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I’m a Bridesmaid, What Will it Cost?


What does it really cost to be the perfect Bridesmaid? So your best friend is getting married! YAY! And she has asked you to be a bridesmaid…How exciting! Before you accept, there are a few things to consider. While it’s an incredible honor to be in a friend or loved one’s wedding. The cost of being a bridesmaid is more than you think. There are plenty of hidden monetary expenses as well as the time and emotional energy that goes into being a bridesmaid. What does it really cost to be the perfect Bridesmaid? Well, that’s a great question. In this Blog, our team at Complete Weddings + Events Sarasota will run through a list of things to consider BEFORE you say yes!


I’m a Bridesmaid, what will it cost?

You might think the bridesmaid dress is the most expensive and only part of being at a friend’s wedding. Turns out it’s just a small percentage of the wedding expenses associated with bridesmaid duties. Wedding Wire estimates that the average cost of being a bridesmaid is $1200!

Ok, I got the dress, now what?

  • Alterations: Unless you’re paying big bucks to order a perfectly-fitted gown, most bridesmaid dresses are not custom-made. Nearly all bridesmaids will have to get their dresses altered in some way—shortened, taken in, straps added, etc. The cost of these alterations can quickly drive up the overall cost of the dress and should be considered when purchasing.
  • Parties: Bridesmaids are expected to throw the bride several different parties. That often means buying or making treats for the engagement party, party favors for the bridal shower, raunchy decorating for the bachelorette party, and more. Many brides are opting for destination bachelorette parties, too. A night out is one thing, but a weekend away is another and can quickly break the bank if you haven’t prepared for the expense.
  • Accommodation: Even if you live in town, most brides want their ‘maids near them the night before the wedding. This means that most bridesmaids will have to pay for 1-2 nights in a hotel.
  • Hair, Makeup, and Accessories: Some brides will want the bridal party to get their hair, makeup, and nails done together for the wedding. They might also insist on matching accessories and shoes. Altogether, these expenses can match or exceed the cost of a dress.

While these expenses vary by the wedding, it’s easy to see how bridesmaid duties can be quite expensive. Start saving early for the cost of being a bridesmaid so you’re not struck by all the expenses at once!

You also need to consider the Mental “Expenses” of Being the perfect Bridesmaid:

Okay, so you’ve crunched the numbers and are prepared for the financial cost of being a bridesmaid. Great! It’s also important to be prepared for the mental “expenses” as well. Fulfilling your bridesmaid duties requires a lot of time and planning. You’ll need to be emotionally invested in helping the bride achieve her vision of the big day throughout the planning period. Bridesmaids should help diffuse the stress of preparation and make it as easy as possible for the bride to make decisions. It’s also your job as an attendant to be patient when (yes, when) the bride has a freakout. Or two. Or three. It’s all part of the experience.

Be there as a sounding board, support, a shoulder to cry on sometimes even if needed. A wedding can be such a roller coaster of emotions and you have been trusted to be the Brides support system. Let’s face it being a bridesmaid is a great honor but will require quite a bit of your time! Below is a breakdown of all the duties a perfect bridesmaid needs to know…

Before the Wedding

Be there for the bride:

We all know planning a wedding can be stressful, so a big bridesmaid’s responsibility is simply lending a helping hand or attentive ear to the bride when she needs it. Your support will mean everything to the bride. Even when maybe you don’t love the dress she chose for you or her centerpieces remember that it’s her day!

Be that sounding board for the couple to bounce ideas off of. Look at the Bride’s Pinterest board and give her feedback if she asks. Wedding planning can be overwhelming at times, she will appreciate having a friend or friends to lean on for support.

Go wedding dress shopping with the bride-to-be.

Wedding dress shopping is a unique experience for every bride and the number of people in the entourage will likely differ from bride to bride. However, it can be a lot of fun the bride wants you to attend. Just remember, be supportive and positive!

Help plan and organize the bridal shower and bachelorette party

While planning most of the pre-wedding events falls onto the maid of honor, keeping track of details can be incredibly overwhelming, so add “offering event planning assistance” to your list of bridesmaid duties.

Attend pre-wedding events

One of the best and easiest items on how to be a perfect bridesmaid list is celebrating with the bride-to-be. So try to be available to participate in the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and especially rehearsal dinner.

Buy a wedding gift

It’s proper wedding etiquette for guests to buy the couple a wedding gift. With all the other details of being a bridesmaid, try not to let this fall by the wayside.

Hair and Makeup

Many brides will hire hair and makeup people or schedule a day at a salon for bridesmaids to get professionally coiffed and made up before the wedding. If you choose to partake in this hair and makeup session, expect to pay for the cost yourself.

