Post # 1
The girls that I have asked to be my bridesmaids are ALL out of state from me! I’m in NJ and the closest one is in NY (followed by NC, FL, IL and China). I have not set any expectations with them yet, and honestly, I just want them to show up, look good (they always do!) and have a great day with me. What is the expectation for traveling bridesmaids? Dress? Accessories? Hotel? I want to be honest with my girls but not demanding. I really don’t want to have them pay an arm and a leg, but I’m on a budget as well. I’d appreciate any help! Thanks!
Post # 3
Hey! I’m in the same boat… bridesmaids on both coasts and the Midwest, and none in the same city as me. (Bridesmaids these days.) I think the “traditional” thing to do is cover hotel costs, no?
I decided I would cover their dresses, hair, makeup, a gift, and some sort of other activity (nails?) on the wedding weekend. They will then take care of their accessories, shoes, airfare and hotel rooms.
TBH, my mom was surprised that I offered to pay for their dresses–usually it’s 100% expected that they pay for it themselves. So it’s really all up to you… I know I’m not super helpful!
Post # 4
FI was in a wedding recently where several of the groomsmen were out of town (including us). He (as the groomsman) paid to travel to the bachelor party (accommodations at the bach party were paid for by the FOG), for his tux rental, to travel to get to the wedding, and our hotel room (which we split with another couple).
Post # 5
@amy3bryan: Same boat!
My theory is: what wouldn’t they have to pay for if they weren’t a bm?
I’m paying for their hair & make up (becuase I want them to be made up)
Paying for their dress (because i choose it – should they be selecting their own dresses, they could have paid)
The wedding night accom – becuase for them to be a BM they HAVE to stay the night.
And a thank you gift (kate spade necklace) & a mini day of kit.
The one thing i’d recommend is, think about what ‘festivities’ you would like as a bride (shower / bachelorette) & communicate this to them early on so no one gets upset & you everyone has time to organise themselves.
Post # 6
All but one was out of town. I didn’t pick up any extra costs due to my own budget constraints. I did offer to help where I could such as staying at our house instead of getting a hotel, borrowing our cars instead of renting etc. On that vein the only thing I asked my BMs to do was to buy a dress which they picked. Shoes, hair, makeup etc were all optional so that helped cut down costs for those who wanted/needed to.
Post # 7
@Nic01: +1. Great advice–like that rule!
Post # 8
All of mine are out of town except one. I’m budgeting to pay for their hair and makeup, but that’s it. I’d love to be able to cover hotel room costs but it’s not in the financial cards.
Also, FWIW, I’ve been a long-distance bridesmaid 5 times now, and not ONCE did a bride offer to cover any of my expenses (except my best friend who covered my hair & makeup). So I’m not sure where the idea of covering OOT bridesmaids’ hotel accommodations came from but that certainly wasn’t communicated to any of my brides! I’ve also never traveled for a shower/bachelorette (except for the best friend).
OP, all you can expect is for them to show up to your wedding, in the outfit you’ve approved. Anything beyond that is a bonus 🙂 And from them, they won’t expect much from you–anything you can provide is amazing, in my opinion.
Post # 9
My ladies are each buying their dresses, but I am paying for accomodations, hair/makeup, and gifts. Mine are all out of town as well, but all within a few hours of driving.
Post # 10
My girls are all from out of town (well, everyone is but FI and I) and I’m paying for everything for them (dresses, travel expenses, hotel, hair and makeup, everything).
Post # 11
@amy3bryan: My bridesmaids are in CA and I’m in NC, so I pretty much gave them the same requirements: show up, have fun, wear whatever you want. As long as you’re a laid back bride, the distance doesn’t really matter. The only expenses my girls incurred was travel (they paid for their flights), but everything else was either already purchased (i.e. dresses they already owned, shoes they already had) or taken care of my me (accommodations, food, activities, etc).
Post # 12
Me too! I let them pick their own dresses and shoes so they could pick whatever price point they were comfortable with. I covered their hair and we all did our own makeup. I got them earrings (which I DIYed super cheap). They paid their own gas/flight and hotel. I offered to put them up at my dad’s house but they all prefered the hotel. Also, we did the bachelorette party the night before the shower so that everyone could just come out a day early!
Post # 13
I was an out of town bridesmaid twice. Both times I got my own dress, accessories/shoes, makeup, travel costs not including hotel aka airfare/gas, etc, but hotel was provided for me for 2 nights both times — rehearsal dinner and wedding night (one time we had a bridesmaids suite and the other time I was engaged by then and it was my cousin’s wedding so we had our own rooms via our parents/aunts). I got to select my own dress both times.
Post # 14
- Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church
@amy3bryan: Honestly, I would probably base my requests on their financial situation. I know it sounds bad, but I had a similar situation. None of my 8 bridesmaids lived anywhere near to me. I knew they would have to pay to travel to the wedding so I tried to be extremely considerate when picking out a dress. I also found places that they could stay, either at my house, my friend’s house, FMIL’s house, etc. A couple of them went ahead and just split a hotel room but some were extremely grateful not to have the extra expense.
If you know that they can afford to go all-out, I don’t think it would be wrong to present it as “How do you feel about _______?” Give them the opportunity to just honestly say that they can’t, but don’t limit yourself too much just because you feel bad and don’t want to ask them.
Just know ahead of time that by choosing out of town bridesmaids, you probably won’t get as much wedding help as the normal bride, and you probably won’t get all the festivities (shower, bachelorette, etc.) Just be grateful that they get to come and be part of your special day. Anything else is just added fun:)
Post # 15
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@amy3bryan: If you can afford it, it would be nice to pay for accomodation for the wedding for your girls, since they have to pay for travel and dress. As a general note, you cannot require BM to pay for hair and/or makeup. If you want it done by a pro, you have to pay for it. I’m not saying you said anything that would lead me to believe that, but since we are talking BMs and etiquette, I thought I’d mention it 😀
ETA: for our destinaton wedding, we are paying for accomodation for the bridal party. They are paying for travel and most of their attire (girls pay for dress, I’m doing jewelry and a cardigan for the evening. guys paid for suit, we bought them shirt and tie)