Relationships between brides and their bridesmaids can become very strained in the lead-up to a wedding for a number of reasons – but one of the biggies is the subject of costs.

It’s not uncommon for bridesmaids to drop more than $1000 just to be part of their friends’ big day. And this can be even more if it’s a destination wedding, or the hen’s do involves a trip or something elaborate like going to a day spa.

Sometimes¬† brides will pick up the tab for the whole lot. Other times, they can’t stretch their finances that far, and tradition kicks in.

Traditionally brides pay for:

  • Bouquets
  • Gifts for bridal party

While bridesmaids are responsible for covering the costs of:

  • Their dresses
  • Shoes
  • A gift
  • The bride’s costs at the hen’s day/night

And unfortunately, weddings have changed so much in recent years, there’s a bunch of grey areas too:

  • Hair and makeup – traditionally this was something bridesmaids did themselves. These days most brides want their ‘maids to have professional hair and makeup for the photos. Ideally the bride would pay for this,¬† but it is more often not the case.
  • Spray-tanning – sometimes a bride will insist everyone is bronzed up for the big day. If this is the case, she should pick up the tab.
  • Transport costs and accommodation – this is often where tensions will run high, especially if there are great distances involved. Airfares and hotel costs can seriously bite. Some brides pay for this for their bridal parties, while others insist the bridesmaids foot the bill.
  • Accessories – often bridesmaids will pay for these themselves, but some brides opt to buy earrings, necklaces and bracelets for their bridesmaids that double as a thank-you gift.