How much is your bridal party expected to spend?

Being in a bridal party is such an honor!  There are so many fun wedding festivities and you want your closest friends and family members to be by your side every step of the way!  But, your bridal party also has some expenses of their own just to be in your wedding.

Being a gracious bride/groom is like being a gracious host at a birthday party.  You want your party guests to feel special and have fun but not be put out and feel bitter to do so.  Same with your bridal party.  You want them to have fun, share in your joy, but not feel bitter towards you because the bridesmaids dress cost $300.  And can only be worn once.  At your wedding.

On average, a bridesmaid spends about $1,000 to $1,500 to be a bridesmaid.  A groomsman spends about the same!  Here is a list of some things that your bridal party pays for during the course of your engagement:

  • Bridesmaids dress – don’t forget about the alterations!  Or if you have a pregnant bridesmaid, her alterations will be even more difficult!  The average bridesmaids dress is about $200 and then alterations come into the picture.  Be a nice bride and pick a dress that is comfortable and that can be worn again.
  • Tux/suit – tuxedo rentals are about $250.  And the poor guys don’t even keep it!
  • Accessories – this includes shoes, jewelry,   shawls, etc.
  • Hair/nails – yes, being pampered is so much fun during the wedding festivities!  But it also comes with a price tag if you go to a salon. 
  • Gifts – the average attendant spends about $100 on gifts toward the couple during the engagement.
  • Travel – this all depends on your wedding location and where your attendants live.  If you have pre-wedding festivities, they’ll most likely need to request off from work, find childcare or pet sitters, amongst the usual costs of leaving your home for a few days.  Then there is airfare, car rental, fuel, parking, food and meals, hotel, and other miscellaneous travel costs.
  • Shower/Bachelorette/Bachelor Party – sometimes the cost of these parties are split between multiple hosts or hostesses.  But still, there are costs involved.

So, how can you be sensitive to this?  THANK THEM!  And be cognizant of their financial situation.  If you have a specific shoe or necklace that you want your girls to wear, let that be your gift to them!  If you are having a formal wedding with tuxedos and floor length dresses, then as a thank you, you can cover the bill for their accommodations and provide meals for everyone.  Plus, it’s more fun that way! 

My wedding was formal, but I let the bridesmaids choose how to wear their hair.  If they wanted it professionally done, then I would make an appointment but I was also ok if they wanted to do their own hair/nails.  Also, I gifted them their shoes and jewelry because I wanted them to match.  Oh, and my 7 month pregnant bridesmaid wore a different dress.  It was the same material but was cut better for her baby belly figure.  So, it’s all about where you are willing to compromise!!

Just being aware of these expenses shows how much of a friend these people are to you!  Not everyone would be willing to spend $1,000 just to be part of your wedding party.  So make them feel special too!