So, for those of you new, and not so new, to the bridal world let me diffuse a myth. Being a bridesmaid is not cheap. In fact, it is incredibly expensive. The brides who have had the (pleasure, luck, experience, nightmare) of being a bridesmaid know that it can cost a pretty penny, and hopefully go easy when it’s their turn to head down the aisle.  But brides who have never been a bridesmaid… it’s like those people that leave bad tips who have never worked in the restaurant business before… Bad form.

Here’s the reality. Bridesmaids drop cash on a blender for the shower,  the food, prizes and cake for the shower (usually the bridesmaids pitch in to pay for this), an array of ridiculous and sometimes tacky sashes, crowns and other nonsense for the bachelorette party, a wedding gift, their hair, their makeup, their bridesmaid dress, shoes, a bag, hotel accommodations, travel (planes, trains and automobiles- yeah that means you destination wedding girls) all with a giant smile. I spent close to $1,500 on one wedding I was in when all was said and done. 

The dresses can be the most expensive part of being in a wedding.

A good rule, especially in these economic times….

Brides…if you want your bridesmaids in $350 dresses, you better buy them yourself.

It’s unfair to impose expensive dresses on your bridesmaids when they’re going to be shelling out a lot more cash for everything else. Keep the next few things in mind when picking the dresses.

Top 3 things every bride should remember:

1. If you’re wedding is a destination wedding that requires hotel, airfare etc. for showers, bachelorette and wedding, offer to pay for something! Your bridesmaids hotel rooms or their dresses maybe? Taking some of the edge off is a nice thing to do if you want to keep your friends when your wedding is over.

2. If you and your hubby are “just-out-of-college” newlyweds, and so are your bridesmaids, odds are no one has established themselves in the real world and don’t have unlimited funds to spend on you. 

3. Yours might not be the only wedding your friends are in/attending this year. Ease up on the bridezilla antics.

There are cheap dress options. Buying in bulk and asking for a discount always works nicely. It’s amazing what you can get if you ask nicely. The worst thing that happens is the store says no and you take your business elsewhere…

Of course you can always opt out if you can’t afford to walk the walk. It’s completely allowed and bride should never hold it against her bridesmaids if they can’t afford to participate. It just makes life easier if all of this is taken into account BEFORE the wedding.

Happy Wedding Season…