Look the Part- Be a Better Bridesmaid

Welcome back to the next installment of my Be a Better Bridesmaid Series! Today I’m laying out the lowdown on getting the look! As a Bridesmaid, you’re an important part of the wedding day, and you need to look the part. You will likely have to purchase a dress, shoes, accessories, and get yourself dolled up. The Bride will want you looking your best in photos, and you’ll want to let your best self shine!

I’ve laid out some items to add to your Bridesmaid budget, happy shopping!

Be a Better Bridesmaid Look Budget:

The Dress

Your bride likely has a color scheme in mind, and its your job to coach her, but always keep her wishes top priority. For example, if she has her heart set on baby blue, but the coloring is all wrong for all of the bridesmaids, present some silver or pale gray options to the bride. These can be accented with blue jewels and even a funky blue shoe! 



Save a bundle by looking for something “off-the-rack” which might not need any alterations at all. There are so many gorgeous options at places like Nordstrom, Saks Off 5th and CUSP by Neiman Marcus. If your bride is “married” to the idea of a traditional bridesmaids dress, an easy way to save is to have your alterations done by your local tailor instead of where you purchase the dress.



Ideally, the bride will work with what you’ve got, and be cool with you up-cycling a pair of gorgeous (and broken in) shoes that you already own. This will save you money and save you pain. Just make sure the shoes you’re thinking of are in good condition. Don’t try to scam the bride by sending her a photo of the shoes online, and then show up the day of the wedding with yours looking like you wore them through a hurricane! When picking up a new pair, try discount retailers like DSW and Amazon, and make sure to wear them around your house a few times prior to the big day to break them in!


Jewelry, Accessories

Likely the bride will give you something in this category as a gift. Jewelry like bracelets, necklaces and earrings, or purses like small clutches or wristlets make great bridesmaid gifts. If you’re in charge of your own accessory destiny, be sure to pick something that coordinates with your dress, and doesn’t stand out too much. A bright red statement necklace might look hot with your black bridesmaid dress on other occasions, but overshadowing the other maids, or even the bride, isn’t the idea here! Subtle elegance should be your goal.


Hair and Makeup

The bride selected you to be a bridesmaid because you play an important part in her life, and you should look the part the day of the wedding. The bride will likely be getting her hair and makeup done, but might not require that you do also. If she does, that’s cool, just make sure to budget accordingly. If she does not, don’t take this as an opportunity to slack off entirely. Take your budget into your hands and decide what you can spend. If you have a local stylist that you love going to, make an appointment. You can go a more cost-effective route and try a blow-out bar and get your hair blown out professionally. They even style! If you have a friend who knows a thing or two about makeup application, see if they’re available- this might only cost you a bottle of wine!


TOTAL: $90-$600

I hope this helps you to create a starting budget for the wedding day look! This does not account for any contributions you will make to the Bridal Shower, Bachelorette Party, travel and accomodations and other Bridal odds and ends that add up. Stay tuned for more posts on these topics in my Be a Better Bridesmaid Series!

Check out my Guide to Hairstyles for Different Dresses for some inspiration for your look!


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