The cost of a perfect wedding picture

There is nothing quite like the pressure women feel to look immaculate on their wedding day – there can’t be a hair out of place, a chipped nail (even on toes covered by shoes) or bit of dry skin in sight. While grooms just seem to get out of bed, have a quick shave and rush to the pub before the obligatory pre-nuptials pint, brides spend months of their lives striving for the body beautiful, and attending everything from personal training appointments to hair and makeup trials. All this certainly takes time and effort, but also left us wondering – just how much of a dent does it leave in the overall wedding budget?

Rachel Chadwick, our operations manager, is getting hitched this April, and gave us a sneaky peek into her pre-wedding beauty and fitness regime, and its cost.


Rachel says:

“It’s exactly 12 weeks to the wedding so I’m just planning my “bag-lady to bride” transformation.  Some people will have been sweating it out and losing weight for many months now, but unfortunately with moving house and other commitments I feel as though I am a little slow off the mark.  

The pressure to look good has been so overwhelming I find myself thinking, if only it could have been another 6 months off to give me some “me  time” to prepare. Something that has struck a chord with me and I have been using as my motto to get motivated is “when all eyes are on you, give them something to see”.  Armed with this I have just begun a plan of action.”


“When all eyes are on you, give them something to see”


Rachel is already a member of a gym and is considering some personal training sessions in the final few weeks before her April wedding. As well as attending regular body combat, spinning and Zumba classes, she has joined Slimming World to lose a few pounds, and has booked a gym assessment to boost her motivation levels in the final weeks before she walks down the aisle.

“My wedding dress fits me the size I am, but I need to get a little off and tone up”, she says.

Rachel says that as well as the perfectly toned and beautiful brides bursting from the pages of wedding magazines, the pressure to look good is linked to an increase in the amount of personal grooming women undertake in general.

“I do feel pressure as the beauty regime even for a regular night out seems to have increased more and more over the years.  Having one’s “makeup done” appears to be the current trend, along with lashes applied and an overall more made up look.  When flicking through bride magazines they are awash with unrealistic model brides with perfect make up, hair and dresses,” she says.

So just what treatments will Rachel be having before and on the day of her wedding?


Before the wedding

Once a month facial treatments x 3 at £60.00 - £180.00  

Hair colour correction and roots one month before and just prior to the wedding - £170.00

Hair extensions for thickness- £250.00

Hair and makeup trial - £80.00

Instantly Ageless anti-wrinkle micro cream - £30.00



Four weeks to the wedding fitness trainer 4 x £30.00 sessions = £120.00


Day before

Waxing - £50.00

Shellac nails fingers and toes - £60.00

Eyebrow shape and colour - £18.00

Hair blow dry - £25.00

Spa (hot stone massage)   - £80.00

Facial - £70.00


On the day

Bridal make-up and hair - £110.00

3 bridesmaids’ make-up and hair - £240.00


Here, we can see the biggest chunk of the beauty budget will go to skin and hair, with Rachel saying “it’s important to have your skin and clear and glowing as possible” on your wedding day.

Rachel reckons that as well as eating up a substantial part of the wedding budget, that perfect bridal hair will also require the most effort too, as she made the decision to go from light blonde to dark for her big day.

“I feel that blonde hair looks good with flash photography on a night out, but as a lot of your photos are taken during the day, it’s making me think of a more natural look for my hair for the actual wedding. “

She has already started a course of colour correction, and will be having £250 extensions four weeks before the wedding to add more volume to her locks – as Rachel is having such substantial work done to transform her tresses, she cannot have her hair trial until just before the big day.

As well as hair, make up is a big focus of the wedding beauty routine.

Rachel says: “For my makeup and hair I researched probably longer than looking for my dress.  I ended up booking a make-up artist that was recommended to me and has a lot of presence both on her website and Facebook.  She frequently blogs and it gives brides a good idea of her work and you can get inspiration and ideas.  She has also done quite a lot of photographic campaigns around Manchester, so I think both I and my bridesmaids are in good hands.”

Speaking of bridesmaids, their professional hair and make-up costs £80 a time – so for three bridesmaids, this adds another £240 to the budget.

So how much does the perfect wedding picture cost in total? Using Rachel as a guide, we reckon it’s about £1,483.00– how does this compare with the amount you spent sprucing up for your big day?