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‘Will you be my bridesmaid?’ … One of the BEST questions you can be asked, right? It’s an honor to be part of someone’s special day; it is truly a gift of the heart to be asked! The memories made and bonds created will last a lifetime when you are a unique part of someone’s wedding. But, it can be a tricky path to navigate… all of the social etiquette, personality differences, financial obligations, and any other ‘nitty-gritty’ details can be overwhelming.


No one sets out to be a difficult bridesmaid… Most faux pas are due to misinformation, ineffective communication, and a lack of knowledge about the bride’s expectations. Let’s take a look at a few bridesmaid details that could save you a headache or a heartache!


The financial obligations of a wedding are usually at the root of all bridal party mishaps. There are traditions and history to lean on, but there are also more modern ways of divvying up wedding party costs. 


Hotel & Travel: Traditionally, how bridesmaids get to the wedding and where they stay is on their ticket, and, this can be the most cost prohibitive part of participating in a wedding. So, it’s important to be able to have open discussions about these costs and obligations, and, if your wedding is at a remote location, or a speciality event center, such as The Inn at Oneonta, it can make the decision making easier! When everyone is booked at the same place and has the same accommodation plans, there is opportunity for less confusion.


Wedding Ensemble: Bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and accessories are a bridesmaid’s financial responsibility. Sometimes, gifting jewelry or another part of the outfit to the bridesmaid is a nice gesture. According to, the average cost of a bridesmaid dress is $140. Some brides choose to pick a color scheme and have the individual bridal party members find their own dress. Whatever the wedding ensemble choice may be, it is the bridesmaid’s responsibility to cover the cost!


Presents: Most brides consider the financial and emotional commitment of being a bridesmaid a gift enough, but it is always wise to gift something to the newlyweds. Keep in mind that there will probably also be a bridal shower that you will need to bring a gift to. Don’t overspend here because no one is expecting a grand gesture, but it is customary to give a gift even if you are a member of the bridal party. Consider combining forces with your other bridesmaid friends and purchasing one gift together!


Now, the soon-to-be-wedded are traditionally expected to cover some costs associated with the bridal party. If the bridal party is planning to spend a night in a shared hotel suite on the eve of the wedding day, the bride is expected to cover the cost of that room. All wedding day transportation is traditionally covered by the bride and groom. And lastly, the one that can be most tricky and sticky… hair and makeup. If the bride requests that all bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done professionally, the bride is expected to pay for that request. If the bride is impartial and doesn’t make a specific request or appointments, the bridal party should cover their own expenses in the hair and makeup department.


There is no manual to guide a bride and bridesmaid through this process! Relying on tradition can be helpful for perspective and a starting point, but each bride will have different plans that will dictate the commitment of each bridesmaid. The most important thing to establish is clear and open communication! Only then will there be harmony and understanding in everyone’s responsibilities and obligations.

At The Inn at Oneonta, a Northern Kentucky all-inclusive outdoor wedding venue, we make being a bride EASY… we make being a bridesmaid even easier! Our event staff will help plan a wedding package that will help the bridal party understand all of their responsibilities, removing barriers and confusion so that FUN and MEMORY MAKING can be at the core of your bridesmaid experience!