The High Price of Being a Bridesmaid


The High Price of Being a BridesmaidHer boyfriend popped the question and she said yes. Now she?s asked you to stand beside her as a bridesmaid on her big day!?Of course you?ll be one of her bridesmaids. It would be an honor!

Celebrating marriage between two people is exciting and fun, but it can also be stressful and expensive. Before you agree to being a bridesmaid, make sure to consider the costs and the emotional strain it may cause. Studies have shown that the cost of being a bridesmaid or attendant is around $1,600, or more if you have to travel to a destination wedding or for a long-distance friend.

Especially if you are trying to pay off debt or build an emergency fund, you may not be able to say to every opportunity to be a bridesmaid.

Here are some of the high costs of being a bridesmaid that you should consider before you agree.

The Dress

If you have seen the beloved [easyazon_link identifier=”B0015I2RT8″ locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″ cart=”y” popups=”y”]27 Dresses[/easyazon_link]?you know that bridesmaid dresses can range from flattering?to utterly horrible. (Just don?t tell the bride!) If your bride has decided on a bridal store dress, the prices usually start at $125 and only go up from there. That doesn?t include the cost of alterations or accessories.

Accessories, Hair, Makeup and Nails

You?ve paid for the dress and alterations, but now you still have to buy shoes, jewelry, a bag, etc., in order to match the brides? whim. This can be as cheap if you are able to use what you already have, or it could result in you spending hundreds to get the specific look the bride desires.

There is also the cost of getting hair, makeup?and nails done. Depending on your comfort level of doing your own makeup and hair, this can run you $35 or more for hair, and another $50 for a manicure and pedicure, plus the cost of make up if you have it done professionally. Sometimes brides make this the gift to their attendants, but not always. It’s safest to assume you’ll have to cover these costs yourself.

Bachelorette Party

This may not cost you as much if you aren?t the maid of honor, but the time spent planning, sending invites, coordinating between girls, buying gifts, alcohol, etc., all adds up. If you plan a big Vegas trip you are looking at hundreds of dollars, but if you are doing a quiet night in you might be only out $25, give or take. Plus, tradition states you and the other bridesmaids should split the costs of the bride during the night out for things like drinks, hotel, travel, and more.

Engagement Party

Engagement parties for couples are becoming more and more popular and are another opportunity for a bridesmaid to dish out money for planning or another gift. Travel is something to consider if you live far away from the bride. Pick and choose which you can attend. The bride will understand, especially if you are really close friends.

Wedding Gifts

The average spent on a wedding gift is around $50. That price only increases the better you know the couple. Not only do you have to get a wedding gift, but as a bridesmaid you also usually give a bridal shower gift. If you spent $50 on a wedding gift, $50 on a bridal shower gift, and include the bachelorette gift that?s about $150 in gifts alone.

Weddings are expensive for everyone, but costs tend to be higher for bridal attendants. It?s easy to rack up costs for those you care about. If you have a lot of friends you may have to pick and choose who’s weddings to be a bridesmaid in and which events to attend. The important thing is that you are aware of the costs before you agree to be a part of their big day.


Have you ever been a bridesmaid? How much did it cost you?


Photo courtesy of: Unsplash

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  1. I can’t directly relate to some of this (:->) but definitely some good advice for my daughter and her friends (and 20-somethings everywhere). I’ve certainly heard (from her already) just how expensive it can be when your friends start getting married. Makes a lot of sense to have a plan to keep things in check.

    • Kayla Sloan says:

      Yes! It’s so expensive to go to a wedding, let alone be a bridesmaid in one. I try to keep costs down whenever I’ve been in a wedding, but it can be hard to do since the bride makes most of the decisions and they don’t always have budgets on the brain when making those decisions.

  2. Kelly says:

    It costs so much, Kayla. I have tried turning down an offer once to avoid spending and it was too far away, so it was a good decision.

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