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How to Ask Bridesmaids to Pay for Hair and Makeup Styling?

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Not everyone has a massive wedding budget that covers everything for both sides of the wedding party. Sometimes the couple has to decide what they can pay for and ask others to do their best to handle the rest.

Asking your bridesmaids to pay for their hair and makeup styling should be done delicately so as not to alienate them.

Young beautiful bride applying wedding make-up by make-up artist.

If you do it right and consider their feelings, you can ask them without hampering your wedding or hurting your relationships.

Typically, telling your bridesmaids how much it will cost to join the contract for hair and makeup is the best option.

Most people getting married want their bridesmaids to look their best. Scheduling hair and makeup sessions for the wedding party ensures everyone looks their best for photos and the ceremony.

However, if you need your bridesmaids to pay for their part, here are some tips on approaching the subject.

Makeup artist applying makeup by brush.

Who Should Pay for Hair and Makeup?

You should be ready to foot the bill if you want to dictate how people look on your wedding day.

It’s a tough bargain for bridesmaids when someone demands a particular quality or style of hair and makeup, but they aren’t willing to cover the costs.

Couples have to decide how much of a priority hair and makeup are. If it’s a big deal to you, then you should probably budget for everyone instead of asking them to handle it themselves.

If you aren’t paying for hair and makeup, you can’t be disappointed when a bridesmaid or two shows up looking differently. They may not have the supplies or the money to get their makeup done the way you want.

There may also be some lingering resentment that you want them to look a certain way but won’t help pay for it.

The bottom line is that you should be willing to cover the costs anytime you want or insist on a particular item. If not, you can’t be upset when someone can’t comply.

Asking the Right Way

Let’s say you don’t have the money to pay for everyone’s hair and makeup, but you still want everyone to look their best. This is a perfectly normal situation.

Hopefully, your friends will understand that you don’t have an unlimited budget and don’t want to go into debt to pay for makeup.

Tell Them Early

Before you start making grand plans on how you all will look, you should speak with your bridesmaids and let them know about what you are planning and talk to them about budgets.

Let them know that you won’t be able to pay for everything and that you’re trying to keep hair and makeup as affordable as possible for everyone.

Make a Group Offer

You should reach out to hair and makeup teams and get bids for your wedding party.

Then, once you know how much it will cost per person, tell your bridesmaids and let them know how much everyone will have to pay.

Again, this should be presented as an option. Reinforce that it’s ok if they don’t join the group contract.

Usually, you will get a better deal if more people sign up, so the cost will decrease as more bridesmaids join.

happy bride with bridesmaids holding wedding dress while sitting on sofa

Ask for Their Opinions

Sometimes compromise is the best path forward.

When you get married, bridesmaids pay for bachelorette parties, dress rentals, dinners out, travel costs, and more. Not every wedding is the same, and couples will pick up the tab for some of those items.

One way to ask bridesmaids to pay for hair and makeup is to tell them not to throw you an expensive party before you get married.

Ask them to do something low-key and instead use the funds to pay for hair and makeup.

Split the Cost

If you can, split the cost. Let your bridesmaids come with a hairstyle of their choosing, so you can afford matching makeup that will look better in wedding photos.

Give Your Bridesmaids Options

It’s always a good idea to involve your bridesmaids in wedding planning, especially when it affects them.

These days, it’s more common for bridesmaids to wear their own dresses rather than matching, silky, pastel colors rented from your local boutique.

Letting your bridesmaids wear their own dresses allows them to choose something they like to wear, and it could save you money that you can then use to pay for hair and makeup.

The request comes across better when you present the options of either paying for dresses or hair and makeup.

Many things related to weddings boil down to money, so your bridesmaids will understand when you have to choose between things you can pay for. These are your best friends, so they’ll empathize with your position and work with you on the best decision for your big day.

Set of cosmetics and flowers on a pink background.

Set a Theme for Your Wedding

Another way to ask your bridesmaids to pay for hair and makeup is by setting general guidelines for the ceremony without getting too specific.

Have a call or send an email and enthusiastically lay out your hopes for the day. Talk about colors, patterns, and themes, and let them know your vision for how everyone will look.

Break down what you’re doing for hair and makeup, then ask them what they plan to do.

Usually, bridesmaids will make suggestions and ask you what you want instead of trying to dictate how things should go.

Respond by gently pushing them in the direction you want without becoming overbearing. Remember, you can’t demand if you’re not paying for the hair and makeup, so make suggestions graciously.

Hopefully, your bridesmaids will get the hint. They’ll know what you’re going for and do their best to match your vision.

Final Thoughts

Maybe one of your bridesmaids knows a hair and makeup artist who can give you a great deal that brings the total price into your budget, and you won’t have to ask them to pay at all.

Either way, you can ask your bridesmaids to handle hair and makeup without burning any bridges.