Weddings can get expensive. That’s no shocker. But what might come as a bit of a surprise is that they can be significantly expensive for those other than the bride and groom. Weddings can get especially pricey for maids of honor, who are not just responsible for paying for their bridesmaid dress, shoes, and jewelry, but also for covering some of the costs of the bachelorette party and bridal shower. All that money can seriously add up—and fast. Here's how much being in a wedding really costs, according to real maids of honor themselves.
“I was a maid of honor back-to-back for my sister and then my best friend. While both weddings cost me a lot, my best friend's cost me more. With her engagement gift, plus the cost of renting a room for the night of her engagement party, I spent $300 right off the bat. For her bridal shower, I paid for some decorations and also brought a gift, totaling another $200 all together. Then we went to Nashville for her bachelorette party. The flight and the Airbnb both cost around $270, respectively, and then we also paid for her activities, the decorations, and the favors which totaled $165. All of that combined with spending money, food, drinks, and Uber rides, I would say I spent about $1000. Her bridesmaid dress also cost me a fortune—I think I spent about $400 with alterations. The day of the wedding, I probably spent another $1500 between getting my hair, makeup, and nails done, plus the hotel stay and wedding gift. So all in all, I spent about $3,500 for my best friend’s wedding. (I’d do it for her or my sister again in a heartbeat!)” —Christina, 28
“My sister got married when I was about 25. As I had just graduated from law school and had no money, my parents helped me a lot, luckily. But all things considered, my dress and whole look for the day including hair and makeup was about $500. The bachelorette in New Orleans cost about $1,000, including covering her hotel share, my airfare, and various expenses. The wedding gift was $500, the engagement gift was $75, and I spent $200 on shower decorations and games (thankfully, my parents and her mother-in-law paid for the shower itself). Finally, the hotel the night of the wedding was $200, so all together around $2,500.” —Tara, 28
"I was the maid of honor at my cousin's wedding and, while I loved every minute of it, it was SO expensive. All in all, I think I spent close to $4,000 which was way more than what I planned for. Granted, we went to Mexico for her bachelorette party, which I know people will say, 'Well, you got a vacation out of it!' But it wasn't a vacation on my terms, so I still consider it an expense. I know she'd do the same for me—but I don't know if I'd expect anyone to pay that much for my wedding." —Erica, 32
"My sister's wedding cost me what I would think is in the normal range. For her bachelorette, we went to Austin and I paid for her share of the house. All together with spending money, it cost me about $1,250. (Although, I did book my flight late.) My parents threw her bridal shower, but I bought her a shower gift for $250. I gave $500 as a wedding gift from me and my husband, and my wedding day look cost $300. Lastly, the hotel for the wedding was $200. All in all, it was about $2,500." —Christina, 33
“When I was my sissy’s maid of honor, I spent $300 on the bridesmaid dress, $100 on bridal shower supplies, and $50 on a bridal shower gift. For the bachelorette party, I spent around $350 on a hotel and food, and about $100 on favors and decor. Finally, I spent $150 on hair and makeup for the wedding and $300 on a gift. So, all together it was between $1,050 and $1,350."—Mallory, 31