by: Lauren

The second edition of {Tuesday Tips} is for all you bridesmaids! Most of us are at the age when lots of our friends are getting married. But let’s face it- it’s also the age where we’re getting our roots planted, and not all of us are rolling in dough. This week, Jamie of Wed Obsessed shares a little bit of her experience as a bridesmaid, and how it might affect your wallet when you say yes to this duty!


Real life scenario: Your very best friend in the world recently got engaged and asks you to be her maid of honor! Without hesitation, you say ‘yes’ and happily tell her you’ll be the best maid of honor that ever lived…. Fast forward a few weeks: You are afraid to open emails from the bride-to-be, fearing/knowing each message will contain a link to a designer dress with a cost equivalent to the down payment for a Ford Focus!:)


Through some informal research* combined with my personal experience as a professional bridesmaid (been in six weddings, and counting!), I’ve come up with a list of costs you should consider BEFORE you say yes to being in a wedding:

Dress/Shoes: $150 and up

While some brides are becoming more flexible on bridesmaid gown choices, there are still those traditional brides who want every girl in the same dress, sometimes wearing matching or even custom dyed shoes. Be prepared to spend around $200 on your dress and shoes, depending on the choice the bride makes!

Hair/Make-Up: $100 and up

Some brides make getting your hair and make-up done optional, but some may require it! Depending on the situation, this can be a pricey additional cost that you weren’t counting on. Make sure you ask the bride about her plans a few weeks in advance so you know not to spend that extra $100 on something else!

Shower: $75 and up

Of the 15 former bridesmaids I questioned for this post, the average amount they contributed to throwing a shower was $250. Sometimes bridesmaids luck out when a family friend or relative offers to foot the cost of the shower. Other times, bridesmaids are expected to pay for everything. No matter the situation, you should plan on helping pay for prizes, games and a shower gift from you to the bride.

Bachelorette Party: $125 and up

Did you know in the UK, bachelorette parties are called ‘Hen weekends?’ Fun fact for you! One of my friends from Ireland shared that bridesmaids in the UK typically don’t pay for their dress, shoes, hair or make-up–since the bride has asked them to be in her wedding, it is considered a favor to her and she foots the bill! Incredible, no? The bridesmaids and friends, however, DO throw a ‘hen weekend’ full of fun things and foot the bill for the bride! In the US, bachelorette parties can range from a fun girls night in, to dramatic trips to Vegas–so plan on forking over a decent amount of cash for this occasion. :)

Wedding and Shower Gifts: $100 and up

Gifts are very personal and will reflect your personality, so this one is hard to really give an average price. Generally speaking though, bridesmaids purchase a gift from the bride’s registry for the shower and give a personal, thoughtful gift for the wedding. The nice thing is about a registry is there are a variety of gifts at different price points so you can pick something that really fits your budget!

Travel:$50 and up

I’ve flown to Boston and Malibu to be in weddings and had a blast at each of them! Travel is another factor some bridesmaids forget about, but be sure to consider the location of the wedding when you say ‘yes’–there is quite a difference between filling your gas tank to travel a few hours, and buying a plane ticket to the other side of the country! Also, don’t forget other trips you may make to go dress shopping, attend the shower or attend the bachelorette party!

Clothes, shoes, make-up and other bridesmaid duties: Grand total: $600 and up

Gym membership to be in your best shape ever for said wedding: $30 a month

Watching your very best friend in the world marry her soul mate: Priceless

(*All estimates based on personal experience/the responses of 15 of my closest gal pals with bridesmaid experience ‘a plenty.)


We’re always hearing about the dresses, the shoes, etc etc. So brides, try and be conscious of all your bridesmaids’ situations when choosing things for your wedding. And bridesmaids (potential or current), know what you’re saying yes to when your best friend asks you to be her bridesmaid. A big HUGE thank you to Jamie for sharing her experiences with us!


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Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

3 responses to {Tuesday Tips} Bridesmaid? What Saying Yes Means For Your Wallet

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  1. michelle

    thanks for this post! i was recently asked to replace a bridesmaid, and i kinda forgot about expenses before gleeful saying yes. it’s been 3 years since the last time, and i don’t remember everything i/we paid for. luckily, i don’t have to worry about all of the above expenses. but having numbers will make my budget happy :)

  2. La Petite Coquin

    Yikes! What a great cost-breakdown for bridesmaids (and for brides)! While the economy is a little slow, it’s great to know where you can trim your budget and help out your closest girlfriends!

    So delighted for the introduction to your divine blog!

  3. Aleah + Nick Valley

    Great tips! Same goes for groomsmen; most don’t really think about how much goes into their duties cost-wise and it can definitely add up!

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