It can be such an honor to be asked to be part of someone’s wedding party, but it can also be an unexpected cost. You’ve got showers and parties to plan, gifts to buy, and an outfit for the big day. Here’s a breakdown of some of the typical wedding party responsibilities and items you might need to account for in your budget.
Costs vary from wedding to wedding, but on average a bridesmaid can expect to spend about $1,200 or more to be part of the wedding.* This generally includes the dress and any potential alterations, shoes, accessories, and hair and makeup. If alterations aren’t a concern, check online, you may be able to rent your bridesmaid dress instead of buying it. Or, you may be able to sell your dress after the wedding to recover some of the cost.
In addition to your wedding day attire, you may be responsible to help plan and pay for a bridal shower and bachelorette party, which could include travel expenses and new outfits. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on these events—from using online travel discounts to dressing up an existing outfit with new accessories, there are ways to save money and stay within your budget.
In addition to the specific bridesmaid and groomsmen expenses, you may need to budget for travel-related costs, especially for destination weddings, and bridal shower or wedding gifts.
Sometimes, when you see all the costs add up, it can feel like a lot to handle. Don't stress. Making a budget and finding affordable ways to celebrate the couple is a smart move to avoid getting into debt.
And, if you take a close look at your money situation and realize that you can't afford the extra expenses of being in the wedding party—it's OK. Politely decline the invitation and think about going as a guest instead. It's all about finding the best way to celebrate while staying within your means.