Bearing in mind the dress (among other things!) is already paid for!
It's an honour to be asked to be a bridesmaid.
Of course it is.
Your friend (or family member) has hopefully not-so-reluctantly asked you to be by their side as they take a great big 'ol life step! To be your wonderful, supportive and straight-forward self in helping them plan the day of their dreams, to use your top organisational skills to plan their hen-of-a-lifetime, to add your inherent radiance to their wedding photo album and, of course, to be no-nonsense enough to hold up their dress while they pee (or at least help them make this IKEA bag contraption to do the duty...) - and make them laugh a little while you're doing so.
But while it may be a wonderful and humbling position to be in, it doesn't come without a cost . And it appears that between the hen party and the honeymoon, Irish bridesmaids are digging deep for their best friends' big days.
In fact, according to our recent survey here on THEVOW.ie, the majority of bridesmaids are spending at least €500 on their mate's wedding celebrations.
Bearing in mind most bridesmaids have their dress, shoes and often hair and make up (and sometimes even accommodation) covered by the couple, that's a significant spend on 'extras'.
And while the majority (24%) estimate that their average spend on the wedding celebrations was between €500 and €800 from the hen to the honeymoon, a surprising 17% admitted to spending over €1000 on their mate's big day - and 8% over €1500!
It's easy to see how the costs can add up of course. Hen parties for one are no longer about a nice meal in town followed by a boogie at a local nightclub. Instead, brides and their bridesmaids are packing up the pool props and jetting off to Ibiza for a couple of days in the sun, or renting a chic country house to spend a long weekend together.
The fixed costs may not be so frightening - with the travel, accommodation, activities often all included in one handy sum - but then come the inevitable 'extras'... You've offered to bake a few buns for the festivities - only someone's lactose intolerant, another is gluten-free, and one girl won't touch anything that she can't trace right back to the soil from whence it came. Those organic ingredients add up, right?
And then there's the bunting and balloons, the glitter and garters, the sneaky extra bottles of vino, the games, the props, the decor... All of which the bridesmaid foots the bill for not wanting to put anyone out for 'just something small'...
That's before you've even given a wedding gift (but after the engagement pressie, at least).
*Poll of 180 people
It's been called a 'summons' by some gloomy guests, and it seems receiving a wedding invite is just the start of the inconveniences for some Negative Nancys when it comes to friends or family tying the knot.