The Essential Bridesmaid Budget Guide

While being a bridesmaid is an honor, the pre-events and day-of costs can add up. In 2016, the average cost of being a bridesmaid is $743, which excludes traveling expenses. Wondering if you’ll be able to stand up for your friend without going broke? Here is a guide to give you a general idea of who pays for what.

Dresses and Alterations

  1. Paid by: The bridesmaids.
  2. Average cost: $200
  3. How to save: Be sure you talk to the bride about your budget concerns before you all go dress shopping. There are plenty of pretty options between the $75 to $100 range. Another way to save is to shop online. Tons of online retailers have much more competitive prices that can cut costs by $50. Also when you are getting your dress altered, getting it done by a tailor instead of the bridal salon can save you money.

Accessories, Jewelry, and Shoes

  1. Paid by: It depends. Bridesmaids usually pay for their own accessories or use things they already own. But sometimes when the bride wants specific accessories or shoes, she should pick up the check and give those items as bridesmaid gifts.
  2. Average cost: Anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the style chosen.
  3. How to save: As mentioned above, using something you already own is the best option or borrow from a friend. You can also try online stores such as Etsy.

Hair and Makeup

  1. Paid by: It depends. Common courtesy suggests that if the bride absolutely necessitate hair and makeup for her bridesmaids, the payment for said services should come out of bride’s pocket. If the choice is left to each individual bridesmaid, the bride is by no means obligated to pay.
  2. Average cost: The cost will vary based on the location of the wedding and if the artist is traveling for the wedding. Big city artists usually cost more. You can estimate the cost per service to be around $50 to $200 per person.
  3. How to save: If you or one of the other bridesmaids have a natural talent for hair or makeup, it’ll save you anywhere up to $200 to do your own or ask one of the other girls to help.

The Bridal Shower

  1. Paid by: It depends. This could be a party the bridesmaids plan and pay for, but sometimes the bride’s mother or relative may offer to host it.
  2. Average cost: Depending on the location, food, drinks and gifts/prizes you plan on having, it can cost on average $50 to $100 per bridesmaid.
  3. How to save: You can save on the cost of the venue and decorate a cute bridal shower in someone’s home. There are tons of cute DIY ideas on Pinterest these days. If you are great at baking, offer to bake cupcakes instead of purchasing them from a bakery. Get creative and crafty!

The Bachelorette Party

  1. Paid by: The bridesmaids, but sometimes the bride will pay for some of her own costs (for example, if it’s a destination bachelorette party).
  2. Average cost: Depending on how big of a soiree you throw (and how fancy your bride is), costs can vary greatly. Most costs include everything from food and drinks to hotel and transportation. Be prepared to spend at least $60 to $100.
  3. How to save: Obviously if you go out of town, costs increase greatly due to travel and lodging accommodations. In order to save money on a bachelorette party, staying local is your best bet.

Traveling to the Wedding Location

  1. Paid by: The bridesmaids.
  2. Average cost: Depending on if you’re driving or flying, it can cost anywhere from $50 for gas to over $1000 if you are flying to an international destination.
  3. How to save: Start looking for flights at least four months in advance and be on the lookout for sales.

Accommodations for the Wedding Weekend

  1. Paid by: Generally, the bridesmaids are responsible for paying their own accommodations.
  2. Average cost: Depending on where you are staying, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per night.
  3. How to save: Usually the couple will reserve a block of rooms at a discount, which ought to help bridesmaid save cash. Home rental sites such as Airbnb are great options to find more affordable accommodations.

Wedding Gifts

  1. Paid by: The bridesmaids.
  2. Average cost: Most guests spend about $50 to $100 on wedding gifts. The general rule of thumb is to cover the cost of your meal and drinks at the wedding reception. Keep in mind as a bridesmaid your gift budget can quickly grow as you purchase something for the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party and the wedding.
  3. How to save: Bridesmaids can totally group up to give the couple one joint wedding present. The best part, is that if you choose to group up, you can probably get them one of their more expensive items on the registry that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to front.

Featured Cover Image: Patrick Moyer Photography{"url":"","count":27})


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