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Cost to consider when being in a Wedding Party: Tips by NYC/NJ On-Location Hair and Makeup Artists

So, you’ve been chosen to be in the wedding party! First of all, let us

congratulate you on being such an amazing friend to the couple and

making the cut!

As exhilarating as this experience is, you also might be a bit confused,

especially if this is your first time being a part of a wedding party. What

does it mean? What does it entail?

As a team of on-location hair and makeup artists, we’ve helped many

gorgeous bridal parties look their very best on their big day. Many of us

have also been on the other side of the wedding makeup brush, so we

have that nugget of experience as well.

In this blog post, we’ve combined all this knowledge so we can help you

understand exactly what is expected from you, and give you an idea of

just how much being in a wedding party will cost you.

Photo by Diana & Korey

Managing the Costs

Let’s talk facts.

By some new statistics, the maid of honor can spend anywhere

between $1,500 to $2,000 for the honor of participating in their friend’s

wedding, while the best man is expected to spend about $1,000-$1,500.

When it comes to bridesmaids, the number can go as high as $1,800

while groomsmen tend to spend about $500.

Of course, the numbers can go up or down depending on the

location of the wedding, its size, the couple’s preferences, and

many other factors. To start estimating how much you’ll be expected to

spend, you need to take all of these into account.

Photo by Versa Studios

Party Mode

A cost that you can definitely expect is the bachelor/bachelorette party

and anything connected to it. Traditionally, the groomsmen/

bridesmaids cover the cost of the event and are also in charge of

planning everything about it. It's all about embracing the excitement and

going above and beyond to make this pre-wedding celebration an

absolute blast!

Alongside any financial contributions that you will be expected to

make, be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of your time to

help plan a memorable experience for the soon-to-be-wed.

Remember, it may take months to make sure everything is as

perfect as it can be, so you need to be ready to potentially give up

some side activities until everything is good to go!

As multi-day long trips and over-the-top experiences are on the rise in

2023, the cost of the bachelor/bachelorette party can get as high as

$10k, but it all depends on the location, duration, party activities, and, of

course, the size of the group.

Dress to Impress

Dressing up for the wedding is one of the most important aspects of the

whole wedding party experience. This means the clothing front is all

about careful planning and making sure you look your absolute best.

If you’re a bridesmaid, the first (and most important) thing you can do is

to talk to the bride and see what her expectations are. It's not just about

the bridesmaids' outfits on the big day, but also the cozy loungewear

sets she may want you to wear while getting ready.

When it comes to $$$, most brides choose their bridesmaid’s dresses,

but the girls are expected to pay for the garment and any alteration

themselves. Similarly, the same can go for shoes and any accessories.

Of course, there are situations where the bride decides to gift

accessories to her wedding party, so this cost may not apply to you.

When it comes to groomsmen, clear communication right from the start

to avoid any misunderstandings or awkwardness down the line goes

without saying. Normally, groomsmen pay for their suites (either

renting or buying is fine), but the groom may choose to offer to cover

some or all of the suit expenses.

Every wedding (and couple!) is unique, which is why having a one-

on-one with the couple will save you a lot of potential headaches.

It may seem uncomfortable to talk about finances for such a

joyous occasion, but trust us - this conversation is a crucial part of

the commitment.

Destination I Do

This is where things can get tricky and potentially more expensive.

Is the couple planning a destination wedding? Are they keeping it low-

key or do they expect a lavish experience abroad? Even if it’s just the

next city over, you’ll need to plan and budget accordingly.

It’s best to do research and explore pricing in the place you’re

looking to go and get that wallet ready for some fun! Consider

accommodation, activities, but also on-location hair and makeup

costs to get an estimate of what you may have to spend.

Hair & Makeup Extravaganza

As on-location hair and makeup artists, this one’s naturally close to our

hearts, so let’s dive right into it. The price of your hair and makeup will

depend on the hmu artist your bride chooses to doll you up, and of

course - the chosen style of hair and makeup.

For example, updos cost more than blowouts. Airbrush wedding

makeup tends to be pricier than traditional makeup. If your bride

wants things like rhinestones and other elaborate additions to

your look that may be more demanding, you can expect a price


While it's customary for bridesmaids to cover the costs of their

hair and makeup, it's worth exploring options and discussing alternatives

with the bride. If you feel inclined, you could potentially opt out of the bride’s

choice of on-location hair and makeup artists and either go with a different HMU

artist or take care of your stunning look yourself.

But here's a friendly word of advice: before making any definitive plans,

we highly recommend having a heartfelt conversation with the bride.

The getting ready part is often super important to her, so your not

being there may be an issue.

Also, the bridal beauty timeline can often be pretty packed, making

it impossible for off-site hair and makeup artists to get involved, which is

another reason to budget and make sure you’re there for every second

of your friend’s wedding day!

The Cost of Being in a Wedding Party: Final Thoughts

All in all - if you’re invited to be a part of the wedding party, you’re

going to be expected to pay for the on-location hair and makeup,

dress/suit and accessories, any travel arrangements, and the

bachelor/bachelorette party.

We also would like to remind you that the cost of time and emotional

involvement are often overlooked when talking about what it takes to

be part of a wedding party, so always keep that investment in mind.

If it’s too much, or you simply aren’t in a place where you can

afford to commit - be open and honest about it from the start.

We truly hope this post helps you navigate the amazing, yet demanding

“being in a wedding party” situation much more easily. If you’re located

in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, our team of hair and

makeup artists travels all around the area and can guarantee an

amazing experience for your wedding party.

Get in touch!

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