The dress: Vagnocci says the average price is $300
Shoes: Unless you convince the bride to let you wear ones you already own, you’ll need new ones.
Accessories: Sometimes the bride will give her girls the jewelry she wants them to wear as a gift. However, that’s not always the case, so set aside money for baubles, purses and/or wraps.
Travel: If you live far away from the wedding site, this can get pricey. You’ll need to pay for airfare, hotel and a rental car if necessary.
Gifts: You’ll need to get the happy couple engagement and wedding gifts and bring a gift for the bridal shower.
Bridal shower/bachelorette party: These fun events are your responsibility. While you can ask guests at the bachelorette party to pitch in (just make sure to do it before the party so they’re prepared), you can’t ask bridal shower guests to help pay.
Hair and makeup: Sometimes brides will foot the bill for this, so tactfully ask before the big day.

If you’re a cash-strapped bridesmaid, don’t start panicking just yet. Be honest with your friend and tell her what you can afford. She obviously wants you to be a part of this wedding, so you should be able to work out some compromises.

What happens on the wedding day? Do I become a beck-and-call girl?
In a sense, yes, but since it’s for your friend it won’t be so bad. Bridesmaids are expected to get themselves ready (on time) for the wedding and help the bride get ready and run any last minute errands she may have.

At the reception, you’re an unofficial host. This means it’s your job to get the party started (by hitting the dance floor) and keep it running smoothly (by mingling with guests, helping them find the restrooms, etc.). You’ll also want to keep an eye on the bride and groom. Many times they’ll be so busy they won’t have time to eat, drink or even sit down. Help them out whenever you can.