Case study bridesmaids costs


Lisa's bridesmaid experience

Hi, I'm Lisa from the MoneySmart team. My friend Kate has asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. I am thrilled to be chosen for this role on her special day, but I want to set a budget so the costs are affordable for me.

So what budget should I set? I have been a bridesmaid a few times before, so I know the kinds of things I'll need to spend money on.

Here is my bridesmaid's budget:

Item Estimated costs
Dress $200
Shoes and jewellery $135
Hair and makeup $175
Hen's night (dinner, drinks etc) $70
Bridal shower (invites, drinks, etc) $70
Gift for wedding $150
TOTAL $800

I have spoken to Kate about the dress and accessories, hen's night and bridal shower. She doesn't want these to be too expensive for me but she also wants everything to be special and memorable. We have discussed how we can have a great time and not spend a huge amount of money.

To save money we have discussed:

  • Having the bridal shower at Kate's Mum's place, making the decorations ourselves and asking guests to bring a plate of food to share
  • Asking guests not to bring gifts to the bridal shower (Kate says just wedding gifts are enough)
  • Having the hen's night at a cheap local restaurant

If you have been asked to be a bridesmaid you should talk to the bride about the wedding costs. Here are some essential conversation topics:

  • What will the bride be paying for and what will you be paying for?
  • If you are paying for the dress, shoes and accessories, can you have a say in how much they will cost?
  • Can you help choose the bridesmaid dress to ensure it is something you would wear again?
  • Discuss how much you can afford to pay for these items. This can be awkward but it will ensure there are no misunderstandings and keep your friendship intact.

Months before the wedding you should start regularly putting money aside for your bridesmaid costs. Make them part of your budget. Try to stick to your budget as closely as possible. Weddings are emotional events and spending leaks are common but it is important to your financial health to stick to what you planned.

Being such an important part of your friend's wedding is very exciting and you'll want to please the bride and make her happy. But it's also important not to over stretch yourself and get into financial trouble. Your friend would not want that for you.

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Last updated: 05 Apr 2017