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Should the Bride Pay for Her Bridesmaids' Hair and Makeup?

You've got so many line items on your budget already, but should you make room for this one, too?

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Jose Villa

Your bridesmaids all want to look beautiful on your wedding day, and you want them to feel and look their best, too—especially when you think about all the photos your photographer will be taking! Getting their hair and makeup done by professionals will ensure that happens. But are you expected to pay for the services? The answer depends on a few factors. Here are some things to consider before you decide who should foot this important beauty bill.

 

Related: How to Minimize Costs for Your Bridesmaids

 

Can you afford it?

If you didn't already budget for group beautification, it may be too late in the game to find the funds in the final weeks of wedding prep. Still, be careful with making mandatory financial requests of your bridesmaids—if you insist everyone go the pro route for their hair and makeup, you should foot the bill.

 

Can they afford it?

If you expect the girls to pay, be certain everyone can swing it financially. You could offer to cover the cost of anyone who's cash-strapped but the other bridesmaids may resent the gesture. Doing their own hair and makeup is what most bridesmaids do anyway and it might be what they prefer.

 

Are you offering to pay just so you can dictate their hairstyle?

Not everyone looks good in an updo, and for girls with very short hair, it might not be even feasible. Don't use your power as the bride to force anyone to wear a style they're not comfortable with. Their beauty will shine through more if they feel good about themselves.

 

Is there enough time and space for a pro to come in?

Before you make any promises for a group beauty session, figure out your wedding-day timeline. Be realistic: If you've got six bridesmaids, two mothers, a grandmother, and you, that's a lot of heads and faces to do. Talk to the pros you're considering about reserving enough time and having plenty of room for them to do their job.