Stuffed to the brim with glitz, glamour and gowns, The Bachelor franchise paints a pretty picture of romantic paradise. Contestants are whisked off for weeks to fall in love with the man (or woman) of their dreams, seemingly without a care in the world—but, according to Season 22 contestant Bekah Martinez, contestants on the show give up a lot of dough to keep up the facade.
As part of Glamour‘s Money Issue, the 23-year-old talks extensively about the cost of Bachelor fame and spoiler: it is not cheap. According to Martinez, contestants are expected to pack a full wardrobe fit for any weather condition, including an endless amount of elegant gowns for Cocktail Parties and Rose Ceremonies—something that the California-based nanny struggled with.
“My biggest fear was ‘Where am I going to get all these dresses?'” she said. “I didn’t have really any at all. I was like, ‘This is going to cost me thousands of dollars if I buy all of these.'”
Speaking of cash, contestants often need to take months off from their full-time jobs to film, which—Martinez says—made spending her hard-earned cash on glamorous outfits even more difficult. To save money, the Bach alum borrowed gowns, swimsuits and other clothing items from her friends and family. And she ended up returning some of what she did buy.
“When I got back to Los Angeles, I was so broke I returned everything that still had tags on,” she revealed.
Because contestants don’t get paid for their time on the show, Bekah said she felt the most financial strain when she returned from her 1.5 month journey.
“I didn’t realize how difficult it would be coming back. I had six weeks of not working, and then on top of that I didn’t get paid at all for being on the show. Plus, I took out expenses in preparation and then had to pay rent and bills while I was gone. I was definitely pretty broke when I got home,” she said.
However, the former contestant revealed that even though she wasn’t paid, she wouldn’t change her experience for all the moolah in the world. “I’m very lucky that I’ve had a lot of different opportunities come my way, through appearances and sponsored social media posts. And The Bachelor was really just a wonderful experience overall, so I’d certainly do it all over again.”