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Discussing finances is both the most awkward and important part of being a maid of honor. While there are certainly some expenses that you are expected to cover, it’s up to you to set an overall budget that you’re comfortable spending. Before doing so, you need to be able to answer the question that most are too embarrassed to ask: what does the maid of honor pay for?
1. Wedding Attire
The maid of honor, along with the rest of the bridal party, is expected to cover all wedding attire costs. This includes the dress (plus any necessary alterations), shoes, and any jewelry you’ll be wearing the day of. Occasionally, the bride will gift her bridesmaids with whatever accessories she wants them to wear, and the bride generally covers the cost of the bouquets or bouquet alternatives.
2. Bridal Shower
When it comes to the bridal shower, it’s the responsibility of the maid of honor to split the expenses with the rest of the bridal party. This includes the cost of all decorations, activities/games, food and beverages. That being said, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for contributions from both the mothers of the bride and groom or any other close family members.
3. Bachelorette Party
For destination bachelorette parties, each bridesmaid is expected to cover their own travel expenses. The entire bridal party should split the bill for accommodations (this includes covering the bride’s portion as well) and any additional accessory costs (decorations, attire, food, etc.) Discuss beforehand if you and your fellow bridesmaids will be splitting the bride’s portion on all, or any, food and drink bills.
As the maid of honor, you are expected to give both a bridal shower and wedding gift. Because you are already spending plenty of money on other expenses, don’t feel obligated to go overboard or over budget. For the bridal shower gift, pick one or two things off the registry and for the wedding gift, cash (or check) is definitely considered acceptable.
5. Hotel and Travel
The entire bridal party should expect to pay for any travel to and from wedding weekend as well their overnight accommodations. Typically the bride will ask her bridesmaids to stay with her the night before the wedding in her bridal suite, so you may only need to cover the cost of one night’s stay.
6. Hair and Makeup
This is always a controversial cost to discuss. Of all the weddings we’ve been in, we’ve always been responsible for covering the cost of professional hair and makeup, including tips. That being said, there are many brides who will choose this as their ‘gift’ to their bridal party. Either way, you should factor in this cost when determining your budget.