Once you say “yes” to your partner’s marriage proposal, you’ll want to consider who you want in your bridal party. You may be considering best friends, sisters, cousins, and other family members.
The family of the bride is expected to pay for some costs, such as lodging (if the wedding is out of town), some transportation, flowers, and a thank-you gift. If the bride requires that the bridal party members have their hair and makeup professionally done, then she needs to pay for that as well.
What many brides fail to do is consider the bridesmaids’ financial obligations. Bridesmaids are expected to pay for the dress and accessories (such as jewelry and shoes), transportation to the wedding, and a gift for the couple. The bridal party also throws the bachelorette party, so the costs of attending a wedding as bridesmaid or maid of honor can be staggering.
As a bride, you may desire a fairytale wedding. After all, you’ve probably been imagining this day for many years. However, your bridesmaids will want to keep it fairly low-key, especially since they will have to foot some of the costs.
Money is never an easy topic to bring up. However, by having a conversation early on with your bridal party about your expectations and their budgets, you can tailor your wedding accordingly. You’ll be able to have the loved ones you choose able to attend your wedding and be in your wedding party without any hurt feelings or arguments over money.
- Choose dresses that are functional. Bridesmaids are often frustrated that they plunk down several hundred dollars on a dress that they can wear only once. Choose dresses that look great, but which can be worn for a variety of occasions. Your bridesmaids will be more amenable to paying more for a dress if they can wear it to parties or on date nights.
- Keep the price low. You don’t need to choose dresses from Walmart or Target, but do keep the price low. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. David’s Bridal offers a variety of beautiful bridesmaid dresses for around $100.
You can take this a step further and see if you bridesmaids already have dresses that would work well with your wedding’s theme and colors. That way, they won’t even have to buy a dress. They can wear what they already have, saving hundreds of dollars.
- Keep the wedding local. While a destination wedding on a beach can be beautiful, chances are your bridal party will have trouble paying for all the expenses. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream. Why not consider two weddings? You can find a local venue in which you would invite everyone and involve your bridal party. Then, later on, you can have your dream wedding with just you two at the location of your choice. You’ll get the best of both worlds without offending your bridal party or ruining
- Be willing to compromise. So, you found the perfect bridesmaids dresses, but they cost $500. Don’t think your bridesmaids are going to be happy about your choice. Can you find dresses that look similar but cost much less? If not, be willing to make some compromises.
While this is your special day, guests are going to be focused on you and what you’re wearing. By the next month, nobody will even remember what your bridesmaids wore. Don’t feel like everything has to be perfect. Some small, less expensive modifications are not going to ruin your wedding.
- Ask for assistance in other areas. If your bridesmaids are having trouble with expenses, offer to pay for them, but then ask if they can help out in other areas. For example, a creative bridesmaid can create your invitations or help with decorations, such as setting up tables or arranging flowers. You can also ask for help the day before the event. Having a go-to person on hand to run errands and take care of any last-minute issues can reduce stress. It’ll be well worth it.
- Offer to chip in. While there are Bridezillas who think their wedding day is only about them, brides are supposed to be considerate of their bridesmaids’ finances. Everyone should be honest and upfront about their finances so there are no surprises.
Some bridesmaids may have some financial trouble, especially if they’re still in college or recently suffered a job loss. As a bride, you should be prepared to help out your bridesmaids financially. Offer to help pay for at least some of the costs, such as the dress or lodging, if applicable.
If the bridesmaids are hesitant about being in your bridal party, it’s likely because of the money. They don’t want to bring up the topic but, by keeping quiet, they’ll feel resentful, which will hurt your relationship.
By offering to help up front – or least bring up the topic of money – you and the bridesmaids can have a conversation about expectations. If you do offer money, they will appreciate your assistance.
Many long-time relationships have been hurt over money issues. Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. Don’t let money – or a lack thereof – ruin it. Find ways to compromise so you make your bridal party happy to represent you in your wedding. Remember, a wedding is just one day, but relationships are meant to last a lifetime.