your package offerings, we offer courses in all kinds of applicable services, from spray tans and waxing, to nail art and facials. Combining these services, offering your brides a true pampering experience they won’t forget and creating an appealing hen package means you can capture more of the bridal budget. 

Set your prices

Using the guide above can help you work out the kind of rate to charge. Be sure to factor in travel, your experience, your training costs in bridal hair and makeup courses and any other payments that will reduce your take-home income – so that you aren’t selling yourself short. 

One way to experiment with pricing is to start with a relatively high rate and give new customers a temporary discount. This gives you an indication of how the pricing works for clients, and you can prolong or end the discount whenever you like. This way, if you’ve priced your services too high or too low, you have a buffer to any changes without looking inconsistent. 

Want more tips on running your new business? Read 4 Top Tips for Running a Bridal Hair and Makeup Business!

The wrap up – running a profitable bridal beauty business

As you can see, bridal beauty is a booming industry that could be a fantastic side hustle, or main business plan, for your career or income goals. Plus, there’s nothing more rewarding than glowing, happy customers enjoying their big day – and looking fabulous thanks to you!

To really excel, excellent training is the key. This is why we see so many bridal businesses lift off after taking our makeup artist course online in New Zealand. Allowing them to confidently cater for all kinds of brides, bridal parties and wedding events. Why not join them?

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