The Bridesmaid Resource. Help for a Damsel in this dress!

The Stories

Bridesmaid Dilemma: Should I Get My Hair and Makeup Done?

Do I do “The Do?”

To anyone who hasn’t been a bridesmaid before, the topic of this post may make you laugh. But, I have seen it a million times. The bride sends out the standard email:

“Hey bridesmaids! If you want to get your hair and makeup done before the wedding, we will have someone there to do it. It costs $45 for makeup and $65 for hair! It’s totally up to you – just let me know…”

You know the drill.

So, what do you do?  (Well, first you should read this hilarious true story.)

If you’re anything like me… first, you panic. I don’t know! I always do my own hair! And I’m honestly not much of a heavy makeup person. I do my little bit of “going out eye makeup” and some lipstick and I’m good to go!  Will I look weird with a painted makeupy face? 

Then, I start thinking about what the other bridesmaids are doing. Are they all getting their hair done? Will I be the one bridesmaid who clearly has un-done hair? Will I stand out as a slacker in the photos?

Photo Credit: LunahZon Photography

Last time I had my hair done for a wedding, I wrote the $75 check to the hair stylist, got up from the chair, and then promptly went into the bridal suite bathroom and cried hysterically (but quietly so the bride wouldn’t hear) to another bridesmaid who calmed me down and got to work re-doing the do.

And it goes on and on…

Well – here is my opinion:  If you don’t do what all the other girls are doing – you will not be the odd-man-out or the ugly-duckling. It’s ok to say no!  In fact, I was at a wedding recently and the two girls who did their own hair had the best bridesmaid-dos!  Don’t make that the deciding factor. (I mean if all the bridesmaids were going to jump off a bridge…)  Also, this is your money here. If you’re paying for how you look – you want to like the way you look. Of course – sometimes it’s the bride’s say and you’re “required” to get your head and face worked on before the wedding. In that situation, just be prepared.

Hair – Getting it done? Be Prepared.

Photo Credit: LunahZon Photography

  • If you’re getting it done, have some ideas of what you want – before you go in. Bring photos and be specific. Last time I had my hair done, I gave the worst description ever and in classic laid-back-me-style, I said “I’m sure you know what’s best” and then I cried when I didn’t get the results I wanted. Be prepared. It pays off.

Do it yourself.

  • I honestly tend to like my hair best when I do it myself! If you’re going that way – but still want to do something special or a little out of the ordinary, look up some options on Youtube. I found this tutorial and have done this for 3 weddings so far and counting! Super easy.

  • In general, finding a special flower or pretty hair clip goes a long way to dress something up and take you away from your “everyday” look to a wedding look.


A lot of the time, girls don’t like the makeup job because the makeup artist doesn’t KNOW you. They don’t know your style, your deal, your personality, how you “normally” look. The best makeup jobs I’ve had were:

  • I had another bridesmaid do my makeup. She generally is more makeup savvy than I am and did a beautiful job on this face! She also knows my personality and how I usually do myself, so she knew what to highlight for a special occasion, but not to get all crazy on me.
  • At one wedding, the bride had her sister take a makeup lesson before the wedding. Then, on the day of – she did all of our makeup (for free) and did an amazing job!

Liking the way you look and feeling confident and pretty goes a long way in making you have a fun time on any day – especially at a special occasion.  As much as you may not be able to choose your dress or your shoes, at least you can be in some control of that beautiful hair and face of yours… and liking the way you look.

And no one wants to be the crying bridesmaid in the bathroom.

10 thoughts on “Bridesmaid Dilemma: Should I Get My Hair and Makeup Done?

  1. mr. kate

    I say don’t spend the money! if you like the way you do your hair and make-up then own that shit! I had a really fun experience when I was a bridesmaid and a couple of us helped each other with our hair… it ended up looking just as good (ahem, maybe even a little better!) than the girls who paid to get it done!

    Practice makes perfect – if you want to experiment with a new look this wedding – do it beforehand and wear it out to see how it keeps! that goes for hair and makeup.


    – kate

  2. Ashleigh

    One other note about getting your hair done: Just because you bring a picture and are very specific with the hairdresser doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with anything remotely close to what you’ve asked for.
    I was the only bridesmaid to bring a photo of how I wanted my hair for my cousin’s wedding (a low bun, all pretty and woven). I ended up with a Cinderella bun on the top of my head, and all these crazy twists on the back of my head. I HATED IT, but after the stylist had spent the entire time talking about how great I was and not complaining, I didn’t think I could say “Um, this is nothing close to what I asked for.” That, and I had so much hairspray that there’s no way anything could have been done to fix it. I got the most compliments on my hair, but I still hate it, a year and a half later.

  3. Pingback: Bridesmaid Hair: Q and A with the Expert | Indie Bridesmaid Help and Blog |

  4. Pingback: Just How Much Do Wedding Gowns Cost? | Indie Bridesmaid Help and Blog |

  5. Nichole

    If you can’t pay for your own hair and makeup, don’t tell the bride that you can be a bridesmaid. If you don’t think enough of the bride to spend $70 on her day, then you are selfish. Just wait until its your turn…

    1. Tati


      Would you rather your bridesmaid pay for her hair and make up or rather use that money to give a more lavish gift/compensation?….

      1. Megan

        So you should be basing your bridal party off of who can pay for what?..If the bride thinks you don’t care about the wedding because you can’t/won’t pay for something you can do yourself very easily, I’m not sure I’d want to be apart of that wedding anyhow. Its not like its the bridesmaid dress. Calling someone selfish and saying they don’t think enough of the bride…wow..I guess I was blessed with thoughtful and considerate brides in the weddings I’ve been apart of, that was such a rude response.

        Just wait till its your turn…really? How bridezilla of you. I guess I’m just confused as to how the amount your willing to pay will either qualify or disqualify someone to be apart of your wedding party and determine how much they care about the bride.

        The dress I get, you can either buy it or not and if you can’t, well you can’t walk down the aisle naked. But the extra things, they should be optional and any bride who thinks about anyone besides herself will probably agree.

    2. Liz

      Really? I’m getting married and I feel bad even suggesting the option for them to get hair and makeup done because I don’t want them to feel pressured into doing it. They are all beautiful people and they don’t have to wear any makeup at all as far as I’m concerned…none of them have a ton of money and they’re already flying in and doing plenty else for me. At the end of the day it’s just not what’s important.

  6. A DuBerry

    This day is ALL ABOUT THE BRIDE! Her memory, her pictures….do what she asks…if she has a makeup artist and hairstylist, she wants her bridesmaids to look uniform so that they are the soft background they are meant to be! Unless you are prepared to shell out a fortune for HD makeup and airbrush…do what she would like and don’t be the person that stands out and ruins her day! She chose you for support and to make her memory special.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *