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Dedicated August 2020

Bridesmaids Finances

Michelle, on July 25, 2019 at 5:03 AM

Posted in Etiquette and Advice 59

Ok so I’m confused on what the bride pays for regarding the bridesmaids. Everyone that I’ve talked to that have been in a wedding said they had to pay for the dress, hair and makeup. So I sort of just went off of that. But once I added everything up, it roughly came to around $350 give or take. I’m...
Ok so I’m confused on what the bride pays for regarding the bridesmaids. Everyone that I’ve talked to that have been in a wedding said they had to pay for the dress, hair and makeup. So I sort of just went off of that. But once I added everything up, it roughly came to around $350 give or take. I’m starting to feel like that’s too much to ask someone and my mom is over here like, “no that’s not a lot, they have over a year to save for it”. Although I would like for everyone to be uniform, I’m not even sure what to do anymore. Me and my FH are paying for the wedding so it’s kind of easy for somebody to say “oh it’s not that much” that don’t need to pay for it. On the other hand, it seems like my bridesmaids are assuming and okay will paying for it. I’ve talked to all of them regarding how much stuff would cost and they’re all like “cool” and a few gave me pointers on who to go with and prices. I don’t know what to do! (Please no rude or nasty comments)


  • Mandi
    Master October 2020
    Mandi ·
    • Flag
    My bridesmaids are only paying for their dresses. They can do their makeup and hair however they want. I capped initial dress cost around $125.
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  • Jessica
    Savvy May 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    I have 2 Bridesmaids and my Maid of honor. They will be paying for their dress's and I am giving them the option to have there hair and make-up done. I figured if I leave it up to them they wont feel stressed about how much it is and I wont feel like I am making them spend a lot of money on my wedding. I will also be giving them a satin robe, slippers and possibly something extra as gifts for when we are all getting ready. Plus the gift I am giving when i ask them.

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  • Cassandra7
    Super August 2006
    Cassandra7 ·
    • Flag

    Consult each bridesmaid privately about her budget before selecting the dress, which the bridesmaid pays for. Everything else you require you pay for.

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  • Wendy
    Super August 2021
    Wendy ·
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    I was a bridesmaid and I paid for everything myself.. I didn’t even expect the bride to pay for anything... dress was $200 after alterations, make up/hair $100, I had to flight there so that was another $300 plus the gifts another $100... if they’re your friends and accepted the role they should know that they will be paying for their own things. I don’t know where the idea that the bride will be paying for them comes from.
    • Reply
  • Mariah
    Dedicated April 2020
    Mariah ·
    • Flag

    Hey so I have 8 bridesmaids as well!

    I made them all a nice bridesmaid proposal box that was pretty pricey for the amount of girls i have. Also, I'm gifting them a monogram bag, robe, glittler tumbler w/name on it, their wedding jewelry ( necklace and earrings ), a lip scrub, and face mask. Which is all going to be gifted to them on rehearsal dinner once we get close. With that being said, I'm trying to spoil my girls for being in the wedding. But they will be paying for their own dresses and probably make up. I'm going to try to budget for their hair since we are still a far from the wedding but honestly I'm not sure if i will be able to.

    So I'm trying to balance it out. Like giving them nice gifts in return of them paying for their own stuff! Showing them I am grateful by doing the cutesy bag with the goodies in it. Also everything i'm gifting them will NOT say bridesmaid! The robes are a dusty satin blue, the bags are black with their name in rose gold. The tumblers are rose gold with black lettering for their names. So hopefully everything I gift they can use again!

    I'm in a wedding about two weeks before mine and we are paying for our own dress and will be responsible for our own hair and makeup and honeslty i'm not bothered by it at all! The bride is already paying for so much!

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  • L
    Lady ·
    • Flag

    I would so much rather have all my BM stuff paid for than receive gifts in return for still having to shell out $$. I paid for all 5 of my girls dresses and hair/makeup.

    Agree with PP's who said to ask their budget individually before you pick a dress so you make sure to stay within the lowest bounds. Make hair and makeup optional and you don't have to pay for it, but neither do they if it's something they'd rather not pay for.

