What Should Your Bridal Party Pay For?

What Should Your Bridal Party Pay For?

Naming someone a member of the bridal party isn’t just a token of friendship -- it’s a sign of trust. The bridal party is responsible for ensuring that things go smoothly for the bride before (and on) the big day. However, these responsibilities can also bring up confusing -- and sometimes awkward -- questions about who pays for what. Here are few items that the bridal party is traditionally expected to pay for.

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Ensemble
Any bride knows that looking good on the big day isn’t cheap, but this rule also applies to the bridal party. The bride may traditionally select the bridal party dresses, but the bridesmaids are supposed to pick up the tab for their garments. Be mindful of the price point and select an option that everyone can afford. Accessories like bags, jewelry, and shoes, and other baubles are also at the bridesmaid’s expense. As for hair and makeup? This can vary from wedding-to-wedding. Most bridesmaids pay for their own, but some brides will comp these expenses as a “thank you” for everyone’s hard work.

Transportation
Is your wedding day taking place far away from one or more members of your bridal party? It’s part of their duties as members of the bridal party to pay for transportation to the wedding. Be sure to work with the financial constraints of your bridal party. If someone is foreseeing financial trouble ahead, consider contributing to their travel expenses if you’d like.

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Accommodations
Do your bridesmaids or maid of honor need a bed to sleep in the night before your wedding? Unless you’re opening up your home to them, then they’ll need to foot the bill for the hotel room. While it would be a nice gesture to pay, most couples simply can’t afford to be this generous. If you want to make things easier on your bridal party, book a hotel block where they can get discounted rates for their rooms or arrange directly with the hotel to pay a small portion of their room fees.

Bachelorette Party
In most cases, the bridal party works together to throw (and pay for) the bachelorette party. If it’s a traditionally one-night affair, the bride shouldn’t even know what the bill is. However, if you plan on going away for a weekend, the bride may need to pay for some of her expenses.

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Bridal Shower
If the maid of honor or a member of the bridal party is hosting the wedding shower, they are expected to pick up the tab. If a family member offers to host, it’s still customary for the bridal party to contribute -- whether that’s financially or simply helping the party run smoothly.

Gifts
Yes, your maid of honor and bridesmaids have contributed much of their time and money to your wedding already, but these are your ride or die crew. They are expected to bring gifts to both the bridal shower and the wedding itself. Your bridesmaids can also go all-in on one big gift if they are budget-conscious or simply want to get something more elaborate for you during this important time of your life!

Keep in mind that these are not hard-and-fast rules, but general guidelines. Traditions and expectations vary so it’s important to communicate openly with your bridal party about what you expect of them and what you’re flexible on.

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