So you are ready to select your bridesmaids and this can be an easy choice as to who it should be. These are women that know and love and they are so excited you are getting married. Of course they will happily accept your invitation. However did you stop and think about all the details? Do you know how much it will cost to be a bridesmaid? What you want them to be responsible for? Are they paying for their own hair and makeup? Do you want them to plan your bridal shower? Before your bridesmaids say yes to you they should know exactly what they are saying yes to. Giving your bridesmaids all the information up front will save you and your bridesmaids’ headaches, aggravation, and sticker shock later down the line. Here’s what they should know:
1) The Dress
The dress will be the most expensive purchase your bridesmaids make. You should start a preliminary dress search to see which styles and designers you may like. Once you made a few choices, see what price range they fall in. This ball park figure will be helpful especially if the dress you love is on the pricey side.
2 2) The Accessories
Not only do your bridesmaids’ need dresses but they will need shoes and jewelry usually the bridesmaids are responsible for paying for their own shoes. If you are picking the shoes and you want them to wear the same shoe, pick a price point and let your bridesmaids know which direction you are leaning towards. If they can buy their own shoe, just give them the criteria and this way the budget is their choice. Many brides gift the wedding day jewelry to their bridesmaids as a thank you for being a part of their wedding party. If you are not taking this route, you should let them know in advance.
3) Hair and Makeup
This is always a touchy subject for brides. The expense of wedding day hair and makeup onsite can start about $75.00 per bridesmaid. If you have a large bridal party, this can get costly. If you can’t afford to pay for the complete package, you may want to consider paying for half or just the makeup portion. More than likely, your bridesmaids already have a trusted hair stylist and they won’t let anyone else touch their hair not even for your wedding.
4) Pre Wedding Activities
These days’ brides are having bridal showers, bachelorette parties and sometimes bachelorette getaways. Traditionally, the bridal shower should be thrown by the maid of honor and the bridesmaids. The bachelorette party or getaway is paid for by your bridal party and they may cover your expenses as well.
Once you have a general idea of what you want for all four of these items, you should be prepared to let your tentative bridesmaids know shortly after you ask them to be a part of your bridal party. You should also be considerate of everyone’s financial situation. These are your friends and family; for the most part you know what’s going on in their lives and what they can afford. You should not have to give up you anything you want but be prepared to cover some the expense in order to have it. You may want to give your friends a chance to opt out of being a bridesmaid. This may save you from uncomfortable conversations and will also save your friendships. Your friends want to be a part of your wedding and they may feel pressured into doing so even if they can’t afford it. Take the pressure off and give them a chance to decline the invitation to be a bridesmaids but I’m sure they will gladly be a guest at your wedding.
TIP: Start a wedding club. This is the same concept of as a Christmas club but it is for the wedding expenses. Put your maid of honor in charge and everyone can put in a small amount once a week or whatever works best. For example, if all the expenses will total $1,000.00 divide this by 36 weeks and that’s about $27.00 a week. That’s much easier to swallow than a couple of $100.00 here or there.
Do you have a bridal party dilemma you need help solving? Send me your question at DJoseph@weddedluxe.com and I will help you and your bridesmaids come to a resolution!