The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

We think it’s high time to shine a light on the unsung heroes of the wedding industry: the bridesmaids. Not only are they the trusted confidantes of the brides, but they sacrifice their time, and a sizable chunk of money, to ensure that a wedding day is unforgettable. We’ve come up with a few ways to help offset the cost of being a bridesmaid — but first, let’s break down everything that goes into the duty.

The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

Being asked to be a bridesmaid feels like the highest honor your mid-twenties can bestow upon you. Your best friend and/or relative wants you standing beside her on her big day — it’s a big deal! However, every girl has that question looming in the back of her head as she’s popping the bubbly to celebrate her hitched BFF: how much is this going to cost me?

I was thrilled when my best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid. I was 23, fresh out of college, and wide-eyed. My fellow bridesmaids and I immediately began making plans to celebrate our first engaged friend. A bachelorette party in Miami! Beautiful bridesmaid dresses, the kind you’ll actually want to wear again! Professional hair and makeup for the big day! After all was said and done, and the wedding hangover subsided, I was $1,000 deep in credit card debt. Millennials, right?

It’s been over a year, and my budgeting skills have improved, so I decide to create a budget to avoid going into debt for the two weddings in which I am a bridesmaid in 2020. I break out the calculator and wrack my brain for everything that goes into being a bridesmaid. The dresses, the air fair, hotel stays, bachelorette parties, shoes, gifts… the list goes on. My heart sinks when I add it all together — I’ll spend about $5,000 in 2020 on weddings.

Now, that number is by no means average. All of my betrothed friends live in different states, so extensive traveling costs factor into that figure. However, I’ll still be spending a big chunk of my salary on weddings that aren’t even my own. I’m not the only millennial woman facing this dilemma. In fact, the modern bridesmaid will spend an average of $1,500 on each wedding she’s a part of. Let’s break that number down, shall we?


Besides the actual wedding, there are a few events that a good bridesmaid should attend: the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. We all have an image of the typical bachelorette party: it includes adult entertainment and alcohol. However, if you’ve been to a bachelorette party in recent years, you know that they’re more lavish now than ever before. They frequently require extensive travel, elaborate decorations and activities; today, it has to be “Instagrammable.” The average bridesmaid should budget $537 for today’s bachelorette party. That includes travel, accommodations and gifts. As for the bridal shower, our bridesmaid can budget just under $200 for that.


If the bride is nice, the bridesmaid dresses will be flattering. If she’s a bridezilla, they may look like a taffeta explosion. Either way, bridesmaids will spend an average of $165 on their dress for the big day. Don’t forget about alterations, which vary widely for each bridesmaid. That was one expense that caught me by surprise — I had to fork over $150 for mine! So, that’s about $300 on a dress our bridesmaid will (probably) only wear once.


It’s finally here — the big day! But, our average bridesmaid is not done swiping her credit card just yet. She still has to buy a gift for the happy couple, travel to the venue, and get her hair and makeup done. Since our bridesmaid is in the wedding, there’s added pressure to buy a nice gift. She can budget about anywhere from $45 to $195 for the gift. Hair and makeup costs about $81. Travel and lodging will set our bridesmaid back about $317. Then, she’s ready to walk down the aisle!

How to Pay for Being a Bridesmaid

So, where can today’s bridesmaid come up with the cash necessary to stand by the bride on the big day? Well, she can start with Dallas Gold & Silver Exchange. We buy gold, silver, diamonds, and luxury watches — and pay cash or check for them. If your bridesmaid duties are costing an arm and a leg and you have a pile of inherited junk, turn it into cash with us. You can even get a discount when you trade your cash for an accessory to wear on the big day.