REVEALED: How much it *really* costs to be a bridesmaid

Hint: it's not cheap

bridesmaids film

by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

If your best friend recently got engaged, it’s pretty likely that she’s going to do you the honour of asking you to be her bridesmaid.

But at what cost, damn it?!

As it turns out, being a bridesmaid is surprisingly expensive.

Because, according to a new study by American Express, the average bridesmaid spends £1300 in the lead up to the big day.


So where does all the money go?

Let’s check out all the potential expenses for bridesmaids…

  • The bridesmaid dress

  • Dress alterations (if needed)

  • Specialist underwear (strapless bras, spanx, etc)

  • Shoes, wrap, jewellery and any other accessories required

  • Professional hairdressing

  • Professional make up / make up from a high street store

  • The hen party (that’s the hotel room, the event itself, and the spending money)

  • The hen party gifts

  • Travel (that’s to dress fittings, the hen night, the wedding rehearsal, and the wedding itself)

  • The wedding present

  • The hotel room for the wedding night

  • Food for the night before / the morning after the wedding, if staying away from home

Hmm - and that’s not even factoring in the fact that the wedding (or hen party!) may be abroad.

In short, it’s a LOT of money.

Don’t get us wrong; there are some cases where the bride and groom - or the bride and groom’s parents - will be willing to pay for everything, or at least the majority of things.

However, if they are planning on asking for financial contributions, it’s polite to let you know this upfront when they ask you to be their bridesmaid.

So how can you cut down bridesmaid costs?

By making a few easy adjustments to things, that’s how…

  • Choose bridesmaid dresses from the high-street

  • OR wear a second-hand gown

  • Check out YouTube tutorials for hair and makeup advice, so you can DIY it

  • Keep the hen party low-key; it doesn’t need to be a whole week or weekend - a night out (or in) is amazing if you’re all together, having fun and making memories!

  • Stick to ONE hen party / bridal shower

  • Opt for homemade gifts (or shop the sales if you’re not into DIY)

  • Book your travel in advance wherever possible, to save pounds… or share a car with a fellow wedding guest!

  • Take advantage of any bridal party discounts at the hotel / approved accommodation

It’s also a good idea to sit down and have a chat with the bride if you’re struggling; let her know that you’re chuffed to bits to be involved in your big day, but that you’re struggling to cover all the costs involved.

We’re sure you’ll be able to come to a compromise that suits you both.


The most important thing, however, is this; do NOT let it cost you your friendship.

After all, the bride is a very special person to you - and she’s only asked you to be involved in her wedding because she loves you and wants to honour you on her special day.

Yes, it may be an investment to be a bridesmaid, but try to see it as an investment in your relationship.

If things are really tough, maybe offer to do something a little different; you could, for example, be the bridesmaid who helps set up / clean the reception as your wedding gift.

She’ll probably appreciate that more than any toaster or cheque, if we’re honest.

And remember: you can always get your own back on her at your next birthday or big event, right?

** Are you surprised by how much it costs to be a bridesmaid?**

Let us know via Facebook or Twitter (@CloserOnline) now.

READ MORE: It’s not just bridesmaids - here’s how much it costs to be a wedding guest nowadays

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