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What They Don't Tell You About Being A Bridesmaid

Bridesmaid Fear

One of the best moments in the world is when your best friend tells you she has just become engaged and she wants you to be a bridesmaid. You feel honoured that your friend trusts you to help make her wedding day an experience to remember, but being a bridesmaid involves more than just turning up on the big day.

What they don’t tell you about being a bridesmaid is that it could mean a huge expense for you, and although your first reaction is to say “Yes of course, I’d love to be your bridesmaid”, there are a couple of things to consider before being swept up in preparations for the upcoming nuptials.

Find out what the bride is planning including the budget of the wedding, the theme and the location, also what costs the bride may covering for the bridesmaids. Be honest – put it out there at the start if you are not up to the financial responsibilities of being a bridesmaid. Remember it’s okay to say no.

Here we have collated a list of things you may have to pay for along the way.

Bridesmaid Dress

Bridesmaid DressesThis is usually paid for by the bridesmaid as you will probably be keeping it after the wedding. Try to be part of the process when the bride is choosing bridesmaid dresses and shoes. You may be able to steer the bride towards less expensive choices and towards something you have a chance of wearing again after the wedding.

The dress may be the most expensive cost to a bridesmaid, you will be paying anything from $100-$300. An off the rack dress will never fit perfectly so you will also need to pay for alterations and possibly a bra depending on the style of the dress.



Bridesmaid ShoesAs with the dress, try to be there when the bride is choosing your shoes, this will ensure that they will be comfortable on the day and hopefully you can wear them again.



Bridesmaid Hair and MakeupThe bride may often pay for hair and makeup for the big day however you will definitely be up for extras including manicures, pedicures and spray tans.



Bridesmaid EarringsThe bridesmaid will nearly always pay for any accessories, these can include jewellery and a purse.


Hen’s Party/Bridal Shower

Hens PartyThe costs can vary and may be the difference between a few drinks with cheese and crackers or a weekend away on the Gold Coast. This expense is often shared between the bridesmaids and the bride’s family. If a full day at the Spa is included you could be paying up to $200.



Bridesmaid GiftsThere will be an engagement gift, bridal shower gift and wedding gift to be bought and wrapped.


Petrol and Parking

Bridesmaid Filling PetrolSomething you probably haven’t thought of is the petrol and parking costs when out organising parties, dress shopping, going with the bride to organise the cake, bonbonnieres and flowers. If you live locally it might be okay but it could get expensive if you live on the other side of town.


Food and Drinks

FoodAll this planning and fussing over the bride makes everyone hungry and I’m sure there will be some cocktails to be had on more than one girl’s night out!



Bridesmaid TravelIf the wedding is taking place interstate or is a destination wedding you will normally have to pay for your own flights and accommodation. There is also food and drink on top of that for the duration of your stay.

The costs can seem overwhelming however there are several ways to assist in making sure that you can be there for your friend on her big day.


Be honest with the bride at the beginning and have a good heart to heart so you can decide whether you are in a financial position to be a bridesmaid. She would prefer that to bridesmaid stress leading up to the big day, she will have enough stress of her own!

Remember that there is usually a period of about 1 year between the engagement and the wedding which gives you time to budget and plan for the upcoming expenses.

Be resourceful – you can save costs by sharing accommodation with other bridesmaids, stay longer if a destination wedding and make it part of a holiday.

Is it possible to throw a joint bridal shower/hen’s night?

Let the bride know what dresses and shoes you would “wear again” so you are not paying for items that you will wear only once.

It may feel strange worrying about these things when you are so excited about your friend’s engagement but it’s much better to sort this out at the beginning.

In the end you want to be able to make an informed decision so you can say “Yes of course, I’d love to be your bridesmaid”, knowing that you can enjoy the parties, cocktails and euphoria of the big day.

If you're in the process of planning a fabulous Hens night or bridal shower? Check out some of the amazing options in our national vendor directory.

About The Author

Jodie Terzis

Jodie Terzis has worked in the Events and Wedding Industry for many years helping brides achieve their dream wedding and is based on the Gold Coast.

Jodie is also passionate about Everything Chocolate, making her own delicious chocolate creations and blogging about her journey. Chocoholics can find her at The Chocolate Mixing Bowl.