The wedding day is likely the biggest day in a woman's life. Most girls dream of and plan their weddings from a very young age, where they imagine colors, the all important dress and how they will look. All girls dream of looking beautiful on that big day and a big part of that is the makeup and hair. There are three options for wedding makeup: do it yourself, travel to a salon, ask a friend to do your makeup or hire a professional makeup artist to come to the venue.

Bride Makeup Options

1. Do It Yourself

This is your cheapest alternative, though it has several cons. First, the outcome can depend on how good you are at doing your own makeup; in all honesty, most of us cannot deliver a truly professional and flawless look. Second, the day of your wedding you will likely be nervous and under stress and doing your own makeup may not be the best idea. Lastly, you are the bride! This is your day to be pampered and treated special, no bride really wants to do her own makeup or hair for that matter. You can get some MAC makeup, which is so high in quality that it might compensate for the above disadvantages.

2. Traveling To A Salon
Cost varies from $35 - $75 and up

This option is great for those on a budget. But as the do it yourself option it has some disadvantages. First, scheduling has to be planned, and anything can happen. Customarily, brides get their makeup done about 1 or 11/2 hours prior to walking down the aisle and before they put on their dress. It's likely that you can get to the salon and have to wait. And, if your entire bridal party is also getting their makeup done, that can take hours. Second, you will have to drive yourself, which can be a pain on your wedding day. Overall, most brides don't want to be out and about on thier big day, most would prefer to be at the venue getting ready without any worries.

3. Ask A Friend

Many of us have at least one friend that is just fantastic at doing makeup and manages to look flawless for every occasion. Ask her to do your makeup and get her a gift as a thank you. The cons of this scenario is that as opposed to a professional that you hire, friends aren't obligated to show up or be on time. One thing about this and the do it yourself option is that these are free, and are great for the bride on a budget, and with the money you save you can buy yourself some great discount perfume.

4. Hire a Makeup Artist to Come to the Venue
Cost varies from $65 to $300 and up

The final and most popular option is to hire a makeup artist to come to the venue. This is the most ideal solution as you can relax, be pampered, and not have to leave your bridal suite and the makeup can be done at the most perfect time, soon before the walk down the aisle. One con is that this is one of the most expensive options, and can often be a problem for the bride on a budget.

Tips For Choosing A Makeup Artist

  • Read reviews online. Wedding Wire, the Knot and Wedding Channel are some of the best wedding sites that offer local results for all types of wedding services, including makeup. You can get listings of the pros serving your area and read reviews from other brides. This is really crucial, as you want to make sure that you hire someone reliable and someone that is good at what they do.
  • Find out if they do hair and makeup, usually this lowers the price as opposed to hiring separate people.
  • Go to a trial. Some makeup artists will give you a discount if you do both the day of makeup and a trial. The purpose of a trial is to do a run through of various looks and decide which one you want for your wedding day.
  • Check out their website, most of the traveling artists have photographs of previous work. Makeup is a personal thing, and what one bride might find beautiful another will not. It's important to be sure that the makeup artist can do a variety of looks, and that you like what they do.
  • Do a phone interview. Ask all the questions you can think of before setting up the trial.
  • If you are on a budget, avoid the professional makeup artists who primarily do weddings for a living. They tend to charge a lot more for their time because weddings are the main source of their living. Many times these are the pros from the film, and fashion industry, well known for their work and their prices are quite high. Instead, go to your yellow pages, or search local Google results and find beauty salons in your area. Call each one and ask them if they have professionals that will come to the venue and do your makeup. They tend to a be a lot cheaper, than the "traveling wedding makeup artists." By the way, this is how I found Anthony, who used to do makeup and hair for America's Next Top Model, and he is doing my hair and makeup at my venue for only $125.
  • Most artists have bulk discounts for the bridal party, as well as moms and flower girls. The more people sign up, the less the cost is per person.

Lastly, I want to mention that at the Macy's department store MAC counter they do free makeovers with a purchase of $50 or more. This again means that you have to travel to them and be sure that they are available at the time you need them, but it's certainly something to consider, especially if there is a Macys near your venue and because we all love MAC makeup!