The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

How much can you expect to pay if you were to accept the role of a bridesmaid in a friend or family members wedding?

Before saying yes and accepting this position, there are a few things to consider. Besides the time and effort it will take for the next eight to twelve months (depending on how far in advance you are asked to stand in the wedding), there is also the financial obligation involved. The following is a short list of items you should take into consideration before making that all important decision to include or exclude yourself from the festivities.

The Dress:

    The bride will most likely expect a specific style of dress and will be instrumental in choosing what you will be wearing. If it?s a lavish wedding and the bride has already picked out her gown, that would dictate the level of formality and therefore could end up costing you upwards of two to three hundred dollars (or more) for the dress alone.

The Shoes:

    Those satin shoes don?t come cheap! The bride in all likelihood would expect you to wear satin dye able shoes to match the dress. Shop around for the best deals on the shoes and find a retailer who will provide the dying service for free or at a reduced rate if the entire bridal party makes their purchases through them.


    Hats, special brassieres or bustier, pantyhose, hair accessories and jewellery. Normally the jewellery is bought by the bride as a thank you gift, if not, be prepared to pay for the items the bride picks out for you to wear.

Hairstyling and accessories:

    You may be required to pay for your own hairstyling for the wedding day. Unless you already know the styles that look best on you, the procedure would be the same as that of the bride. First find a style. Second find a stylist you trust. Third, do a dry run by having the stylist try the style on you.

The Bridal Shower:

    Bridesmaids and the maid of honour are required to host a bridal shower and divide the cost among themselves. Depending on what you have planned, this could be very costly.


    If you have children, you may need to get a sitter for the day. Do not assume they are invited guests simply because you are in the wedding party. If they are invited, you may need to make special arrangements to have childcare available during the wedding ceremony and reception since your job really isn’t over until after the dinner and speeches have wrapped up.


    Even though you have already spent a great deal of money to get ready for your friends wedding, you still have to purchase a gift for the bride and groom. A sentimental gift is best but most often bridesmaids choose to give money in an envelope with a nice card. How much to place in the envelope is entirely up to you as well as the standards and trend in your area.


Thank you note:

    Finally after the wedding you should sit down and write a nice note to the newlyweds, thanking them for allowing you to be part of their important day.
    After taking all this into consideration, you will be able to make a more informed decision and should be able to either accept or decline this invitation.


Author: Nancy Tessier
About the author: Nancy Tessier is owner of Bridal Basics and is an industry professional specializing in the design and creation of wedding related items.
For other articles, please visit her site at


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