Wedding Party

Bridesmaids costs

What is the average cost bridesmaids are paying towards weddings?  My costs are $175 dress $40 shoes and $200 for bridal shower... does that sound about right according to other BM's?  Also is a bridal shower and wedding gift expected as far as etiquette goes?  Thanks!
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Re: Bridesmaids costs

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    I was just a BM in my MOH's wedding.

    Our dresses were $139. I paid an additional $40 for alterations.
    My shoes (we could pick our own and I picked two pairs--one for ceremony, one for reception) were $50 total (got both on sale).
    Hair and make-up were $50 total (optional).
    Jewelry I already had.
    Mani/pedi was $50 (optional).

    I attended both her showers and got her gifts for both plus the wedding, which was about $100 total.

    I guess the biggest thing is most of those expenses were optional (besides the dress they all were). Brides should be asking budgets for dresses and not expecting any of these other things; if they're required, the bride pays. The only "required" thing I'm asking of my girls is a dress in their price range.

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    My experience as a BM has varied:
    - $130 - $200 for 'traditional' BM dresses, another $40 for shoes.  I was not asked to contribute to either of their showers (for the first I had just finished high school and would have been able to give about twenty bucks!) For the second I just pitched in during the bachelorette party, paying for part of the bride's everything.  We paid for our own hair.
    - $260 for a dress than needed to be hand-made (the bride sincerely thought she was doing us a favor since the two BMs had very different body types, and the other BM had her dad make it, who did a much better job than the seamstress I searched and searched for), silver shoes that I re-used for another wedding, but she had two receptions, both out of my state on back to back weekends, so airplane tix added up quickly.
    - $40 Ann Taylor Loft dress (on sale), she's looking for specific shoes for us still and hasn't specified baubles or hair yet (wedding is still a year away).

    I agree that people don't usually alter dresses they buy off the rack, but that being said people don't usually buy themself a dress that isn't flattering.

    I'm asking my BMs to wear a LBD of their choice as well... and have tried to make it very clear that they do NOT need to go out and buy a dress if they don't want to.  I'll be looking for fun ballet flats in our wedding colors (blues) for them, and gold for me.  Jewelry will be their own, and I'm not sure about hair and makeup.  A friend of a friend offered to come do it for whoever would like, and she said that all we would need to pay her are tips so that is definitely in consideration.

    If a bride is asking her maids to buy dresses way outside of their budget, I suggest anyone feeling a significant pinch go to the bride privately.  It may be all about the bride day of, but presumably no one wants her BMs to go into ridiculous credit card debt because of a wedding!

    PS I wrote a novel.  I'm sorry!
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    I'm really hoping my girls aren't out too much...

    $170 for dresses (plus alterations)
    Shoes of their choice (black, open-toed heels)
    Travel/lodging (one from out of state, and one from out of town, other 3 live here)
    Partial cost of hair and makeup (some going/doing on own, I had to put a $200 deposit at salon that I'm going to have them roll over for the 4 of us who will be having hair done together)
    Bachelorette party (only for 3, 2 are not able to be there)

    I've purchased jewelry for them to wear, as well as have personalized bags and flipflops for them to wear at the reception.  My sister-in-law (MOH) gave my shower and just asked the girls to help greet guests and set food up the day of. 

    I feel like I should do more for them... do you think I've asked too much??
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    I honestly think the average is between $500 and $1000.

    I spent:

    $150 Dress
    $40 Alterations
    $40 Shoes
    $150 Shower (we rented a place) + gift
    $150 Bachlorette party (we took her to NYC for a show)
    $100 Hotel Night (his mom's house was too packed)
    $100 New Make-up (but, I knew I'd keep this for a while)

    My FI spent more as the BM for his brother.
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