Are you wondering… what do bridesmaids pay for? We’ll help you! Today we’re talking about that moment when you’re crunching the numbers, figuring out your max wedding budget, and a wave of panic sets in and you may be thinking:
• Do bridesmaids pay for their own dresses?
• Does a bridesmaid pay for her bouquet?
• Do bridesmaids pay for bridal shower?
• Do bridesmaids pay for their shoes?
• Do bridesmaids pay for the bachelorette party?
• Do bridesmaids have to pay for a wedding gift?
In this blog post, we’ll clarify exactly what bridesmaids pay for in a wedding so you know the proper etiquette when you ask will you be my bridesmaid.
This post was inspired by a recent question submitted to us by bride-to-be, Renee. She asks,
“Emmaline, I am getting married next August and I just asked my bridesmaids to be a part of my big day. Everyone said yes and I want to make sure I understand exactly who pays for what. What do bridesmaids pay for at a wedding? Who pays for bridesmaid dresses? Thanks for your help!”
So, do you know the answers? Here’s your guide!
What Do Bridesmaids Pay For
Let’s start with the most-asked question: who pays for the bridesmaid dress?
Do bridesmaids pay for their own dresses?
Yes, bridesmaids pay for their bridesmaid dresses. The cost of the dress is not the responsibility of the bride but falls on the bridesmaid’s to-do list. However, the bride does have some say in how expensive the dress is going to be. To keep things easy, select a dress you would love to wear and doesn’t cost too much.
These dresses from RadiantRooster are a great find on Etsy!
Does a bridesmaid pay for her bouquet?
No! Bridesmaids are given a bouquet to carry down the aisle and keep, provided by the bride. If you opt for something like an alternate — i.e. clutches instead of bouquets (love!), lanterns down the aisle (again, love!), or brooch bouquets for everyone — the cost falls on the bride.
Do bridesmaids pay for their shoes?
If the shoes are supposed to be a general color (black, navy, grey, silver, gold, etc.), most likely the bridesmaids will already own a pair they can wear. If not, bridesmaids need to pay for their own shoes. But if the bride wants everyone to wear these, be casual in a pair of these, or parade around in these, then the bride must pay for bridesmaids shoes.
Who pays for bridesmaid hair and makeup?
If bridesmaids want to get hair and makeup done, they pay for it along with the tip. However, if the bride is asking bridesmaids to have professional hair and makeup services done (i.e. everyone needs an updo) then the bride covers the cost of hair and makeup.
These days with getting ready before the wedding being such a big (and fun!) to-do — and a real part of the entire day’s celebration — brides are chipping in for bridesmaids’ hair and makeup more often. Sometimes, brides give hair and makeup services as part of their bridesmaids gifts.
Other times, they cover the entire cost of hair and makeup as a kind gesture.
If the bride doesn’t want to or can’t pay for bridesmaids’ hair and makeup, then don’t. It’s really not a big deal if bridesmaids do their own hair and makeup or decide to pay for it themselves.
Do bridesmaids pay for bridal shower?
Bridesmaids are expected to help plan and chip in with the bridal shower, given the host wishes.
If the bride’s mom, for example, is planning a bridal shower, bridesmaids should find out if she needs any help planning, decorating, paying for, or assisting with duties leading up to and including the day of the bridal shower.
Chipping in to the luncheon is a nice gesture, too, and should be offered to the host of the shower.
And, don’t worry — if you’re tight on funds, be honest and offer to help out in other ways (as outlined above).
Do bridesmaids pay for the bachelorette party?
Yes, the entire bridal party including bridesmaids and the Maid of Honor all contribute to the bride’s bachelorette party. The Maid of Honor typically sees to it that everyone’s costs are split evenly and that everyone is on board with the plan (i.e. a night of bar-hopping locally, a trip to Vegas, or a relaxing spa or beach bachelorette party).
Do bridesmaids pay for a wedding gift?
Yes, bridesmaids give a gift for the bridal shower and bring a gift to the wedding (i.e. from the registry or a gift of money).
And that’s it! If you have any questions about what bridesmaids pay for, let us know in the comments below!
P.S. Wondering who pays for the flower girl dress? Read this!