Do Bridesmaids Pay For The Bridal Shower? A Comprehensive Guide

Getting asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor. You get to stand by your friend’s side on the most important day of her life. But being a bridesmaid also comes with certain responsibilities and costs like paying for the bridal shower.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Traditionally, the maid of honor plans and pays for the bridal shower. However, it’s becoming more common for the bridesmaids to split the costs of hosting the shower.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into all the details around who pays for the bridal shower. You’ll learn about etiquette, traditions, average costs, and tips for splitting expenses fairly among the bridesmaids.

Bridal Shower Etiquette and Traditions

The Maid of Honor Traditionally Plans and Pays

Traditionally, the responsibility of planning and paying for the bridal shower falls on the maid of honor. As the bride’s closest friend or family member, the maid of honor is typically in charge of organizing the event and ensuring it goes smoothly.

This includes selecting a venue, creating invitations, arranging decorations, and coordinating any games or activities. It is also expected that the maid of honor covers the costs associated with the bridal shower, including the venue rental, food, and drinks.

According to The Knot, a popular wedding planning website, the maid of honor should take into consideration the bride’s preferences and budget when planning the bridal shower. It’s important to discuss with the bride what she envisions for her shower and how much she is comfortable with spending.

This will help avoid any misunderstandings or financial burdens on the maid of honor.

It’s Becoming More Common to Split Costs

However, in recent years, it has become more common for the costs of the bridal shower to be split among the bridal party. With the increasing popularity of destination showers or elaborate themes, the expenses can quickly add up.

Dividing the costs among the bridesmaids can help alleviate the financial burden on the maid of honor and allow for a more extravagant celebration.

According to a survey conducted by Brides magazine, about 50% of bridesmaids reported contributing financially to the bridal shower. This shift in tradition reflects the changing dynamics of modern weddings and the desire to share the financial responsibilities.

Talk to the Bride About Her Expectations

Before making any assumptions about who should pay for the bridal shower, it’s essential to have an open and honest conversation with the bride. Every bride has different expectations and financial situations, so it’s crucial to understand her preferences and constraints.

Asking the bride about her vision for the bridal shower and discussing the financial aspect can help avoid any misunderstandings or awkward situations. It’s important to be transparent and communicative to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Average Cost of a Bridal Shower

Planning a bridal shower can be an exciting and fun experience, but it’s important to consider the budget and expenses involved. Here is a breakdown of the average costs associated with hosting a bridal shower:

Venue Rental

The cost of venue rental can vary depending on the location and size of the event. It’s important to find a venue that fits within the budget and can accommodate the number of guests. On average, venue rental for a bridal shower can range from $100 to $500.

Food and Beverages

Food and beverages are an important part of any bridal shower. The cost will depend on the menu and the number of guests. Catering services or hiring a private chef can be an option for a more upscale event, but there are also budget-friendly alternatives such as potluck-style gatherings.

On average, the cost of food and beverages for a bridal shower can range from $10 to $50 per person.


Creating a beautiful and festive atmosphere is essential for a memorable bridal shower. The cost of decorations will vary depending on the theme and personal preferences. DIY decorations can be a cost-effective option, while hiring a professional decorator can add a touch of elegance to the event.

On average, the cost of decorations for a bridal shower can range from $50 to $200.

Games and Activities

Engaging games and activities are a great way to entertain guests during a bridal shower. The cost will depend on the type of games and activities chosen. Some games may require purchasing materials or props, while others can be played with items readily available at home.

On average, the cost of games and activities for a bridal shower can range from $20 to $100.

Favors and Supplies

Providing guests with favors and supplies is a thoughtful gesture that adds a special touch to the bridal shower. The cost will depend on the number of guests and the type of favors and supplies selected.

DIY favors can be a cost-effective option, while personalized or custom-made favors may have a higher price tag. On average, the cost of favors and supplies for a bridal shower can range from $50 to $150.

It’s important to note that these are average costs, and actual expenses may vary depending on individual preferences and the location of the bridal shower. It’s always a good idea to set a budget and plan accordingly to ensure a memorable and enjoyable event for the bride-to-be and her guests.

Tips for Splitting Bridal Shower Costs Fairly

Planning a bridal shower can be an exciting but expensive undertaking. One of the most common questions that arises is who should bear the financial burden of the event. While traditions may vary, it is important to find a fair and equitable way to split the costs among the bridal party.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to sharing the financial responsibility.

