I was recently asked to be a bridesmaid for the first time and I am super excited, but also a little nervous. I know that it can cost A LOT of money to be a bridesmaid, and while I want to be there for my friend, I also can't really afford to break the bank. What are some things I will be expected to pay for as a bridesmaid and about how much will it cost?
Great question, Ashley! I think this is a very common problem for bridesmaids, but it seems to be something that brides and bridesmaids don't want to talk about with each other. Here are some of the basic costs of being a bridesmaid:
* The dress. The is the first and foremost, and probably most important, cost. Bridesmaids dresses can be as affordable as $100 or as extravagant as $500+ . If you are on a budget, make sure your bride knows this going in. Hopefully she will be considerate of your situation and will choose a dress accordingly. Also plan on buying new shoes to go with the dress (can't forget the shoes!).
* Travel. This only applies if you and your bride don't live in the same area. If you are out of her area, you will have to plan on traveling to her shower (s), bachelorette party, and of course the wedding. This means shelling out a considerable amount of dough for gas/flights and possibly hotel rooms. However, if you and the bride live in the same city (or relatively close) this won't be an issue.
*Showers/Bachelorette. This cost varies. Some brides expect their bridesmaids to throw them a shower and some don't (mine didn't). If a bride has a lot of relatives who want to throw her a shower, she will probably be okay if her maids decide not to. Bridesmaids are typically the ones who plan the bachelorette. While they don't have to pay all costs for everyone invited, they should make sure the bride doesn't pay for anything that night.
* Gifts. Bridesmaids should buy the couple a wedding present, and at least one shower present. However, if your bride is having more than one shower, you do not have to buy her a gift for each one. One nice gift will suffice.
What the bride should pay for:
* Hair and make-up. If your bride is going to ask that you have your hair and make-up professionally done, she should foot the bill. However, if she is fine with you doing your hair and make-up yourself and you decide to have it done, you as the maid are responsible for the cost.
* The hotel the night before the wedding. If your bride wants to have a girly sleepover with her maids the night before the wedding, she should foot the bill.
* Wedding jewelry. If your bride wants you all to wear matching jewelry for the wedding, she should pay for it and it SHOULD NOT be your bridesmaids gift.
Since the travel costs vary greatly depending on where you and your bride are located, the cost range is pretty large. Plan on spending at least $500 if you don't have to travel far, and as much as $2000 if you do have to fly to see your bride.
Hope this helps, Ashley! Good luck! Any of you readers have any advice to add?