To avoid any confusion, here is a list of what bridesmaids should and shouldn’t pay for when it comes to their bestie’s wedding. If money is tight for the bride and the bridesmaids, take a look at my suggestions on how costs can be shared and saved.
Bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories
Who pays? Generally, bridesmaids will pay for their own dresses, but if there is a compulsory matching accessory (like shoes, a cardigan or earrings) the bride should cover those costs.
Money saving tip #1: Allow your bridesmaids to choose the dress that they want to wear. That way, they can each wear something that suits their body type and their budget. Give them a colour palette and ask that you approve each dress before a purchase is made.
Money saving tip #2: If you have particular dresses in mind for your girls, offer to pay half and ask your bridesmaids to pay the other half.
The bridal shower and bachelorette party
Who pays? The bridesmaids will cover the costs for both events.
Money saving tip #1: If a night out on the town is part of the celebration, ask each guest to pay for their own food and drinks. Bridesmaids can then pay for themselves and the bride.
Money saving tip #2: Girls love to feed people, so ask each guest to bring something sweet or savoury to share. Food for the kitchen tea is now sorted!
Hair and make up for the wedding day
Who pays? If it’s compulsory, the bride pays. If it’s optional, the bridesmaids pay.
Money saving tip: Part of the fun of getting ready together is helping each other. Ask your bridesmaids to bring their make up, hair styling tools and accessories and help each other get ready! You’ll start the day with a fun, girl bonding experience and loads of fun photos.
Being a bridesmaid can be expensive, and most girls know this when they agree to the task. Even so, as the bride and close friend, you can make this process easier and less awkward for your girls. Let them know that you don’t expect them to give you a gift for your engagement party, bachelorette party, kitchen tea and wedding. If you expect some or all of your girls to be traveling far, have your bachelorette and kitchen tea over the same weekend. And if someone can’t attend? No guilt trips. If you’re having to deal with a real bridesmaidzilla, you can always fire her, but keep in mind that your relationship will probably not continue after that.