Bridesmaid Expenses: What Costs Should the Bride Cover for Her Bridesmaids?

What Costs Should the Bride Cover for Her Bridesmaids?

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Being a bridesmaid is an exciting role, but one that comes at a cost (literally)! Before saying, “I do” to her bridesmaid duties, she may be wondering who pays for what when it comes to travel and lodging accommodations, wedding festivities, and so forth. Here is a basic guideline to understand which bridesmaid expenses should be covered by the bride.

Traditionally, the bride should pay for:
  • Bridesmaid bouquets.
  • Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and reception venue sites.
  • “Thank you gift” for her bridal party.
  • Bridesmaid luncheon. (if hosted by the bride.)
  • Hair and makeup. (if bride requires her bridesmaids’ hair and makeup to be professionally done.)
  • Matching shoes and/or accessories. If the bride wants her bridesmaids to have matching accessories, then she should cover the expenses for those purchases.
Traditionally, bridesmaids should pay for:
  • Formalwear and accessories. This includes the bridesmaid dress, heels, alterations, and other adornments.
  • Hair and makeup for the wedding (optional). If the bride wishes for the bridesmaids to cover this cost, then it should be presented as an option, not a requirement.
  • Transportation to and from the wedding destination.
  • Accommodations. Generally, the bridesmaids are responsible for paying their own way.
  • Wedding gift for the couple. The bridesmaid can contribute to a group gift or choose to prepare a gift on her own.
  • The bridal shower. It’s long been customary for the maid of honor and/or the bridesmaids to throw the wedding shower. And bridesmaids are expected to bring shower gifts too.
  • The bachelorette party. The maid of honor should see that drinks, food, entertainment, and travel costs are split evenly.

Featured Cover Image: Emily Scott

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