When it comes to wedding planning, the permanent lookout for the budget is imperative. Couples try to work everything within their financial capacity, whether it’s the venue, planner, florist, dresses, or nitty-gritty like bridesmaids’ makeup & hair. While the majority of these elements have clarity that the couple will be paying for them, some come under the gray area like the proper etiquette of who pays for bridesmaid hair and makeup. Even though the protocol isn’t clearly defined, there are certain rules to follow.
If the bride wants the bridesmaids to have a certain type of hair & makeup, she should ideally pay for the HMUA. Both parties can even divide the amount, with the bride paying for the hair and the bridesmaids paying for the makeup or vice-versa. At destination weddings, the bride can offer to pay for both hair & makeup because the wedding party pays for their flight and accommodation, and covering the HMUA costs can be a sweet gesture. So, the opinions can vary depending on many factors and each group should decide what works the best for both.
Sometimes brides aren’t able to pay for all the bridesmaids, especially if she has a large wedding party, in that case, she can pay for her MOH or any other bridesmaid who has been a huge help through the wedding planning journey. See, there can be multiple scenarios and there’s no certain etiquette to be followed for the bridesmaid’s makeup & hair. But if you’re looking for the most common protocols surrounding who pays for bridesmaid makeup & hair, you’ve come to the right place.
Things To Consider When Determining Who Pays For Bridesmaid Hair And Makeup
Before you come to the conclusion on who pays for bridesmaid hair and makeup, there are a few factors to consider. Once taken into account, you can have an honest conversation with your girls on how to go about the situation.
1. The Financial Capacity Of You – And The Bridesmaids
As a bride, you’re about to shell out a ton of money on your special day and so, taking into consideration even the small expenses is crucial to stay around the borderline of the budget. However, even bridesmaids have to incur many costs to play their roles. From dresses to the bachelorette party and bridal shower, the money can start flowing like water when the time to fulfill all these commitments comes, which is around 1 to 2 months before the big day!
Therefore, it’s thoughtful to consider the financial situation of both parties before coming to a big decision. If the wedding expenses have been hard on the bride and she has been struggling to meet her bills, it’s helpful that bridesmaids pay for their own makeup & hair. In this case, the bridesmaids can also choose to DIY their beauty styling or opt for either one of them so as to save money.
On the other hand, if the bride knows that the bridesmaids have already paid for a lot and any more costs can burden them, she can offer to pay for bridesmaid makeup & hair. Another scenario can be some girls in the wedding party are on a tight budget while others are okay with any more cost. In this case, the bride can cover the costs of these select few women or the rest of the bridesmaids can split their costs amongst themselves.
The point here is to have an open discussion and accommodate everyone’s financial situation.
2. How Much Has Been Covered By Bridesmaids Already
Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor and a privilege. Amongst champagne toast, tears of joy, and the craze that is the bachelorette, there are also incurred costs for each member of the wedding party. Most bridesmaids are aware of the costs and are happy to fulfill them – because after all, it’s her friend’s special time and she wants to make it as perfect as she can. Despite the emotional attachment though, sometimes the expenses can add up quickly, surpassing the amount she thought she’d have to spend initially. The hair and makeup can be one of them.
Add to that the destination wedding scenario where the bridesmaids will also have to cover their flight tickets and accommodation. As a bride, if you know & see that your girls have already covered a lot of things, it’s only fair to offer this last stride of payment yourself. However, if you have paid for some elements like the bachelorette party travel or the bridesmaid jewelry, or the accommodation when it’s a destination wedding, then it’s probably okay to ask your wedding party to pay their HMUA.
3. The Envisioned Aesthetic
Just like all the other details of your wedding day, you must have thought of your bridesmaids to look a certain way on the D-Day as well. A major part of their look will be their dresses, but the hair & makeup will also play a huge role. Sometimes that envisioned aesthetic can come at a low cost, even if the bridesmaids DIY their makeup & hair. But at other times, this dream vision can cost $$$. For example, if the bride wants all her bridesmaids to have long hair, then the extensions themselves can cost $200 each. However, if her requests are as simple as wavy hair for all or glitter eye makeup, then we think those can be easily DIY-ed or will cost way less even if done professionally.
When the bride is very particular about the bridesmaids’ makeup & hair and wants them to look a certain way, the best etiquette is for the bride to pay for the HMUA. Any specific professional look will cost around $200 to $500 easily. Unless all the bridesmaids are okay with the charges (which is unrealistic to expect), it’s only fair for the bride to fill in for these costs.
4. The Hair & Makeup Cost
The bridesmaids’ makeup & hair can vary from about $150 to $600 and the choice of services can depend on both the bridesmaids and the bride or either one. Either the bride can take the responsibility of suggesting a few artists nearby in different price ranges so the bridesmaids can collectively decide what price & artist works for them. Alternatively, the bridesmaids can hunt for the proper HMUA themselves.
