January 25, 2022

Bridesmaid Expenses: Who Pays for What Between the Bride and Her Bridesmaids?

Wondering about bridesmaid expenses and which items and services are paid for by the bride or the bridesmaid? I’ve got you covered! While there’s no hard rule, there is certainly good etiquette to follow and I’ve done my best research to put together a guide that is fair for the bride and her bridesmaids below.

Bridesmaid Expenses: Who Pays for What (Bride Vs Bridesmaid)?

It’s Ok If Someone Declines To Be a Bridesmaid

First, know that being a bridesmaid can be expensive. You’re somewhat expected to attend the showers, parties, and the wedding, of course. When you ask someone to be a bridesmaid, you’re asking – not telling. It’s ok if someone declines – they might be doing so for financial reasons. It’s not personal.

Bridesmaids in blush. Bouquet with orange, pink, ivory flowers and ivory ribbon. Bride in Nicole Spose gown with overskirt. L'Auberge Del Mar. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

What Bridesmaids Pay For

  • Hotel and travel to get to the wedding and any other wedding-related events.
  • Their dress, although this is something you can consider buying for them, especially if you picked out a specific dress rather than giving them a choice.
  • Shoes and accessories to go with the wedding day outfit.

For this next item, it very much depends on the circumstance of whether or not it is required by the bride.

  • Hair and makeup – if required by the bride then the bride should pay. If not required and it’s simply offered by whoever the bride is hiring and the bridesmaid wants it, then the bridesmaid pays.

What the Bride Usually Pays for

  • Bouquets and any other wedding florals or wearables for the wedding day.
  • Wedding day transportation to and from hotels and venues.
  • A gift for the bridesmaids, whether it is to be worn on the wedding day or simply a gift for another occasion.
Bride in Carolina Herrera silk v neck gown with pink and ivory bridal bouquet with ivory ribbon and bridesmaids in mix match blue print pattern dresses for a wedding at Rancho Valencia. Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Be Practical

Take into account these expenses when you are deciding how many bridesmaids you will have. Don’t have 15 bridesmaids if you cannot afford the expenses for 15 of them.