It's time to discuss a very hot topic that most women have or will have to deal with at some point in their lives: The cost of being a bridesmaid and what to expect from your bridesmaids if you're the bride.
Undoubtedly, it's an honor to be a part of a wedding party, but with average expenses totaling $1178–$1466 in this day and age, it's become a major financial obligation. So we thought we'd join in on the very relevant conversation by reaching out to a handful of experts on the subject. From a major bridal retailer to a dress designer to a wedding blogger, there was a clear consensus: The bride should be respectful of each of her bridesmaid's financial situation and should make it an open conversation with her friends when deciding on a dress.
While some opinions were more specific than others, every expert's insight is sure to prepare both current and future bridesmaids for the toll that participating in a wedding will take on their bank accounts, and brides for what to expect from their friends.
Keep scrolling to hear the expert's opinions on the subject for yourself and shop bridesmaid dresses within the recommended price points.
“On average, bridesmaids spend around $200 on the dress, and that price point is considered a reasonable ask from the bride. However, with so many rental options and the mismatched dress trend in full effect, there are lots of ways to accommodate a bridesmaid who may not be able to swing it. Research options and make sure everyone in your bridal party feels comfortable purchasing the attire you've chosen.” — Stephanie Weers, editor, Style Me Pretty
“It’s fine to expect bridesmaids to spend somewhere in the $300 range for a dress. Many brides nowadays are choosing dresses (or allowing their bridesmaids to choose dresses) in one color, but styles can vary. This allows bridesmaids to choose a dress that looks best on their body type, and one they can wear again and again.” — Amanda Halbrook, founder, 100 Layer Cake
“If a bride is going to choose her bridesmaids’ dresses, I think it’s important that she pays for the dresses. You can’t very well pick out a dress for someone else and then make her pay for it. For my bridesmaids, we designed a custom dress for each lady so she felt comfortable standing next to me. The last thing in the world I wanted on my wedding day was resentful bridesmaids who paid for a dress that they didn’t feel comfortable in.” — Christy Dawn Petersen, owner and designer, Christy Dawn
“A bride has the opportunity to pick whatever dress she wants. While there is not a specific maximum amount, the bride should always put herself in her bridesmaids’ shoes. Is someone in school? Is someone out of work? Planning their own wedding? By doing so, she will not alienate or put her friend in a position where it is a financial hardship or worse, where she can’t be part of the honor. We are happy at Vow to Be Chic to be able to assist in this challenge. Beautiful designer dresses are now available at a fraction of the cost, which offers the best for both the bride and bridesmaids.” — Kelsey Doorey, CEO and founder, Vow to Be Chic
“Each of your ladies will likely have a different budget to work with. Be mindful of this when choosing your bridesmaid dresses! Curating a mix-and-match bridal party creates room for some variety, not only in style but on the price tag as well. Have a friend who’s a savvy shopper? Encourage them to look for dresses and send their favorites your way. Together, you’re sure to find a selection of dresses that work perfectly for your big day.” — Caroline Dilsheimer, stylist, BHLDN
Romantic ruffles are always a good idea.
Deep red may feel like a bold choice, but just image how brilliant the photos will look.
This gown is so flattering.
Ballerina-inspired looks are having a big moment this season (yet still look timeless).
There's something very cool about the tiered salmon-colored gown.
In case you didn't notice, this dress is $70.
Bridesmaids will love re-wearing these separates for future special occasions.
Your bridesmaids can rent gowns from this site that they return after the wedding. (Genius!)
The cold-shoulder detail is so lovely.
There's a good chance that your bridesmaids actually will re-wear this.
Perfect for the '90s-loving directional bride.
This has outdoor wedding written all over it.
Tell us how much you think bridesmaids should be expected to pay for their dresses in the comments below!
Opening Image: Vogue/Isaias Miciu and Sergio Sandona