An article on CNN about the cost of being a bridesmaid... Gosh I kinda feel bad for my bridesmaids... Luckily I am covering their bridesmaid dresses , make up and the hotel before my wedding day and most of them have a place in LA which is good...
See here or read below. What do you think, are you reluctant about being a bridesmaid?
-- Friends have asked Brianne Bricker to be their bridesmaid so many times, that this summer she finally had to say "no."
It's not that the 24-year-old didn't want to be in her friend's wedding, but after spending more than $5,000 on nine weddings over the last two years, she literally just can't afford one more.
"It's hard, because she's somebody I'd want to have in my wedding," Bricker said, referring to the bride she turned down who is a close college friend.
But Bricker isn't the only bridesmaid to feel the burden of wedding expenses.
After adding up the cost of the dress, accessories, travel expenses, wedding gifts and more, WeddingChannel.com found that it costs about $1,695 to be a bridesmaid. The estimate was based on a 2010 Real Weddings study that surveyed more than 20,000 brides nationwide.
The highest expenses include travel to the wedding, shower and bachelorette party, which each can cost an average of $300.
Stars talk about "Bridesmaids"
Many bridesmaids don't realize how quickly the expenses can add up, says Amy Eisinger, associate editor of WeddingChannel.com.
"From the moment they announce the engagement, to the day your friend walks down the aisle, if that's a year and a half, you don't realize that you've spent $1,600," she said.
As the economy struggles out of a slump, the price of weddings -- and the cost of being a bridesmaid -- is starting to rise.
"We saw the cost go down during the recession because brides were incredibly cost conscious in what they were asking their friends to do," Eisinger said.
Now, brides are asking for more formal weddings with larger price tags.
While women want to be in their best friend's wedding, some just can't spend all their savings on the big day. So how do you break it to the bride that you can't be her bridesmaid?
"Be honest up front," says Jodi R.R. Smith, author of "The Etiquette Book," which includes advice on everything from the proper music selection to the wording on wedding invitations.
"If you try to be able to do it, then you end up maxing out your credit cards and going into debt," Smith said. "You should never be going into debt for a friend's wedding."
Smith advises women to turn down bridesmaid offers in person, but never during a wedding-related event like the bridal shower. Instead, grab coffee or find a time to talk outside of work.
Don't "throw a fit" about the expenses, but just tell the truth, Eisinger says.
"You are allowed to say, 'Look, I'm just not going to be able to afford the $200 wedding dress and the trip to Mexico for the bachelorette party and the fact that it's a destination wedding in Key West,' " she said.
Destination weddings and honeymoons
Brides who want their friends to walk down the aisle with them will probably offer to pay for expenses like the dress or plane ticket to the wedding, Smith said.
"If it's a choice between having somebody be in your wedding party or having them all wear designer bridesmaid dresses, I would choose the people and the cheaper bridesmaid dress," Smith said.
Bridesmaid Christina Barkel was allowed to pick her own dress for a wedding as long as it was royal blue. After months of scouring sale racks and thrift stores, she found the perfect dress for only $40.
Barkel, an AmeriCorps member who earns a small stipend, is paying for only the dress and $450 plane ticket from Michigan to California to be in her friend's wedding in San Diego. Barkel said the bride offered to pay for three of her four nights in a hotel because she understands Barkel can't afford the expense.
Knowing what bridesmaids can and can't afford can be a tricky situation for brides. It's not polite to ask directly, so Smith advises brides to give a spreadsheet with an estimated cost of expenses to their bridesmaids. That way, women can see if their bank accounts can handle the final total.
More "Bridesmaids" coming down the aisles?
But like in the movie "Bridesmaids," unexpected surprises like a bachelorette party in Las Vegas do happen. In these cases, bridesmaids shouldn't be shy to offer alternatives.
"Instead of the bachelorette party in Vegas, [if] you're all East Coast people, have it in Atlantic City," Smith says.
University of Michigan graduate student Katie Okonowski, 23, will be a bridesmaid in her younger sister's wedding next spring. Okonowski said she was thrilled to hear that her sister chose a venue in their hometown of Dearborn, Michigan.