My best friend has been asked to be a bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding. At first, she was very excited, but now the cost of being a bridesmaid has become overwhelming. As fun as it is to be in a wedding party, it can get pretty expensive…especially if the bride isn’t footing the bill. My friend’s cousin is getting married in a very lavish manner. Her parents are paying for the wedding so she’s not cutting any costs.
How Much Would You Pay to Be in a Wedding?
While it’s very early on in the planning, a few problems have already arisen. All of the problems revolve around the cost of being part of the bridal party. Before agreeing to be in a bridal party, you should be aware of how much time and money you will be giving up to do so.
Problem 1: The Dress
According to Mint.com’s article, “What is the Real Cost of Being a Bridesmaid,” the average cost of a bridesmaid’s dress is $150. That’s a pretty hefty price for a dress that you’ll only wear one day. Also, that doesn’t include the price of accessories (i.e. shoes, jewelry, hair and makeup etc.). My friend’s cousin has suggested renting dresses (which is a great way to score a bargain!) but the dresses she has chosen for renting are between $150-$300! That’s higher than the average cost of buying a dress! How much would you pay for a bridesmaids dress?
Problem 2: The Shower
I’ve been to two wedding showers in my life. The first, was for my cousin Rob’s wife Stephanie. It was a low-key event at her parent’s house. The bridesmaids all chipped in to pay for the event and since the food was homemade, there was no venue cost, and there were only around 30 people, it was a relatively inexpensive shower. The second, was for my cousin Alaina. She had her bridal shower at a country club and it was also paid for by the bridesmaids. Since this was a catered event with almost 100 people (men were invited) I’m sure the cost was much higher than the at home shower.
Normally, the bridesmaids determine the details of the shower. The bridal shower is meant to be the gift of the bridesmaids to the bride, but you do want to keep the bride’s style and interests in mind. According to CostHelper Weddings, the average cost per person for an at home shower is around $10-$15, but at a venue it can be a $15-$40 per person. That’s not a huge difference, but if you’re having an elaborate shower it can be as much as $40-$150 per person. Wow! My friend’s cousin is insisting that there are certain number of people invited and that the shower must be at a venue. Since she is planning the shower, should she (or her parents) chip in?
Problem 3: The Bachelorette Party
My friend’s cousin is planning a weekend getaway to Cape Cod for her Bachelorette party. They are planning to rent a house on the Cape and have a long list of activities planned. Renting a house in the middle of summer on the Cape will be very expensive. According to Mint.com, the average bridesmaid pays around $400 for the bachelorette party…and that’s just for one day! For many, this would be their vacation for the year. In my opinion, having a getaway vacation should be decided on by all the parties involved OR there should be no hurt feelings if one of the bridesmaids decides not to go. Do you agree?
Overall, the cost of being in a bridal party can be very expensive. If you are close enough with the bride or groom you should be able to discuss with them the cost of the wedding before saying yes. By asking what is expected of the bridesmaids you can prevent problems occurring later by either putting money aside for the wedding costs or by declining the invitation. I would suggest you only agree to be in a wedding party if: a) you can afford it and b) you are very close with the bride or groom. If either of these reasons aren’t applicable, you might regret your decision. If a bride is really your friend she will understand if you can’t afford to be in the wedding party and will be glad that you told her. What do you think?
You haven’t factored in travel costs, hotels, dress accessories, or wedding gift….
Dacia Daly says
Hi Kate. That’s a good point. There are definitely even more factors to consider when deciding to be in a bridal party or even attend a wedding. This is a list of the problems my friend has encountered so far in the early stages of wedding planning, so those matters haven’t become issues yet.
Bargain Babe says
@KateS Good point! There are so so so many expenses involved in being in a wedding. I’ve heard a lot about ways the bride and groom can save money, but not as much about how everyone else can save money. You just gave me an idea for a post!