The True Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Let me preface this with the fact that true costs will change by wedding, bride and location, but here's some typical costs.

I've been in a few weddings as a bridesmaid, and I've been a bride, and I've planned weddings, so I've seen the costs of a bridesmaid from a few different angles. And let me tell you, it's not always a cheap thing to be. So before you say yes to that friend who has asked you to be in their wedding, think twice about what it's going to cost you, aside from any mental strife. For most, you'll be willing to pay anything to be in that special person's wedding, but for someone in economic turmoil (saving for other things, recently lost a job, unsure about your job, have a health condition, etc.) take these costs into consideration before you say yes:

The Wedding

Your Dress: $150-$200 (unless your bride opts for something more than a David's Bridal-esque option)
Your Shoes: $50-$150 (flats at a department store vs name brand..upscale brands not included)
Your Flight/Travel: $200-$2000 (depending on location)
Your Hair: $0-$100 (doing it yourself vs a stylist)
Your Makeup: $0-$100 (doing it yourself vs a makeup artist)
Your Jewelry: $50-$300 (Claire's vs the real stuff...earrings, bracelet, necklace and more)
Her Gift: $50-$200

Her Bachelorette Party

Your Outfit: $50-$200 (not necessarily required, but you know we all want to look good)
Her Outfit: $40-$300 (depending on if you're just getting her a tiara and sash or real clothes too)
Party Games: $20-$50
Event Location/Entrance Fees: $20-$500 (depending on if you're just paying cover or renting a facility)
Food and Drinks: $100-$300 (yours and hers...and more if you create a fun dessert bar)
Decor: $200 (this stuff is NOT cheap)
Her Gift: $40-$100 (anything from something little to lingerie)
Entertainment: $100-$200 (those strippers don't come free)
Transportation: $50-$500 (depending on DD's gas or a limo for the night)
Lodging: $0-$300 (are you heading home or staying the night in a hotel?)

Her Wedding Shower

Her Gift: $40-$100
Party Games: $20-$50
Food: $0-$50 (are you eating for free at her parent's home or going out somewhere you'll need to pay?)

Miscellaneous Expenses

Anything Else that Pops Up: $0-$300 (nail polish, mani/pedi, nylons, etc.)
Fitness/Getting in Shape: $0-$500 (working out on your own at home vs with a trainer)

So as you can see, the cost of being a bridesmaid isn't always a small one. Now many brides are conscious of this and do their best to reduce all costs for their bridesmaids, but others get caught up in their bridezilla moment and forget what it was like when they were in your shoes. If you are asked to be a bridesmaid, and think that the costs of doing so are not going to allow you to participate, simply have that conversation with your bride. A true friend will understand and not take it personally, or will do their best to make being in their wedding affordable for you. Being a good friend shouldn't mean losing your house.

By Hannah Goodman 01/02/2017 15:26:00

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