It is an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but how much will it actually cost you? When you factor in every possible cost, from the dress to the bachelorette party to the wedding itself, it can be surprisingly expensive. Here’s our bridesmaid’s budget breakdown to keep your stress levels low and keep your friendship with the bride intact.
Bridesmaid Budget Breakdown
It’s tempting to feel so flattered you jump at the opportunity but if cash flow is a problem and the bride is not a very sharing person you may want to consider the costs to you before you accept. Here is what can be involved in being a bridesmaid:
- Bridesmaid dress
- Dress alterations if needed (these could work out even more if you’re pregnant too!)
- Shoes, jewelry and any other accessories the bride requires you to wear
- Professional hairdressing and
- Professional make up on the morning of the wedding
- Bachelorette Party spending money
- Wedding rehearsal dinner spend if required
- Travel to dress fittings, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and/or travel abroad if required
- Wedding present for the bride and groom
Hundreds and Thousands
This list is not exhaustive but it gives a pretty good idea of what’s involved and could come in at anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars and several thousand. A wedding abroad could cost even more due to overseas travel and accommodation, so it is worth taking all the potential costs into account. If the bride does want you to pay, it could work out to be more expensive than you think.
Who Pays and How To Compromise
Traditionally the bride’s parents would cover the costs of the bridesmaids dresses but these days most couples pay a large proportion of their wedding costs themselves and it has become more acceptable to ask for financial contributions from the bridal party. Unless the bride and groom are offering to pay for everything, it’s worth discussing costs and coming to a compromise where you are all happy.
If your little girl is asked to be a flower girl you may be expected to pay for her outfit. Luckily she won’t need cash for the bachelorette party so it’s a lot less expensive than being a bridesmaid, but you may still be asked to pay for her shoes and accessories.
How To Cut Bridesmaid Costs
Assuming the bride is in agreement, you can cut costs substantially by wearing a second hand bridesmaid gown, an informal low cost summer dress you can wear again, or even a dress you already own. For fashionably non-matching bridesmaids you can save cash by choosing low-cost gowns that co-ordinate in similar colors or styles.
It often falls to the maid of honor to arrange the bride’s proverbial ‘last night of freedom’, and another way to cut costs is to organize a low-key bachelorette party in a venue that is local to you or a casual bridal shower at home which can be just as much fun as an expensive night out in the city or a weekend abroad.
And finally, don’t ever let it cost you your friendship. There will always be a compromise and the key is to discuss it all and be mindful of everyone involved. The bottom line is the bride is special to you and she wants you to be a part of her special day. Together you should be able to find a way for that to happen.
Originally written by Kate Thompson-Confetti