Bridesmaids Q & A: Money Talks

Did you know that in ancient Rome, bridesmaids were invented to protect the bride from evil spirits; Today, they do pretty much the same thing:

Modern-day demons: demanding in-laws, cold feet

We all have sat in our living room with our friends and talked about our dream weddings, sometimes even before we are in a relationship. That’s why being asked to be a bridesmaid in your best friend’s wedding is an exciting moment in your friendship. Being a bridesmaid is a big responsibility but talking about money can be awkward. Let’s avoid any confusion and have an upfront conversation about what bridesmaid are expected to pay for.

Our first suggestion is for the bride to understand the budget each of their bridesmaids can afford. Most bridesmaids are more than happy to spend a few thousand dollars on their friend’s big day, but not everyone can afford that!

TIP: If your bridesmaid is on a tight budget, think about paying for their dress or hair & makeup as a bridesmaid gift.

Traditionally, bridesmaids are expected to pay for the following:

Dress, Alterations, Shoes, Accessories
Transportation to and from the wedding town or city
Wedding Gift
Bachelorette party

These are the costs that the bride should cover for her bridesmaids:

Bridesmaid’s flowers
Lodging for out-of-town attendants
Transportation for the bridal party to ceremony and reception
Thank you gift to her attendants
Bridesmaids’ luncheon, tea, or party
Hair and makeup (if bride requires it be professionally done)

We have had several bridesmaids uncertain about paying for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Who is actually responsible for paying?

Bridal Shower

The maid of honor is the typical host of the bridal shower, but many times the bridesmaids also help with the shower and the cost of the shower. If this is the case, the maid of honor should be footing the majority of the bill; if not all of the bill. You shouldn’t be asking contributions from guests of the shower. However, make sure that you have a budget ready for the entire wedding costs being apart of the bridal party and if need be, plan a budget friendly soiree. However, with all this said, the bride’s parents are sometimes known to help with some of these costs. Keep and open dialog with the bride and her parents.

Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party is a time for the bride, her bridesmaids, and some other friends to go out and celebrate before the big day. Unlike the shower, the hostess (typically the maid of honor) isn’t traditionally responsible for footing the entire bill. It is completely acceptable to ask everyone attending the bachelorette party to chip in on the bill (except the bride). However, make sure that this is clearly communicated to everyone involved!

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