How Much Does It Cost To Be A Bridesmaid?

Weddings. We love them, we hate them, and we can’t wait for our own special day. But what about your friends special day? What about that moment in time when they ask you, yes YOU (out of all 25 of their other girlfriends) to be their beloved bridesmaid? I mean, you clearly can’t say no. What kind of a friend are you, to say no to your bestie during a special time in their life? A selfish friend? You can’t be that. So you say “YES OF COURSE!” and you start to plan and daydream immediately thereafter. The two of you make a Pinterest board, you meet the other bridesmaids and you begin planning her fairy tale wedding.

That’s when it all starts to become more realistic than storybook. Your to-do list gets longer, your excitement gets less and less. But don’t worry, it WILL be worth it.

Back when our parents were growing up, a wedding would cost what I would consider spending today. Now – the costs for a bride and her groom are astronomical.

But what about the wedding party? What are they spending just to stand next to you at the altar in matching dresses they’ll most likely never wear again, and shoes that give them blister upon blister?


In December, my brother’s awesome fiancé (and my now sister-in-law), asked me to be in her wedding party. There is no way in hell I would say no. I was so happy my brother finally found someone to make him happy, let alone someone as amazing as her. It was my responsibility as a soon-to-be sister to make the transition into our (sometimes socially awkward) family as smooth as possible.

Not knowing any of the other girls in the bridal party besides my older sister made things interesting. We had to get to know each other at meetings and events before the wedding. Luckily, they are all great girls and extremely organized, which made things smooth for me. I basically just needed to show up everywhere, help with small projects, pay my dues, and my one big job was to make the wedding slideshow. Perfect.

Perfect until I realized how much I had spent in total.

Just under $3000. Yup, you heard me. An entire months pay. Half of what I had planned on spending on my own wedding day!

You see, my brother and his new wife had one of those classic (250-guest) weddings. So my measly $3k price tag didn’t seem so bad I guess. Except that while shelling out these additional funds, I’m also on my journey to become debt free!


Yes, that’s not a joke.

I put my costs down almost to the penny. And that is the price I paid to be a bridesmaid this summer.

Unreasonable? One might say yes, others might say no.

In today’s world of want and want it now, it’s hard to avoid becoming the definition of “Keeping up with the Joneses”.

We are stuck between a rock and a hard place when making decisions about where to budget our money, and how far we can push the limits financially.

Debt is not good no matter what way you spin it, but what if it’s wedding debt? Do you spend to make yourself happy, or to impress others? Maybe having a wedding party at all isn’t necessary?

If you look up a bridesmaids duties online, you’d see a nice list decorated with flowers and obviously aesthetically pleasing. It tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. But wait. There is one thing that might be missing from that list. You guessed it. A budget. The bride and groom get a budget. We stick to their budget so hard we end up covered in glue.

But what about their loyal wedding party? Don’t they get a budget?


In less than one year, I too, will be marrying the love of my life. We are eloping with 20 of our closest friends and family to save money and ensure an intimate and special ceremony. While we see nothing wrong with having a big celebration and wedding, our financial goals are more focused on our future.

Although I wish I could say I won’t charge my bridal party this amount, it’s often hard to control the spending unless everyone agrees upon a number. Realistically I would ask that they spend no more than $1000. But even then, am I asking too much? Ensure you choose a group of girls or guys that you can have an open discussion with. Find out where they are comfortable drawing the line, and listen to them. They are doing you a huge favour. Make that 30 huge favours.

After reading this, do you think you could afford to be a bridesmaid? How much is too much? Let me know in the comments.