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  • Bride2020
    Devoted May 2020
    Bride2020 ·
    • Flag

    They buy the dresses, talk to them about their budget before you pick the dress! There are a lot of great ones now a days between 80-120, but a very average price is 150-180. Let them know who your hair and make up girl is that you'll have their that day for yourself, and how much she will cost if they would like to use her. Let them know it's optional, and if they want to just do their own that's fine. You do not need to pay for hair and make up unless you tell them they must have it done, in which case you should pay. I was just in a wedding where some girls went with the expert and the rest of us had fun doing each others alongside them, it was super fun! 8 girls x 125 (Hair and make up) = 1000 dollars if you choose to pay for theirs! If I were you, I would just tell them it's optional and spend that money on an awesome bridesmaid gift instead. I have never looked at a photo and been able to tell if the bridesmaids did hair and make up own their own or through a professional.
    Personally, if you are having them get specific shoes, I would pay for those, but I've seen it both ways and wouldn't be offended if I was asked to pay for shoes. But you can easily just tell them the shoe color and if you care if it's flats or heels and they can get whatever they want or use something they have, that way you don't have to cover it and they can just get shoes they love and will wear again.
    Your mom is right, at the end of the day 350 is not so bad, but you are so sweet to be thinking about it and trying to figure out how to help them out!

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  • Jennifer
    VIP August 2021
    Jennifer ·
    • Flag

    As a bridesmaid, I paid for my own dress, shoes, hair and did my own makeup! While paying for any of these things is nice, it is not expected or required! I knew what I was signing up for when I said yes. All I would advise is that you check with each bridesmaid individually on all purchases they will be making, and taking what they say into consideration! It sounds like you have a great group already! Good luck! Smiley smile

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  • J
    Master October 2019
    Jolie ·
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    I left hair and makeup up to them. 2 want both because they want to get dolled up and 2 are doing their own makeup, one of them getting hair the other is unsure yet for her hair. The dress is a given they typically always pay for it. You still have gifts to get for 8 girls (oh lordy). I'd much rather receive a thoughtful gift from the bride than you pay for my dress.

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  • Courtney
    Master December 2019
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    I told my girls their only requirement was a dress in the selected color. If they already had shoes and accessories, great. If they wanted to do their own HAMU, that's fine too. I wasn't even asking them to stay in the same hotel as me as they all live about 20 minutes away.

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  • Ariel
    Just Said Yes November 2019
    Ariel ·
    • Flag
    I am asking my bridesmaids to travel, pay for their dress, hair, and shoes. I am paying for make up and they have all been fine with it. I think if you set the standard from the beginning they have the option to be honest with you if they can’t afford it. IMO you aren’t asking for too much.
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  • Elizabeth
    Expert September 2019
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    My bridesmaids are buying their dresses and we're doing our own hair and makeup. I'm leaving accessories up to hem so they can personalize their look. Their dresses are in styles that flatter them and can be anything that's navy, long, and formal. My bridesmaids all have different figures and they all won't look good in the same thing. FH and I are paying for our reception, sound equipment rental, and his suit (my dress was gifted). We're keeping some traditional things, putting a modern twist on others, and going rogue on some things as well.

