Post # 1
When I asked my BM’s a few weeks ago I mentioned upfront that my gift to them would be hair and make-up. Wedding is in a large east coast city so final cost per girl will be $150 – 200 (which I didn’t disclose). I have no expectation of dictating each girl’s hair the day of, just thought it would be a fun gift for each of them as we get ready in the hotel suite. I’m not big on getting-ready robes or gifting personal jewelry so figured this was perfectly wedding related while also being useful.
The other day while doing some non-wedding related shopping with my Maid/Matron of Honor she very pointedly asked me if I had thought about what my additional gifts to all the BM’s would be and suggested putting together a Sephora basket for each of them. I was so taken aback that she’d ask for another gift I mumbled that I’d still have to think about something and immediately dropped the conversation.
This is the first wedding she’s been in so I’m not sure if she assumes hair and make-up is always taken care of or if I’m in the wrong for assuming hair and make-up was a good enough standalone gift. How do I address this?
Post # 2
I don’t think of hair and makeup as a gift since it’s for your wedding. If given the option, I’d rather do both myself. I’m not sure how you can backtrack now since you’ve created the expectation that you’re paying for it but I also wouldn’t make that your only gift. I’m not saying to give them expensive sephora baskets or anything but yeah something more than just the hair and makeup. Generally anything used for your wedding is not really considered a gift (hair, makeup, outfit to wear getting ready, jewelry etc).
Post # 3
Hair and makeup is not a gift, IMO. It’s something you want done for your wedding. You can’t require your BMs to pay for something like that anyway (if you didn’t want to pay you’d have to give them the option of doing it themselves). I would get them something personal/individual like you’d get them for their birthday or Christmas.
Post # 4
I think the general consensus is Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts should be something they can use outside of your wedding.
HMU doesn’t fit that criterion. Cutesy shirts/get-together robes/mugs stenciled with your wedding date or “bridesmaid” also don’t fit that criterion.
I paid for my girls’ HMU and they were about the price you were talking about, so I get it, it’s not cheap. I still got them a gift outside of that.
Post # 5
Hair and makeup are generally not considered a gift, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on this. You could give each of them a thoughtful card, and perhaps something like a framed photo of the two of you together.
If it’s the custom in your area to give a gift, I would, but I would go for something thoughtful that doesn’t break the bank.
Post # 6
A lot of bees are very opinionated on this, so brace yourself. Many bees feel that anything given to a Bridesmaid or Best Man that is meant to be used on the day (paying for hair/makeup/nails, jewellery meant to be worn on the day, robes to wear while getting ready the morning of or anything else like that, makeup to be used for the day, etc.) does not count as a gift. I do not agree with this, but just warning you haha.
I personally would love to have my hair and make up as the gift if it were me. I was in a wedding last summer where paying for hair and make up was optional, so since I couldn’t afford it I did my own hair and makeup which made me feel like I didn’t look as put together as the rest of the bridal party. One other girl did her own hair and makeup too, and another only got her hair done, but still. She gave us all a pearl necklace and matching studs as our gift, but I had already bought fake pearl studs to wear (we actually all bought them together the day we got our bridesmaid dresses) and I also bought a bracelet and necklace because I wasn’t sure what she would want us to wear and didn’t know she was giving us those items as a gift. The bracelet and studs were a nice thought and they were real pearls vs. cheap fake ones, but I have not worn either since.
Also, I think your MOH’s suggestion isn’t very good. Makeup is a very personal thing so unless you know what products each girl uses, that kind of thing sounds like it could be a waste of money, and it would take a huge amount of money to make a Sephora ‘basket’ that looks halfway decent.
You could put together a pretty small gift for the day, like a little box with a godiva chocolate bar, nail polish, a roller ball perfume and a small bottle of champagne, just so they have something to open…or you could get them inexpensive earrings that are not meant to be worn on the day…something like this could be nice!
I still think you are fine with just hair and makeup though because that is a very generous gift in my opinion!
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2018 - Our Backyard
I don’t think hair and makeup is a gift considering it is ultimately something for you (for them to look good on your wedding day/in your wedding pictures). It’s a fun and nice thing, and I’ve had it done for me as a bridesmaid, but it was never our only gift.
I’ve only been a bridesmaid 4 times. For gifts I’ve received:
wedding 1: lotion and soap. this was a TERRIBLE gift, it felt so impersonal and cheap-sorry, but it was. It wasn’t even nice lotion that came in a basket or anything- it was some offbrand from a discount store. And that was all that she gave us-soap and lotion thrown in a gift bag. That’s something you give in-laws you don’t like or something you give to your sons kindergarten teacher. Anyway…
wedding 2: a cute Brighton anklet, which I still wear (8+years later)
wedding 3: a personalized beach bag. It is a nice sized bag with my name embroidered on it. I love it and use it a lot. And it’s great quality bc I used it daily for about a year when I was a traveling elementary teacher without a classroom.
wedding 4: personalized cup (plastic with a lid and straw, not Tervis), with a personalized cup-holder to put in the sand at the beach (I live in Florida but never go to the beach so it’s not that useful for me). This came in a cute, but kind of chintzy bag.
