nyc wedding makeup artist
Photo by Gruber Photographers – Makeup by Anabelle LaGuardia

Should the bride pay for bridal party makeup? 

This is a common question I am asked but the answer is a personal decision, a matter of what your budget allows as well as a few other factors.  From a professional standpoint, I think it’s a wonderful gesture to pay for your bridal party makeup.  Furthermore, if you are requiring your bridal party to have professional makeup done then it is your responsibility to pay for them. 

When brides opt not to pay for their bridal party I often see them basing their decision to hire a wedding makeup artist on what they believe their bridal party will be willing to pay.  The decision of who the bride hires for makeup should be solely her decision regardless of whether she is paying for her bridal party or not.  I’m going to give you some helpful advice to navigate paying for your bridal party.


nyc makeup artist
Photo by Vicki Plus Erik – Makeup by Anabelle LaGuardia

Factors to Consider

When you are exploring hiring your wedding makeup artist, look at artists that have strong portfolios, solid business practices in place, extensive wedding makeup experience as well as glowing reviews, referrals, and reliability.  Once you narrow that down, you can explore rates that align with your budget and decide what works for you.  I also think it is important to have some flexibility with your wedding makeup budget to ensure you hire the best fit.  Your wedding day is not the day to cut costs on makeup compromising quality and reliability.  There are plenty of qualified and reliable makeup artists that will fall into your budget range to ensure you have the experience you deserve.

If your budget allows you to gift your bridal party makeup, I encourage you to offer this to them.  Wedding makeup needs to translate not only on camera but look natural in person.  This is a skill that your bridal party will not have any knowledge of.  You are investing in professional wedding photography with no do-overs.  How you and your bridal party look and feel really sets the tone for your wedding day as well as the end results of your photos. Check out my blog post on wedding makeup tips found here!

nyc bridal party makeup artist
Photo by Amy Rizzuto Photography – Makeup by Anabelle LaGuardia

What if I can’t afford bridal party makeup?

If your budget does not allow you to gift your bridal party makeup, offer it to them to decide if they can participate.  If they can’t budget the rate, you have the option of allowing them to either do their own makeup or have their makeup done offsite of their choosing at a rate that works for them. 

Ideally, the wiser alternative is to ask them how much they can afford and offer to offset their rate by either paying a portion or half.  Everyone will look cohesive and camera ready for all of the key moments of your wedding day.  When your bridal party is left to do their own makeup or have it done elsewhere there really is no guarantee that it will translate properly in photography or hold up through the ceremony and reception.  Vetting and hiring a wedding makeup artist for you and your bridal party will allow you control over how your photos come out.  You will also be able to experience the bonding of the getting ready process with your bridesmaids and ensure that everyone is on time for photos!

Looking for more wedding makeup tips check out my recent blog post found here. 

Are you getting married in NYC or surrounding areas?  Want to learn more about my wedding makeup services?