Wedding Wednesdays: What Should Bridesmaids REALLY Expect To Pay For? (Episode 38)


Being a bridesmaid is always an honour, and also a financial responsibility. Sometimes the bride pays for everything and other times it’s the bridesmaids. Usually, with clear communication, awkward situations can be avoided at all costs! You might be wondering, what should bridesmaids really expect to pay for? Today we are covering it all!



Shoes and accessories

Usually, bridesmaids will choose their own shoes and accessories. Decide what you’d like to wear and share it with the bride. There may be some guidance from the bride, such as ‘gold jewellery’ or ‘heels in any shade of beige or blush’.

If the bride would like her ladies to wear anything specific or matching, she should pay for it and give it to the girls as a gift.

Expert tip: if you plan to give your bridesmaids shoes or accessories as a gift on the day, tell them ahead of time that they don’t need to worry about these things. This will avoid your girls buying new items that they don’t need to wear.


Wedding gift

Are the bridesmaids expected to give wedding gifts? It’s not expected, but most people do! You could chip in and buy a gift on behalf of all the bridesmaids or the whole wedding party, or give a gift of your own.


Hen party: the bride’s expenses

Yes. The bride should never have to pay for her own hen party or anything she enjoys on the day or weekend. Usually all the hen party guests, including the bridesmaids, will chip in to cover the cost of anything the bride enjoys.


Hair and makeup

If the bride would like professional hair and makeup for the girls, she must cover the cost. The bridesmaids can offer to pay for this in the event that this hasn’t been budgeted for.

Expert tip: Plan this ahead of time and don’t wait until the week of the wedding to settle on a plan.



This is a tricky one and it depends on a few things:

If the bride wants her girls to wear a specific dress, she should pay for it or at least contribute towards the cost of the dress.

If the bride is allowing her girls to wear whatever they want, it’s not uncommon for the girls to cover this cost.

Expert tip: As the bride, be upfront about the plans. Tell your girls ahead of time if you’d like them to pay for the dress, or a portion of the cost. If you want them wearing something specific, tell them ahead of time.


Here’s what the bridesmaids should pay for:

Shoes and accessories (unless the bride has a very specific vision)

Wedding gift

Hen party: your expenses + contribute towards the bride’s

Hair and makeup (sometimes!)

A contribution towards the dress (sometimes!)


Here’s what the bride should pay for:

Dress (unless you let them wear whatever they want)

Shoes and accessories (if you want them to wear something specific)

Hair and makeup (sometimes!)

NOT: Hen party – your girls will treat you!