Monday, January 05, 2009

Bridesmaids Makeup

I've got a dilemma. I've got a wonderful makeup artist that I'm contracting for my April wedding in Richmond. She's great at what she does. She is professionally trained, works for MAC as has done my makeup in the past, for engagement pictures and for a previous wedding that I was in. Some of my BMs have used her before also. She's very professional. We've got a great rapport, and most importantly, I trust her with my face. I met with her a few weeks ago and did a makeup trial for myself and to select the bridesmaids makeup looks. Afterwards, I received her quote. Since I've used her before, I was familiar and comfortable with her fee. One thing that I underestimated is her travel fee to come to Glen Allen. The mileage rate quoted is $1.75/mile for the nearly 250-mile round trip between Columbia and Richmond. This makes the total cost 20% more than my original estimate, which was based upon past experience. I included a buffer for travel fees, but clearly not enough.

I initially hoped to pay for all makeup (I did not communicate this to my bridal party.), but travel costs so much, that I am having to reconsider that. I now intend to pay for the travel fee and my own makeup and have the ladies pay the $65 each for their makeup. In the last wedding I was in, BMs each paid for their own makeup, and I didn't have a problem with it.

For my wedding, my BMs have only to purchase their dresses and shoes. I don't require any special hairdo. I only ask that hair be professionally done in whatever style they're comfortable with by whatever stylist they like. I am also gifting to the ladies all of their accessories, including jewelry (cultured freshwater pearls).

My questions are:
  • Is it wrong to have the bridesmaids pay for their own makeup?
  • Are travel fees a negotiable factor for something like makeup?
  • What have your experiences been?

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Blogger heidzilla said...

Travel-wise, the national rate (last I heard) for GAS mileage is $0.585. The extra money she's added might be her time per mile? I would question it if you have a good enough rapport. Really, tell her you don't know how those sorts of things work and you didn't realize it'd be so much... and find out why it is as much as it is.

My bridesmaids paid for the dress, shoes and salon services and I opted to pay for their jewelry, clutch, flip flops, tote bag and some other accessories. It's really what you can afford, I'd think your bridesmaids would assume they'd pay for their own salon services, but hopefully you can work it out because what a nice gift!

Hope that helps!


Monday, January 05, 2009 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger luvavocado said...

While I've not yet been a bride, I've been a bridesmaid four times over and the brides have never made me pay for my own make-up. After spending nearly $1000 each time throwing the bachelorette party and bridal shower and buying my own dress and gifts for the bride, I would have been quite peeved to have to pay to have my make up done. I can do my make up myself, and likely, so can your girls! This should either be a treat for them paid for by you, or it should be something you all help each other with on the big day. Speaking on behalf of bridesmaids everywhere, please don't add another unnecessary cost for your girls.

Monday, January 05, 2009 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've paid for my own makeup and hair with every wedding i've been in. that being said now that i'm planning my own i'm trying to think of ways to cover those costs for my BMs since they'll all be travelling for the wedding itself.
my recommendation to you is to try to local MAC girls. given that MAC training is so specific you'll probably find someone local to here that can do exactly what you want too! and you'll save almost $500!! that'll allow you to either just save that money or put it towards your BMs makeup.
that's what i would do, but i know how hard it is to veer away from your trusted stylist for this big of an event.
maybe you just try someone out local before making a decision? who knows, you might find someone you like BETTER!

Monday, January 05, 2009 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Your makeup artist is ripping you off for travel. Do not sign that contract, that is just amazing. The other commenter was right the federal rate is $0.58. I paid for the bridesmaids that wanted their makeup done and let my other bridesmaids do their own. Only one wanted hers done. I also let them wear whatever shoes they wanted and do their hair however they wanted. A few got theirs blown out, but mostly they fixed their hair themselves. They all looked beautiful and exactly like themselves, which is what I wanted. I trusted my girls to look the part and they did. The reason I did this is because of my past involvement in weddings. I'm happy to buy the dress, but the hair and makeup and all that, plus the showers and the bachelorette has made me and many of my friends resentful even though it's an honor to be a bridesmaid. I wanted no resentment on my wedding day. I sent them a $100 gift card to use toward the dress and paid for their jewelry. The payoff? My bridesmaids were so thrilled with the way they were treated that my bachelorette was in Napa and they threw in and paid for my ticket to get out to SF. That is a memory that none of us will soon forget.

Monday, January 05, 2009 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Glen Allen said...

Thank you for your comments. I'm still trying to decide what to do, though I will be reaching out to the makeup artist about that mileage. I know it exceeds the federal rate, but I wasn't sure if that was normal for this type of service. I guess it's not.

My ladies and I are not regular makeup wearers, which is why I want to opt for a pro. I'll work it out, I guess. In the meanwhile, I've reached out to a MAC closer to my venue. Maybe a locally-based artist will offer a better option. I'll keep you guys posted! :o)

Monday, January 05, 2009 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger DCKate said...

Two comments, first, I agree that the travel fee you've been quoted is outrageous. Second, are you REQUIRING the BMs to get their makeup done? If so, then I think you should pay for it. If it's just there as an option for them, then I think it's fine for them to pay. I've been in several weddings, and I've always done my own makeup for them, so I would be a little put off if I was told I had to pay to get my makeup done.

Monday, January 05, 2009 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...


I was wondering if I could have the name of your artist. My wedding is in June in Richmond and am looking for a makeup artist. :)

Thank you!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

I haven't been a bride either, but I have been a bridesmaid several times. As we all know being a bridesmaid gets expensive. That being said, I think you should keep the overall cost in mind.

According to the etiquette books I've read, the BMs are responsible for: dresses, shoes, travel, lodging, and gifts for you and your hunny. If hair and makeup are required it's the brides choice, and therefore should be covered by the bride.

I suggest letting them choose if they want to get their make-up done or not.

Everything is negotiable! I would totally talk to the make-up artist.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Miss Glen Allen said...

Update: I spoke to the artist and we modified the mileage charge. It's still higher than standard, but I'm more comfortable with it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Cleveland Park said...

I agree with the other girls. You should allow the bridesmaids to choose if they get thier hair and makeup done. These are your best friends, right? :) Don't you trust them?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Hi! I realized I didn't leave my e-mail address earlier when I asked for the name of your make-up artist. Your recommendation is very appreciated.

My e-mail is allison(dot)rollison(at)gmail(dot)com.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Eleni said...

Hi! Glad to hear you got the mileage charge lowered, but why is it still higher than the standard?

I've been a bridesmaid in three weddings - two of them I did my own makeup and one the bride paid for my makeup to be done. I think that if you are requiring the girls to have their makeup done, you should definitely pay for it. If you give them a choice, then they can decided whether or not they want to pay for it. Otherwise, they can just do their own makeup. I know you said they are not regular makeup wearers, but maybe your mom or someone would be able to help?

I'm getting married in a few months, and plan to pay for the girls' hair but have them do their own makeup.

Good luck!

p.s. I love your tiara #2!

Thursday, January 08, 2009 10:12:00 AM  

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