(Closed) How to tell the bride you're not paying for makeup

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 32
8375 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@melundie:  I believe that, if a bride is insisting that her maids have their hair, nails, and make-up professionally done for her wedding, the bride should be paying for these additional expenses.

I think it’s enough of an expense for bridesmaids to purchase their wedding attire/shoes and pay for alterations and any travel-related expenses. Anything else should be optional.

I gave my bridesmaids guidelines for nail color (none, classic French, or pale pink), but they could choose whether to do their own or get manicures and pedicures. Only one bridesmaid chose to have her hair and make-up orofessionally done for the wedding — the rest opted to do their own, and I was fine with that.

Post # 34
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

ohh expensive! anything i wanted the girls to deffinatley have i bought them!

then gave them optional choices and costs for everything else. i would say, unfortunatley money is slightly short at the moment due to paying out for quite a few things so unfortunatley as much as i would love to have it done i just wont be able to as i just cant afford it.

I wanted my girls in the same dress so bought them it. even if it was in sale for £50 pounds. there hair i said have it how ever they like but they both decided to pay out. and makeup as i am a makeup artist i am giving them both a lesson as they would both like to learn how to be more confident in applying it.x


Post # 35
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


It should not matter if the rest of the bridal party agrees with you or are wealthy. NO bride should ever expect that of you. She sounds very unreasonable and inconsiderate. Expecting you to pay for your dress…perfectly acceptable and expected. Everything else is just crazy. If she is requiring make-up and hair to be professionally done SHE should pay for it. You are a friend, not an employee. A bridesmaid is an honor NOT a job. Good luck and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. I admire you for putting up with what you have.


Let us know how it goes!

Post # 36
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My understanding of the whole bridesmaid hair/makeup thing is, if the bride is REQUIRING hair and makeup, the bride is PAYING for hair and makeup.  If the bride merely has people coming out to do hair and makeup, then it’s up to the wedding party what, if anything, they want to get.  It doesn’t matter what the other bridesmaids think, this is between you and the bride.

Post # 37
800 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

In your place, I would tell her you can’t afford it and that you’ll be doing your own makeup. That leaves the door open for her to pay for it – which is what she should already have done. And I second the idea of reply to all. If any other BMs who have issues with the cost see you declining, they may feel more comfortable speaking up as well.

Post # 38
4554 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Add another one to the “hell no!” category.

I would say I couldn’t afford it. Especially these days, that should be pretty understandable.

Post # 39
5360 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

Personally, I WOULD say “because I can’t afford it”. That way if she really wants me in professional make up, she has the option to pay. Saying “I’m going to do my own makeup” without any further explanation is just being contrary and could awake the wrath of what is clearly a Bridezilla. 

Post # 40
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I’m gonna echo. If she’s requiring it, she should foot the bill for it. $85 for MAKEUP? You’ve got to be joking. Just be up front and tell her that you can’t afford it or are unwilling to pay it, whatever applies.

Post # 41
40 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

Professional makeup and hair are crazy expensive.  My bridemaids and I are having both done, but my mom has agreed to foot the bill for both hair and makeup.  It is really generous of her.  I would have NEVER asked my bridemaids to pay for it themselves.  I felt bad asking them to buy a dress and shoes.  I’m even buying their jewlery for them. 


Just tell her the truth.  If she is truly your friend and close enough to have you in her wedding she will understand 100%. 

Post # 42
1465 posts
Bumble bee

I think you SHOULD tell her you can’t afford it. She is hanging out in zillaland if she is just assuming these costs are ok with you and you can just send her a check.

I also take some offense at the idea of sending her pictures.  Your face, your skin, your makeup, your way.  YOU know how you will look beautiful and you will certainly put the extra effort in it for her wedding.  The idea that brides get to dictate that makes me angry.

ITA with BooRadleys suggestion of, “

Dear bridefriend,

Thank you for looking into professional makeup for the bridesmaids.  Unfortunately, I cannot afford that expense.  I will be doing my own makeup that morning.  I can’t wait to be there!

Overtaxed bridesmaid

Post # 43
597 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

If you’re going to call her and deal with this, you should use this as an opportunity to get out of the hairstyling too. I might say something like, “I was under the impression that you’d cover both hair and makeup, otherwise I will do them myself.”

Post # 44
5259 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I would just tell her you plan on doing your own makeup.  I would tell her in person or on the phone.  Not make a big deal, you know?  I would never pay for makeup- because I don’t wear any!  I wouldn’t say you can’t afford it, I would just say you prefer to do your own.

Post # 45
1502 posts
Bumble bee

If you are good at applying makeup yourself, just ask her if you can and what her parameters are. When I was the Maid/Matron of Honor in my best friend’s  wedding, her mother offered to pay for everyone in the bridal parties hair and makeup.  Even with them offering to pay for it, I didn’t want my makeup done because I am great at doing makeup and never feel a professional does it any better than I do myself.  I simply said to my BF, “Is it okay if I skip the pro makeup?”  And she simply said, “Yes, you always look great anyway.  There are a few people I am worried about wearing neon lipstick, but obviously not you.”  I tell this story to illustrate the point that a bride may have legitimate makeup concerns, but that if you always look great she shouldn’t care.  For example, if she wants very natural makeup and pale pink lips in her photos, she may be worried about the cousin who always wears bright red lips and over made up eyes like a hooker standing out in the photos she  has to have forever.  She  may also be worried about a frumpy sister in law with 7 kids, who always looks sloppy and has forgotten how to apply makeup.  Assuming that you do not fall into either category, she should be ok with you doing your own makeup.  Find out what your friend wants you to look like and if you can create that look on your own, offer to show her via photos.  

Post # 46
1559 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I haven’t gotten this far in my own wedding planning yet, but I’m hoping to have someone come to our house and do it all.   I had always kind of assumed that BM’s paid for their own hair, but that Bride’s would pay for the make up… I’ve never been a bridesmaid or a bride before so this is all kind of foreign to me. 

I have at least one bridesmaid out of my 5 though who I know doesn’t have a lot of excess cash and even if she did, she has kids that deserve it more than me or my wedding.  I’ve already told my sister that when planning things like the bachelorette, she needs to keep in mind that not everyone makes a lot of money.

If I were you, I would say something along the lines of that when you agreed to become a Bridesmaid or Best Man, you alotted a certain budget for wedding related costs and that you’ve pretty much reached that limit.  You have bought your dress, hair, the expenses of the bachelorette etc and that $85 for make up just seems a bit excessive and you’ve reached your bridemaid cap!  If professional make up is truly that important to her, then perhaps don’t do the mani/pedi and do the make up instead…. At least that provides an alternative. 

I’ve never had professional photos done but I’ve heard that how make up is applied can make a huge difference.  If it were me, and you could/would only pay for one or the other, I’d rather your face be done photo-ready than your feet and fingers! 

But that’s just my opinion.  I know I’d love my girls to have theirs professionally done, but if they can’t/won’t pay for it, I’ll do some killer research to find someone skilled to do it and pay for it out of our budget

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