If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, you will already know that there are many, many expenses – some of which you won’t have even considered before you set a date. As we all know, one has only to mention the word ‘wedding’ to the florist or the caterers to see fees instantly and spectacularly increase. Today I want to talk about wedding make-up; so, why hire a professional makeup artist for your wedding?

Perhaps you’re already trying to establish which wedding items and options are non-negotiable, and which superfluous.

If not, it won’t be long: it usually coincides with the first few invoices landing on the doormat – and the sudden, hideous realisation that this huge, magnificent event does actually have to be paid for. Quite soon. Unless of course you’re one of the lucky few whose parents are traditional and plan to foot the bill for you. Jammy. (Or you’re bookmarking your wedding mags with your seemingly endless maxed out credit cards. Hopefully not this – debt is a dirty word where weddings are concerned! See this page for more on budgeting for a wedding.)

Why You Can’t Trust Most Blogs About Make-Up Artists

One of the choices that you are bound to waiver about is whether or not to hire a make-up artist. If you trust our good ol’ pal Google to help you make your decision, you may come against a problem: almost all blogs about this precise topic are written by the experts themselves; so of course they’ll be trying to convince you that their services are essential.

Make-Up Bag

Why Hire a Professional MakeUp Artist for Your Wedding?

I’m going to take a balanced look at the pros and cons of hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding; admittedly, it may tip over into a slight bias towards how I handled the predicament myself!

6 Advantages of Hiring a Pro to Apply Your Wedding MakeUp

1. Indulgence

Envision leisurely taking a bath (with a decadent glass of champagne, naturally), slipping into a silky dressing gown and then being pampered by various professionals.

After all the months of stress, and headaches involved with planning an event of this scale, being spoilt for the morning must surely feature heavily as a reason to hire an expert to have you looking your best. I can feel myself sliding down into my chair and my shoulders slumping just imagining it…

2. The Extended Hen

A mini party with the girls before making your big entrance would be fun, right?

Friends drinking wine

After all, when else is it acceptable to crack open the champers at 10am? It’s important to make the most of these little pleasures in life!

Especially now you’re getting married: give it a couple of years and by the time hubby has been roused for work, you’ve made and cleared up breakfast, and the baby has been changed twice, you’ll be lucky to have a cup of tea by 10am.

3. Products

We all have our trusty fall-back, fail-safe make-up. But are they the same products we would choose to use on our wedding day? Possibly not. And you won’t necessarily know the best items to choose, particularly for your skin type and colouring, and the look you want to achieve.

And it’s expensive stuff – with make-up being one of the few things that cannot be returned, you won’t want to get it wrong. Easier to leave that faff to the pros.

4. Artist’s Tricks

You may be proud of the little battle scar on your forehead from when you rescued your cat from the tree that time. But do you want it displayed in all your wedding photos? Perhaps – but I’m betting you definitely won’t want that uninvited guest to your wedding to be paraded on your face all day: yes, the dreaded zit.

No matter how perfect your skin, it is almost inevitable one will show up just in time for your nuptials.

A professional make-up artist should be able to blend that horror into submission so nobody is any the wiser. Can you honestly say you possess the required skill yourself to do an Al Capone and disappear it?

Professional applying wedding makeup.

5. Enduring Makeup

One of the most crucial objectives for brides choosing to hire an artist is to ensure their wedding make-up does not slide off by the evening. When there will be plenty else vying for your attention on your wedding day, it’s an unnecessary extra hassle!

6. One Less Worry

Despite everybody’s best intentions, it is inevitable that you will be on tenterhooks to ensure everything is perfect on the day. You could go into meltdown at any given time (my moment was not until I was literally walking out of the Bridal Suite, but it’s different for everyone). The last thing you need is to get the jitters and be unable to apply your eyeliner in a straight line! Essentially, it is just one fewer concern for you.

6 Advantages of DIY Wedding Make-Up

1. The Savings

The most obvious reason to do your own make-up is the significant expense of hiring a professional. Yes, in theory, they will do a fab job – but is it worth the several hundred pounds you will spend on trials and the wedding day itself? The saving could be spent on more champagne, better shoes or those gorgeous earrings you can’t otherwise justify!

Wedding Make-up

2. …Including Bridesmaids

Don’t forget that for each additional person who is having their make-up applied by the artist, there will be an extra cost – not a sum to be sniffed at!

Of course, you always have the option of only paying to have your own face done, but do you really want to be that bride(zilla)?

Besides which, there is a separate issue concerning the bridesmaids: if you have a different idea about how they should look than they do, you could run into problems. At least if they are doing their own you will already have a fair idea of the outcome.

3. Your Makeup Trial May Be a Disaster

Picture the scene: you are thoroughly excited to have your make-up done for you for all of the reasons outlined above. You have a chat about your requirements and what you are hoping to achieve. And then you look in the mirror…

How do you tell somebody that you hate how they have made you look? That’s their art and their bread and butter. Awkward is somewhere close to covering it; rather you than me.

4. You’re Confident in Your Own Style and Skill

This is really an extension to the above point. If you know what you like, are confident in applying your make-up, and have no concerns about the staying power of your own products (or are happy to experiment with a few new items in the preceding months), then you may just as well save your cash.


5. Plenty of Tutorials Available Online

If you’re looking for a particular style and need some assistance, there are plenty of vlogs online to help you. Alternatively, you can get free make-overs in most department stores with make-up artists who can recommend products and give you useful hints.

6. Retouching

If you do go for a professional and disaster strikes, you may need to fix your make-up after all. However, it will be far more difficult to touch up somebody else’s handiwork, particularly when you do not have the same products to hand, or their know-how and skill. Far easier, in this respect, to stick with what you’re familiar with.

Besides which, your face is with you all the time – you have plenty of opportunity to practice. And your own time is free. And you won’t be causing offence if you don’t like your first attempt.

Despite presenting some pretty compelling arguments in favour of hiring an artist, personally I can think of nothing worse. I wanted to look like a polished version of me on my wedding day, not a stranger’s idea of my best self. I know what styles suit me and unfortunately, even qualified artists get it wrong sometimes.

I would never personally pay for somebody to apply my make-up for me, though I can absolutely see the merits of doing so in certain cases.

However, on balance and from a neutral viewpoint, I think it makes a lot of sense to both visit department stores and have a go yourself. If you find you enjoy the pampering/products/result from a professional, you can always make the decision to hire.


An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.


  1. I was nervous about doing my makeup for my wedding. Like you, I wanted to look like me only better. My everyday makeup routine is either nothing or a very basic swipe of eye shadow and some mascara… I wanted something a bit more than that.

    So, I booked a makeup lesson at my local salon to be shown how to do my makeup. In fact, I booked two. One for me and one for my maid of honour and we sat in for each others.

    The women doing it were great. They asked what we wanted, gave us advice on colour, and showed us how to do apply it all properly.

    On the day, we did our own, helping each other the tricky bits. The result was just what I wanted and it was definitely a cheaper way to get a more professional look.

    • Kate Reply

      Hi Leah,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. This sounds like a fab alternative for those looking for a little help to achieve a professional finish – without giving full control over to somebody else!

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