The Bridesmaid Dilemma

Friendship vs responsibilities and cost.

The excitement of being chosen as a bridesmaid can quickly become tarnished when they begin to consider the costs and the expectations of involvement in the planning process.

Whilst in the perfect world we’d all have a big squad of our besties to help steer us on the right course on the big day, things don’t always work out like that and it’s important for brides to carefully consider the makeup of their bridal party based on the likely financial outlay required as well as knowing who they can rely on to provide the necessary emotional support, not to mention those who can provide much needed extra manpower for essential planning and styling tasks as the day gets closer.


Look at bridesmaid dress styles early and decide on a sensible budget range. If finances are likely to be a problem or create issues for a potential bridesmaid then at least you can work that budgetary indication into a conversation and see what reaction it garners. If there’s a sharp intake of breath it’s probably time to look elsewhere, or put your hand in your pocket. With the selection narrowed down it is important to define what you expect each bridesmaid will need to contribute. Being up front with what you are thinking will help to avoid any awkward or confusing moments. After all you have chosen your bridal party because you want them to share in the joy of the day, not to created conflicts or concerns.

Here’s are guide to what bridesmaids usually pay for:

  • Bridesmaid gown – Usually the bridesmaids would expect to pay for this, however, if you are choosing a particular style or colour, or are expecting them to be attired in couture designs then it is not unusual for the bride to pay a percentage of the cost.
  • Bridesmaid accessories (shoes, hair pieces, jewellery etc) – Bridesmaids would expect to pay for their own if they can choose within a colour/style range, but if the bride insists on a particular option then she should expect pick up the tab. Coordinated jewellery for bridesmaids can often make the perfect “thank you” favor on the day.
  • Hair and makeup – The bride should negotiate a group rate with a hair and make-up artist that covers the bridal party and MOB (and possibly MOTG), with each individual then paying their own share.
  • Hen’s night – The bridesmaids pay for themselves and treat the bride to her pampering for the evening.

This is just a guideline and where possible you should be considerate and gracious when finances are involved. Being a bridesmaid isn’t all about partying and fun. They play an important role in the wedding planning process as well as on the day, assisting and supporting the bride, and making the experience enjoyable for everyone. Keeping them onside from the get-go and being conscious of others, their feelings and their finances will certainly result in a better day for all.

Image: Masterpieces Photography + Video


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