(Closed) Average Cost of Being a Bridesmaid??

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 47
916 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Personally, I don’t think that travel/hotel expenses should be included. If the person is close enough to be you to be your Bridesmaid or Best Man, then presumably they would be going to the wedding/shower/bachelorette anyways, and would be incurring those travel expenses regardless of whether or not they are in the bridal party. 

I did pick out a dress on the pricey side for my BMs ($290ish), but I knew that they could all afford it. I let them wear whatever shoes and jewelry they wanted. My mom paid for their hair.  I don’t think that any of them had to spend too much for my wedding. 

Post # 48
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

View original reply
@Leprechaun: Not necessarily, I wouldn’t have gone to the bridal shower 3 hours away if I hadn’t been in the bridal party. In fact I was almost a bridesmaid for another Girlfriend and I didn’t go to her shower because it was 4 hours away and the travel cost was too much.

Post # 49
781 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Spent about $1500 as a bridesmaid for a wedding a couple months ago.  She had us buy any black dress and red shoes (so I can definitely re-wear it)….and had make up/hair done…mani/pedi…. shower gifts, wedding gifts….

The wedding stuff itself was probably only $500…it’s the bachelorette party that put it over…We went to Vegas haha.

I don’t think it’s selfish of the bride to ask people to spend money for the wedding…first off, as a bridesmaid when you accept the position, you know there will be costs.  And if I say yes to be your bridesmaid, I am down to do what you want me to do as long as it’s not completely outrageous!

Post # 50
4479 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I’ve never paid near that. Up to $200 for a dress, the shoes have never been over $80, I do my own hair and makeup, and I can’t afford to participate in crazy bachelorette parties or showers… the showers have always been hosted by aunts or whoever and I just have brought some food or decorations (not very expensive), I bowed out of the one bach party that wasn’t dinner/drinks because it was too expensive for me, so it’s just been around $300-350 plus gifts for the shower and wedding, which is not so bad. Of course, I haven’t had to travel. I’m traveling to a wedding for the first time next weekend and that’s $600, and I’m not even a bridesmaid, so that would drive the price WAY up.

Post # 51
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

$180 dress

$250 hotel

$50 travel

$100 gift

$50 shoes

$500 time off of work!


It’s expensive… I really don’t want to be anyones brides maid again in life if I can help it.



Post # 52
6891 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I’m sorry but I am too broke to be a bridesmaid if THAT is the average. My girls will have spent, I would guess, less than $300 to be in my wedding.


Dress – $150

Shoes – I told them, black heels. If you already have some? Great. If you want to buy them for $10 or $100 that is up to them.

Hair – I said they could DIY it if they wanted, or the hairstylist will charge about $75.

Makeup – All DIY. I’m doing my own, so are they.

Bachelorette – MAYBE $40-$50 per.

Shower – I would guess $25 each? My Mom is helping out a lot too.

Post # 53
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

Holy shit. I haven’t been a bridesmaid but wow, that’s expensive! I’m only having a Maid/Matron of Honor (my sister) and she likely won’t have to shell out any money unless she chooses to buy me a wedding gift. I’m forgoing showers and other parties. She’ll be allowed to wear a black dress and shoes of her choosing, so she may not have to spend money at all as I’m sure she has a LBD in her closet. I’m not sure if I’ll have hair and makeup done but if I do I’d foot the bill for her. No travel cost because she lives in the same town.

So she may or may not choose to buy a new outfit (that she’d wear again, I’m sure) and a wedding gift. That’s it.

Post # 54
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My girls are just paying for their transportation (two have to travel) and hotels.  I bought their dresses and am telling them to wear a pair of nude shoes they already own. 

I told them that I didn’t want any showers or bachelorette parties.

Post # 55
4369 posts
Honey bee

Lets see:

Dress- $300 

Alterations- $50

Shower (w/travel & gift)- $400

Bach party (w/ travel)- $400

Wedding travel- $500

Makeup & hair- $150

GRAND TOTAL (Est)– $1800

I estimated a little high, but it’s within range. I guess I’ll be spending $1500-1800.

