"I've been a bridesmaid four times in recent months. There's one big problem with this."

Hold onto your bouquet — being a bridesmaid in today’s day and age is mind-blowingly expensive. Like, do-I-be-a-bridesmaid-or-do-I-pay-my-mortgage-this-month expensive.

Engagement gift. Wedding gift. Hens party. Wedding dress. Wedding shoes. Wedding hair and makeup. Wedding accommodation. Don’t even start me on destination weddings.

Before I knew it my bill was quickly moving upwards of $1500… and then I was asked to be a bridesmaid, again. Three more times. Within seven months of each other.

Cue mini freak-out.

Did I consider saying no? Yes, but not seriously. I could never imagine not being there for any of those girls.

Image: Supplied.

The thing is; money doesn’t buy you the memories you create. I will FOREVER cherish getting ready with my friends before they said "I do", or throwing them a hens party that made them blush. I even enjoyed following them to the bathroom all night to help them get in and out of those ginormous bridal gowns.


It makes me smile just putting those moments to paper for you. However, let’s have an honest conversation about what you’re up for - because unless your bestie is Miranda Kerr, and her new squeeze Mr Snapchat Evan Spiegel is fine with buying your customized Vera Wang dress, my experience tells me get ready to pay up.

What does a bridesmaid pay for?

  • I think it’s cool if you fork out for the wedding day ensemble. Fingers crossed it’s something you can wear again and a dress that’s priced within reason. Shoes and jewellery are usually your responsibility too. Again, if bridezilla is starting to ask you to consider dresses pushing past $500 you need to bring her back down to earth because the dress is just the beginning.
Image: Supplied.
  • Dress, shoes, jewellery, accommodation and gift are all on you. PS. If you’re a fake nail and spray tan kinda woman like yours truly, add that to the bill.
  • When it comes to hair and makeup, that’s where you hope your bride will step up and pay. They usually will, you’d expect they’d have a stylist onsite for the day. You’ll find that the bride foots this bill for another reason too; control. I know that sounds awful, but it’s true. This way she has creative control over the look of her wedding and presentation of her party.

I hope this helps. I think when accepting the honor of being a bridesmaid, knowing your financial obligation is key. Please be sure you can fulfill your role without becoming resentful because trust me, it happens and it sucks.

You will have a ball. You will forever be grateful that you got to share that moment in time with the happy couple. You may have to live on rice for a short period of time to afford it.

Kristen Henry is one half of Kristen and Rod for Breakfast on MIX 106.3 in Canberra. Follow her adventures at