According to Mixbook, seven in 10 married Americans clearly envisioned how their wedding would look before they met their spouse. From the venue to the outfits, the hair and makeup, and the guest list, meticulous planning goes into the big day. In 2022, the global wedding market was valued at $21.43 billion, with this figure predicted to grow to $291 billion by 2031. The beauty essentials of a wedding day contribute to this figure, with the average bride spending around $300 on hair and makeup for their wedding day.
While it has always been apparent that the beauty side of a wedding is important to many, there has been a recent surge in beauty brands, businesses, and influencers focusing on the wedding season and the excitement that comes with it. Guides, including wedding timelines, are beginning to surface, suggesting that brides should start to prepare themselves for their wedding look with facials, aesthetic procedures, skincare, and dental routines 12 months before the ceremony date.
"Since the arrival of social media—about 10, 15 years ago—the average spend on a wedding has doubled. This is due to rising inspiration and expectations that have raised peer pressure and social pressure. Even if you wanted a very small wedding, suddenly it's not just about the guests. [Now] everything's very visible, which has put a lot of pressure on couples," says Claire Barrett, consumer editor at the Financial Times.
As suggested by data provided from Spate, inspiration and expectations surrounding weddings are experiencing a spike due to social media. On TikTok in the US alone, "wedding makeup" has experienced a 215.8% month-over-month growth in views, "bridal makeup" has seen a 339.4% month-over-month growth in views, and "wedding hairstyles" has seen 20.9% month-over-month growth in views. Wedding-related beauty search terms are not only prevalent on TikTok but across Pinterest too, with Beauty Daily by Clarins reporting "natural glam bridal makeup" has increased by 700% searches since this time last year, "bridal hair buns" 400%, and "bride hair down" 200%.
Aware of the pressures that appearance-based wedding day choices can make, businesses dedicated to helping couples find their perfect match when it comes to makeup artists, hair stylists, and so forth are on the rise. A notable example is Bridebook, a wedding-planning service that gives consumers access to thousands of wedding stylists and artists based in the UK. On the Bridebook app, couples can filter by beauty services, from hairdressing and beauty salons, to nail artists, waxing and threading, tanning, and laser hair removal.
According to Bridebook's 2023 Wedding Report, this year has been a record high for weddings across the UK, with 24% more couples getting engaged than pre-pandemic times, despite the average cost of a wedding increasing by 15% to an all-time high of £19,184. Regardless of this price increase, consumers prioritize contacting wedding beauty professionals over a more traditional DIY option. Across the app, hairdressing is the most sought-after service, with 78% of users looking to hire a hair professional. Makeup artists were second in line—73% of users' priority booking service.
Many couples' desire to book professionals for their wedding beauty plans often end up not being put into practice due to the financial burden this would cause. Recognizing this struggle, US wedding service booking business The Knot recently launched The Knot Drops, giving consumers the chance to win wedding day services from celebrity stylist Maeve Reilly, who is best known for her work with names including Hailey Bieber and Megan Fox. While Reilly is the first, the Knot has plans to "drop" acclaimed artists into its marketplace, offering couples more chances to win all-expenses-paid makeup and services of hair artists for their wedding day.
Beauty brands themselves are also jumping on the wedding trend, providing edits, collections, and products specifically curated for the wedding season. ICharlotte Tilbury offers a Wedding Day Makeup Magic Touch-Up Kit, including a powder compact, mascara, moisturizer, and setting spray designed for brides to top up their makeup throughout their big day. Beauty subscription service Birchbox teamed up with wedding planning service Rock My Wedding for a limited-edition beauty box, including products from trusted beauty names such as Smashbox, Caudalie, and Floral Street, worth £100 for the price of £29, again considering the financial burdens ceremony planning can cause.
As personalization continues to rise in beauty, there seems to be no other event consumers would rather personalize more than their wedding, and beauty brands are using this to their advantage. Recently, fragrance influencer Professor Perfume (Emelia), who boasts an impressive 340K followers on TikTok, partnered with scent brand Snif to create her own personalized wedding day fragrance, which was released by the brand and made available for customers to purchase shortly after. The collaboration came after several videos of Emelia trying to decipher which scent she would wear on her upcoming wedding day. This led to her creating the scent with Snif, with notes of mandarin, neroli, and cedarwood. The perfume saw such success that its pre-launch early access sale sold out in just 30 seconds (the fastest-selling product ever for Snif), and today, it continues to fly off the shelf at a rapid pace each time it is restocked.
The collaboration has led to many other TikTokers focusing on their wedding scent, including influencer Mikayla Nogueira, who has been posting a series of videos searching for her perfect ceremony scent in her wedding preparation series, which she shares with her 14 million followers. Videos within the series have accumulated mass views, with a particular post discussing wedding foundations currently having had 22 million eyes on it.
Ultimately, social media is the fuel to the fire when it comes to the increasing demand surrounding wedding beauty products, services, and advice. The power of these apps is allowing beauty brands, whether having created wedding-specific SKUs or not, to market their products in a new light and expand their sales. Whether it's helping a bride/groom-to-be find their perfect match with a beauty professional, providing the tools they need to achieve DIY looks, or even content from influencers surrounding their wedding beauty routines, it is clear the wedding industry is providing beauty brands with a growing business opportunity. As consumer spending power continues to grow in the wedding beauty category, it seems that now is the best time for cosmetics brands to walk down the aisle.
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