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Does The Bride Pay For Bridesmaids Hair And Makeup?

I was recently discussing wedding plans with my fiancé when it soon dawned on me that we needed to book our hairstylist and makeup artist. With quite a few bridesmaids in the bridal party – the look on his face was priceless when we started looking at the costs. But who is expected to cover them? Is this an expense we will be expected to cover or something the bridesmaids should look to pay for themselves? Needing to know, I researched around to find what is the typical thing to do.

So, does the bride pay for bridesmaids’ hair and makeup? The bride may pay for the bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, but it should not be expected by the bridesmaids nor is it the traditional thing to do. Whether the bride covers this cost depends on whether she can afford to, wants to treat her bridal party in this way, or has not covered expenses elsewhere (such as for the dresses).

Ultimately, if the bride does take on this cost – it’s a very generous gesture and one that should be appreciated.

Splitting the cost is of course another option. which many brides on tighter budgets have chosen to do.

As a bride, if you are not sure about what to do, consider your circumstances and the arrangements that you are looking to make:

Are you hiring an expensive hairstylist and makeup artist? Are you requiring that your bridesmaids have their hair and makeup done a certain way?

These are all considerations to take into account.

Generally, the more you are asking of your bridesmaids, the more financial support would be appreciated.

Besides, there are benefits to all involved here.

From beautiful photos to cherish to giving everyone a confidence boost and enjoying the day and the luxuries it offers.

Let us now take a closer look at the main considerations when it comes to these big expenses and how to approach them!

Is It Worth Getting Hair And Makeup Done For Your Wedding?

Whether or not it is worth getting hair and makeup done for a wedding is mostly going to come down to three different factors:

  1. How much you pay,
  2. How much you value the expertise of the professional,
  3. Whether you have anyone in the bridal party whom can do as good of, or better a job!

Nonetheless, can you put a price on feeling good?

There are many pros to getting the professionals in too.

First of all, they are professionals who know what they are doing.

They know what looks would best fit with certain face shapes, facial features, and hair colors, and they can even coordinate the makeup and hair looks of every bridesmaid to make sure that they match perfectly.

Hiring a professional team means that you are much more likely to get that uniform, consistency among your party.

Without hiring professional makeup artists and hairstylists, there will definitely be an element of worry and stress involved. Besides, each bridesmaid needs to complement one another. And, you are putting a lot of trust in someones skills.

Do they want this pressure? Do they want this kind of responsibility? Is it even fair on them?

Secondly, professionals are much more likely to be using professional-grade tools and products.

Whether you like it or not, your wedding day will be a long day filled with smiling, (happy) crying, eating, dancing, and various other activities.

You’ll want to avoid messed up hair, runny mascara, and caked up foundation, whether it’s on you or your bridesmaids.

Remember, they’ll be a photographer capturing every important moment of the day – and they’ll have a state of the art camera that will show any imperfections!

Using professional-grade tools and products should mean makeup and hair lasts and is not a source of angst and worry throughout the day.

Finally, weddings are complex.

There are hundreds of moving pieces, dozens of tasks going on at one time, and a lot of coordination is involved,

Having professional makeup artists and hairstylists can take away a lot of potential stress – you are simply leaving it all with them.

And then there’s the actual job itself.

Let’s face it, doing hair and makeup takes a lot of time and energy; which you want to save for the best moments on your special day.

You want everyone to have a good time, and being pampered is one way to really set the right tone and mood for the day.

So, with these considerations in mind, to me its a no brainer. Its definitely worthwhile if you can afford it.

However, there still will be some planning involved.

You’ll still need to research for the right professionals and ensure they are reputable and former clients are happy with their service.

You’ll also need to be able to openly communicate with them. They need to be dependable and know where they need to be and when.

Equally, they should be aware of your expectations and how you want you and your bridesmaids to look. This of course, should complement the theme of your wedding.

Your bridal party should also have a say in the matter, as they are the ones who are being glammed up after all.

Of course, many bridesmaids love the idea, but not everyone is the same or has the same preferences.

Some people may have greater financial constraints, some may have allergies to certain products and brands etc, so be sure to hold an open conversation with your bridesmaids ahead of any bookings.

Remember that although this day is about you, your bridesmaids should also feel comfortable too. Getting a “yes” from everyone first will help you avoid any last-minute revealations or complications!

How Much Does Bridal Hair And Makeup Typically Cost?

Hiring a professional hairstylist, along with a professional makeup artist, does not come cheap. It can cost anywhere from $100-$500 per person, although some brides have reported more!

Although this is expensive, the total cost should cover everything. From the time and expertise to the tools, products, and any travel required.

If you want to keep your hairstylist and makeup artist around and help you and your bridesmaids transition for the evening, you will need to pay for their additional time.

Thankfully, many professional makeup artists and hairstylists will offer a trial run before your wedding day.

This trial will make sure that everyone is happy with their look – and that the professionals have some time to find what works for everyone and make any necessary adjustments.

Depending on the makeup artist and hairstylist you are working with, they may charge you for this trial session, but it generally a good expense to take on.

Remember, these professionals will often charge by the hour, so depending on how many bridesmaids you have and who attends the trial will impact the cost.

