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Is It OK For Me To Cancel Hair and Makeup For Her Wedding?

Ask a Savvy Bride: Can I Cancel Hair and Makeup For Her Wedding?

The weeks leading up to the big day are sure to be stressful so if you need any wedding related advice, be sure to ask our Savvy Bride for help in the Ask Savvy group.

Dear Savvy,

I'm a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. She asked us a while back if we'd like to get our hair and makeup done in her room on the big day. We all said yes assuming that she was treating, but as it turns out, we were incorrect. Over the course of her engagement she's made comments about how much we're going to love her glam squad and how nice it will look that we're all done in a similar manner, but I simply can't afford a $100 updo and a $75 makeup application. Will I upset the bride if I cancel? Will I be leaving her hanging with a cancellation policy? Help, I don't know what to do!

Spoke Too Soon Sandy

To see the Savvy Bride's advice, when you

.

Savvy Bride says:

I've actually learned your lesson the hard way myself — I committed before asking the price of hair and makeup as a bridesmaid and ended up being very disgruntled when I had to fork over a bunch of cash I didn't have. So you don't put yourself in a bad financial position, my advice to you is to speak up now while you have time to back out. I think honesty will be your best policy so just tell the bride that you're feeling a little strapped for cash and while you would love to get ready with her in her hotel room, you've decided to do your own hair and makeup. Yes, it might look nice to have the same glam squad work on all the bridesmaids, but I'm confident that you'll look just as beautiful doing the job yourself.

With that said, you did already commit so make sure you're canceling before a cancellation policy kicks in. If you're too late, weigh your options — it might be cheaper to pay the fee than follow through with the services. Good luck!

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out. If you are planning a wedding, already happily wed, or still looking for Mr. Right, start sharing your big day with our community. Don’t forget to check the wedding content box on your post.

