The past few days we have seen quite a few articles on this subject. Today, we saw a piece featured on The Guardian too.
To summarise, a bridesmaid's average spending for one wedding is around $1324. This figure is taken from a survey done with more than 600 brides in United States. Dresses cost the most at around $165, hair and makeup at $89, $71 for shoes and $56 for accessories. Then for the pre-wedding events like parties and bridal shower, the cost is around $500, and the actual wedding (travel, accommodation and gift) costs $442.
The cost is quite astonishing. This can be the living expense for one family in 1 month, if we were to put things in perspective. For another, this could be an air ticket to Asia or Europe plus some travel expenses. Could this be a phenomenon only for United States? That would make for an interesting investigation.
A while ago, we also did a small write up on our blog, to give brides and bridesmaids an idea on how to save for a wedding. Frankly we do sympathise with ladies who have been or are going to be bridesmaids. We have all been through this ourselves here at the Jewelsalem studio, and it is often an experience that is rarely positive - be it financially or otherwise. We kind of like this article by Jen Doll, also on The Guardian, which makes for an interesting read as one ponders on the necessity of having bridesmaids.
Costly wedding expenses is an insight we have derived at when we were introducing our bridal accessories and bridesmaids jewelry - hence our goal is to provide value-for-money jewellery and hair accessories that are affordable to brides and bridesmaids alike. From our experience, it is split rather equally - either the bridesmaid is expected to procure all the accessories and jewelry herself or the bride will pay for all her bridesmaids. But even then the costs add up if you have 5 or 7 or 10 maids.
How can we serve our clients better? This is a question we constantly ask ourselves. Besides offering bulk discount, we also have occasions where brides can take advantage of sales or coupon codes in our shop to save.
We also recommend getting a bundle, such as a custom hair comb and a piece of jewelry; or a bridal robe with a custom comb. Usually 2 items for each bridesmaid or so. You might wonder is that enough? But the key is not quantity. It is quality. Having something customised is unique and we are often moved to see brides thinking how to make the item special for her maids. That is some real friendship and love there!
Naturally we would spend the most on dresses as that could always be worn again later. As for shoes, if your dress is going to long, it could be something to save on by wearing old shoes (which could be more comfortable anyway). As for hair and makeup, consider DIY. Pinterest does give a rich resource base for ideas on beautiful hair styles which you can recreate yourself without much hassle!
All in all, to have bridesmaids or not, is a personal choice. Some rejoice in having their best friends with them on their most important day while others are happy not to have bridesmaids with them. Being understanding is perhaps key. If I know my friends would have a hard time coughing up the money for my bridal expenses, I would not put them through it. Likewise, if my best friend is getting married, I will try my best to help, but if money is an issue, I hope to be honest about it and for my friend to understand my circumstance. What about you, dear readers? What is your stand on this?