Post # 1
I need to send my bridesmaids an email asking if they want hair and/or make-up done, but before that, I need to decide if I should offer to pay for either one. Here are the facts:
-I have 3 bridesmaids who will all need to travel to get to my wedding location. They will also need to stay in a hotel for 2 nights.
-For the bachelorette party, I’m traveling to them, so no major costs there aside from drinks, maybe a mani-pedi or something.
-They are paying for their own dresses. They retail at $250 BUT I have made it very clear that I am more than ok with them ordering from eBay. The dresses are around half that price on eBay. It’s a popular dress and brand so lots of options on eBay.
-My budget for each girl is $80-100 for gifts. We have a very tight budget and do not have any money budgeted for their hair/makeup. Therefore the cost would come out of their “gift” budget.
-Hair cost is $65 and makeup is $50. I don’t have any preference as to what they get or don’t get. I don’t have a preference for a specific hairstyle.
-additional complication: the make up artist needs at least 4 girls to work on (including me) to travel to our location
SUMMARY: I feel really bad about all their costs, but Im worried about the budget. What should I do?!?
Post # 4
Well if you are requiring them to get hair and make-up then you should pay.
Otherwise, I’d offer to cover one service as part of their gift and let your girls decide which they would prefer (service vs other gift).
Post # 5
@cestvrai: I guess because I let the girls do whatever they wanted and had no “conditions” I had them pay for their own hair and makeup. Had I wanted their makeup or hair done a certain way I would have been obligated to pay.
I would say paying for one service might be nice since it seems they have a lot of expenses involved and then just buy them something smaller since you plan to take it out of their gift budget. That seems acceptable.
Post # 6
If you don’t mind them doing their own hair and makeup, I’d buy them nice gifts and skip the hair/makeup. If you insist that they get their hair/makeup done professionally, you should pay for it.
Post # 7
@cestvrai: I think you should either pay for half/one treatment whichever is fairer to you both
Post # 8
@cestvrai: I think that if you are okay with them doing their own hair/makeup you don’t need to pay. If you’re wanting something specific (which it doesn’t seem you are), and not all people can style their own hair a particular way, then it would be the right thing to do to pay for them (and I totally would disagree with it coming out of their gift budget if you were insisting on a certain style or that it be professional done). However, if you’re okay with DIY hair/makeup, you can forward them the hair/makeup costs and information. If they want to get it done, then they can pay for it, and I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’d likely just lightly curl my hair or wear it straight, so you’d need to be okay with your BMs doing something like that too.
If they all really want their hair/makeup done, you could always surprise them and pay for it as their gifts, but I’m really old school and think that BMs gifts should be unique and special for each girl.
As for the Make-up artist… think about extending the offer to your mom, and FMIL too. This day is special for them, and they’ll be in lots of pictures, so they might even be more likely to want makeup done than your BMs.
Post # 9
I dont think I will pay for my girls either. Im not forcing them to get hair and makeup but im sure some of them will want to and also I will paying for a hotel room for them plus their gifts so I think that will be enough.
Post # 10
@cestvrai: I don’t think you are obligated to pay for hair or makeup. There are certain costs that bridesmaids should expect, and hair and makeup for the day-of are part of those costs. I have been in multiple weddings, and I’ve never been compensated by the bride for my hair/makeup. Each time I’ve been in a wedding, the bride has asked who wants to get their hair, makeup, or both professionally done and then makes up the schedule based on what people want to do. I’ve even been in weddings where a girl may go to her REGULAR stylist to get her hair done, and then she joins the rest of the BM later/wherever the bride is to finish getting ready. Let your BM be flexible with their options and it will work out fine.
Suggestion: if you are getting your nails done and are not requiring your BM to, perhaps offer them to come with you when you get your nails done and pay for one of THOSE services (either a mani or pedi). Mani/pedi can be much cheaper than hair/makeup, and odds are some of your BM may plan on getting their nails done anyways. Or, just put a little bit more towards their BM gifts.
Either way, if you do decide to pay for their hair/makeup, it would be a very nice and unexpected gesture!
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2014 - Waldorf Astoria, Chicago
After reading your post…I think you should send them an email and let them know you are fine with each girl doing their own hair and make up, but if they want to have it done professionally that the fees are $65 for hair and $50 for makeup.
BUT – you need 4 girls for your makeup artist to travel, if you can’t find another makeup artist that will travel to do just your make up, then you should email each girl telling them you will be covering the cost for their make-up and if they would like to have their hair professionally done the cost will be $65/person. The second option still leaves you with $30-50 to spend on gifts for each girls. Just don’t tell them you are paying for their makeup as a gift for being in the wedding!!
Post # 12
- Wedding: August 2015 - Backyard Forest
I think I would offer to pay for their make-up (since 4 need to get it done) and leave them with the choice to do their own hair or get their hair done at their own cost.
I would then get them all a meaningful gift on top of the makeup to make up for the fact that it will cost a little less.
Post # 13
Just let them do their own hair/makeup. You don’t sound like the best host. What about THEIR budget? I assume you’re not covering their travel and hotel costs… you’re not covering their dresses… etc. Making them get their hair and makeup done is NOT a gift to them, so for goodness sake, don’t take it out of the gift budget or you may not be left with friends.
Post # 14
- Wedding: October 2013 - Tybee Island, GA
I think if you are making them have their hair and makup done, you should pay for it.
If not, offer them to wear whatever style theyd like and do it themselves.
Post # 15
Thank you so much for all the votes/comments!! I have really been struggling with this issue. I do want to help the girls with these costs because I think they may want to get something done. I also think it would be fun to get ready together. However I do want to clarify two things:
-I would not REQUIRE them to get anything done in any situation. I didn’t budget for these costs because I really don’t care how they do their hair or make up. I would be perfectly ok with them doing their own.
-I do agree that it’s not really a “gift”. I was just saying it would come out of that portion of our budget since we haven’t separately budgeted for it. I would definitely NOT say that it was part of their gift. I would just spend less on their gifts.
I do feel pretty terrible about their costs alread. The dress cost will be pretty average (I think?) at $120 or so. But the fact that they all live in diff. cities adds so much unavoidable cost. I feel awful, but I love them and want them to be part of the wedding. I really wish I could cover all their travel and hotel costs, but doing that for all of our BM/GM would run us thousands that we just don’t have.
thanks again for all the input. I am leaning towards offering to pay for one service and letting them decide which they would like. And probably upping our gift budget as much as FI will let me!
Post # 16
@canarydiamond: thanks for your comment, as it definitely serves as a wake up call for how much my girls will be spending. My FI and I have family all around the US and the world (I am a first generation immigrant) so that made it so that 75% of our guests will need to fly. That being said, the hotel/travel part will be necessary for almost all guests coming to the wedding. They were all already planning to come to the wedding before I asked them to be bm’s. The only cost they have over this as of now is the dress, which in my experience is generally paid by each girl.