Its always best to call ahead and discuss your options ahead of time; this way you can set expectations and budget accordingly.

While it is an additional cost to what seems like a never ending expensive wedding, and it is not technically required, trials do come strongly advised.

You don’t want any last-minute dramas on your wedding day!

Should The Bride Pay For Bridesmaids Hair And Makeup?

Whether or not the bride should pay for the bridesmaids hair and makeup is going to depend on context – there is no real definitive answer to this question and a one-size fits all solution.

However, the traditional expectation for most weddings, is that bridesmaids pay for their own hair and makeup, regardless of whether they get it professionally done, or not.

If the professional glam team that you intend to book are particularly expensive, at the request of the bride, then it may be something that the bride should conisder.

Equally, if it is the bride who insists, can do so financially, has not treated her bridesmaids to any other accessories, or if it could cause a lot of tension among the group, it may be worth considering.

At the very least, it is the responsibility of the bride to be open and honest; setting clear expectations as to whom will be paying. And, as early on as possible.

There is no doubting that as a bride, it is a thoughtful gesture to cover the cost.

Being a bridesmaid is expensive after all, and they will need to be able to cover quite a few costs outside of this by nature of the role.

And it can actually work out quite well.

It is customary for the bride to provide gifts for her bridesmaids, so hair and makeup could be something that is included here.

Of course, this expense can take a toll on your wedding budget, especially if you have a big bridal party.

Many brides don’t account for this cost, assuming that the bridesmaids will naturally pick up the tab. But this is certainly a mistake to make.

Generally, the less assumptions the better with any aspect of a wedding!

If the bride does lack the budget to pay for everyone’s hair and makeup, it is advised to make it optional for your bridesmaids, or at the very least split the cost with them.

Either way, it’s important that the conversation is had openly; where any bridesmaid can raise concerns or talk through the logistics.

The truth is, if a bridesmaid accepts the request to be a participant in the bridal party, they should already expect to pay some expenses. In fact, they will likely expect to pay for their own hair and makeup.

It’s important, however, that you do not force anyone to pay for something that they cannot realistically afford, alienate any particular bridesmaid. or make anyone uncomfortable with costs.

Ultimately, if you are having a professional glam team for your bridesmaids, there should be the option to opt-out having it done professionally unless you are willing and able to pick up the bill – or seek out more affordable options.

Do Bridesmaids Need To Have Their Hair And Makeup Professionally Done?

It’s recommended but not required of the bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup professionally done.

Although having professionals around on your wedding day does come with a lot of benefits, as we have mentioned, it also may not be feasible (or even necessary).

There are, of course, several reasons why you may not need to hire professional makeup artists and hairstylists for your bridal party.

Here are perhaps the most typical examples:

  • Your bridesmaids may not be comfortable with wearing too much makeup,
  • The theme of your wedding may not require a polished, complicated look.
  • Some of your bridesmaids may already be very skilled at makeup and hair, and may not actually desire any help,
  • A bridesmaid, friend or family member may be willing and able to do everyone’s hair and makeup.

Whatever the case, the general rule is to discuss the matter with your bridal party first.

You do not want to force anyone into becoming the hairstylist or makeup artists on the day if they are not fully comfortable in doing so. Besides, it comes with a lot of pressure and there is a lot they will need to do.

It will alter they wedding day experience after all.

Its essential that you avoid any miscommunication, and get an agreement by everyone invovled.

You may find for instance some bridesmaids are keen for professionals, whereas others are not comfortable to have a fellow bridesmaid do their hair/makeup altogether.

It is going to come down somewhat to context; and you will need to consider preferences, relationships and personalities here too!

And similar to working with professionals, you will need to discuss the general look of the bridesmaids beforehand. You want all of your bridemaids hair and makeup to complement one another, as well as you, the theme and the venue, opposed to anything dramatically different or even in a competition for attention!

Its always good to share some potential looks with your bridesmaids, before agreeing upon what works best for everyone. Remember, some bridesmaids may not be comfortable with how you want them to look.

Preferences and opinions still need to be taken into account!

But generally, you should be able to go as far as recommending a certain blush color, eyeshadow color, or hairstyle.

It is perhaps even more important to do a trial run before the big day, if you are not going the professional route.

More practice will likely be required, as well as finding the right products to use and finding how they work best.

This “test run” will help set expectations, get everyone on the same page as to the final intended look, as well as overcome any conversations that and issues that may arise.

This trial run should be a lot of fun, and you can make a real day of it too!

If you did decide to not have professionals, you may decide as the bride that you want to buy the makeup (or some of it), considering it will be a lot cheaper.


The bride may pay for the bridesmaid’s hair and makeup, but it’s certainly not a given nor should be an expectation.

The same could be said for the dresses.

There are many factors that can impact whether or not this expense is taken one. Besides, the cost can range quite dramatically depending on the professionals sought out or the number of bridesmaids.

Thankfully, there are options to suit every budget.

But, there are decisions that will need to be made and conversations to be had.

So long as everyone is kept in the loop, can raise any concerns, can financially afford, and is happy with their look; you should be able to come to a fair and satisfying agreement.

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