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  • Rachel
    Devoted November 2019
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    No your bridesmaids pay for their own dress. If you want them all have the same hairstyles then that’s something you pay for but otherwise no
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    For makeup and hair, BM always have the option of doing their own, or having a friend do it, so where money is an issue, it can come down to dress, and shoes that go with it that they may have. Shoes need not match, just blend in, and often even if bought new, the purchase of shoes they will wear on other dressy occasions generally seems more worth saving for than all buying identical shoes which may go with nothing they have or will ever wear after the wedding. If you do not have any expensive must-buy items besides the dress, people have flexibility for their budgets. Particularly as some of your people may volunteer to do a shower or other party. Hostesses spend $35 to $350 or $1000 per person on showers and bachelorette parties for different weddings. Free venue, home, yard or park, showers for 30 or less can be quite inexpensive but very nice. Ones with a rental fee, and restaurant prices for all food and drink, or ones with large guest lists, can be hugely expensive. And so can travel, lodgings. So sometimes if people in different locations have two small showers, low cost and little travel, sometimes one all family or all friends, or a mix of both in 2 locations with people invited to the one in their area, can make a B g difference in money people spend on shower costs. It is very considerate of you to look at people's budgets. We worked extra jobs to pay for our wedding, and most of our WP were in transitions, either new jobs, or new babies. So I appreciated the problems of friends not in WP, My ladies, and my FMIL who threw 3 very small showers, NH, Boston, NYC. I traveled. But what hostesses and guests saved not traveling and with ( excellent) home cooking and liquor prices, hostesses did not blow a fortune they could really not afford.
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  • Kat_
    Super October 2019
    Kat_ ·
    • Flag
    You could always ask them to do their HAMU themselves to save money? Then DIY their flowers? I really wanted to have my best friend up there but with paying for their HAMU by professionals and flowers it was just too much. Good luck!
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  • Sara
    Expert October 2020
    Sara ·
    • Flag
    Being in someone's wedding is expensive, that's why you ask them. If they can't afford it they have to turn it down.

    When FH was a groomsmen this last time he had to buy a brand new light grey suit even though he owned one the exact color bc it wasn't the same brand as the groom wanted. And he needed specific shoes, a belt, shirt, and he felt obligated to go on a bachelor party trip to Florida where he paid for his airfare, portion of the house rental, food, drinks, boat rental ect and the groom only paid for his flight. It all costs him close to 2k maybe closer to 3.
    • Reply
  • Candace
    Dedicated January 2021
    Candace ·
    • Flag
    My bridesmaids will be paying for their own dresses. Our wedding is a little relaxed, so I am giving them the option to do their own hair and makeup or to use my hair and makeup artist.
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  • Colleen
    Master September 2019
    Colleen ·
    • Flag
    If you require hair and make up you pay. For dress ask the girls budget.
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  • Shannon
    Beginner August 2019
    Shannon ·
    • Flag

    We are very laid back type of people. I figured out what I wanted the girls to wear, went through them to see their opinions. Once everyone was set on what to wear, I went on a "man-hunt" to find the cheapest price for all of them. Between it all, they only paid $50 or less. None of them had issues paying for it and none of them have a lot of money. We are paying the whole wedding our-selves so I couldn't afford to help them. As far as make-up and hair goes, it's a rustic wedding so hair is so simple, it's just french braids which half the people all of us know can do it for them and I left make-up to them. In all that, I didn't want everyone to me in "uniform" I wanted them all to have their own style/personality to the whole attire as well.

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  • Brooke
    Dedicated October 2020
    Brooke ·
    • Flag

    Every time I have been asked to be a bridesmaid, I always expect to be paying for my dress & everything else. I lucked out with a sister & sister-in-law who are both cosmetologists, so hair & makeup is never an issue for me thankfully. If you have talked to all of your girls about expenses & they are all fine with it, then you are all set! You can always take all of their suggestions for different people they use for hair & makeup & call each one for pricing. Then, if you are still worried, maybe take the best price & talk with each girl about it? For my cousin's wedding, I believe the makeup artist she hired was someone one of her friends knew? If I remember correctly, the artist was just starting a professional portfolio but had tons of her work posted on Instagram & she only charged each of us $20 & that included fake eyelashes (not required, but we all used them lol). I'm usually really picky about makeup since I never wear any, but she made it look really natural & was super sweet & professional! So you could always ask around & look into something like that as well? Or, maybe go for a simple hairstyle? My cousin just told us to wear our hair down & straight with a braid pinned in our bangs. We were all uniform & it didn't cost a penny. Then if you really wanted & could afford to, then you could offer to cover the makeup expense? Honestly, I feel like when you agree to be a bridesmaid or a MOH, you should never expect for your stuff to be paid for. Especially if any of your girls are married themselves, they know that you are already paying tons of money for a venue & vendors, so I think it would be a little selfish of them to just think you are going to pay. Now, if there are any necklaces, earrings or bracelets or something you want them all to wear, then I feel those items would be up to you.

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