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What Should Each Bridesmaid *Really* Expect to Pay For?

Find out who is responsible for the dress, accessories, and transportation.

Contributing Writer
earings
Photography by: Corbin Gurkin Photography

Being a bridesmaid can be a complicated role, especially considering all the expenses and expectations that go along with it. From knowing who pays for her dress and accessories to determining whether or not she should foot the bill for the bride's share of the bachelorette, decoding each bridesmaid's pre-wedding spending is no easy task. Here are a few of the most common money-related questions we've heard from first-time 'maids.

 

The Ultimate Bridesmaid Budget Guide

 

Who pays for the bridesmaids' shoes and accessories?

Typically, each bridesmaid will be expected to provide her own shoes and accessories. This means they're selecting what they'd like to wear and may or may not have to run it by the bride. If brides prefer to have the bridesmaids all wear matching jewelry, they can select a matching piece to give the ladies as a gift and request that they wear it for the wedding. Some bridal parties opt to wear matching shoes, but the girls usually purchase those on their own since they'll be keeping them for future wear.

 

Should a bridesmaid give a wedding gift?

Yes, it's customary for bridesmaids to give the couple a wedding gift. Some bridal parties choose to go in on this together so they can present a larger gift to the couple, while others stick with individual gifts.

 

Should the bridal party pay for the bride's expenses at the bachelorette party?

Yes. It's customary for all of the bachelorette party guests (including the bridesmaids) to pitch in to cover the bride's expenses. In the event the bride is planning a destination bachelorette party, each 'maid will typically only chip in for an evening out rather than pay for the duration of her stay.

 

Do bridesmaids pay for their own hair and makeup for the wedding?

If the bride has the budget and would like the bridesmaids to all have professional hair and makeup done, she may 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. Either way, this will have to be planned in advance so the stylist can schedule enough time for the girls to get ready.

 

What expenses should I expect to cover as a bridesmaid?

Most often, bridesmaids cover the cost of their dress and undergarments, shoes, accessories, and hair and makeup for the wedding day. The bride may opt to cover any of the aforementioned costs if she deems it appropriate. Additional costs may include the bachelorette party, an engagement gift, a wedding gift, a bridal shower contribution, a bridal shower gift, and any travel costs. Occasionally, the couple may pick up the tab for hotel accommodations.

 

What expenses should the bride cover for her bridesmaids?

It's standard for the bride to cover the cost of bouquets, transportation to and from the wedding venue, and a gift to her bridesmaids. Optional costs may include hair and makeup, hotel accommodations, bridesmaids' dresses, and a bridesmaids' luncheon (if hosted by the bride).

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