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Always a Bridesmaid? How Much Should the Average Wedding Dress Cost for Bridesmaids?

Always a bridesmaid, now never a bride? It’s common. In fact, most women succumb to the duty at least five times before they become a bride.

But don’t let a friend’s nuptial plans empty your pockets. Find out beforehand how much the standard bridesmaids dress costs for a wedding.

Elle surveyed four women on how much money they spent being bridesmaids. Between them all, they doled out $6151, more than $1300 of which was on dresses alone.

When your friend is getting married and you’re in the wedding party, things get expensive fast. Before you say yes, keep reading. How much should the average wedding dress cost for bridesmaids? Read on.

Make Sure the Bride Has a Budget

In typical tradition, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. But there’re some things that get excluded. Bridesmaids dresses are one of them.

Find out how many other bridesmaids are in the wedding. If there are five or more, expect a large wedding. Ask the bride about the wedding budget to get an idea of how much you’ll have to spend. If it’s a large wedding, presume an extravagant setting.

The bride’s going all out on everything, including looks for her bridesmaids.

Also, bridesmaid dresses fluctuate in cost. So ask for the quota up front before you commit. Then determine if the budget’s something you can handle.

Standard Bridesmaids Expenses

The dress may be the largest expense bridesmaids incur. But it’s not the only one. When you say yes, here’s what you can expect to take care of:

  • Cost of Travel – Unless the bride’s rich or generous enough to pay for everything in the wedding, you’re paying to get there. Bus, train, or airplane, you’re covering your own fare. Lodging as well, if the bride doesn’t provide it.
  • Beauty Aesthetics – The fun part of weddings is the fancy part, getting all dolled up. Before you get excited about the makeup, hair, and manicures, know you’re paying for it. And MUAs and hair stylists aren’t cheap.
  • Bachelorette Party – Almost every bride wants to celebrate her last night being single. Guess who gets to help pay for that party? That’s right. As a right of friendship honor, you chip in to help give the bride a night to remember.
  • Gift – Everyone invited to the wedding, brings a gift. It’s like saying thanks for the invite and the free meal afterward. The wedding party doesn’t get a pass. You’ll have to buy a gift as well.

The total damage can get overwhelming. But all is not loss. You can find ways to save with the dress.

The Average Wedding Dress Cost Varies for Bridesmaids

Depending on the bride’s taste, you could get a tailor-made dress or catalog option. The catalog option is a plus.

The average cost of a tailor-made dress can be over a thousand dollars. The cost of the fabric and sewing starts over $300. That doesn’t include pattern cutting costs or alterations. It also depends on the tailor.

The catalog option is similar to buying out of the store. The prices vary, and you could find a knock-off version somewhere else. Speak up and suggest uniformity to the bride. Everybody gets the same dress but different accessories.

This lets you shop around for lower-priced dresses that everyone can afford.

Save on Your Next Wedding

Unless it’s a courthouse shindig, weddings aren’t cheap. The average wedding dress cost for bridesmaids aren’t either.

Before you commit to a friend, strategize ways to save on the dress. Even if it means wearing a discount imitation, find a way to save.

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About the author

Rachel Slifka

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