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Who pays for beauty services on a wedding day?

A beautiful bride and her bridal party
Photo by J.Maurer Photography
Good news Sunshine! There are no rules. However, that makes it a whole lot trickier to answer that question. I did a deep dive into the internet to see how other people answered this question and how past and present brides and their parties responded to the question: Who pays? The answers were all over a spectrum but there were some common themes.

It USED to be that the brides would pay for everyone’s beauty services and some people will opt to do this if they have specific goals with how they want everyone to look. Even if half your bridal party does their own make up for example, the style may not be on par to how everyone else looks. As women, we sometimes take a wedding or formal event as an opportunity to do something a little more dramatic, bigger lashes, darker shadow, a bold lip. But if you have a light and airy, more soft glamor style to your own makeup and the people that do use the artist(s) that you've hired…things may look…mismatched in your photos. This may not bother everyone, and that's okay. This may bother some, and that's okay too.

Bridesmaid Make Up
Photo by Moonstone Bridal House Photographer Bre
Here are some other common themes I researched:
Beauty Services as a gift. Your party has bought a dress, probably helped pay for a bachelorette, possibly even multiple flights for all the showers, celebrations and the wedding day itself. Many brides thought this was a great gift to give their party to feel pampered and beautiful in lew of jewelry they may never wear again, custom t shirts that would likely end up donated (some did all of that too!) as a thank you for spending this season of their lives together.

Bride pays for one service. This helps soften the financial blow on both sides. Most attendants will opt to do the other service if the first is paid for (we’ve seen this theme almost every time with our brides too). Many use this pampering as their gift to their party also, some also including other items too.

bridal hair stylist
Photo by Moonstone Bridal House Photographer Bre
Party Pays. “Weddings are expensive enough!” as one bride put it. About 50% of brides did not budget to pay for their bridal parties services. They were self pay and had the option to opt out. However, with bridal artists having a minimum, some found they ended up having to pay for a few people (even if it was a mom or jr bridesmaid) to meet minimums if too many people opted out. Some even lost their artist if they could not meet the minimum. I can see how this could be super frustrating. This is why at Moonstone, we require final service counts/commitments 6 months before the big day. This gives us time to build the team if multiple artists are needed but also time for everyone to save and budget.

Remember, travel bridal styling services are a luxury. And it's a pricey business to run, with extra insurances, payroll fees and accommodating an artist’s time out of the salon. Finding a “bargain” traveling artist may be difficult (but not impossible) to find. This is why booking early is a must. Venue, Photographer, Beauty Team, DJ, Florist. We all book out sometimes 2-3 years now. Pretty much as soon as you have your date, start sending those inquiries. Good Luck Sunshine! I hope you found these tips helpful? Have a question? Feel free to send a contact email or comment on the blog anytime!
Justine Therese

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