Bridesmaid Dresses

What It Costs to Be a Bridesmaid

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

Photos: Steep Street Photography

Elaine, maid of honor in Los Angeles

"Jennifer, the bride, is my best friend and was my maid of honor when I got married last year, so when she asked me to be hers, I was thrilled. And when it came to bridesmaid expenses, I was totally fine with spending as much as necessary to make sure she had a wonderful celebration."

The Budget

Bachelorette party #1: $500

Airfare from CA to NY; taxis; Hiro Ballroom, New York City

"Jennifer lives in New York, so I spent $400 on airfare to fly out for the bachelorette party, which was held at a cocktail lounge in Manhattan. The evening of the party, cab rides and drinks for Jenn and me cost $100. I stayed at her apartment for the weekend."

Accessories: $0

"We could accessorize however we liked, so I wore black heels and a necklace I already owned."

Bridesmaid dress: $165

Banana Republic, Beverly Hills

"All the bridesmaids met at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance to shop for dresses, but we didn't find anything. Next we went to the Beverly Center, where we found a teal and black dress from Banana Republic that we all liked. We texted Jenn with a photo of the dress and she liked it, too—she even wound up using those colors for her wedding palette."

Bachelorette party #2: $300

Comme Ça and Area, West Hollywood

"A couple nights before the wedding, the bridesmaids took Jenn out for dinner at a French bistro in West Hollywood. Then we had drinks at a nightclub across the street."

Hotel: $0

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

"Jenn booked a hotel for herself and her three bridesmaids the night before the wedding. The next morning we had breakfast together on a patio overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean before getting ready for the ceremony."

Hair and makeup: $0

"The weekend before the wedding, Jenn took her attendants to Sephora, where we got makeovers. Afterwards she purchased all of the products the makeup artist used on us so we could re-create the looks ourselves. We wanted to keep our hair pretty simple, so we decided to go with sleek ponytails with the ends curled; we did each other's hair the morning of the wedding."

Wedding gift: $300

"My husband and I gave Jenn and Danny a cash gift, which is a Korean tradition."

Total amount: $1,265

NEXT: Emily's bridesmaid budget

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