Post # 56
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I was a bridesmaid in my mom’s wedding. We bought black dresses super cheap at Kohls and I spent $50 to get my hair done by a hairdresser who is a family friend. My sister (she’s gifted at doing makeup) did my make-up and we got my shoes for about $30. With the gift I gave her at her bridal shower, I’d say the cost of being a bridesmaid was about $100-150 for my particular situation.

Of course I didn’t have to pay for my own flowers and they had a short engagement so there wasn’t any destination trips, except for an engagement/pre-wedding dinner for the wedding party. Everything was was pretty simple, but fun and reasonable for her maids of honor as well. My mom let us pick out their own black dresses and silver shoes–so the budget was in our hands.

I think it really depends on what kind of wedding it is and what the circumstances are, afterall, mine was family 🙂

Just for fun, here I am as a bridesmaid:

Post # 57
1231 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@atalante: haha, I guess at the time it wasn’t very funny, but now it is. It wasn’t even the wedding it was my ride. We sat in traffic for HOURS and the people I was riding with fought the whole way. LOL 🙂

Post # 58
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I paid about $1200 for a wedding I was in last year. I was Maid/Matron of Honor. Between the dress, travel expenses to go to everything that I needed to go to (including driving back and forth 3 times to pick out a dress, have it altered and pick it up once done in a town 1 1/2 hours away at a privat bridal salon), paying for 90% of the bachelorette party, hotel, hair, make-up, bridal shower and wedding gifts. At the time I had no problem doing it, but when the bride said to me after that there was absolutly no way I could have spent that much money and that I was lying, I was hurt and we are no longer friends.

Another wedding I spent about $500. That was for a dress, hotel, gifts, hair and bachelorette party.

I have only asked my BM’s to buy their dresses and help with the bachelorette party.  I am letting them pick out shoes, jewelry, if they want to get their hair and make-up done.  I’m trying to let them choose because this is money they are spending on things they will keep, so why not let them get what they want.  it’s not going to ruin my day if they wear a pair of shoes that aren’t my taste.

Post # 59
516 posts
Busy bee

I about to be a bmaid (for the first time) TWICE in a 6-month period, and I’m terrified!

1) I live across the country from my friends

2) One wants to have her bachelorette party in NYC (I live in LA), and other other in Miami

3) One wedding is in LV (an easy drive for me), and the other is in Punta Cana!

I love my girls dearly, but I am secretly sweating.

Post # 60
2424 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I spent about $1000 on the wedding I was in this past fall. And this was an extremely low-key bride!

Break down:
Dress: $190 (including shipping to my house)
Travel: $360
Hotel for 2 nights: $200
Pro make-up (optional): $70
Wedding present: $200

Total: $1020

Post # 61
120 posts
Blushing bee

Last wedding I was in:

Bachelorette party to Vegas (hotel and air fare) – $670

Food & entertainment in Vegas – $350

Mini bridal shower – $40

Bridal shower gift – $50

Shoes – $75

Wedding gift (this isn’t really part of the cost of being a Bridesmaid or Best Man though) – $300

~$1500 total.

My thoughts on this is that if it’s a good friend, then I have no problem whatsoever spending quite a bit of dough. And ideally, I would only say yes to being a bridesmaid if I was really close to the bride (and they wouldn’t even ask me if I wasn’t close to begin with). Also, I had so much fun going to Vegas, partying with my girls, etc. that it was just as much of a vacation for me as everyone else. My friend (the bride) was very thoughtful about this whole process and made sure everyone was on the same page. She’d never pushed to have everyone spend this amount if it would be difficult for them. She also gifted us our Bridesmaid or Best Man dress from J. Crew, which was $250 each, and she also paid for our hair to be done. We all did our own makeup.

Think the older you get, you have to be wiser about being a bridesmaid if someone asks you. Because it does take a lot of time and resources, but if she’s truly a good friend, then I couldn’t ever imagine saying no. If anything, it’s an honor for me to be a part of their big day, and there’s no pricetag on that.

Other weddings I’ve been in were much more modest, and they were just as beautiful and fun to be a part of. It really just depends! I do think the bride does have some responsbility to get a feel for what’s possible for her girls to spend (time & money), and to plan according to that.



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