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.
An average bridesmaid hair comb at Jewelsalem would cost around $17. Of course if your wish to customise the design, the cost would be higher.. and likewise, if you choose to purchase ready-made combs, it can go as low as $9.90. We have created close to a thousand ready-made designs in all colors and themes to give our clients a large selection, and if budget is an issue, there is usually no need to go for custom designs.
For earrings, the average cost is $12. For necklaces, around $18. And bracelet starts from $15.
What we find useful is also how most clients go for 2 items - usually a hair accessory and another piece of jewelry, be it earrings or necklaces or bracelets. This would reduce the expenses to $35 per bridesmaid on average. To top that off, we usually have bulk purchase discounts or monthly promotional codes which the brides and bridesmaids can capitalise on to save more.
We will advise spending 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?