Southern California wedding photographer’s tips on how to be a gracious bride

You might not realize it but being a bridesmaid can run upwards of $1000. Times are tough and the economy is tougher, take your bridal party’s budget into account when planning your wedding. Your bridesmaids love you and are eager to please. As a bride and a hostess you can ease the pressure off of some of the most important guests at the wedding! Your nearest and dearest will be more relaxed and able to enjoy your wedding if they are not suffering from sticker shock.

Here is the layout of how the cost of being a bridesmaid can add up to a hefty sum.
Dress: $200
Alterations: $75 -$200 (I have noticed the dress makers tend to make the dresses way to big so that expensive alterations are needed. Have the woman do their own measurements to cut down on this problem)
Shoes: $120
Hair, nails, makeup: $150, including tips
Travel: $50 – $500 depending on where they live
Hotel room: $75 – 300
Shower gifts: $50 each
Decorations/invitations for the shower: $45
Bachelorette party: $75 — $100
Wedding present: $100 – $200

As a wedding photographer, I have overheard many conversations among woman suffering from the cost of being a bridesmaid. Here are some tips on how to keep the cost down for your party.

  • Think twice about a destination bridal shower or bachelorette. People have very little extra money these days and are probably hesitant to take vacation. Flying to Vegas for the weekend is far more expensive for the participants than to have a local Soirée. In addition, if any have children there is an added burden of finding child care for the weekend.
  • Do pick a dress that is within their means. If the dress is overly expensive, chip in for some of the purchase cost.
  • The bridal attendants should only be invited to one shower and one bachelorette party. Anything more will make them feel pressured to give you yet another gift.
  • If you want everyone’s hair and make up to match, you may want to pay for it yourself.

Additional tips for making your bridesmaids comfortable and happy.

  • On the wedding day only make the wedding party line up for 2 or 3 posed photo shoots. You and your husband to be may want to ride around from location to location and spend 3 hours on photos but chances are your wedding party will have a shorter attention span.
  • Some of your friends will be more comfortable with their bodies than others. Rather than pick dress one style, pick one or two fabrics and let them have a choice in the style of dress. Not everyone is comfortable in a strapless and there is nothing worse than seeing your friend squirm the whole night because she is self conscious. Many dress makers offer versatile dress options in matching fabrics.
  • Remember to feed them! Have drinks and snacks available for them before the wedding.