Being chosen as a member of the bridal entourage is an honor given only to a select few from the bride’s close circle. And with that honor comes — you know it — responsibility. The bridesmaids, MOH, even secondary sponsors have all sorts of tasks to accomplish for the wedding. Some of those tasks also have a price tag attached.
Let’s be clear: Entourage expenses are not fixed. It depends on what the bride and her entourage talk about and it will likely be different for every group. So, it’s important for brides to openly communicate their expectations and requests from the entourage early on in the planning stage, especially when money is involved.
To give you an idea about what expenses are typically shouldered by the entourage, here’s a list. Check it out!
The Bridal Shower
The Maid/Matron/Man of Honor normally takes the lead for the bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, the cost is split equally amongst the members of the entourage. The bride gets a free pass! This party is for her, so she’s not supposed to pay. The entourage members can discuss the amount they’re comfortable to share. Here’s a tip from a bridal shower I attended: The MOH asked all of us to contribute a specific amount to cover the cost of the venue, food, souvenirs, and group gift (more on the group gift after this). And we all agreed to it. The important thing here is to arrive at a consensus. Also, be flexible when a member of the entourage has any budget restriction.
If the bride requests for a bridal shower out of town or abroad, then this is the time when she pitches in. But you can also have a special night out where you treat her!
The Wedding Gift and Bridal Shower Gift
Couples, nowadays, make wedding gifts optional because all they truly want is the presence of their loved ones on such a special day. But if a wedding registry is available, it would be a good gesture to purchase a gift especially when you’re a member of the entourage. You can always buy something within your budget. This is the same for the bridal shower gift. We do have a budget hack: A group gift. As I’ve mentioned earlier, my friends and I pitched in to surprise the bride with just one gift from all of us. It was a high-end perfume, and she wore that scent on her wedding day! No matter what kind of gift it is, as long as it’s meaningful and it comes from the heart, the bride will surely love it.
The Hair and Makeup
Along with the attire, the entourage members also pay for their own hair and makeup. It’s more common to have your hair and makeup done by the supplier whom the bride chooses so you can all prepare in one place and be ready for the pre-wedding photoshoot. If you’re a member of the bridal party, do allocate room in your budget for the HMUA. For the brides, do choose hairstylists and makeup artists that have a reasonable rate for your entourage. The bridal HMUA doesn’t necessarily have to be the entourage’s, too.
The Attire and Accessories
Usually, the bridal party also pays for their own attire and are in-charge of sourcing their own shoes and jewelry. If the bride has specific requirements for what to wear, then she will most likely cover those expenses. Again, always reach an agreement. If not all members of the entourage can afford a custom dress, then off-the-rack would be a great consideration. If custom is a must, try to look for tailors who have a more affordable price compared to that of designer ateliers. And how about this idea? Give your bridesmaids the freedom to choose their own outfits. We featured a bride who simply gave her girls a color motif to follow and the rest was up to them. The result right here is oh-so pretty!
The Hotel Stay and/or Airfare
The entourage also covers their own hotel stay if they’re planning to check-in at the same place where the preps and/or reception will be. Likewise, for destination weddings, the entourage (as well as guests) also spend for their own accommodations and airfare. To save some money, take advantage of block bookings under the couple and reserve a room as their wedding guest so you can avail of discounts or special rates, if there are any available.
And there you have it! Those are some of the most common expenses usually covered by the entourage members. If you’ve been enjoying this series on Wedding Budget 101, let us know in the comments. And tell us what budgeting tips and hacks you want to learn next. Don’t forget to check out our article on How to Avoid Overspending to help guide brides and grooms on the wedding planning journey!