The Great Bridesmaid Debate - What Should You Expect to Pay For?

Hello Lovely Readers! Today I’m talking bridesmaids and their financial responsibilities as a member of your bridal party.

I see a lot of debate online about who pays for what, in terms of dress, shoes, hair, etc, and sadly I also see a lot of women falling out over it. If it’s true that money is at the root of most arguments for married couples, then it seems the same can also be said of you and your besties. So to help you out before it gets that far I’ve listed below the answers to your most common bridesmaid dilemmas when it comes to the costs associated with a wedding.

Though from the get-go may I advise that being clear with your bride tribe from the very start about what their investment will be, and allowing them the opportunity to decline gracefully if needed, would be both considerate of you and appreciated by them.

What should the bride cover?
it's standard for the bride to cover the cost of bouquets, transportation to and from the wedding venue, and a thank you gift to her bridesmaids. Optional costs may include hair and makeup, hotel accommodations, and bridesmaids' dresses.

Shoes and Accessories
Typically, each bridesmaid will be expected to provide her own shoes and accessories. The bride may give some guidelines as to colour, heel height, etc but this means they're selecting what they'd like to wear and feel most comfortable in which seems fair since they’ll be keeping them for future wear. If you prefer to have the bridesmaids all wear matching jewellery, you can select a matching piece to give the ladies as a gift and request that they wear it for the wedding.

Hair and makeup
If you, the bride, have the budget and would like the bridesmaids to all have professional hair and makeup done, you might cover the associated costs. If there's a large bridal party and the girls would prefer to use their own hair stylist or if the bride cannot cover all of the costs, the bridesmaids can offer to pay for their own hair and makeup.

Wedding Gifts
Yes, it's customary for bridesmaids to give the couple a wedding gift. Some bridal parties choose to go in on this together especially if they’ve all been friends for a long while and know the bride equally well, while others stick with individual gifts.

Hen’s Party
It's quite common for all of the hen’s party guests, including the bridesmaids, to pitch in to cover the bride's expenses. In the event a destination party is planned, guests will typically only chip in for an evening out rather than pay for the duration of the bride’s weekend.

This is the biggie that often causes the most drama, probably because it’s generally the biggest cost of them all, as well as bridesmaids being anxious about having to pay for a dress that they feel doesn’t suit them or they would never choose to wear. In all the weddings I have been involved with I would have to say that this particular expense is pretty evenly split between the bride and her ‘maids.
My personal thoughts are that if you know you are going to want your girls to wear matching dresses of your choice then you have to be prepared to pay for them yourself. If however, you’re happy to give them guidelines around colour, length, style and let them choose what they feel best in, then it’s fair that they should pay, as it’s more than likely going to end up in regular rotation in their wardrobe afterward.
You might even give them the fabric you’ve chosen and let them take it to a dressmaker to have it made up into the style of their choice, as this splits the cost between you both and gives everyone a say in the final result.

What other expenses should a bridesmaid expect to cover?
Most often, bridesmaids also cover the cost of their lingerie, a bridal shower contribution, bridal shower gift, and any travel costs.

The bridesmaid gig is not for the faint of heart, but they’re showing up and being supportive for you, the bride so I think it falls on you to make it as easy and fun for your besties as you possibly can. And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Sharing the greatest time in your life with those you love best.

Over to you readers. What are your thoughts on a bridesmaid duty? I’d love to hear what you think so comment below and let’s chat! Emma xo