Q&A: Why do people say its expensive to be a bridesmaid is it different in the US?

February 24, 2013 | By

Question by C_lodhop: Why do people say its expensive to be a bridesmaid is it different in the US?
Where I'm from (UK) its the bride/grooms responsibility to pay for everything the bridesmaid wears (dress shoes hair etc) but i see so many people online saying they think its too expensive to be a bridesmaid is there some other cost i don't know about?.

Is it different in the US or something?

Wish my bridesmaid(s) paid fr own stuff!

Best answer:

Answer by Libby
Yes, it's different here. Here, the bridesmaids generally pay for their own dress, shoes, and chip in for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. They may also have to pay for makeup and hair on the big day. This is addition to travel and hotel expenses, if they are from out of town.

When I was a bride, I tried to make it easier on my girls. They both bought their dresses, but the one who came in from out of town had free lodging, and I covered all the "girl's night" expenses (gift from mom). I covered hair, makeup, and mani/pedi. I would have paid for the dress and travel, too, if my friend needed it. I DID help another friend with a plane ticket, because she really wanted to come but was cash poor at the time.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Bride and bridesmaids
the bridesmaid guide
Image by ☺ Lee J Haywood
The bride and her bridesmaids pose for the official photographer.

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Comments (3)

  1. Mama to 2006 & 2008

    In the U.S., bridesmaids pay for their own dress/shoes. Among my circle of friends/relatives, it’s traditional for the bride to give the girls a piece of jewelry (necklace/earings/etc.) that goes with their dress as a thank you/momento on the night of the rehearsal dinner, which they then wear on the wedding day.

    Bridesmaids are also responsible for planning and paying for wedding showers, bachlorette parties, and travel expenses that may be associated with the wedding. When mani/pedi or makeup is done as part of the bachlorette party/girls’ weekend then the bridesmaids pay for themselves and pitch in to pay for the bride as well. When hair and makeup for the wedding is done by a professional it may be covered by the bride/groom, but the bridesmaid is expected to tip generously ($ 20+)

  2. fairypelican

    In Australia it is also generally accepted that ALL attendants pay for their own outfits including hair & makeup.
    This is why a lot of brides these days are tending to let their bridesmaids choose their own dresses within a set guide line :- clolour,fabric,length, or have them in the same style but different colours.
    Depending on the brides own financial situation , she may pay for hair /make-up/shoes. Generally the bride & groom will give their attendants a gift thanking them for their support. Jewelery ( to wear on the day) tends to be a popular choice for the bridesmaids , with things like flasks , beer glasses being chosen for the guys.
    Traditionally the costs of a wedding were the responsibility of the parents of the couple. Brides parents would pay for the reception , Brides gown, bridesmaids outfits, ceremony. Grooms parents paid for grooms & his attendants outfits, bouquets,drinks at the reception, & transport for the bridal party. This was because women tended to remain living with their parents until their marriage & were often seen to be the father’s responsibility. The ‘giving away of the bride” during the ceremony also has it origins here. The father was handing over responsibilty for his daughters welfare to her new husband.
    Because these days many couples have been living away from home or living together for some time prior to the marriage they are paying for the “”wedding”‘ themselves . Yes there is usually some contribution from both sets of parents. Another thing that is becoming quite common here in Australia is for the couple to ”’ suggest/ request” that guests wishing to give a gift give cash. Again this is because so many couples have everything they need in the way of household goods & the money may be put towards the honeymoon or major househod items e.g:- furniture.

  3. everybodiesmama

    Yes, in the US the bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for their own outfits chosen by the Bride!!! And they are frequently dresses that could not and would not be worn for anything else. They also are responsible for the Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties, and sometimes even travel and lodging for themselves if they are coming from somewhere different than where the Wedding is being held.