Traveling costs are a huge expense most bridesmaids don't consider until after they've already signed on to be in the wedding party. Commuting costs are bad enough for a local ceremony, but look out if the bride is planning an out-of-state (or country) wedding. Paying for round-trip airplane tickets, a hotel room and forking over the dough for all your meals could easily amount to $1,000 or more on a weekend-long destination wedding, and those are just the expenditures you're prepared for. Be ready for some common hidden expenses to get an idea of what you'll really be spending on bridesmaid-related travel costs.
Gasoline. Sure, you figured you'd burn a tank of gas heading to the wedding site and back on the big day, but even if the ceremony and reception both take place in your own backyard, you'll be surprised how much gas you'll use. You'll be visiting florists and caterers and making late-night trips to provide a stressed-out bride a shoulder to cry on. Even if it's a local ceremony, plan on spending at least $150 to $300 on gas.
If you're heading into a metro area to run errands for the bride (a very likely situation), prepare to pay for plenty of parking as you drive to different vendors for dress fittings, cake samplings and florist consultations. Figure $50 to cover it.
And don't forget the surprisingly high cost of paying for your pets to be cared for while you travel to a destination wedding. If you have more than one animal, the fees for boarding your furry little friends can be doggone costly, even if you're only away for the weekend. Budget $75 for one animal and another $50 for each additional pet.
Being a bridesmaid is costly, time-consuming and stressful, and the role should not be taken lightly. Even the most casual and laid-back wedding is meticulously planned, so bridesmaids' duties almost always include more than simply standing next to the lady saying "I do" in an outfit of her choosing.
Still, being asked to be a bridesmaid is a true honor. Without her bridal party, the bride wouldn't be able to plan and prepare for her wedding. Though being a bridesmaid is an expensive role, it's also the most important friendship-related duty you'll ever perform. Both you and the bride will remember it for the rest of your lives!