You guys. I recently read that the average bridesmaid spends $1,700 for your broke-ass wedding. Wait, what?!
As it turns out, this number is pretty real. Check out this breakdown:
- Average cost of bridesmaid dress: $200 (without alterations!)
- Average cost for bacholerette party: $400/bridesmaid
- Average cost for wedding day hair and makeup: $100-180
- Average cost on gifts (engagement, shower, wedding): $200
- Average cost for traveling expenses (shower, bachelorette events): $600
Photo courtesy of someecards.com
I think we can all admit that the average cost of being in your darling friend’s wedding is outrageous — totally unacceptable! While I wasn’t aware of this number until recently, I have been doing all I can to keep the costs down for my favorite girls — mainly by letting them choose what they want to spend on.
My brigade’s adventures started with dress shopping … or lack thereof. My girls range in size, shape and color, so I always had the idea to mix and match their dresses. I had my eye on a few different styles pretty early on in the planning process, and had an even closer eye on when they would go on sale. At first, I thought about having 2-3 options for the 7 of them to choose from, but I quickly realized that there were a ton of pretty options out there! I was sure to alert them of any new styles I liked (especially when there was a sale!) and they ultimately all chose and ordered their own dress online. To pull it all together, I recruited my crafty mom to make some crystal belts. They looked amazing!
Everyone benefits when you let your ‘maids chose their own dresses. They get to pick what they like, how they want to look and the price range that fits their budget. It was a bit of a headache for the bride as far as coordinating went, but in the end, I believe my girls will be that much happier when it comes to wearing their dresses. Worth it!
An early draft of my attempt at coordinating mixing and matching while meeting everyone’s needs using dresses from BHLDN and Loft
To piggyback off of the dress situation, I also gave my girls the option to have their hair and makeup professionally done the day of the wedding, and they can buy whatever shoes they’ll feel comfortable in. As far as hair and makeup goes, they have lots of options (including airbrushed makeup!), and I’m not requiring them to wear their hair any which way. I gave them a variety of colors for shoe preferences, and I’m trusting them to chose whatever they want. They ought to be able to pick if they’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on it all!
I don’t have too many requests for my favorite gals, but there is one thing I do require — no gifts, please! Between their bridesmaid duties, dresses, hair and makeup, and all of the party planning, it is absolutely unnecessary for them to then buy me a gift when all is said and done. What kind of BAB would I be if I accepted their gifts?!
Now, I’ve given my brigade some guidelines for the day-of attire, but as far as the shower and bachelorette party goes, I’m 100% hands off! The good thing about having 7 bridesmaids is that there are more gals to the share the costs of planning these things. I’m excited to see what they come up with!
With all that said, one of the best parts of having your 7 best friends join you on your wedding day is having 7 extra pairs of hands to assist you leading up to it! Your ‘maids will (hopefully) be thrilled if you ask for their help on something that doesn’t require a monetary cost. I recently had 6/7 of my girls over for a DIY day, and it was so productive! I feel 10 times better about my to do list thanks to their willingness to help. Next on the list– recruiting my favorite shoppers to help me pick out outfits for the shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner. No purchase necessary.
I made my ‘maids work!
Not the DIY bride? Here are some other ways you can help keep their costs down:
- Don’t shop for bridesmaids dresses at a bridal store. Anything with the “wedding” label will definitely cost you more
- If you have something specific you want them to accessorize with, give it to them as their “thank you” gift
- Have a ‘maid who always looks amazing? Assign her to hair and makeup duty the day of the wedding
- Chances are your girls don’t all live close to each other, so cut down on party planning and travel costs by having your shower and bachelorette party a 2-for-1 deal
So, when it comes to assigning duties and having requirements, be mindful of how much your bridesmaids are spending on you, and not just how much you’re spending on your wedding. When all is said and done, it’s who you chose to have stand by your side when you marry your prince charming that counts!