This article originally appeared on InStyle.
Unless you regularly make cameos on red carpets, there probably aren’t many times you hire a makeup artist. But for your wedding, having someone there to get you glam for the ceremony (and for all your inevitably Instagrammed pics) is the norm. And like flowers and food, it comes with a cost.
How much cash you’ll have to shell out? Well, like everything else on the checklist, that all depends on your budget. To get an idea of the cost norms and what is included in the package, we checked in with two different wedding makeup artists for pro advice and tips.
First, if you’re working with an extremely tight budget, you can forgo the cost completely and do your own makeup, or visit a makeup counter at a department store or make an appointment at your local MAC or Sephora. While the pricetag might fluctuate based on your location, a 90-minute bridal appointment at MAC in Manhattan will cost you 90 bucks.
But when it comes to booking a pro, there are a lot of factors that go into the cost. Maureen Pedala, a bridal makeup artist based in New York City says that cost is often determined by how long you’re booking for (a full day or a half day) or by the face.
In Pedala’s case, a half day is four hours, which she charges $650 for, and consists of the bride and three extra people. A full day is eight hours, costs $1250, and includes the bride and seven other people.
“As an artist, the day rates work well because they lay the groundwork for a clean schedule with no chaos and no surprises,” she says. “For a bride, it solves the problem of getting some touch-up time. A per face artist should be expected to leave right after application.”
She says in her experience based in Manhattan, the average face cost for the bride is $350, while the party is about $175 each. However, she also notes that if you live outside a big city, costs might be considerably lower and you should do research online for the top-priced artists in your area or chat with your friends and family. “Prices will vary from artist to artist based on experience and popularity and what they offer, but it will give you an idea of who is charging over the top and who is selling themselves short,” she says.
There’s also makeup artists that cater their costs fully on the the situation. Neil Scibelli, a makeup artist who offers wedding services, says that customization is key, as he takes into consideration how many people are being serviced, travel costs, touch-ups, etc. “I think a realistic ballpark of what we’re seeing private makeup artist, not salons, charge is as low as $150 up to around $450,” he says. Regardless, Scibelli thinks it’s of the utmost importance to have someone you “click with” and understands your needs work with you on your wedding day.
“I service all types and sizes of weddings and have been lucky enough to travel all over the country for my brides,” he says. “What I really love is that I can offer my wedding clients the same artistry, experience, and results as my fashion and celebrity clients. Everyone is worth the ‘red carpet’ experience, and it’s beyond humbling and rewarding to offer that to the gorgeous girl next door.”
When you’ve narrowed down a few choices of artists, there are a few other fees that could impact the final price. First, ask if they’re even available on your date. Second, if you’re having them come to your venue, ask if they charge for travel. Pedala charges the cost of car service or rental to and from the location. She adds that some artists charge what they call a “set up free” if they have to move their kit throughout the venue on the day of the wedding. Want air-brushing or faux lashes? Scibelli says that these both could be considered an extra charge for some artists.
Finally, it’s probably a good idea to have a trial appointment with your makeup artist prior to the wedding and many artists charge for this.
While everyone’s budgets differ, Pedala says regardless of who you choose, they should be professional, show up on time, and give you the look you agreed upon for your day. “Whomever you chose, you should feel very comfortable with, you should have trust in their skills, and you should like what you see in the mirror.”