What does a Bridesmaid pay for?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
5243 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

My bridesmaids don’t really have to pay for anything.  Most of them are choosing to stay in a hotel at our venue but they could easily travel home if they wanted to so that is their choice.  I am giving them the option of hair or makeup and i’m paying for their dress. 

Post # 3
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I bought my bridesmaids dresses, but there were only 3 of them and they weren’t super expensive. They were responsible for their shoes, travel to the wedding, and accomodations for the weekend (all were from out of town, two had to fly in). If they wanted hair/makeup done, my stylist was available & they paid for it themselves, but it wasn’t a requirement.

Post # 4
2972 posts
Sugar bee

It depends.  Based on what I’ve seen on The Bee, the bride covers all costs in European countries.  In North America, the BM’s usually pay for their own dresses.

My girls bought their dresses…except my sister (MOH) whom I paid for.  They were $230 each.  I also paid for hair and makeup, getting ready clothes, shoes and accessories.

Post # 5
2341 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
introester :  I didn’t have a bridal party, but I’ve been in a several weddings. In one, the brides mom paid for all of our dresses but I paid for my hair, did my own make up. In the others I paid for my own dress and make up. The brides never demanded that we have our hair or makeup professionally done- if that was the case I would have expected for them to pay for it, I just wanted to get it done.

Post # 6
656 posts
Busy bee

My bridesmaids bought their dresses, averaged around $300 after alterations. I offered to help out but they were insistent.

I paid for their hotels, hair and makeup. For bridal shower, they all split with my mom and Mother-In-Law and for my bachelorette they all split it as well. We stayed local just bar hopping for my bachelorette so I don’t think it was overly expensive. The shower was low-key, there was no cost for the room, just food (which wasn’t catered) and drinks

Post # 7
71 posts
Worker bee

I’m still planning my wedding. Only one of my bridesmaid’s is local, so everyone has to travel for the wedding and for my bachelorette party, if they want to attend.

My bridesmaids will all have to travel to the wedding, except for the one bridesmaid that lives here currently. The travelling bridesmaids will also need a place to stay for (at least) the night of the rehearsal and the night of the wedding. They are welcome to use either of our hotel blocks, or stay wherever else they want. They will need to wear shoes the day of the wedding, so they can buy new shoes or wear shoes they already own.

I’m going to Arizona for a “bachelorette party” with my sister and my best friend. We are extending the invitations to my other bridesmaids, but there is zero obligation that they attend. If they do attend, they will need to travel, get a hotel (we might air b&b depending on how many people attend), eat, drink, and visit the spa.

My aunt is throwing my bridal shower so they don’t have to pitch in at all. They are welcome to attend, but I have no expectation that they travel more than the one time for my wedding.

I am paying for everyone’s dress (if they need to be altered that will be my bridesmad’s cost), hair and makeup on the wedding day, breakfast and lunch on the wedding day, and any “getting ready” regalia if I decide I want that.

Post # 8
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

View original reply
introester :  my bridesmaids paid for their own dresses, but they were able to choose from any dress that was a certain color so they paid anywhere from $35-150 depending on what they wanted. 

That’s it. I let them choose if they wanted hair and or makeup done by my lady. I paid for the MOH’s hair to be done bc I knew she would want it but not be able to afford it. 

I didn’t have a bridal shower or bachelorette party, but my wedding was out of town for everyone as I live somewhere else now so they had to pay to get to the wedding.

Oh, they paid for the hotel room that they stayed in the night of the wedding with their S/O’s but I presume that’s normal. 

Post # 9
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

In the three weddings I’ve been a bridesmaid in, I have always paid for my own dress and shoes. The brides have always paid for jewellery (which was given as a gift to keep). When it comes to make up and hair, either the bridesmaids are given a choice to pay for it or do it themselves, or the bride pays for the services that she obligates her bridesmaids to have. In all three cases, I was given a choice and ended up paying for my hair but doing my make up myself.

Personally, though, I feel it would be most appropriate for the bride to offer to pay for at least one of the two services, even if she isn’t obligating them to take part, because even though I was given a choice in each case, the reality is that I do not have the skill to be able to do my hair appropriately for a formal setting, so the choice was really either look totally out of place in the photos or pay for the service and look good.

In my own case, I’m only having one Maid/Matron of Honor and no bridesmaids, so that makes it easier for me to be able to justify paying for both hair and makeup for both of us. If you have like 7 bridesmaids, obviously that would get very expensive, but it’s not the bridesmaids’ fault that the bride chose to have such a large wedding party.

Post # 10
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

I’m in the UK, so generally the bride pays for everything. I bought my bridesmaid her dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers, and handbag. Her hair and makeup was free because my cousin did it for us as a wedding present, but I would have paid for this if not. The only thing she paid for was her hotel room. I offered to pay this too, but she insisted on paying for it herself 

Post # 12
2617 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I only had one- my sister.  I gave her a dress color, and she picked it out and bought it.  She also paid for her hair, but it was up to her whether or not she wanted it done professionally or not, and we did get an amazing deal on it ($40/person).


ETA:  I think she wore shoes she already had…. I told her anything was fine as long as they didn’t have a bold print.

Post # 13
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m in Canada, but I bought the dresses and paid for h&mu. Shoes were already owned I think. 

Post # 14
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Farm

introester : I purchased the dress and provided accessories. I didn’t require make up; therefore, they did their own. I didn’t have an expectations for hair so they could do it themselves or have it done. They all did it themselves. They wore shoes that they owned. The dresses were floor length so I really didn’t care what shoes they wore. I was more of a laid back bride than most when it came to certain things. I did provide the bridesmaids with thank you gifts.  

Post # 15
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

My bridesmaid paid for their dresses, but they got to choose which dress they wanted (it had to be a certain color) and we all got together and they selected their favorite brand. I actually called around to multiple bridal shops that had the brand we liked to find the cheapest option. They ended up being $125-$145 each depending on the dress. I am purchasing their jewelery, they are getting their own shoes, and I haven’t decided about hair and makeup yet. I will have people there to do hair and makeup, but they will not be required to get it done. If only a couple of them want it, I will probably pay for it, or something, but we’ll see! 

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