With a little preparation the dollars spent will be worth the priceless experience. Plus, a little budgeting can go a long way in making the bridesmaid grand total less frightening.
As a bridesmaid, you will encounter the following costs:
1. Dress - Expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $200+ for your bridesmaid dress. Some stores might allow you to pay it off monthly; it never hurts to ask a sales associate if this is an option during your dress shopping appointment. Alterations are more often than not an additional cost, so be sure to ask so you know what to expect.
2. Bridal Shower - If the bridesmaids choose to host the bridal shower, you're looking at possible venue rental, catering, invitation, and decoration fees to split up amongst yourselves. You are expected to bring a gift - most likely either money or something off the couple's wedding registry. Depending on how much you've spent on the shower itself, use this to gauge how much you can afford.
3. Bachelorette Party - The amount you spend on bachelorette party festivities depend on your destination or if you're staying local. If you're going out of town for the weekend, expect to spend more on a place to stay and meals. Be sure to look into Airbnb or VRBO listings that could comfortably fit all of the partygoers. These rentals often have a kitchen and offer the ability to stay together versus a block of hotel rooms. Most bachelorette parties include giving a small gift, too.
4. Wedding Gift - Most bridesmaids spend anywhere from $50 to $100 on a wedding gift. With that in mind, it's also important to take your other expenses into consideration. The couple understands that you've spent a good chunk of change on everything else, so don't feel like you have to go overboard on your wedding gift.
5. Nail Appointment - A manicure and pedicure can cost between $50 to $80+ depending on which nail services you choose and accounting for a tip. This is often a welcomed indulgence after helping the bride tie up any loose ends before the big day, but don't feel bad if you want to skip this event in order to save money. This gathering is not expected and can help you save some money by opting to paint your nails at home.
6. Hair and Makeup - An up-do hairstyle can cost anywhere from $50 to $75+. A makeup application can be around $40-$60. Tips are normally not included in your quoted cost. If you feel confident in your hair and makeup abilities, the bride will most likely not have a problem with you doing it yourself, and you'll save some money. If you decide you want a natural glow for the event, a spray tan usually costs around $30 to $40 with a tip.
Accepting a bridesmaid proposal brings along some considerable costs in regards to money and time, but it is so worth your while. All it takes is some careful consideration and budgeting. In the end, there's nothing quite like standing with the bride on the biggest day of her life.