At one time or another, you’ll probably be asked to be part of a friend or relative’s wedding. It’s an honor, sure, but one that can come with a hefty price tag. Recent studies find that bridesmaids can expect to spend at least $1,000 to be in a wedding — a cost that can quickly climb to $1,800 or more! Seem pricey? Let’s break it down.
First, the clothes: Bridesmaid dresses average out to be about $150. Add in alterations and all the extras — shoes, jewelry, hosiery, etc. — and you can expect to pay around $300. (Groomsmen don’t get off any easier, paying on average more than $200 for tux rentals.) Bridesmaids also often pay for their own hair and makeup on the day of the wedding, which can cost around $100. Factor in shower and wedding gifts (at least $200), chipping in to help with pre-wedding events (think: bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties), and travel costs and, well, you’re looking at a pretty expensive event.
So what does this mean for you if you’re planning a wedding? It might seem obvious, but be mindful of what you’re asking of your wedding party. If you suspect that members of your bridal party might not be able to foot a big bill, don’t require potentially pricey services like professional hair and makeup. Plan bachelor or bachelorette parties closer to home rather than asking people to shell out for flights and hotels. And offer options! Consider choosing two or three similar bridesmaid dresses at different price points (a subtle mix of bridesmaid dresses is on-trend anyway!), and give your girls a shoe color to wear instead of a specific shoe to buy. That way, they can find their own pair at a cost that works for them — and then dance the night away without worrying about paying the price later on.
Photo by Juliana Laury