Should the bridesmaid pay for their own hair and makeup?

I searched the internet for the age old question for who should really pay for the bridal party’s hair and makeup and I am not surprised that I came up with mixed responses.  There really isn’t a right or wrong answer because every wedding, every budget, is completely different.  What works for you, may not be what your best friend did last year, nor what your other friend might do next year.  I like to offer my advice and approach so that you can all have this last true slumber party with your best friends.   

The expectation is already there that your bridesmaids will pay for dresses, shoes, accessories, spray tan, nails, transportation and accommodations (if destination wedding), previous events (shower, bachelorette party), and possibly even time off work. I find that hair and makeup is generally considered an “expendable” service when the budget becomes tight.  But why should the time you spend with your bridal party (on the most important day of your life) be cut out? The photos with your girlfriends and family during the morning of your wedding are absolutely priceless. You will want to share each of these photos with your best friends forever – and post them on social media, of course! How can you make this service work for your bridesmaids when your budget is nearly tapped out? Keep reading!

Should the bridesmaid pay for their own hair and makeup

On average, hair and makeup services will run just above $70 per person, per service.  Sometimes you can consider just having one service if you’re really on a tight budget, by doing that you will still have those amazing photos to remember forever.  

Ways to encourage your bridesmaids to chip in for their own hair and makeup when they have a tight budget:

  • Tell them up front that you do not expect any wedding or pre-wedding gifts from them. Let them know that their expenses are gifts already. Make sure you verbally tell them this so they don’t feel bad if they can’t afford all the expenses.
  • Pay for them up front, and have them pay you back in payments (see below how I can help you with this)
  • Help them pay for a portion of their services. If you still have some available budget left for your wedding, encourage them to pay for one service, and you will pay for the other.

If you would prefer to take the entire burden off your wedding party and pay for their hair and makeup services, you can always “gift them” this service in lieu of giving them a bridesmaid gift. This is actually fairly common, and the bridesmaids love this option. When you decide early to hire me as your makeup artist, you can take advantage of low monthly payments.  I start by keeping your retainer low at only 20%.  Most Phoenix artists require minimum of 25% – 50% down.  You can then break up your payments into monthly or bi-monthly payments that are due in full 30 days prior to your wedding.  Payments can be setup automatically so that you don’t have to remember to make your payment and never incur any late fees.  These payments can easily be fit into anyone’s budget when booked early.

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