Wedding Day:

The big day is here! As a bridesmaid, you should help ensure everything goes smoothly for the bride, her maid of honor, and the majority of the wedding guests. Try to be prepared for anything and everything.

Get Ready With the Bride

Bridesmaids should plan on showing up at the designated getting-ready location on time, with all of their gear (bridesmaid attire, shoes, jewelry, makeup, undergarments, etc.) in hand. Besides getting themselves aisle-ready, the bridesmaids should do whatever they can to assist the bride during this time, such as:

  • Keeping her smiling, laughing, calm, and collected
  • Answering any incoming texts, calls, or logistical questions for her
  • Making sure she eats something and stays hydrated
  • Pouring celebratory bubbly for everyone to enjoy
  • Keeping hair and/or makeup appointments on track
  • Helping her into her dress
  • Assisting her with her shoes, jewelry, or veil

Be the bride’s support crew

To be the perfect Bridesmaid you should embody the concept of being the support crew for the bride and the maid of honor in any way you can during the big day. They can also serve as a point of contact for guests and vendors when it’s helpful.  Double-check that all members of the wedding party and any special family members have their personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, flower crowns, or toss petals).

Assist with pinning on boutonnieres or other floral accessories as needed. You can also help guests navigate the venue, such as directing them to parking areas, bathrooms, handicap access, exits, and if applicable, the bar or refreshments station.

Participate in the Ceremony

Bridesmaids should be in place at the ceremony venue on time, (most likely hidden out of sight), and ready for their cues to process down the aisle. Keep chatter to a minimum and be respectful of the planner, officiant, or whoever is running the show. Be ready for group photos directly after, and help point guests in the right direction for the cocktail hour.

The DJ can help as well. Don’t be afraid to ask him to make announcements and have him help direct guests, that’s what he is there for. Our team DJ with Complete Weddings + Events Melbourne is used to this and will have a full timeline of events and where to direct guests.

Be the Perfect Wedding Guests

Another thing you can do is throughout the night encourage guests to participate in the festivities, whether it be signing the guestbook or using the photo booth. You should mingle and chat with other guests, enjoy the food and drinks offered, sit down at their dinner table when asked. You should also participate in guest-related activities like signing the guestbook or visiting the photo booth, listen to, applaud, and/or give any speeches (that have been pre-arranged), witness the special dances, and boogie down (tastefully) when it’s dance floor time.

Maintain a Stress-Free Send-off

Finally, the perfect bridesmaid should help the maid of honor, coordinator, or the couple’s parents assemble any items then need to be transported out of the reception venue at the end of the night. This might include:

  • Any getting-ready clothing or gear
  • Extra/unused ceremony programs, favors, or sparklers
  • Leftover alcohol
  • Any decor or signage that was personally provided (not rented)
  • The bride and/or bridesmaids’ bouquets
  • Wedding cards and gifts
  • The guest book
  • Special toasting flutes, cake servers, or cake plate
  • A basket of late-night leftovers (packaged by the caterer)
  • The top tier of the wedding cake
  • A few slices of late-night wedding cake (packaged by the caterer)
  • The bride and/or groom’s wedding attire, if they’ve changed into getaway clothes
  • Make sure all guests make it onto the right shuttle buses, find their cars, or otherwise make it safely out of the venue.
  • Hand out pre-addressed tip envelopes to the vendors.
  • Make sure the bride and/or groom’s overnight bags make it to their wedding night hotel room.
  • Organize guests to the after-party, if there is one.

Weddings are expensive and can be a lot of work, but they’re also SO fun and memorable! We hope that this Blog on what does it really cost to be the perfect Bridesmaid prepares you for what exactly your friend or family member is asking of you. But remember, you’ll make incredible memories being a part of their best day ever!!! You’ll also probably meet some awesome new friends through the planning stages and hanging out with the rest of the bridal party. At the end of the day, the couple will be SO thankful that you were a part of their big day—and that’s priceless.

About Complete Weddings and Events in Melbourne FL

If you’re looking to tie the knot or throw an epic event, you have come to the right place. Complete Weddings + Events in Melbourne FL will help you find the right event or wedding photographer, videographer, and DJ to throw a phenomenal party, plus we have a fun photo booth and lighting rentals to elevate your event and give you the type of unforgettable experience you’re looking for. When you party with Complete Weddings and Events, it’s completely about you! Offering the best wedding services in the area.

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Complete Weddings + Events, Melbourne’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, DJ services, coordination, & photo booth rental.

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