This post is near and dear to my heart. Since I have been in what seems like a million weddings, I have spent a great deal of money fulfilling my bridesmaid duties. (And let's be honest, my mom spent a great deal of her money contributing, too!) It is so easy to get carried away and ask your maids to buy this and that.
When you add up the salon days, makeup, dresses, showers, travel, and more, the average bridesmaid will spend somewhere between $1000-2000. (I know that's a large spread and honestly, it is based on what I have spent in the past and what I observe from the ladies I work with now. I am certain you can find loads of info and regional averages through a Google search.) So, here are just a few helpful tips to save your girls some pennies!
- Let them pick their dress! Gone are the days where every dress must be exactly the same. I looooove when a bridal party wears mismatched gowns. Give them a color palette, general style, and let them go wild! Some gals will be able to find great dresses on a Forever 21 budget. Ask them to text you a picture before purchasing. Not only will this help keep their cost down, but it will also let them pick something more comfortable for their body type. ps- Grab some paint swatches from your local hardware store!
- Encourage a staycation bachelorette party. While they are unforgettable and fun, not everyone can fly off to the sunny gulf coast for a weekend. What matters is not where your girls take you, but being with them and celebrating your friendship. Take a long day trip or schedule a local spa day.
- Make hair or makeup optional. While it is common for every bridesmaid to have hair and makeup done, not every gal can afford both services. If it is really important to you, offer to pay for one of the two services.
- Offer to make arrangements for their stay during the wedding weekend. If hotel rooms are out of your budget, or theirs, look through your rolodex to find someone with a mother-in-law suite or guest house. Perhaps your gals would want to crash with you at your mom and dad's house, just like the good ol' days!
So there's a short list, which I'm sure is not conclusive. Most importantly, make sure your bridesmaids are given individual, personalized attention from you. They will all have different financial needs and you should be open to being flexible if it means they can stand with you on the most important day of your life. Your gals are more than happy to be by your side. Don't forget that during the planning process.