Set a Budget

The first step in splitting the costs of a bridal shower is to establish a budget. This will help determine what is feasible and affordable for everyone involved. Sit down with the bride-to-be and the rest of the bridal party to discuss financial constraints and come up with a realistic budget that works for everyone.

By setting a budget from the start, you can avoid any potential conflicts or misunderstandings later on.

Split the Biggest Expenses Evenly

Once you have established a budget, it’s important to divide the biggest expenses evenly among the bridesmaids. These expenses typically include venue rental, food, and decorations. By distributing the financial responsibilities equally, it ensures that no one person is shouldering a disproportionate amount of the costs.

This can be done by calculating the total cost of these items and dividing it equally among the bridal party.

Assign Tasks Based on Interests and Budgets

Another way to ensure a fair distribution of costs is to assign tasks based on each bridesmaid’s interests and budgets. For example, if one bridesmaid loves baking, she could be responsible for the cake or desserts.

If another bridesmaid is skilled in floral arrangements, she could take care of the centerpieces. By assigning tasks that align with each person’s skills and budget, it not only helps distribute the financial burden but also allows each bridesmaid to contribute in a meaningful way.

Use Online Tools to Organize

Planning a bridal shower can be overwhelming, but there are online tools available to help streamline the process and keep track of expenses. Websites like Evite and The Knot offer free event planning services that allow you to create guest lists, send invitations, and track expenses all in one place.

Utilizing these tools can help ensure transparency and make it easier to divide costs among the bridal party.

Get Creative on Saving Money

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to saving money on the bridal shower. Look for DIY decoration ideas, shop at discount stores for supplies, and consider hosting the event at someone’s home instead of renting a venue.

By thinking outside the box, you can save on costs without sacrificing the quality or enjoyment of the event. Plus, it can be a fun bonding experience for the bridal party as you work together to create a memorable and budget-friendly bridal shower.

Who Pays for What at the Bridal Shower

Maid of Honor

The maid of honor traditionally takes on a significant role in planning and hosting the bridal shower. As such, she is usually responsible for covering the costs associated with the event. This includes everything from venue rental and decorations to food and drinks.

The maid of honor may also enlist the help of other bridesmaids in contributing to the expenses, but ultimately, it is her responsibility to ensure that everything is taken care of.


Bridesmaids often play a supporting role in assisting the maid of honor with the bridal shower. While they may not be expected to foot the entire bill, it is common for bridesmaids to contribute financially to the event.

This can be done by pooling resources with the maid of honor or by individually offering to cover specific expenses, such as purchasing party favors or contributing to a group gift for the bride. Ultimately, the financial contribution of the bridesmaids will depend on their personal circumstances and the expectations set by the maid of honor.

Mother of the Bride

The mother of the bride may also play a role in the planning and hosting of the bridal shower. In some cases, she may choose to take on the responsibility of covering certain expenses, such as the venue or catering.

However, this is not always the case, and it ultimately depends on the financial situation and preferences of the mother of the bride. If she does contribute financially, it is usually done as a gesture of love and support for her daughter.

Bride and Groom

While it is not traditional for the bride and groom to pay for the bridal shower, some couples may choose to contribute financially to the event. This can be done as a way to show appreciation for the efforts of the maid of honor and bridesmaids or to ensure that the shower reflects their personal preferences and tastes.

However, it is important to note that the primary responsibility for covering the costs of the bridal shower typically falls on the maid of honor and bridesmaids.

It’s worth noting that customs and traditions surrounding bridal showers may vary depending on cultural and personal preferences. Therefore, it’s essential for the bride, maid of honor, and bridesmaids to have open and honest communication about expectations and financial responsibilities to ensure a smooth planning process.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to celebrate the bride-to-be and create a memorable and enjoyable event for everyone involved.


Bridal showers can be expensive events to host. While traditionally the maid of honor covered all costs, it’s becoming more commonplace for bridesmaids to chip in. By setting a budget, dividing tasks fairly, and getting creative with money-saving ideas, bridesmaids can split the bridal shower costs equitably.

The most important thing is to communicate openly with the bride and the other bridesmaids. Make sure everyone is on the same page about expectations for the shower. With good planning and teamwork, you can all host a fabulous bridal shower that celebrates the bride without breaking the bank.

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