Bridesmaid Dresses-How much is appropriate?

posted 2 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
Member
42472 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

ddstobe2015:  Have you talked with them and asked what budget they are comfortable with?

If you require that they have their hair and makeup done professionally, it is your responsibility to pay for it. Otherwise they are free to do their own.

Post # 3
Member
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Totally depends on your crowd. My ladies are either just starting out, still in school, or still in elementary school, so I’m trying to go for as cheap as possible. I told one BM that I’d found the dress on eBay worn once for $20, and she decided to go for it. Retail is $139, higher than I’d hoped, but dressing a pre-teen and an adult in the same dress and keeping it age appropriate for all involved was difficult.

ETA: I want to pay hair and make-up for the whole group too, but I’ll need to get a few quotes to see if it’s feasible.

Post # 4
Member
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Personally I think you should pay for anything you are expecting them to wear – at least the dress if you don’t really mind what shoes they wear or what jewellery etc. for my ladies I’m paying for everything head to toe (other than undergarments!) and will pay to do their hair – we are all doing each other’s make up. 

I don’t think your budget matters – if all you can afford is a $20 dress then so be it! But I don’t think it’s ok to ask someone to pay for any of your preferences. I don’t mean that to sound harsh, I just can’t seem to get my head around asking people to pay for a dress/accessory youre forcing them to wear so that your pics look nice. :p

Post # 5
Member
91 posts
Worker bee

My girls are wearing dresses I found online custom sized, and shipped for $30 a piece. I’ also paying for them, as a part of their gift. I will also be providing shoes, and jewlery as parts of their gifts. My MOH is a hairstylist and will probably be doing hair for me as a wedding gift. I don’t plan on having our makeup done professionally though.

Post # 6
Member
795 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It really depends – have you discussed their budgets with them? Everyone is different so their answers could vary and you might need to find something in between what everyone can afford. The dress for my wedding was $175, but I paid for it. I also paid for her hair to be done, a personalized hanger, and her bridal party gift. She picked out her own shoes and jewelry. She also paid for alterations (which were about $50). I did the same for my flower girl. 

 

 

Post # 9
Member
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

ddstobe2015:  I’m a grad student and work 2 part time jobs, so I hear you. I am asking them to wear silver tone jewelry rather than gold tones, and any silver shoes, but not making very specific accessory requests to keep costs down for the girls.

Post # 10
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

ddstobe2015:  One wedding I was in the dress was almost 220 including tax, plus an additional 70 in alterations. Another wedding I was in I used a dress I already had. In my own wedding the girls are spending 169 + taxes (for one of them I am footing half the alteration costs since it is a long gown and, like me, she is short, and I am also not expecting specific shoes or accessories because that would be too much). Honestly? You really need to look at the average cost for the style of dress you want where you live and look at what your girls are willing to budget. Are any of them strapped for cash? You may need to go to a smaller budget or pitch in financially for the difference.

Post # 11
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

ddstobe2015:  Both weddings I’ve been a BM in as an adult, the dresses have cost around $200 (not necessarily including alterations). I’ve never used either dress again but I did donate them. I found convertible dresses on etsy from a really good seller for $100 plus an $8 matching bandeau for modesty (optional) plus taxes and shipping (discounted if multiple dresses). I’m asking my BM’s pay for them, but I’m not making any specific requests about shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup, etc. For their BM gifts: I’m also buying a piece of jewelry, a custom clutch (pattern/fabric picked out by BMs), and some other little things for them but all of the above don’t necessarily have to be for the wedding.

I have 8 BMs, 1 Jr BM, and a Bridesman. It’s getting expensive but they’re worth it.

Post # 12
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

ddstobe2015:  every wedding I have been in the bride has either paid for hair and makeup or has given us the option to do our own. I have never been asked to pay (and wouldn’t take it well). I have been asked to buy jewelry, but never shoes.

If the dress is one where I can pick something flattering on me (not what the bride thinks looks good, but if I actually have a say), then I am fine ith up to $200. If the bride dictates, I am happy if it is under $150.

Post # 13
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

ddstobe2015:  Agree with PPs, you need to ask your ladies what they feel comfortable with.

Personally, I think $150-$200 is appropriate. That’s how much the girls are paying for their dresses, they are buying their shoes too, which I just asked them to get nude shoes, it doesn’t have to be a particular style.

Originally they were paying for their hair and make up as well, but now I’ve decided to pay for their hair, and if they want makeup they can pay for that (some do not).

I bought them all a bracelet and earrings as a part of their BM gift.

Post # 14
Member
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

ddstobe2015:  if they absolutely love that specific dress then I think it is alright to have a discussion with all the ladies about the amount you can contribute and if they’d put in for the rest – that is, if they really really love the dress. The only risk is that some may feel too pressured or embarrassed of the other ladies to speak up that they can’t afford the added cost – especially if some of the ladies are well off while others are not.

there are so many lovely dresses out there and so many variations of similar dresses to suit all figures, it just takes a little longer to have all 7 agree – hopefully you MOH is helping with finding something that everyone loves 🙂

Post # 15
Member
349 posts
Helper bee

As someone with very little expendable income, the biggest problem tends to be the overall cost — I would much rather pay $150-$200 up front for a gown that fits, do my own hair and makeup, and repurpose jewelry and shoes than be nickled and dimed throughout the process with a $99 dress that needs $50 alterations, a $60 updo, $50 for matching shoes, etc. I think it is polite to consider the individual budgets of the maids. I’d be sad if a maid backed out due to the costs when in many circumstances budgets can be accommodated, but people are too scared to talk about money.

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