(Closed) How much is expected for a BM to pay to be in a wedding party?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1186 posts
Bumble bee

I totally feel for ya with the financial pinch! I’m not sure where you are from- as there are different posters from different countries here. If you’re from America, most brides have the bridal party pay their own costs.

It cost me nearly $3000 to be in my sister’s wedding- between three different flights for bridal shower, bachelorette party, and the wedding. Then: Bridesmaid or Best Man Dress, shoes, alterations, hair-  of course-dresses for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. bridal shower presents, engagement present, bachelorette present, wedding present. 

Oh yeah, I also was expected to plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower and had to foot the bill for those costs too. So that included flowers, decorations, hall rental for the bridal shower. For the bachelorette party- it was the limo, room rental in a restaurant, and hotel room for a night.

It sucks, but it’s totally worth it to be there for a monumental part in your family’s life.


Post # 5
1088 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It sounds about normal (without the travel cost, that of course depends), but I dislike when they require hair and makeup?  I can do my own makeup well enough to not pay $75 for it 🙁 Can you ask if you can do hair only or neither?  I also dislike when they require special shoes, its so much easier to find inexpensive shoes on your own. 

Post # 6
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I agree that everything sounds about normal but I would ask the bride if you can have the option to pick a less expensive pair of shoes and do your own hair and makeup. 

Post # 7
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@becca83:  it’s normal in my circle. I spent $1k (just for me) to be in my cousin’s wedding when all was said and done. This included paying for my dress plus alterations, hair, shoes, mani/pedi, gifts, and travel (for shower, bachelorette and wedding). I’m lucky that I was able to stay with my parents to cut costs. 

Post # 8
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

That sounds about normal.  Even if you weren’t in the wedding, you’d still be spending the airfare, hotel, car rental, which is the bulk of the cost.  And you’d have to get a dress (if you didn’t have one) and a outfit for your son & husband.  

The only thing that’s a bit much are the shoes and hair & makeup.  Can you ask the bride if you can skip the hair & makeup and just do it yourself?  Also, the whole same shoe thing is a bit much. Maybe see if you can find a pair of shoes that’s less expensive but a similar style and ask the bride if that’s okay?

Post # 10
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@becca83:  Unfortunately I cannot afford to fly my wedding party to our destination wedding…and I asked them all years ago if they would even come to the wedding, given the cost…lol. Because I cannot help with that at all (figure 750-1000 per person for all travel expenses) I am expecting very little from them – I will just be happy if they are able to come in general. I don’t care what they do with their hair or makeup…and seriously they can all go barefoot if they so choose – it’s on a beach – super casual. They are helping me choose the dresses, and depending on the cost, I plan to purchase them for them. I havent told them that though…lol. If they want dresses less than $100 I will probably cover it…if they want pricey little get ups expecting to pay for it, then thats fine with me. If they would rather I just pick the dress for them, I’ll do that and I’ll likely pay for it as well.  I would rather see them get dresses that are beach casual wedding appropriate and that compliment my own dress, while being able to wear them again for any occasion.

So basically – I am really  not asking them for really anythign except paying for an awesome vacation that I happen to be getting married during…LOL

Post # 12
8669 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Well for me bridal party costs will always be $0. But where I am from the B&G cover the costs.

But given that it is different in other places I was under the assumption that the B&G are supposed to confirm a budget from each individual bridal party member and work with that.

I don’t count accommodation/travel costs as part of the bridal party budget because if you were a guest and attending the wedding then you would still have those costs.


Post # 14
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@becca83:  ugh, that’s annoying! I feel your pain. It’s not fun shelling out all that money when it’s not a comfortable financial decision for your family. Considering it seems like your brother is having some difficulty with finances, maybe he would understand if you said it’s better for your family to stay in another hotel. If my sister voiced this to me, I’d certainly understand! 

Post # 15
7685 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@becca83:  Is it possible to stay 2 nights instead of 3? That saves not only on hotel, but also on car rental and eating out costs (and 1 day less off work).

It all sounds fairly normal except asking you to pay for hair and telling you where to stay. (It adds up to a lot, but most of it is travel related). That, everyone, is why it’s a bad idea to give the BMs the option of paying for pro hair and makeup or doing their own. Because then it’s hard to opt out when everyone else is doing it. That said, if you’ve confident you could still do your own.

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