Being a bridesmaid in a friends wedding is a strange business.   Your friend or relative asks you to be in their wedding and you are honored that they asked you (or else you feel bad for them because they have no friends) so you say you will be in their wedding.   Now you just signed up for a whole list of obligations and if you do not make good on each and every one you will be considered the bad bridesmaid and friend. If you are the maid of honor your job is to pick up the slack of these bad bridesmaids and your costs double for each of the days below.

Bridal Showers- You are now invited and expected to attend and maybe even host bridal showers,  you have to pay for invites, food, drinks, organize a location, buy a gift for each shower, take time out of your life to devote to the bride. Cost- 2 Saturday + $75 party hosting + $100 gifts ($175)

Bachelorhood Party-  You have to help host and pay for the events, bus, drinks, food, and pay for drinks for the bride, and another expensive night of your life devoted to them. Cost – 1 Saturday +150 for party+$40 naughty gift +$60 new dress, +$50 for night out ($300)

Dress Shopping-  You are invited to go bridal dress shopping so you can be honest with the bride about what looks best on her,  you watch her try on dresses for 2 hours and wait for her to purchase it before you go out for drinks or lunch to celebrate the bridal dress shopping. Cost- 1 Saturday + $50 lunch and drinks ($50)

Bridesmaid Dress Shopping- You are expected to shop for the bridesmaid dresses that she has chosen for her bridesmaids, you go there hoping it will be reasonable priced bridesmaid dress, you know that no matter how cute it is you will never, ever wear it again, seriously nobody does that, you don’t want to be the girl at the next event wearing a bridesmaid dress that the other girls laugh at in the bathroom.   Now you try the dress on, the one that only looks good on the super skinny girl with big boobs and you look down at the price tag and gasp, $250 bucks!  Holy crap, now you have to purchase it the day you are in the store so they can order them all together so they are all the same lot so you just signed your life away for a dress you can not return for any reason.    Now that the dress is ordered you have to buy shoes, the same shoes as the rest of the girls, fingers crossed they are cheap and don’t need to be dyed or something stupid like that.  Don’t forget you need to get new support undergarments so the shiny dress does not show every lump and bump, matching nylons and you need a  new strapless bra too.  Cost – 1 Saturday, $250 dress + $60 shoes, $20 nylons +$80 undergarments ($410)

Day Before Wedding Events- Maybe it is a golf day, or a spa day, or a bar and casino day you are obligated to take the day off of work to help the bride stay busy. Cost – 1 vacation day $80 events +$40 food ($120)

Grooms Dinner- Sure you get a gift and a free dinner out of the deal and hopefully a sincere thanks from the bride and groom.

Hairstyle Morning-  You are now told by your friend how she wants you to style your hair, she wants everyone to have matching updo’s and you all have appointments at her salon for a $60 updo at 7AM on her wedding day. Cost -$75 with tip ($75)

Wedding Day and Gift- Now that you are in the wedding, besides each of the previous gifts of your time, bridal shower gifts, bachelorette gift, hosting parties, updo costs, dress cost, shoe cost, nylons, undergarments to fit under the dress, you are also expected to give a nice gift, not just a general wedding guest gift.  Cost -1 Saturday + $100 gift ($100)

Gift Opening- You are in the wedding so you are expected to attend the day after to watch them open gifts and be bored out of your gourd sitting around drinking mimosas and eating fruit.  Cost – 1 Sunday.

Wedding Total- $1,230 plus 8 days devoted to your friend the bride.

For my wedding I purchased my bridesmaids dresses and jewelry. I realized that they might not have liked my dress choice and I knew how I hated the feeling of plopping down the full cost for a bridesmaid dress that I could not ever return so I wanted to do something nice for my girls.  They still had to buy the undergarments and shoes, but I also made sure I only had one large shower because I wanted my friends to remain my friends and not spend months of their life devoted to my wedding.

I am not a wedding hater, I am just practical.    I also think that people need to consider the costs you are signing up for if you are asked to be in a wedding.  If you are a bride, remember the costs your friends are spending on your day and in your honor.  Try to pick out a reasonable bridesmaid dress or better yet, consider buying them for your bridesmaids!   If you are still friends after their wedding, try to put the same friends who’s weddings you were in, in your wedding so you guys can pay each other back for the time and energy spent.