Post # 1
So Fiance and I finally put down the deposit for our venue, which means we have a date – very exciting!! But now all the planning starts 🙂
Its a fairly large bridal party – and a multinational one.
Herein lies the problem – 3 of my bridesmaids, (my SIL, and two best buddies from college) will be flying to San Diego for the wedding. So that’s a huge cost for them. My SIL and brother, their kids and my parents are getting a house together while they’re here, my friends I am putting up in my apartment so they don’t have to pay for accomodation/food.
My other Bridesmaid or Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor are from Cali – two buddies, FI’s little sister and FI’s future SIL. From what I’ve seen here, Bridesmaid or Best Man pay for their dresses/shoes.
I don’t have a specific vision – I want a variety of blues, knee-length, and since my girls are all various figures I thought I’d suggest they pick one of three necklines – like say one shoulder, strapless, wide straps. My goal is for them to be Comfortable (its a september wedding in Socal – hot!) and feel gorgeous – and ideally I’d like them to have something they’d like to wear again.
So what should I do about broaching the issue of costs? All of those invited to be bridesmaids are full-time employed, none are students or on low-income. But my friends/SIL from the UK will be spending a large amount to fly out (they’re all making a vacation out of it) already, so should I buy their outfits for them? Or ask them to find something suitable in the UK and hope they get something within guidelines? (I mainly want to avoid mini-skirts and super low cut necklines, I want it fun but with a little class 🙂
If I offer to pay for the UK girls, should I pay for the Cali girls, to be fair? I’m not sure how to start! We don’t have a big budget so I can’t just throw my hands in the air and pay for everything without a care (though I’d love to).
Thanks In Advance for any advice!
Post # 3
If you’re letting them pick out their own dress, I don’t think you need to pay for their dresses. If you do offer to pay for part of their dress, do it for all the girls.
Post # 4
You can’t offer to pay for one person’s dress and not the others. What about putting down the deposits for all the bridesmaids instead? That way you don’t have to pay for the entire thing. Also I would ask your bridesmaids as a whole to figure out what amount they’re comfortable spending, it might surprise you. I’ve paid for all my bridesmaid dresses, even when I had to travel to get there, to me it just comes with the territory and how nice of you to offer any type of financial support.
Post # 5
Yea, if you pay for one girl’s dress, you’ll need to pay for all of them (barring special circumstances such as one girl being unemployed, etc.) It will not go over well if your girls find out that you paid for some BM’s dresses but not all.
I think if they can pick out whatever dress they want, then you need not pay for their dresses. Its a nice gesture, if you can afford to do it, but not necessary.
Do what feel comfortable for you, but treat all the BMs equally.
Post # 6
I know it seems odd to pay for some and not the others – I suppose mainly because in the UK, the tradition is the bride pays, whereas here, the bridesmaids pay. So my girls in Cali expect to pay for the dress, (my Maid/Matron of Honor was highly amused at me when I asked the question, and said of course the Bridesmaid or Best Man pay) whereas my UK girls may not.
I love the deposit idea, that’s a good one. Thanks!
Post # 7
All but one of my bridesmaids is from the USA. For the one from the UK, I did have to politely explain that our USA bridesmaids would be, and were already expecting, to pay for their own dresses. I did find that this is completely opposite to what UK ladies have been telling me is the norm, but, for my USA wedding, this is appropriate.
So, I wouldn’t worry about asking the UK bridesmaids to follow the USA bridesmaids but perhaps take the moment to explain why. Or, do the deposit idea someone listed. It’s a great idea!
Post # 8
All of my BMs are flying to San Diego for my wedding. They are all paying for their own dresses.
I don’t think you can pay for some girls and not the others. If you are really worried about the cost, perhaps you could offer to pay for $100 towards each or something like that? Or make sure to buy their shoes, jewlery and pay for hair/makeup?
I think it’s understood that when you accept to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, you will be buying a dress.
Post # 9
@CaliBrit: I am going to have my gals order dresses from one of those convertable wrap places- the dresses are not super expensive, they can be worn lots of different ways, and will definiatly be wearable again. One has a bigger chest so she is going to by the matching tube top so she can still wear a bra.
Post # 10
What I did, as a way of “offering to pay” was give them each a $100 visa gift card and a coupon for free babysitting, if they want to use it to go out to dinner, since they’re each parents. Or obviously, put it towards the dress. I said that would be their main gift and I would give them the rest of their gift at the Rehearsal Dinner.
The gift cards were personalized with a photo of me and each girl so it was personal. My one best friend LOVES gift cards and my sister is tight on money so I knew it was a good gift. I let them pick their own dresses, but we went to a bridal salon so they were just so pricey!
Post # 11
@yellowballoon: Do you mind me asking what else they paid for? Shoes, hair, makeup? All of the above or none? Just curious as you’re the first Bee I’ve found that also has Uk/USA bridesmaids =) Thanks for the suggestions!
@NavyBride2013: I think I’ll do partial payment or a deposit, that seems to be the popular choice =)
@Billierye: My Maid/Matron of Honor just pinned one of those convertible dresses to the ideas board we have for brainstorming – I think its a great idea! Bet your girls look amazing 🙂
@Bubbles42: That’s clever – none of mine have kids right now, but something similar tailored to them would be a good idea! Thankyou 🙂
Thanks for all the replies Bees, love this community! <3
Post # 12
@CaliBrit: No problem. Glad I am not the only one on here! 🙂
I asked them to get their own dresses and shoes. I am supplying their jewelery and headpieces. I am not paying for their make-up or hair although they are welcome to get a reduced rate with my make up person on the day. The rationale behind this was that this way they can get the dress they want in their respective countries and they can do their own hair and make up the way they like. For example, my sister in the States doesn’t let anyone touch her hair so she pushed for this set-up. From everything I understand from British girl friends, I am doing this the exact opposite of how a UK bride would do. The second rationale was that we are paying for everything in the wedding ourselves (as well as the flights for the british bridesmaid and best man so they could make it). If we were not, we would probably be more generous towards things with the wedding party.
What will you be doing?
Post # 13
I think I’m gonna err on the side of “no money fusses between friends” and sort out the girls dresses myself, I’m not having matching shoes so it’s whatever they’re comfortable in.
I’m not paying for flights (although will be helping out my brother and SIL as they have to pay for 4 tickets on one income) since I don’t have the budget for it.
I am making it very clear I’m aware this is a huge ask to come out to Cali for a wedding, the few friends I am 100% certain are coming are all going to be staying at my place (they’re all bridal party anyhow) to curb living costs while they’re here. There’s no pressure if they can’t make it, I just asked them to confirm via the RSVP when they get an invite so I can have a final Bridal Party headcount.
I’m on the fence about hair and makeup – I’d planned to have a hair/makeup gal for me (or one of each), and then 1 hair, 1 makeup girl for the BM/MOH. My MoH is also keen to help out with the makeup as its a passion of hers and she’s worked in the industry. I don’t know whether to have it be “if you want professional makeup, put in a bit towards it, if not do it amongst yourselves” – this is assuming I’m paying for the dresses and accessories.
Or just pay for the lot. Groomsmen are all covering their own suits and sundries – so much easier with FI’s guys.
“Yo, you gotta pay for your suit.”
“Ok, how much?”
“M-F-er. Better be good beer at this thing. “
Post # 14
Choose an affordable dress for all (under $100) or else let them choose their own. Don’t do something different for each girl, that’d be unfair because everyone is spending money no matter what. For the ones already pay a few hundred for plane tickets and a hotel, an extra $100 won’t make a huge difference.