Bridesmaid expenses out of control?

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
2528 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Dress: I would say that’s about average priced where I live at least

Rehearsal Dinner: I’m confused why you’re paying for this…that is odd, usually it’s covered by the B/G or someone in their fam. 

Hotel: Expensive, but not “crazy” (compared to my area). The hotel we’re blocking is $199 a night.

Spa Day: Can’t you just opt out of this? I would. 

Rent a car: Just say no.

Post # 4
618 posts
Busy bee

Completely agree with beevincent18.  The cost of the dress is unfortunately pretty standard, and I agree the hotel is pricy but not completely crazy.  You should absolutely not be required to pay for the rehearsal dinner though, that is ridiculous!  And I can’t believe how expensive it is.  I would be tempted to opt out of it at that price.  You can still go to the rehearsal so you’re ready for the ceremony, but $100 for a meal you didn’t choose, for an event that should be hosted for you as a courtesy is crazy.  You should definitely say no to the rental car, and the if you’re paying for the spa day it should be optional as well.  

Maybe you can tell her which events you will and will not be able to participate it based on cost, and then explain that you understand if this means she doesn’t want you to be a bridesmaid?  But if you’re important enough to her, it won’t matter, or she will help pay for those things (like rehearsal dinner and spa day).  That’s probably what I would do.  Good luck!

 ETA: Oh I see, based on the fact that the spa day is actually getting ready for the wedding together – maybe you can ask if you could just get your hair done, and not participate in the nails and facial?  Hopefully that would reduce the cost.  $200 is a lot just to get ready for a wedding.

Post # 5
2528 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

pebbletots :  If the spa day is a challenge for you financially I would just talk to the bride or Maid/Matron of Honor about it. Maybe ask if you can only do hair instead of the rest? Or if you could do your own (if you feel comfortable doing that?). I’ve been in a few weddings where things are scheduled but truly not required…a simple convo with the bride might solve that. 

Post # 7
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Yeah I really think the best thing for you to do is just talk to the bride. You can explain how all the expenses are really adding up in addition to your travel expenses, and you don’t think you’ll be able to participate in everything. You can also ask for clarification regarding the rehearsal dinner. Since you got this info all via your cousin, I would give the bride the benefit of the doubt until you at least talk to her.

Post # 8
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Paying for the dress is normal. The hotel is a bit pricy but hopefully you could find another family member or two to share with.

The car rental is really not her decision; it’s up to you to decide how to get around.

Requiring you to pay for the spa day is unreasonable. The general rule is that if the bride wants your hair and makeup done a certain way, then she should pay for it.

Making you pay ($95!) for the rehearsal dinner is really beyond the pale.

Personally, I would step down. You’re not close to this cousin anymore and she’s basically treating you like an ATM. Why would you even want to be a bridesmaid in this situation?

ETA: Of course, talk to the bride first to verify that the cousin’s information is correct.

Post # 9
653 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

pebbletots :  It’s not THAT crazy but it’s up there.  HAving you pay for the rehersal dinner is ridiculous.  

For my cousin’s wedding, she made me pay 250 for the dress, which she made me buy a size to obig because “I would get fat around christmas”, which I paid 150 in alterations.  I spent 250 on hotels, she made me pay 150 to get my hair AND makeup done.  That is not including my cross country filghts for the wedding and bachelorette party.  Did I mention we where supposed to go on a bachelorette party while I was in town visiting family for 2 weeks inbetween jobs, but then she decided she was too stressed so I had to get ANOTHER set of tickets.  

So frustrating.  And she treated me like garbage.  It may be normal to expect these kind of things, but I don’t get why it’s considered acceptable.

For my wedding, my girls can stay with family, and they can either pick one of the 100 dollar dress I picked out of them or they can go out and find ons of their own as long as it matched the color swatch and it long and chiffon.  They cna do their own hair and makeup, but I do have a professional who can do everyone.  They are adults and gorgeous ladies, they can decided what works for them.  Personally I would drop out.  I would have done it wiht my cousin, but we’re family and I was the Maid/Matron of Honor so I bent over backwards.  But it ended up being the worst and most expensive bridal party bridal party experience I’ve had. 

Post # 10
929 posts
Busy bee

It does seem pricey, however when you accept the role as a bridesmaid, you accept the financial repercussions as well. If you cannot afford it, I would politely decline.

Post # 11
9595 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I would DEFINITELY turn down that rehearsal dinner. Thats supposed to be a hosted event. If Im paying for my own dinner I can just do it for 15-30$ at a restaurant of my choosing!

Spa day: another no. If its a requirement the bride can pay.

Rental car: no. Again if she wants it, she can book it.

there! I saved you $450 with the power of “No.” 

Post # 12
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would skip the rehearsal dinner all together. It sounds like you’re subsidizing other people’s meals at that price, no way would I attend that. Also see if you can just get your hair done somewhere else and get ready solo, meeting everyone for pictures later.

Post # 13
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

In order of most to least reasonable:

Hotel: See if you can split the room with someone else in the bridal party. You can also just do the night before/night after and stay with family for the rest. Also, see if there’s a cheaper option nearby. Let the bride know your plan, as long as its reasonably close, she shouldn’t object.

Dress: She should have consulted you, but unfortunately this is pretty standard to me.

Day Spa: $200 for hair, nails and a facial seems like a pretty good deal to me, but it should absolutely be optional. Let her know you’ll be forgoing this but happy to do your hair and nails like the other bridesmaids have it. Even offer to practice and send her photos. If she wants your hair or nails professionally done, she should pay for it. 

Rehearsal dinner: Noooooope. That’s supposed to be hosted. Let her know you’ll be at the rehearsal, but skipping dinner. A $100 dinner is WAY too much. 

Rental Car: Noooooooooooooope. She doesn’t get to dictate that. Last minute errands are done by volunteers or the bride herself. It’s not on you to be responsible for carpooling everyone.

As long as your polite but firm, and explain that you’re still in a tight position due to unemployment, the bride cannot object here without crossing the line. If she does, offer to drop out before you spend another dime.


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