The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Welcome to my newest follower, Sassmeister!

Back when we first got engaged, I grappled a lot with who I should choose to be in my bridal party. I had to take a lot of things into consideration... my relationship with these ladies, how often I see them, how often I talk to them, and of course... whether or not they could afford it.

It's no secret that being a bridesmaid isn't cheap.

According to this article, bridesmaids can spend anywhere from $500-$1500 in the name of the wedding. Here's an example:

Dress: $210
Alterations: $75
Shoes: $25
Strapless Bra: $40
Hair, Nails, and Makeup: $150, including tips
Travel: $300
Shower Gifts: $70
Contribution to Shower: $30
Bachelorette Party: $100
Wedding Present: $100

Total = $1100

The cost can be even higher if you're a Maid of Honor. But this girl? She's not a bridezilla. So what am I doing to keep down the costs?
  • I'm asking my ladies to choose any dress they'd like, as long as it's navy blue and knee length. I would never demand they wear a $500 dress of my choosing.
  • My bridesmaids will be wearing non-matching silver heels. I'm hoping they already own a pair... but if not, I've given them enough notice so they can score a good bargain before June.
  • Their wedding day hair will be paid for. My hairstylist will be doing everyone's hair, and is offering of a steal of a deal.... so covering their 'dos is no problem.
  • Bridesmaid makeup will be 100% DIY. My girls are adults and have been doing their own makeup for over a decade. They know what looks good on them and what will make them feel the most comfortable.
  • Travel is an unavoidable expense, but I'm trying to help out by having us all meet in the middle (that being Dayton, Ohio) for dress shopping. I will be paying for our hotel room while we're there. It's the least I can do.
  • Lastly, I have requested (more like demanded) that none of my bridesmaids throw us a shower or buy us gifts for the shower or the wedding itself. Being by my side is gift enough.
Let's see how these little adjustments affect the cost breakdown...

Dress: $200
Alterations: $75
Shoes: $25
Hair, Nails, and Makeup: $15
Travel: $200 (on average)
Bachelorette Party: $100

Total = $615

It's still a good chunk of change, but we knocked off a whopping $485! And since I'm only having 3 bridesmaids, I'm hoping that they really grasp just how special they are to me. It's not one of those situations where they are one of twelve and don't feel appreciated.

I love them all to death and am so proud to have them there for me during this time.


every little kiss said...

It's funny..I tried to keep the costs down for my bridesmaids, because two of them have to fly cross country, and another one has to drive like, 3 hours. All of their travel costs are well over $300, even the one who lives 3 hours away (she's staying 3 nights in a hotel). I gave them a choice of 4 dresses ranging from $160-$215. They all picked the $215 dress. I said I didn't care if they got their hair and makeup done, but I could add them to my "group" to get a deal if they wanted to. They ALL chose to get it professionally done. I said I didn't care what shoes they picked as long as they don't look like a hooker--they all want to buy new shoes. WTF ladies? I'm trying to make it cheap on you!

Plus, one of them got us a VERY expensive gift at my first shower. I think two of the other girls did too, based on my registry stalking--I'll find out Saturday.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to keep costs down! And like ELK wrote, sometimes the girls want to spend for the sake of beauty, haha!

Anonymous said...

I got lucky and found a killer steal on Black Friday for BM dresses. But, like ELK, I gave the ladies options to DIY hair/make-up and wear shoes they already own, but they insisted on getting their hair done and wearing matching new shoes. Ugh. I guess I should be happy???

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