weddings

'Over $2000. Not including flights.' 5 women on how much it actually costs to be a bridesmaid.

While most of us are thrilled to be asked to be a bridesmaid, depending on the person asking, the question can be followed by a slow, sinking feeling.

Wait, how much is this going to cost me?

Of course, it’s one of those experiences that money can’t buy, and if we’re doing it for someone we love and care about, the excitement far outweighs any financial concerns.

But… still.

There’s the dress.

And the shoes.

And the hens.

And the bridal shower.

And the kitchen tea.

And the gifts.

And WE’RE NOT MADE OF MONEY.

The other concern is that for many of us, we’re not actually sure what’s normal to spend on someone else’s wedding.

So we asked five women to break down exactly how much it cost them to be a bridesmaid. And whether or not, in the end, they thought it was reasonable.

Mamamia Confessions: The worst request I received as a bridesmaid. Post continues after video. 

Lily, 28.

Relationship to the bride: A good friend.

Wedding location: Near Melbourne CBD.

Total cost: $1070.

Where all the money went: 

  • Hens night – $500.
  • Dress – $300.
  • Gifts (engagement, bridal party, wedding) – $220.
  • Spray tan – $50.

How did you feel about the cost of the wedding?

“I was really surprised. I didn’t expect it to cost that much. I couldn’t believe how quickly it added up. I don’t even think brides know how much it costs.”

Remy, 21. 

Age: 21.

Relationship to the bride: Cousin.

Wedding location: Hunter Valley.

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Total cost: $855.

Where all the money went: 

  • Dress: $180.
  • Shoes: $95.
  • Bridesmaid gowns: $30.
  • Wedding hotel: $280.
  • Hens venue: $70.
  • Hens Airbnb: $100.
  • Hens food: $35.
  • Hair and makeup: $20.
  • Dress alterations: $45.

How did you feel about the cost of the wedding?

“It was so rude… I feel like I could’ve dealt with the hotel cost and doing our own makeup and hair, but they asked for way too much. The hens was fun but stressful. They should’ve at least bought the dress and shoes or picked cheaper options.”

Sasha, 29.

Relationship to the bride: Best friend.

Wedding location: Doltone House, Sydney.

Total cost: $1850.

Where all the money went: 

  • Engagement present: $100.
  • Official engagement lunch: $150.
  • Surprise hens weekend in Melbourne: $1,000 (included flights, accommodation, ‘entertainment’, alcohol, food, hair & makeup for bride, transport)
  • Tan and nails for wedding: $100
  • Wedding Gift: $500

How did you feel about the cost of the wedding?

“I was definitely overwhelmed because I knew I was spending more money than I could actually afford, BUT at the same time I really wanted my friend to have the best experience. I know if/when the time ever comes, she would put in just as much effort for me. HOWEVER, I never want to be a bridesmaid again.”

Tammy, 38.

Relationship to the bride: Very close friend’s daughter.

Wedding location: Melbourne.

Total cost: $1940 (not including costs for children).

Where all the money went: 

  • Flights: $450.
  • Accommodation: $500.
  • Car Hire: $250.
  • Dress: $200.
  • Shoes: $70.
  • Wishing well: $100.
  • Hens night: $250.
  • Nails: $50.
  • Hair and makeup: $70.

How did you feel about the cost of the wedding?

“I’ve been honoured to be in three bridal parties, but thank goodness I don’t think I will be in any more! If I ever got asked to be in another bridal party I would politely decline, as it’s much easier to just be a guest.”

Is being asked to be a bridesmaid an honour, or a pain in the arse? The Mamamia Out Loud have very different opinions. Post continues after audio.

Leah, 25.

Relationship to the bride: A friend from university.

Wedding location: Hinterland of Queensland beach.

Total cost: $2170 (not including flights to and from Melbourne and Brisbane on three occasions and gifts).

Where all the money went: 

  • Dress with alterations: $600.
  • Makeup: $120.
  • Shoes: $150.
  • Accommodation for hens: $400.
  • Activities for hens (high tea, dinners, party catering, stretch hummer, going out): $400.
  • Accommodation for other two weekends: $500.

How did you feel about the cost of the wedding?

“I hate a generalisation that all brides are demanding and crazy but my friend sure didn’t help the stereotype. Her wedding was definitely the biggest event of that year for me and not from my choice.”

How much has being a bridesmaid cost you? Tell us in the comments!

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