Bridesmaid 101: Things You Should Know Going In

Being a bridesmaid is exciting and an honor -- the bride picked you, whether you be the groom's sister, her sister, a cousin, or one of her closest friends, you get the privilege to stand beside her and her fiance on their wedding day to help celebrate their marriage. With being asked to be a bridesmaid though, and with your acceptance of becoming one, there are some things you need to know going in to this experience. 

The Time Obligation

You are expected to attend certain events as a bridesmaid (besides the wedding), including bridal showers, the bachelorette, and the rehearsal. Sometimes a bride will seek advice from her bridesmaids or ask for help in assembling centerpieces or stuffing invitations, and as a bridesmaid (if you're able to do so), it's considerate to help out. 

The Cost 

According to sources like Weddington Way and Bustle, the average cost of being a bridesmaid today is between $1,000 and $1,500. Not saying that all weddings will insist on a financial commitment that large, but when you break it down for an average $250 dress, $100 for a shower gift, $100 to go towards the MOH doing the bachelorette, $300 for traveling, $150 for hair and makeup...the expenses can add up quick. If you struggle with procuring funds, be honest to the bride about it and upfront. 

The Dress and How You Look

With the trend of having bridesmaids pick their own dress as long as it's a certain color and fabric, you have a pretty decent chance of ensuring that you get to wear a flattering dress (or not a dress!). The reality is however that the bride gets the final say on what you wear and how you are presented, as you will be heavily photographed that day. You must be conscious of this when shopping with her, or selecting your gown. Don't be afraid to ask if you can have wildly colored hair, exposed piercings or tattoos, or other requests, but the key phrase is "expect the worst, hope for the best".