9 Bridesmaids Get Brutally Honest About Paying For Hair & Makeup

Being a bridesmaid is both an honor and a commitment. For all the champagne toasts and tears of joy, there's also the hours spent helping the bride find the perfect dress, navigating the complicated seating chart, and holding her train while she pees. It's a big role, and one that only her closest friends and family could fill.

Then, of course, there's all the incurred costs for members of the bridal party — from multiple showers to bachelorette trips and, of course, the final walk down the aisle. Those costs can range from wedding to wedding — and one of the biggest questions is often held for the end: Who pays for the bridesmaids' hair and makeup?


Etiquette rules vary, though many experts say the bride should pay if she's requesting their makeup to be professionally done. To figure out what the actual landscape looks like in 2019, we asked eight recent bridesmaids for their opinion — and they didn't hold anything back. From bridezillas to budget breakdowns, check out their honest opinions, ahead.

Name: Jazmin

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: Free (did it herself)

Cost of Hair: Free (did it herself), plus $40 for matching hair accessories

"It had been discussed that the bridesmaids would be handling their beauty costs. Since it was a destination wedding, I completely understood and was perfectly okay with paying. I was happy with the results, but I wish I would have paid an expert to do my hair rather than choosing to style it myself. It would have removed some of the stress on the day of the wedding."
Name: Edeline

Who Paid: Bride

Cost of Makeup: $90

Cost of Hair: $45

"It was such a relief that the bride covered these costs because being part of a wedding, going to rehearsals, having to learn choreography, and having extra costs can be stressful for the bridal party. This was a huge weight off our shoulders."
Name: Crystal

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: $85

Cost of Hair: Free (did it herself)

"The bride was upfront that we’d pay for our own services — she was pretty vocal and straightforward with her expectations. I never assumed that it was something a bride would pay for as it’s their special day. However, when I found out that the bride did not want my natural curls out and that I'd need to pay for both a blowout and then pay a separate fee for an updo, I refused. It was unfair to pay double just for having curly hair. If I learned anything, it’s that being a bridesmaid is super expensive."
Name: Chisa

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: $50

Cost of Hair: $65, plus $20 for a wig from Amazon

"The bride was clear on what we’d have to pay and for what, but we were not made aware of how much we’d be paying. I had no choice but to pay because I agreed to be a bridesmaid, which means agreeing to do what was asked. I paid extra for a wig because the bride wanted everyone's hair to be the same. However, I was definitely happy with the results of my makeup and hair. There was no way I could have accomplished the style and look on my own."
Name: Letier

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: $60

Cost of Hair: $50

"It was not made clear who would pay, but after paying for my dress, I figured I was going to have to pay for everything else, too. I wanted my makeup and hair to look really nice for the photos, so I hired an artist to do my makeup and went to the salon for my hair. I was happy I didn't do it myself, especially since it all looked great in the photos. "
Name: Tomi

Who Paid: Bride's parents

Cost of Makeup: $150

Cost of Hair: $150

"The bride actually didn’t clarify what she would or wouldn’t be paying for. It was a destination wedding, so we paid for our travel, but the hotel and all other costs were covered by the bride and her family. The bridesmaids were taken aback by their generosity. It was all so unexpected."
Name: Stephanie

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: $100

Cost of Hair: $100, plus $200 for extra extensions

"From the beginning, it was understood that the bride would take care of hair and makeup. Then, two weeks before the wedding, she sent out a group text to the bridesmaids and informed us that we would actually have to cover. Not cool. Of course, everyone paid, but we were all annoyed with the lack of consideration.

"Also, she requested that we buy extensions because she wanted us to all have long hair, which was another expense that was honestly unnecessary and unexpected. I wish I would have asked more questions; it was my first time being a bridesmaid, and I was honestly so excited I didn’t realize all the costs that went into it."
Name: Rhema

Who Paid: Bride's parents

Cost of Makeup: $75

Cost of Hair: Free (did it herself), plus $30 for matching accessories

"Even though I was a recent college graduate with a tight budget, I knew I’d make being a bridesmaid work since she is one of my best friends. Still, I was very relieved when the parents paid for our dresses, makeup, and hair. It helped reduce a lot of financial stress, and it made it all sweeter to know the process was a give-and-take relationship, and I wasn’t presumed to be able to cover everything. I opted to do my own hair since some stylists don’t always know how to work my natural curls."
Name: Natasha

Who Paid: Bridesmaids

Cost of Makeup: $90 + tip

Cost of Hair: $90 + tip, plus $30 for extensions

"From the very beginning, the bride made it clear that each bridesmaid would have to pay for their own hair and makeup. She gave us a price range and asked if we would be comfortable with paying that amount. I didn’t feel comfortable saying no, even though it was more expensive than I expected; I didn't want to be that person who complained. I felt embarrassed by my budgetary restrictions and found a way to make it work. We were not happy with the makeup, but we didn’t want to upset the bride. I would’ve looked better if I had done my own makeup, so it was unfortunate to have paid so much money to feel that way."
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