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The Costs of Being in the Bridal Party

032315-bridalparty-01There’s already a lot of politics that go into choosing your bridal party. Family relations, friendships, even your parents have an opinion about who should stand by you on the big day.

Add another consideration as you make your choice: Budget.

It can cost hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars to be a bridesmaid or groomsman. Each member of the bridal party is responsible for:

  • Clothing and accessories, including jewelry and shoes
  • Travel expenses
  • Attendance at parties and showers
  • Shower gift and a wedding gift
  • For women, hair and makeup

In most cases, the bride and groom arrange accommodations for their bridal party so that their lodging costs are taken care of. Some brides even pay for hair and make up for their bridesmaids. Others give wedding jewelry to their girls as a thank you gift.

If you’re a bride or groom with a friend on a budget, what should you do? First, be upfront with him or her about the costs for which the bridal party will be responsible. Be as specific as you can, especially if you already have an idea of where you’re getting married or what you’d like them to wear and what that will cost.

Second, be understanding if that person declines your invitation to be in your bridal party. If you can’t imagine your wedding without them in your support system, you’ve got two options: Find another less-expensive role for that person (reader or usher, for example); or discreetly pay for all or some of their expenses yourself.