More Than Skin Deep: Solutions for bridesmaids in despair


Dear Scott: Recently, my daughter had a destination wedding. The wedding party and a few others had their makeup and hair styled by a person they had never seen before. One of the girls brought hairspray and shampoo, but the stylist refused to use it in her salon, stating that they would only use their products. Although the bride had a trial hair appointment, none of the others did.


It was very difficult to communicate with this stylist, and she would not listen to those of us who told her that we did not want certain things done. It was quite expensive, and I would like your input as to how we should have found this person in a strange town and what we should have expected from her. She was in control of the situation and we had no alternative but to go along with what she did and what she charged.

Scott says: It’s hard for me to say why other people do what they do.

Maybe the stylist was having a bad day. Maybe the stylist thought she was doing what was best. I will say on her behalf that it is hard for a hairdresser to know what clients want for a special occasion when the stylist doesn’t know anything about them.

So many questions regarding the “wedding ceremony” come up in my e-mail that it sounds like it’s time for a few modifications for the 21st century.

What is considered right and wrong has changed before.

Somewhere along the line, the parents of the bride got stuck paying the bill. Apparently, someone said that it wasn’t proper for a man to trade his goats and chickens for a bride anymore. Now the parents of the bride pay for the wedding and they don’t even get a goat.

Someone also came up with a bunch of other things considered proper etiquette, one of them, that a bridesmaid pay for a dress that she will never wear again and a hairdo she will probably hate. It’s a good-news bad-news scenario: You get the honor of being a bridesmaid, but it’s going to cost you.

I do have a couple of solutions to this problem. My first choice is a complete change of protocol. If a couple desires an elaborate wedding with a bunch of bridesmaids and groomsmen, then they should have to pay for everything.

We could also go one step further.

No more parents picking up the bill for the bash, either. I bet there would be a new wave of backyard weddings on the horizon.

The other solution is to do your own hair and makeup if you are one of the bridesmaids.