Would You Rather: Bridesmaids Gift

posted 10 months ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: Would you rather be gifted
    Hair : (59 votes)
    69 %
    Makeup : (27 votes)
    31 %
  • Post # 16
    13522 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Neither is considered a gift if it’s for your wedding. 

    Post # 17
    2844 posts
    Sugar bee

    I find fancy hair a lot more difficult to do than fancy makeup so I voted for that.

    But keep in mind that it’s not reeally a gift if it’s for your wedding. The wedding party gift is meant to be something for them to show your gratitude for their participation. It’s kind of like offering to pay to have their hair done for your engagement party as a birthday gift to them. 

    You’re better off not paying for either (and making both optional) and buying them a more personal gift. 

    Post # 18
    3093 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    Echoing PPs here that you should let them know that you’re happy to pay for one service at the salon for each of them and let them pick whether they’d rather have their hair done or their make up.

    Personally, I’m not a pro at either but I can do decent enough make up and am a complete lost cause when it comes to hair, so I would choose the hair option. I know other women who are amazing at styling hair who would probably rather have their make up done for them. 

    I also agree with PPs  that paying for their hair or make up isn’t a gift, but the spa day sounds great! Another good option is jewellery. All three times I’ve been a bridesmaid, our gifts were the jewellery we were wearing for the wedding and usually some other small thing. 

    Post # 19
    737 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    I have such sensitive skin I wouldn’t want someone else doing my makeup. With my luck I’d have hives for the wedding. I agree with the PP that said to let them pick which they’d prefer. 

    Post # 20
    117 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

    I gave my girls the option of getting either done. Some of my girls are really good at makeup so they’re rather just do their own. It’s crazy how expensive hair and makeup can be!!!

    Post # 21
    476 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    4yearengagement :  What I did pay for one service (hair or makeup) per bridesmaid and I had them choose which. It worked out great because some would rather do their own hair and some would rather do their own makeup 

    Post # 22
    743 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

    4yearengagement :  I voted for hair. I think hair is much more complex to DIY and I think it is a nice gesture. As well, for me personally, I love doing my own makeup so I would rather do it myself then have someone else do it!

    Post # 23
    3807 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    While I agree that hair and makeup isn’t really a gift, as a bridesmaid, I’d much rather have these expenses taken care of then get a random trinket from the bride.  I agree with PP that if you’re going to do one or the other, you should let them choose.  I paid for both services for my girls, but I know before I told them I was covering it, some expressed concerns about doing their makeup, others about their hairstyle.  

    Post # 24
    517 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    I picked makeup to pick something, but personally, I think that if you want your bridesmaids to look a certain way, you should pay for it just because…not as a gift.  I didn’t care if my BM’s got hair or makeup done.  I gave them the option, and paid for whatever they chose to do (one, the other, or both).  And then I gave them actual gifts of a large canvas bag with their initial, tea towels, bath bombs, a blanket, and a water bottle.

    Post # 25
    109 posts
    Blushing bee

    weddingmaven :  I agree entirely – if you pay for something like that, it is not a gift. After all, to me it balances with asking them to buy their dress and shoes for your wedding when, as a guest, they could have worn something they already own. A gift would be taking them to the spa or an actual item such as jewelry (at the wedding I just went to, the girls received Kendra Scott earrings as a gift to wear for the wedding).

    Also at that wedding, I believe one bridesmaid did all of the makeup (she seemed pretty good at it) and it seemed like maybe she or another did the hair too; a simple style of partially pulled back with a little bit of braid. The wedding was nicely modest in style and budget and still pretty and enjoyable – everyone looked great and I thought it was nice that they were able to avoid those costs!

    For the last wedding I was IN, the bride told us she was paying for our hair, but if we chose to get our makeup or nails done that it would be on us. I didn’t have much money and was comfortable doing my own makeup, and I even did a simple, semi-french tip nail on myself. I have curly hair so I enjoy when other people do it for me, and I thought her quite reasonable.

    I would say paying for 1 thing is nice of you, nothing is actually required, but to also have reasonable expectations of their results if you are NOT paying and they do it themselves (such as hair). If you want everything super nice and super matchy, it may be best for you to pay.

    Overall – no, etiquette says you need to get them an ACTUAL gift. Regardless of best intentions, what you mentioned would not count.

    Post # 26
    458 posts
    Helper bee

    Hair for sure. I personally don’t wear much makeup and I only had room in my budget for one service per bridesmaid. I’m glad I went with hair because everyone chose different hairstyles and they all looked fantastic! I feel like makeup is something people either know how to do by themselves or people can help each other out. To me, professional hair, on the other hand, packs in a wow factor more than makeup, which can be more subtle for attendants. With a bridal package, I think hair was about $85+20% gratuity per bridesmaid. So I would factor in about $100. Keep in mind that this may depend on where you live, time of year, day of week of your wedding, etc. 

    Post # 27
    857 posts
    Busy bee

    If you want to pay for hair or makeup for your bridesmaids to look pretty in your pics I’d choose hair. I’m a MUA and hair is less apealing for me to do. If you’re talking about a *gift* to thank your bridesmaids for being in your wedding I’d be happy with some stickers and scrapbooking pages since scrapbooking is one of my biggest hobbies. I’d even be okay if you bought these things at a yard sale because it’s the thought that counts.

    You don’t need to stress about being “cheap”. Just let all the girl diy their looks and get them something that signifies who they are.

    Post # 28
    653 posts
    Busy bee

    I had the same dilema and ended up paying for hair, due to advice from my friends who had already gotten married. This way everyone’s hair was similarly polished and looking great. Also, makeup is a bit quicker and if someone needs help applying lashes or with eye makeup, that doesn’t take as long, as someone who might need help curling all of their hair or doing an updo.

    Post # 29
    168 posts
    Blushing bee

    I think it’s generous to offer to pay for either on top of treating them to a spa day! I voted for hair because I am pretty skilled with makeup but hopeless with hair. My hair is super fine and the most I can do is straighten it! But I know people who are the complete opposite also. I disagree with people saying that paying for hair or makeup isn’t a gift. I was in a wedding last year and the bride paid for our makeup instead of buying us a gift. I really appreciated it, it was less coming out of my pocket for her wedding! (I’d already spent a lot on being a bridesmaid because she lives across the country). I didn’t mind at all. I certainly appreciated saving the $75 over getting some gift I might never look at again. Though for my wedding I chose to buy gifts for my girls and the gifts went over really well. But I told them they didn’t have to get their hair and makeup done at all if they didn’t want to, it was totally optional. Everyone got it done anyway. So maybe they’d have preferred I paid over getting the gifts, but who knows, they didn’t say anything obviously haha. I thought picking out gifts for them was really fun though 

    Post # 30
    1005 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    Good on you for getting the spa day! Love that and it really is a nice gift!

    Let them choose. I would be torn because I suck major at hair and makeup, but some girls are talented in one or both areas. Some girls have complicated skin issues, others have wild hair.

    If you really want to cover your bases with gifts, make a small grab bag for their travel home. Some snacks, lavender infused eye covers, EmergenC (so the exhaustion from the wedding doesn’t open up their system to nasty travel bugs) and a puzzle book.


    ETA: Echoing on concerns with facials. I would reduce to an express facial or nothing at all. Use that money to pay for the other services perhaps?

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