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Nicole
Just Said Yes January 2022

Bridal Party Hair and Makeup Expenses?

Nicole, on February 6, 2021 at 9:44 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 8
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I am getting married in Kansas City next January, but growing up on the West Coast means my entire bridal party is going to have to fly in for the weekend. I have chosen Bridesmaids dresses that are fairly cheap (less than $150) and my fiancé and I will be helping to provide discounts on their flights and hotel rooms for the weekend, (unfortunately we can't provide that full expense). My mom has reserved us all a beautiful 2 story loft in downtown KC to be used as the Bridal Suite the night before/day of for all of us to get ready with the photographer. My question is who pays for their hair and makeup? I have found a company that can take care of all Bridesmaids and MOB/MOG and myself for $200 a piece (airbrush makeup to last all day/blowouts and updos) and I am unsure if it its proper etiquette to ask them to pay or do I just take care of that expense?

Is it normal to have bridal guilt asking them to pay for so much (the dress, flights, hotel, hair and makeup... in addition to a Bachelorette weekend in October) or is this what being a bridesmaid is?

8 Comments

Latest activity by Judith, on February 6, 2021 at 5:36 PM
  • B
    Super July 2017
    Becky Online ·
    • Flag

    If you're requiring they have their hair and makeup done, then you need to pay for it. If it's an option, then you tell them the option is available and how much it will cost them and let them decide.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag
    Take a look at thumbtack.com for prices in your area.


    Unless you are requiring a certain look, they pay for themselves unless you are able to afford to cover the expense.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag

    If you are requiring them to have their hair and makeup done professionally or requesting a certain look then you should pay for it. If it is optional and aren't requesting a specific look then it is fine for them to pay for whatever services they would want.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    If you’re requiring it than I agree that you pay. If it’s an option than they have the option to pay. I’m paying for mine, my MOH (my sister) & 1 bridesmaid (my daughter) hair & makeup (they’re covering the tip). I’m not requiring it, I’m doing it as a gift. My 3rd bridesmaid wants to do her own hair & makeup.
    • Reply
  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    I was actually in a similar position to you. All of my bridesmaids had to fly in for my wedding because they all live in different states, and I knew it would be expensive to do so, so I also kept the bridesmaids dress cost to $150 or less. Given that they flew in, and had to pay for lodging on top of a $125 to $150 dress, I paid for all of their hair and makeup. I wasn't requiring that they get professional hair and makeup done, but I felt that it was the right thing to do in my situation. That being said, the practice of paying for hair and makeup varies in different social circles, and in my family and friend group, the bride generally pays for hair and makeup. I've been a bridesmaid 8 times and I've personally always had my hair and makeup paid for me by the bride (again, this is just my own experience and definitely not everyone else's). However, if you are not requiring that they get hair and makeup done (i.e. if you say it's 100% optional and you are ok with some of them perhaps choosing to not have these services done), then you can ask them to cover their own expenses. It's a nice thing to cover, especially when the bridesmaids already have the added expenses of travel, but you can ask them to pay if it's optional.

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  • ArizonaDreaming
    Dedicated September 2021
    ArizonaDreaming ·
    • Flag

    My maid of honor offered to pay for her own. I am trying to find the best price around. Hair and make up for 3 people is going to cost about $500-600 where we are.

    • Reply
  • Vicky
    Super January 2020
    Vicky ·
    • Flag

    If they are being asked (i.e. required) to have professional hair and/or make up done, then you need to pay for it. If it's merely optional and they can decide if they want to do their own or have it done (and you're not requiring a certain kind of hairdo or make up), then you don't have to pay and they can choose to use to splurge or not.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    It is usual to pay for their lodgings. And they always have a choice to take care of their own hair or makeup. But BM expect to pay of they get it, though bride paying is always nice.
    Just remember, even of you offer to pay, whether or not to use pro-hair and make up or not, or what style , is still BM choice, not bride. You are planning to pay extras which are not necessary, but will definitely be appreciated.
    They might still trouble with one thing: a bachelor party or bachelorette ( over time) has most always been a single evening out, where each pays for herself at a club bar, comedy club, or restaurant, then goes home. $100-$200 including their cost and a share of the bride's cost. At a cost less than a dress. While it is a recent tv and media pushed fad, overnights, and trips, they are far from standard. You mentioned bach weekend. Many of these end up mini vacations, $300-$2000 apiece, and there is often a lot of dissention or anger over them between brides and bridesmaids who assume because bride wants one, they will plan one. Only to find when the time comes, some have neither time nor money. Be careful about expecting this, or a shower in a venue for a large group, unless all of ypur people are very big ear ers and spenders, with few family or work responsibilities. Until TV recently, this has always been a minor , single evening thing, unless someone owns a family cottage or getaway, free, in short driving range.
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