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How to ask your friends to be bridesmaids? Am I suppose to give them a gift/pay for airfare/hotel?

Hello, I am well on my way of planning my wedding now. I had gotten all my girls together and we went to a bridal expo where it was a you understood that I want them all to be bridesmaids. I previously asked them independently if they would be interested, but never formally asked them. Do many people formally ask their friends or do something cute, or give them a pre bridesmaids gift as a token (outside of the bridesmaid gift during the week/day of the wedding)? We still need to get bridesmaids dresses so we will have a few more wedding outings together. What should I do? I know being a bridesmaid is a big responsibility and especially since I'm having a DW. At this point, the girls are paying their own way in airfare and hotel, is that bad? I am planning to give them a nice bridesmaid gift once the wedding gets here but I am just not sure what the norm is before hand. Any advice/recommendations would be helpful! Thank you!

Re: How to ask your friends to be bridesmaids? Am I suppose to give them a gift/pay for airfare/hotel?

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I don't think its necessary to make asking them into a big deal.  If you have already asked them to be bridesmaids, then I think you are okay.  I've been asked via text message before.  I just sent mine a private message on facebook saying that I would love it if they could be my BM's. I had already spoken to them informally and insinuated that I wanted them as BM, but hadn't actually asked. But, there are a billion cutesy ways to ask, especially if you search Pinterest, if you prefer that route. 

    For a DW, it is probably appreciated if you can help with their expenses, but not required.  Just make sure that they have an idea of what the expenses are up front, because that may be a deciding factor if they can actually be a BM or not.  If they can't afford it, they may need to bow out of being a BM.

    My BM's are paying for their own trip and expenses.  But, my only BM's are my 2 sisters and we coordinated with our immediate families when planning the wedding location to make sure the trip was feasible for them.  After discussions about possible DW's, everyone liked the idea of a cruise wedding, so we presented them with optional itineraries for 3-day cruise or 7-day cruise... they unanimously chose the 7-day cruise. If even one of them wasn't able to do the 7-day, we would have done the cheaper cruise instead or decided to just to a small wedding at home.

    For the best man, he originally planned to do the whole cruise, but after looking more into costs decided that he can't afford to do it.  But he agreed to join us just for the wedding (wedding is at port before leaving for the cruise).  We haven't discussed it with him yet, but FI and I have discussed possibly paying for his plane ticket and/or suit, since FI really wants his best friend there beside him and it seems that the expenses are more than he is really comfortable paying.  He has other friends that would have liked to be there and can't afford it, but best man is the only one that FI would be devastated if he weren't there. But, be aware that if all your BM's know each other, it could cause problems if you pay for one but not the rest. 

    I let bridesmaids choose their own dresses (just specified color), so they can choose their own price point there and go cheaper if needed.  I haven't told them yet, but I plan to pay for their nails & hair (which was optional for them to do). So, we are trying to help out where we can, or at least try to limit their expenses a bit. We've also debated getting them gift cards for the cruise line that we are getting married on, since they are going on the cruise, to help with some of the cruise expenses.  But, a lot of that will depend on what money we have left as we get closer to the wedding.  And we figure that they were fully aware of, and agreed to, the expenses 16 months ago and they could opt out if necessary... we would be sad if our wedding party weren't there with us, but we can't force them to go on vacation for our wedding.  But, it wouldn't be feasible to pay for everything for everyone.

    My biggest advice would be to actually have a heart-to-heart discussion with them, individually, saying that you would like them to be bridesmaid, if possible, and to make sure they are aware of the anticipated expenses and ask what budget they can afford. That way you know what price range is available for dresses, hair/makeup/nails, etc.  That also gives them a chance to let you know if they can't afford to join you for the wedding, but maybe they are still able to help you out with planning stuff at home. 


  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    By the way, sorry that my response ended up being so long.  I can get rambling sometimes.


  • It was great! Thank you for the information :)
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