Getting your hair and makeup done is always a treat. Aside from feeling like a celebrity for the day, it’s one less thing you have to worry about, especially when you're juggling other tasks for a special occasion. As it pertains to weddings, while it’s expected for the bride to book hair and makeup for the big day, many mothers of the bride and groom also want to experience this special luxury. And though there are no etiquette rules that hinder moms from getting their hair and makeup done, is it okay for them to book their own personal beauty team?
To help shed some light on this complicated, yet often asked, question, we consulted makeup artist Essie Cohen for her insight on whether or not moms are allowed to seek out their own services for the wedding day. Read on to learn more.
Meet the Expert
Essie Cohen is a self-taught makeup artist with over 15 years of professional experience in the cosmetics industry. She previously worked as a makeup artist for MAC cosmetics for over 10 years, and has since been fostering her own freelancing business.
Can Mothers of the Bride and Groom Book Their Own Beauty Teams?
According to Cohen, it depends on the circumstances laid out by the bride. Ideally, if the bride gets along with both mothers and is providing services for the entire bridal party, she will likely offer hair and makeup for each mom, so a separate team isn't needed. However, if the bride isn't providing on-site hair and makeup and is asking the wedding party to personally handle their beauty services, then the entire bridal party (including the moms) should feel free to book their own professionals. What's more, if the bride indicates that she would rather spend the morning of her wedding with a small, selected group of friends (without the moms present), each mother should respect the bride's wishes and make their own arrangements.
To simply break it down, though, everyone is different, so the best way to approach this situation is by speaking to the bride. This will alleviate any confusion surrounding pre-wedding prep and answer every question you may have regarding what you're expected to do. Cohen suggests approaching the bride with an open-ended dialogue, starting with "I am so excited for the big day and wanted to touch base with you on getting ready that morning. What are your plans for hair and makeup? If it wouldn’t intrude on your plans, I’d love to be a part of it, if it’s easy to add me in. If not, I’m happy to look into booking someone for myself." From there, you will both be able to sort through the logistical details and establish what works best for everyone involved.
Lastly, one important factor to always keep in mind is that your beauty timeline should never interfere with the wedding schedule. Getting your hair and makeup done needs to be completed well before the ceremony begins, and should never cause you to be late whatsoever.
Who Pays for the Mother-of-the-Bride and Groom's Beauty Team?
As with most beauty questions, there is no hard-and-fast rule. Some brides may offer to cover hair and makeup services in order to thank the wedding party for being a part of their special day. On the other hand, sometimes the mother of the bride will bear the cost of hair and makeup. “Usually the mother of the bride pays for herself, and sometimes the entire bridal party,” says Cohen. “If the bride is paying for hair and makeup, she’ll treat her mother as well.” As already mentioned, however, this will vary based on the relationship between the bride and both moms, and whether or not the bride has the budget to cover these costs.
When Should Mothers of the Bride and Groom Avoid Booking a Beauty Team?
There may be a few instances when a mother should not book her own beauty team, which will be determined by the bride's preferences and how she desires to spend her day. If having your hair and makeup professionally done throws a wrench in your daughter's schedule, it might be best to do your own beauty looks.
“If your daughter wants you there, be there with her. It’s one day, so go along with it,” says Cohen. “I often see moms want to use their usual hair and makeup team, and they end up missing part of the morning and you can’t tell the bride is bummed and stressed because she wants her mom there with her.”
Remember, this day is not about you. It’s about the bride, her partner, and the love they share. Hair and makeup shouldn't be a priority if it'll only stress out your child on the big day.
Pros and Cons of Having a Personal Hair and Makeup Team
If the bride has given you the green light to hire your own hair and makeup team, and you’re still debating whether or not to do so, consider the following key advantages and disadvantages of having a seasoned professional by your side.
On the plus side, hiring a beauty pro is the best way to ensure that your makeup will not only look good but also last for 12+ hours. “You’re spending a lot of money on this day [and] on your photos, and everyday makeup will not work for this type of event,” says Cohen. “It’s a long day. It’s gotta be weatherproof, photography ready, and minimal touch-ups needed.”
On the other hand, if you’ve never had your hair and makeup done professionally or if this is your first time with this particular artist, you may not love how you look. This can put a damper on your confidence and self-esteem, which may keep you from enjoying the day as you should. If you’re worried about this, you may want to forgo paying a pro and do your looks yourself. Alternatively, you could also book a trial in order to get a good idea of how your look will come together on the big day. “Do your research, have a trial, check reviews, and ask friends for referrals. Check out their work on their website and social to make sure their style aligns with your vision,” says Cohen.
In the end, a hair and makeup team is supposed to reduce the stress of your day, not add to it. If booking your own hair and makeup is more trouble than it’s worth, skip it altogether and do it yourself.