In the case where the bride has already booked an HMUA for the bridesmaids because she wants a certain specificity in her wedding party, she should be the one to foot the bill – ideally. But if the bridesmaids are comfortable with the price range, they can share the costs as well. The first one should be the priority though.
5. Expectations Of Both Parties
Both brides and bridesmaids can have certain expectations regarding who will pay for what? While bridesmaids are expected to pay for the bridal shower, their dresses, etc., in some elements of their role, they are expecting the bride to show up to cover the expenses – like their final day hair and makeup. Just because they have such expectations though doesn’t mean you have to pay for this service. However, you should have a discussion about it and know their hesitations and how much they’d be willing to spend in case they do have to pay for these services. Further, if you have mentioned somewhere through the process that you’ll be paying for the wedding party’s HMUA, you will want to live up to the justified expectation and cover the costs.
Who Pays For Bridesmaid Makeup & Hair?
The 5 Most Common Payment Scenarios For Bridesmaid Makeup & Hair Are As Follows
1. Bride Covers The Costs
This is a common payment scenario along with the second one. This is generally the case when the bridesmaids have already spent a chunk on their other duties and the bride wants to return the favor by covering this last financial outlay. If the bride has the budget, she can also offer to pay for bridesmaid makeup & hair. Another scenario where this makes sense is when the bride wants her girls to get their hair & makeup done by a specific vendor and wants them to look a certain way.
2. Bridesmaids Cover The Costs
This is another common payment scenario to happen for the wedding party getting-ready shenanigans. It’s okay for the bridesmaids to pay for their own makeup & hair when they are willing to cover the costs and don’t want the bride to have any sort of financial burden. This is also okay if the bride has been generous with their favors or jewelry or accommodation – in case it’s a destination wedding. Bridesmaids also pay for their HMUA when the bride has already set the same expectations from the start and also doesn’t bind them to a specific vendor or look, rather gives them different options to choose from and they pick the one that suits their price range the best.
3. Bride Pays For Some Bridesmaids, While Others Pay For Themselves
The bride can choose to pay for her MOH and any other bridesmaid(s) who have been a huge help through the wedding planning journey. She can also choose to cover for anyone in the wedding party who has been struggling financially. However, if the bride does decide to go this route, it’s thoughtful to make sure the other bridesmaids’ who’re paying for their own HMUA are not hurt by the idea. Being open and honest is the key when you decide to go down this route.
You can, however, also choose to keep it a secret between you and the bridesmaids you’re paying for! This is ideal when you know they will not reveal the secret and would rather appreciate the effort for them.
4. Bride & Bridesmaids Split The Bill
A payment scenario where the brides and bridesmaids split the bill is gaining traction because it eases the financial burden from both sides. You can divide the cost into half or have the bride pay for hair and bridesmaids pay for makeup (or vice-versa). Going forward with this route requires a certain give-and-take and both parties should be willing to contribute to the finances. When done right, this way can be a great compromise though!
5. Neither One Of Them Pays
When the price is an issue for both parties, you can easily opt for the DIY approach. DIY is a great option for both bridesmaids’ hairstyles and bridesmaid makeup. There’s always that one person in the group who is no less than a professional MUA herself. She can guide you all on how to nail the perfect makeup look. Similarly, for hair, classic waves work the best and so do easy half-up, half-down, or bun DIY. The bridesmaids can do a trial run for the hair beforehand to ensure a smooth run on the wedding day.
How Much Does Bridesmaid’s Hair & Makeup Cost?
The average cost for the bridesmaids’ hair and makeup is $150. The price can vary a lot depending on the location of the wedding. A lower-end HMUA can average out at $100 for each bridesmaid, while the higher-end HMUA can charge around $350 for each bridesmaid. For a good price, the bride can ask a recommendation from her wedding makeup & hair artist. Being in the business, they’re well aware of affordable professionals who can get the work done in a comfortable price range. In fact, they have their own assistants who’re still in the learning phase yet do amazing work when guided and they can help your bridesmaids get ready as well.
Do Bridesmaids “Have” To Get Their Hair & Makeup Done?
Yes, they have to, but not necessarily by a designated artist. Many bridesmaids choose to DIY their own makeup & hair, others may choose to DIY their makeup and get hair done by an artist because the former is easier to nail, and having a professional do hair for the entire wedding party ensures there’s synchronicity in the bridesmaid style.
Be Clear From The Get-Go!
Now that you know what elements are decisive in who pays for bridesmaid hair and makeup, it has probably become easier to what works best in your case. It’s best to communicate this expectation at the very start of the wedding planning process. A good time can be a lunch meet-up or if you’re on your bachelorette trip, this topic can be discussed during a relaxed chit-chat time. Give everyone room to pitch in their expectations and brides, please don’t make any commitments you will regret later. If the wedding budget already seems out of line, don’t promise the bridesmaids any financial commitments. Instead, tell them the truth. They will understand. In the end, what matters is there are disagreements or misunderstandings on the wedding day. So, get clear on who pays for bridesmaid makeup & hair
as early as you can!