Bridesmaid Dresses

What It Costs to Be a Bridesmaid

Five bridesmaids tabulate their wedding-related expenses. Brides, take note!

Photos: Bryan and Mae Photography

Emily, sister of the bride in Michigan

"I really appreciated how Gracie was mindful of her bridesmaids' budgets—she was flexible about the dresses, so we were able to find a style we all liked, that also was on sale. And I saved money by wearing shoes I already owned. She was so accommodating—it really showed us how much she valued our being part of her wedding day."

The Budget

Bridal shower/wedding gifts: $101.24

"Gracie had five bridal showers—and I attended them all. At each shower, I gave items from Bed Bath & Beyond (a hamper set, flatware, place mats, candles) and Target (Pyrex storage containers) in lieu of a separate wedding gift."

Bachelorette party: $81.49

"The bridesmaids drove Gracie to Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood for shopping and lunch, then we all took the train downtown and walked around Millennium Park, got gelato, and had dinner at Giordano's. I spent $45 on gas, and the rest on meals and snacks."

Bachelorette party gift: $30.00

"I gave Gracie a nightgown and underwear from Victoria's Secret."

Bridesmaid dress: $139.00

"The bridesmaids wore lapis-colored, halter-style dresses from David's Bridal."

Accessories: $5.80

Hair and makeup: $0

"I've always liked doing hair and makeup, so Gracie asked me to do it for her and the other bridesmaids for the wedding. Thankfully, they're all very low-key, and just wanted something simple.

Wedding card: $4.00

"I found a card at Bed Bath & Beyond depicting tandem bicyclists, which was perfect for Gracie and Matthew because they're really into cycling. For her birthday, Matthew bought Gracie a vintage tandem bike that also served as their 'getaway vehicle.' The entire wedding party (above) also posed for photos with bikes."

Total amount: $361.53

NEXT: Esther's bridesmaid budget

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