So, as you can see, I’ve never got anything too elaborate. Wedding 1 and 4 I felt were the chintzier gifts, and ironically they were also the ones to have paid for our hair. I wonder if the brides were considering hair our gift? Hmm, looking back I would have rather done my own and saved them the money (for better gifts. LOL! I’m kidding)
I don’t want this post to sound like I’m being ungrateful. Honestly, I was just honored to be part of their day and it wasn’t about the gift. But, since you asked I thought I would just give my view.
Post # 8
Thank you all for your thoughts. Looking back, I think the setting she chose to bring it up in (expensive store, looking at something she wants but can’t currently afford) just really struck me as grabby. I’ll certainly begin thinking about something meaningful and personal that can be used again!
Post # 9
Hair and makeup is not a gift. Just have an artist that people can book if they want (at their own expense) or DIY it they want. If you want them all pro and uniform, then you should pay for it but remember… that’s what you want, for your pics… it’s not a gift.
I gave my ladies a set of nice pearl earrings with a matching bracelet. It wasn’t that expensive. I see some of them wearing the earrings regularly. Plus robes and monogrammed totes. I covered their dresses too.
For a friends wedding I got a silver jewelry dish, that was a nice gift. (And she paid for hair and makeup).
Post # 10
Hair and makeup definitely isn’t a gift. If you’re requiring that they have to get it done, then you should pay. If you’ve already said that you’re paying, I think you’re sort of stuck doing that. Definitely get them each a heartfelt, personal gift as well.
Post # 11
I clearly am in the minority here, but my humble opinion is that your friend was being rude. I’ve been in five weddings now and I’m always delighted when the bride springs for hair and makeup. I consider that to be a gift. I don’t know if in my circle we are a bit less materialistic or what but none of my friends would think it rude to have that as our gift and nothing else.
A heartfelt thank you card personalized to each bridesmaid would be appropriate and I think you could call it a day.
Post # 12
Honestly, if I say yes to being a friend’s bridesmaid, I wouldn’t expect any gifts. This is not what being a bridesmaid is about. Of course I’d be happy if she gave me one. I’d be quite grateful that my hair and makeup is paid for.
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2018 - Our Backyard
oh, just thought of this – I ‘ve always got the same thing as other bridesmaids. I don’t think that getting matching gifts is necessary. I understand why brides do it, it’s definitely easier, but I don’t think it’s necessary and I think it could feel more personal if everyone got their own, individualized gift. I feel like you picked your bridesmaids for a reason and you must have a personal relationship with them, so get them something personal. If one of them is into yoga, get her a new yoga gear. if one of them loves MAC makeup, get her a gift card to the MAC store. Etc. I think that while gifts are a very nice gesture, they can feel impersonal when everybody gets the same shade of lipstick and scent of lotion, for instance. I don’t wear lipstick and maybe I don’t like rose-scented lotion. Just food for thought. Good luck!
Post # 14
I may be in the minority too.. I’m offering to pay for hair but not so they can “look good ” for my pictures. I think the girls are more than capable of “looking good”, but I think it’s a nice treat to have your hair paid for by a professional and be treated to a “spa-like” day! I love when my hair and/or makeup is paid for. It’s something indulgent that saves me ~$150 dollars. I’ve never been given a “birthday like” gift for being in a wedding. Wedding #1 was hair/makeup and a necklace to be or not to be worn at the wedding. Wedding #2 was hair and a little “grab bag” of water, snacks, champagne, robe, nail polish etc. My plan is to pay for hair and give them a small gift of mini bottles of champagne and OJ (mimosa), a pretty champagne flute, bottle water, snack, gum, maybe roll on perfume and chapstick.
Post # 15
I’m in the UK here, so my opinion is obviously different from US bees, but it’s pretty standard here for bridesmaids to receive jewellery for the wedding as a gift. Every wedding I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man for I’ve received the jewellery as a gift on the morning of the wedding.
However, I also agree that while it’s a lovely gesture and is sure to be appreciated, hair and makeup is not a gift. To me a gift from the bride should be a keepsake that you can look back on to remind you of the big day – plus the unwrapping makes for lovely photos on the morning! Don’t spend too much money though (ignore your grabby Maid/Matron of Honor, I agree with a PP that makeup is way too personal!). My suggestion would be a cute pair of earrings (maybe in their birthstone?) or a framed photo of you together.