The Bridesmaid Problem

Last week I attempted to be social and went out with a couple friends to see the movie Bridesmaids. Usually I am chugging away at my $4 popcorn so relentlessly you can practically hear the popcorn begging for mercy, but this time I had to keep my mouth food-free for all the laughing. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I’ll lay out the basic plot for you!

Annie (played by Kristen Wiig) is watching her life fall apart while her childhood BFF, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) gets engaged. Lillian asks Annie to be her Maid of Honor and of course Annie accepts because… well… she has to. During the wedding preparations, we watch as Annie struggles to make financial ends meet in order to throw great parties for Lillian. Of course, her efforts are disastrous and countered by an arch-nemesis fellow bridesmaid (who has more dough to spend).

While the movie pokes fun at wedding antics, it also brings to mind a good point: Getting selected to be your friend’s bridesmaid definitely makes you feel warmandfuzzy on the inside, but how is your empty wallet going to feel after the wedding?

According to my sources, the average bridesmaid is likely to dole out over $1,000 in fees to a wedding that… wait… isn’t even hers! This graph breaks it down better than I can:

So, how do you avoid the hefty price of being a bridesmaid if you don't have the greens?

FOR THE BRIDESMAIDS: Make the wedding gift instead of buying it; it’s more special that way, anyway! Plan a bridal shower at a low-cost setting (i.e. a fellow bridesmaid's rich pad) and invite more people to the bachelorette party so you can spread the costs.

FOR THE BRIDES: Talk to your bridesmaids about all the costs your wedding might entail and make sure it is OK with them first. Be open to new suggestions too. And if your bridesmaids can’t afford to buy a new dress, let them re-use something from their closet. 

Hope these tidbits help. Happy planning and good luck to all you bridesmaids out there!

All images courtesy of and





Carol Shih wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Cecilia, a couple ideas for

Cecilia, a couple ideas for you on handmade gifts: a photo album, a quilt of the couple's photos, etc. Basically anything that is decorative and can be used in their new home!

Liana, great idea!! Thanks for the suggestion. And thanks for reading too!

Liana wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Wow, the things you never think about ...

Oh my! I learned last summer that planning a wedding was CRAZY and intense and expensive, but I had no idea there was so much on the bridesmaid's part, too. Dang - she needs separate travel tickets for each party? Goodness =( I just watched 27 Dresses recently because my host sister wanted to, and it was really interesting to look at all her (ugly) bridesmaid dresses. I guess you don't normally sell them or anything ... :x

The wedding dress in Brides Maids looks really cute! :) I guess I personally wouldn't want a hot pink sash, but I really like the bottom style. Can you do an entry on the different wedding dress styles? :)

P.S. I think I may be getting addicted to this blog already. Oops.

Jane Kim wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

yea, i had a discussion with

yea, i had a discussion with ellen about stuff like this, and i was surprised by what it takes to be a bridesmaid! so much money/time/planning/etc!

Katherine wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

Truer words never spoken and

Truer words never spoken and a great breakdown.

Cecilia wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I had no idea being a

I had no idea being a bridesmaid was so expensive! Any ideas on some handmade gifts?

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