There's no doubt about it, being a Bridemaid can be exciting - you get to stand beside your friend on her Big Day and practically participate in all the that come with a wedding as if it were your own.
But, do you know what else it can be? Expensive. The dress, the shoes for her hens party, drinks
and it's fare thee well pay cheque.
When it comes to who pays for what, the lines tend to be a little blurred. It's an age-old question: Who pays for the dress? And, how much can the bride to expect you to fork out for the frock of her dreams?
Generally speaking, there are three options: The bride pays for everything; the bridesmaid pays for everything; or, you split the cost.
So fellow bridesmaids, here's what you need to know before you say 'I do' to the bride.
Oh yeah thats me matching nicely with the ladies!
Should I offer to pay for the dress?
The general consensus seems to be a bridesmaid is expected to buy her own dress more often than not. So offering to pay for the dress isn’t something out of the ordinary and honestly, it's something you should probably expect.
That being said, this is not always the case. Often a bride will offer to cover the dress if they are dictating a colour or style, particularly if the bridesmaid is unlikely to wear said dress again. Plus, there are a lot of other costs bridesmaids are often expected to cover, such as travel or accommodation.
What about splitting the cost? Sometimes brides and bridesmaids are on the same page and can agree to split the cost of the bridesmaid’s dress. We recommend this, especially if the dress is being specially made for the day.
As a general rule of thumb, a bridesmaid's dress priced under $200 is considered reasonable. In our humble opinion, if the dress is more than $200 it is totally reasonable to expect the bride to split - or foot - the bill.
What about other costs?
Being a bridesmaid comes with other costs in addition to the dress. There’s the shoes, jewellery, accessories, bridal shower, hens night and even hair and makeup to consider.
This is where it’s important to communicate with your bride and make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to who is paying for what.
If your bride wants her bridesmaids to match and wear the same dress, shoes and accessories, we think she should offer to pay for at least some of the cost. Often this means that you’ll be either paying for just the dress or paying for the shoes and accessories together.
These days though, brides are often going for a more casual look.
For example, they might ask their bridesmaids to wear a certain colour in a dress of any style they choose, likewise with shoes and accessories. This makes it a lot easier for the bridesmaid to pay for. That way you can still buy a pair of shoes that will match the bridal party, while also making sure they’re something you’ll wear again.
When it comes to other costs such as the bridal party or hens night, often the bridesmaids will pool together to make up the basic costs. Additional costs for outings such as high tea are often paid for by the guests.
Generally speaking, hair and makeup on the day or at trials should be covered by the bride.
How do you bring up money with the bride?
Talking about money always sucks and we're sorry to tell you, this is no exception. We’ve heard of plenty of instances where bridesmaids have been left with a bitter taste in their mouth after being asked to fork out too much for a wedding. We’ve also heard of many kind-hearted brides who have been left paying for the dress because they don’t want to offend anyone.
The main focus when it comes to being a bridesmaid is communication, particularly when it comes to money. You're friends after all. Cost is something you should talk about upfront before any purchases or decisions are made. While the bride may have a vision in mind, talking about what is reasonable, within budget and suitable for all the bridesmaids means there are fewer chances of friction when it comes to buying the dress.
Sit down with the bride after she asks you to be her bridesmaid and be upfront with her on what she expects from you and vice versa. Your friendship will thank you for it!