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bisou002 bisou002 5 years
I'm a bridesmaid this summer (as well as a bride-to-be) and we are all on our own to get our hair and makeup done - I plan to go to the mall and hit up the Bobbi Brown counter. I'd rather buy a lipstick and blush and get a free application than shell out $75 for just a face for the day. This will most likely be the direction I go in for my own bridesmaids.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 5 years
like it or not - if you back out, you will most likely upset the bride. that said, if you can take a little heat and really don't have the money (which who does now-a-days), i think Savvy gives you the best suggestion of how to deal with the situation.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
Runninges - I TOTALLY agree. Matching dresses and shoes? Fine. Matching dress, shoes, lipstick shades, and hair styles? CREEPY! Lilkimbo, I think it would be normal to assume the bride was paying since she didn't ask them whether they would be comfortable with the price up front. There are lots of decent salons that will do $50 updos, but since the bride wants them to have $100 updos, she should have let them know that up front. I don't really think the fact that she asked makes a difference. Even in the weddings I've been in where the bride paid, she still asked whether we wanted our hair done. Some people, like my friend with naturally corkscrew-curly hair, are really particular about having strangers syle their hair and will refuse, even if it's free.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
Runninges - I TOTALLY agree. Matching dresses and shoes? Fine. Matching dress, shoes, lipstick shades, and hair styles? CREEPY!Lilkimbo, I think it would be normal to assume the bride was paying since she didn't ask them whether they would be comfortable with the price up front. There are lots of decent salons that will do $50 updos, but since the bride wants them to have $100 updos, she should have let them know that up front. I don't really think the fact that she asked makes a difference. Even in the weddings I've been in where the bride paid, she still asked whether we wanted our hair done. Some people, like my friend with naturally corkscrew-curly hair, are really particular about having strangers syle their hair and will refuse, even if it's free.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
I actually found it kind of odd that you expected the bride was paying. If she was going to pay, why would she ask? Is it common in your group for the bride to pay? I do agree with running that if the bride wants something very specific that it would be impossible for you to achieve on your own, she should pay. Although, it sounds like at first she wasn't all that concerned with everyone looking similar, but once you all committed to getting your hair and make-up done, she started to get excited about the idea. In the end, I agree with skigurl. If it's not possible at all for you to spend the money, try to gently tell the bride you just can't afford it. But, if it were me, I would just fork over the cash so I could be with the other girls all day. Or, as suggested, try to just get my hair done and do my own makeup.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
I actually found it kind of odd that you expected the bride was paying. If she was going to pay, why would she ask? Is it common in your group for the bride to pay?I do agree with running that if the bride wants something very specific that it would be impossible for you to achieve on your own, she should pay. Although, it sounds like at first she wasn't all that concerned with everyone looking similar, but once you all committed to getting your hair and make-up done, she started to get excited about the idea.In the end, I agree with skigurl. If it's not possible at all for you to spend the money, try to gently tell the bride you just can't afford it. But, if it were me, I would just fork over the cash so I could be with the other girls all day. Or, as suggested, try to just get my hair done and do my own makeup.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
I don't understand the allure of adult woman looking identical. What looks good on one woman for hair/ make up may not (probably will not) look good for all! In every wedding I've been in, I've had the OPTION of getting my hair and make up done (and I paid), but I was able to choose the style/ colors. I don't think it's wrong for a bride NOT to pay for her BMs hair/ make up (that gets really $$$$, really fast), but if she is going to require "all french twists" , then she should pay.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
I don't understand the allure of adult woman looking identical. What looks good on one woman for hair/ make up may not (probably will not) look good for all!In every wedding I've been in, I've had the OPTION of getting my hair and make up done (and I paid), but I was able to choose the style/ colors.I don't think it's wrong for a bride NOT to pay for her BMs hair/ make up (that gets really $$$$, really fast), but if she is going to require "all french twists" , then she should pay.
imLissy imLissy 5 years
well you can do like one of my bridesmaids and not bring the money the day of or pay me back :) she didn't do it on purpose, I know she forgot, that's just the way she is. Feel bad bugging her about it though, but I also feel bad for the other two bridesmaids who didn't get their hair and makeup done and the one that did and paid.
imLissy imLissy 5 years
well you can do like one of my bridesmaids and not bring the money the day of or pay me back :)she didn't do it on purpose, I know she forgot, that's just the way she is. Feel bad bugging her about it though, but I also feel bad for the other two bridesmaids who didn't get their hair and makeup done and the one that did and paid.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
I made sure that my bridesmaids knew how much they'd have to pay for everything and if they didn't want to pay, I didn't mind if they went with something they could afford. My mom and sister both wanted to have their hair done with me at the salon where I went, so they paid for that. But my cousin didn't want to pay for a professional manicure, so she opted to have my aunt paint her nails for her. As a bride, you need to remember to be accomodating to everyone's budgets and needs.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
It was really crappy of the bride not to tell you up front. In two of the weddings I've been in, the bride paid for hair and makeup. In the third wedding, the bride sent out an e-mail saying "let me know if you want to get your hair done by my stylist, it will be $X per person" so we all knew ahead of time. Having said that, I agree with Skigurl's first post, in that even if the bride's behavior was annoying and rude, I would probably get over it for the sake of staying with the group and not making a scene. Also, maybe she's only been in weddings where she's had to pay to have her hair done, and she doesn't know any better.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
It was really crappy of the bride not to tell you up front. In two of the weddings I've been in, the bride paid for hair and makeup. In the third wedding, the bride sent out an e-mail saying "let me know if you want to get your hair done by my stylist, it will be $X per person" so we all knew ahead of time. Having said that, I agree with Skigurl's first post, in that even if the bride's behavior was annoying and rude, I would probably get over it for the sake of staying with the group and not making a scene. Also, maybe she's only been in weddings where she's had to pay to have her hair done, and she doesn't know any better.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
I just reread the part about how nice it will be that you're done up in a similar manner...obviously this is something that is important to the bride, and I don't blame her for wanting a unified look for her girls, so make sure that if you must cancel, try to do yourself up in the same way so you look like the others. And if you're not handy at doing fancy hair and makeup jobs, either ask a friend for help or just pay the professional, maybe for one or the other (if you need more help with makeup or hair)...I would just hate to have that one misfit bridesmaid in my pictures with a way-off lip color or fuzzy hair or something.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
Personally, I would just pay the $175 and enjoy the treatment, but if you can't afford it, then I think your conversation should go something like this: "Hey bride-friend, I was just doing some budgetting and I was thinking I might just do my own hair and makeup to save some cash. What's the cancellation policy like? Is it going to cause issues or cost me anything to cancel at this point? If it's too complicated to cancel, then don't worry about it..." and leave the ball in her court. And if you do decide to do your own hair and makeup, make sure you do it early enough and time yourself so you're still there with the bride for the majority of the day and spend time with the group even if you're not dolling yourself up. I really can't imagine pulling back from the group though, just to save some coin. I would much rather be all together and doing everything as a unit, because it really unifies a group and makes the vibe of the day that much better, but I guess that's just me.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
Personally, I would just pay the $175 and enjoy the treatment, but if you can't afford it, then I think your conversation should go something like this: "Hey bride-friend, I was just doing some budgetting and I was thinking I might just do my own hair and makeup to save some cash. What's the cancellation policy like? Is it going to cause issues or cost me anything to cancel at this point? If it's too complicated to cancel, then don't worry about it..." and leave the ball in her court.And if you do decide to do your own hair and makeup, make sure you do it early enough and time yourself so you're still there with the bride for the majority of the day and spend time with the group even if you're not dolling yourself up.I really can't imagine pulling back from the group though, just to save some coin. I would much rather be all together and doing everything as a unit, because it really unifies a group and makes the vibe of the day that much better, but I guess that's just me.
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