What does it REALLY cost to be a Bridesmaid?

bridal ladies


So, you have the honor of being in one of your dear friend’s wedding, huh? How exciting and what a special honor it is to be asked!

Now reality is setting in, and talk about dresses, hair, makeup, gifts, shoes, jewelry, oh my! And the wedding is not exactly close to home, so now you’re talking of travel expenses! Don’t forget it is proper etiquette to help throw the bridal shower and bachelorette parties. As you can see, the expenses of this honorable role definitely add up rather quickly. You may feel like saying ‘Thanks, but no thanks.” And that’s alright too. But before you do that, I would love to share ways to cut some of those costs, but it starts with being honest with the bride right up front.


This is definitely a big portion of the cost to being a bridesmaid. Dresses are not generally cheap, depending on where you go. Factoring in alterations, shoes, accessories, you will notice it definitely becomes more costly. A way around this is to suggest to the bride, (in a friendly manner), that maybe the girls can wear different style dresses that still accent the wedding style, and fit the color scheme, while allowing you to pick out a dress that works for your budget. This also helps because not all body styles are the same, and what works for one, may not work for another.

Party, Party

You may be thinking, why do they need so many parties. Isn’t the wedding enough. Consider throwing a combined bridal shower/bach party. This may not work for all situations, but it’s a possible way to keep costs down. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the other girls to go in on the costs for these parties and gifts. I am sure the bride will be thankful for whatever you girls come up with.


Another portion of looking perfect for those wedding photos, while not breaking the bank, is hair and makeup. Don’t be afraid to turn down the bride’s hair and makeup stylist recommendation. Maybe you are really awesome at doing your own, or know someone who is. It’s alright to offer different options, just consider that maybe the bride still wants you there while she is getting ready, to be included in the “getting ready” photos. Those pre-wedding moments are very special to brides, so just be sure to consider her feelings on this.

Don’t forget the wedding gift!

In terms of gifts, some brides set a rule that the bridal party doesn’t need to buy the couple gifts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on what is expected of you. The bride may assume you already know that she isn’t expecting a gift, while you are assuming she is expecting one. ASK!

I hope these tips help, and if you have other suggestions on ways to cut the costs, comment them below! When it comes down to it, if you just can’t afford it, be up front, and don’t be afraid to tell your bride friend!


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