Bridal Party Q&As

Guidelines about the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved, from maid of honor on down.

Q: I purchased crystal brooches, $25 each, for my bridesmaids to wear on their dresses, setting me back $75. Is it rude to ask them to reimburse me?

A: Twenty-five dollars may not seem like a great deal of money, but with all the costs bridesmaids are responsible for, every little bit adds up. Let’s see, they have to pay for their dresses, contribute to both the bridal shower and bachelorette party and give you and your fiancé a wedding gift.They may even have to spend money traveling to the wedding or staying at a hotel. Plus, some of them may be attendants in other ceremonies this year, setting them back a whole lot more than $75. How about this: Why don’t you give your bridesmaids the jewelry as your gift for being in your wedding? That way, they won’t feel disgruntled by having to fork over any more money,they’ll wear the pins on their dresses and you’ve taken care of what to give them. Now, isn’t that easy?

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Wedding etiquette is a popular subject because they are so many horror stories. It's expensive to be in a bridal party, and it's expensive and stressful to have a large one. One budget line item that often gets overlooked by the future Mr. and Mrs. is the THANK YOU gift for each bridal party member. You should plan to spend at least half the amount of the cost of the bridesmaid dress/suit rental for each person. So if the dress they bought is $300, then be prepared to thank each one with ~$150 worth of gratitude. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, flights/hotels, hair/shoes/makeup/hair styling -- all these things add up, and some bridesmaids spend over $1000 just to be in your wedding party. These are your most important witnesses to your wedding. And chances are they supported you before, during, and after the big day. Thank you gifts are not the area to skimp. Good luck! Lisa |

I've selected my matron of honor (and asked her) who is engaged and was supposed to get married before me but then had to postpone her wedding. Can she still be my matron of honor??