Bridesmaid makeup for your unconventional wedding

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glamorous bridesmaid makeup
Photo by Dina Douglass of Andrena Photography

Sometime during your wedding planning experience there will be some phrase that sticks in your mind, wakes you up in the middle of the night, and makes you feel kind of crazy.

It might be something about your vows, your wedding menu, or your stance on kids at the wedding, but at some point, someone is going to say something that sends the reptilian part of your brain into a tailspin.

If bridesmaid makeup is the area that brings it up for you, it will probably be something a lot like one of these three statements:

I just want to look like myself!

natural bridesmaid makeup
Photo by Laura Dee Photography

This could be your best friend who doesn't want to wear any makeup, your college buddy who wants to wear her usual flawless mask of color, or your spouse's sister who for some reason is resisting the gorgeous swallowtail butterfly costume look you chose for her.

Any big change in how we usually look can be tough.

Resist the urge to tell her to get over it because it's YOUR day, even if that's how you honestly feel.

Instead, try reframing the issue.

Don't we all have multiple versions of ourselves? There's my badass-power tools-digging holes self, there's my forest-fairy-attending-RenFaire self, there's my retro-dance-party-at-the-local-club self. Which one of these is my “best” self? Aren't they all my best at something?

Your wedding can be a chance for your bridesmaid to get to try out a wonderful new version of herself.

Think of the pictures!

pretty bridesmaid makeup
Photos by Brynne Owen Photography

Your friends who usually skip makeup or slap on some lipgloss and call it done may get frantic over their bridesmaid makeup. Or maybe this is you, worrying that your girls aren't going to match well enough in the photos.

First, how about a mind change? The pictures are there to document the day, the day (and your outfit, makeup, hair, whateversauce) is not there for the pictures!

If that doesn't work (and maybe it won't), hire a makeup artist. A pro will be able to listen to your bridesmaids' insecurities and still come up with looks that will work out perfectly together in your photos. However good you and your friends are with makeup, you're mostly only familiar with your own face and coloring, whereas a professional makeup artist can see the bigger picture and has more varied experience.

Do we really have to wear makeup?

bridesmaid makeup
Photos by Rachel Joy Photos


No matter what, you have to feel amazeballs beautiful and badass on your wedding day. Whatever your definition of that is. If it includes having your girls coordinate with you from lip to lash, don't give up that dream too easily.

Once again, think about hiring a professional to come in and do everyone's makeup at your expense. This gives you more control, your bridesmaids can enjoy it without worrying about costs or their own makeup skills, and a professional makeup artist will give you good results even if there are a lot of differences in the wedding party.

But DIY wedding makeup can also be a perfect solution for this issue. Doing each other's makeup is a fun traditionally feminine activity, as well as a creative and intimate way to share. Bridesmaids who don't feel confident about their makeup skills can just have their faces painted, while those with skills can show them off.

Bridesmaid makeup can be as simple or dazzling as you choose. Click through any of the beautiful bridesmaid photos on this page to see more about the weddings. And let these tips keep you from missing any sleep over it!

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