Bridal Beauty Budgeting 101


How can you save money on your bridal beauty so you have more left over for the things that really matter?“How can you save money on your bridal beauty so you have more left over for the things that really matter?Liz Gregg/Photodisc/Thinkstock

No newly-married couple wants to start their life together drowning in debt, but with the average wedding priced at $30,000 or more, far too many newlyweds find themselves facing stacks of bills and scary credit card statements. If a five-figure wedding budget seems slightly out of reach, or you’d prefer to spend your savings embarking on your new life together, take heart; there are plenty of easy ways to pare down your wedding expenses, especially when it comes to your bridal beauty budget. Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for salon updos and professional makeup application, consider handling these tasks yourself or enlisting the help of fashion-savvy friends and family members.

If Kate Middleton can handle her own wedding makeup, knowing that more than a billion people around the world would be watching, there’s no reason that you can’t do the same. Break out your everyday beauty products, and splurge on just one key item for the big day, like a gorgeous new shade of lipstick or blush. Want to create a special look for the big day? Head to the mall and hit up the makeup counter to pick up a few tips and learn what’s new this season. The highly trained staff in the makeup department is often willing to let you try new products and even hand out free samples.

When it comes to styling your wedding-day ‘do, seek out your most stylish acquaintance—the one who always looks polished and pulled together no matter what the occasion—and ask her for help with your hairstyle. Tell her you’ll consider her styling service as the ultimate wedding gift. After all, you’ll almost certainly remember the friend who created your gorgeous updo more than you would remember who gave you another toaster or coffee maker. If you’re not sure how you want to wear your hair for the big day, schedule a consulting visit at the salon and bring your friend along to observe.

Of course, the bride isn’t alone when it comes to blowing the budget to pay for the big day; after your bridesmaids have had to pull out their credit cards to pay for dresses, shoes, and showers, the last thing you want to do is ask them to shell out even more for hair and makeup. If you’re looking forward to a group trip to the salon, or you expect your bridesmaids to hit up a certain stylist, try to arrange a group rate to save money. If you know many of your friends are on a budget, skip the traditional bridesmaids gifts and gift them a day of pre-wedding beauty treatments instead.

Planning a low-key wedding? Transform your bacherlorette party or bridal shower into a DIY beauty session where you test out different hair and makeup styles as a group. By pooling your skills and sharing makeup or styling tools, you can dramatically cut your beauty budget. Even better, you and your friends will be able to pocket the money you would have spent on limos and drinks for a traditional bacherlorette party.

While everyone enjoys saving money, there are times when it’s well worth it to pay a professional, particularly when it comes to your wedding. A good haircut is almost always worth the price, and virtually impossible to do by yourself. While you’re at the salon, invest in eyebrow shaping. It may seem extravagant, but the cost is relatively low for something that can change the whole shape and structure of your face. Finally, go ahead and get that French manicure. On your wedding day, everyone is going to want a look at your ring, and the last thing you want to do is show off ragged nails alongside your brand new bling.

Related Articles

  • 10 Ways to Get Princess-worthy Hair on a Budget
  • 10 Most Gorgeous Celeb Brides
  • 5 Wedding Beauty Treatments to Leave to the Pros


  • Bridal Association of America. "The Wedding Report." 2009. (Sept. 26, 2012).
  • Cameron, Barbara. "101 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding." Adams Media. 2009.
  • Grant, Vanessa. "Bridal Makeup: Do Your Own Wedding Makeup Like Kate Middleton." Huffington Post. Feb. 24, 2012. (Sept. 26, 2012).
  • Naylor, Sharon. "1,001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding."McGraw-Hill. 2009.
  • Naylor, Sharon.; DeLaubenfeld, Blair; Weber, Christy; and Bamberg, Kim. "The Bridal Bible." Lyons Press. 2012.
  • Savvy Sugar. "7 Budget Beauty Tips for a Glowing Bride." May 11, 2011. (Sept. 26, 2012)


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