Bridesmaids dress etiquette

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@ksus07:  I think you should ask them what their budget is for wedding-related things, and go from there.

Post # 4
Member
42549 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@ksus07:  I caution you about making any assumptions about normal practice in your area from reading general posts here on WeddingBee. Check with the Ausie Bees.

here’s one post:

http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/in-australia-do-bridesmaids-pay-for-their-own-dresses#axzz2dTALj3xc

If you decide that you will ask them to pay for their own dresses, I suggest you email them each privately and ask what their budget range is a for a dress , rather than just drop a bombshell that you have picked the dress and it costs ___.

 

Post # 5
Member
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’ve never heard of paying for your BM’s dresses, so hopefully so do they. I would ask them individually what they are willing to spend so then you can come to a happy middle. I wouldn’t ask in a group setting just in case one girl’s budget is much lower than the rest. 

Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
855 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

@ksus07:  I’ve noticed on this board that depending on where you are, either the bride pays for the dress (like in Europe), but here in the states, the bridesmaids pay for their stuff.

I did what you are intending on doing. I sent one group message to everyone, introduced everyone (how I knew them) and then attached a copy of the dress with the color I wanted it to be in, where to find it, the price and the quoted lead time. I then told them they could wear their hair any way they wanted, I didn’t care about make up, I would take care of their accessories and they were to wear a silver pair of shoes of their choosing.

Then I left it at that. I didn’t do a million check ins, I didn’t do a hey… have you ordered your dress. I left it at that ONE email. They were free to email or call me with questions, but until there was information on the rehearsal dinner, they didn’t have to expect me to contact them again. LOL

And I didn’t. In fact, I almost forgot to give them rehearsal and rehearsal details information. One of the BM’s told me to.

Post # 7
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

If you want them to wear all the same dress, you need to ask about a budget. If they are pciking out there own I don’t think it is necessary. It all depends on their budget, no yours unless you plan to pay for the dresses.

I had my BMs pay for their own dress (I bought the MOH), and my SIL was the only one that had a stipulation for the price. She said keep it under $150, and I did. I found one for $99.

Post # 8
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@ksus07:  I’d start off by asking what their budget is for a dress.  If they say $100, I think you should let them know the dress you chose is $150 and offer to pay the difference. I think it would also be nice of you to show them the dress and see if they even like it before you settle on it, especially since they are the ones paying for it.  

Post # 9
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

As PPs have said, in North America it is typical for bridesmaids to pay for their dresses but that is not the same everywhere.  I’m not sure what is common in Australia.

If they are going to pay you need to know a budget before hand, prices of typical bridesmaids dresses can vary from $100-500+.  If you don’t care that the dress is the same, you could just tell the girls the fabric/length/colour and let them find their own dresses.

If you want everyone in the same dress you could go to a salon with the girls that live close to you to try on a few dresses while keeping in mind the body types of the girls who are out of state and then let them know the final dress choice.

Post # 12
Member
855 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

@ksus07:  And while some would suggest taking the girls with you to try on dresses, I see that as a problem. Granted, I had BMs all over the country, so getting them together was impossible but even if they were all my next door neighbors, I wouldn’t have done that. Too many opinions leave you frustrated (read the posts).

I took my BFF (who was a BM, but was promoted to MOH – see below). We tried on dresses. I based the dress on what I liked in the color I liked and in a style that would look good on all of their varied sizes (from size 10 to 24). I didn’t ask for opinions from anyone other than her. After I sent the e-mail, my sister (who hadn’t even looked at the picture) called me demanding to know why I picked her dress and how I knew she wanted to wear it.

I made it very easy for both of us. I kicked her out of the wedding party so she could wear whatever she wanted. LOL

Post # 13
Member
2205 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

@ksus07:  For the weddings, I’ve been in, the bride never directly asked for our budgets.  But that’s because we’re experts at playing the “subtle suggestion game.”

For example, I’d get an e-mail with a couple dresses she picked out asking for my opinion.  Then I can reply back with whether I like them and whether I feel comfortable paying for them.  That way it’s not “Hey, this is the dress I chose, buy it” but rather “Hey, I’m thinking of this dress, would you be willing to buy and wear it?”

Post # 14
Member
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Step one is finding out common practice as far as who purchases what. 

Step two: get them all together if you can, or shoot an email or something to all of them and ask what they were thinking in terms of dresses. Styles, designers, cost, etc. Tell them that they can share their budget (if they’re paying) with you privately, and then you guys can go from where with designers and whatnot who fit into the lowest budget you’re given.

Post # 15
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@ksus07:  I would also be sure to mention anything else you’re expecting them to buy upfront, so when talking about budget if they say $150 and you pick a $150 dress, if you also expect them to buy matching shoes, or just all wear nude shoes but maybe some girls will have to buy some if they don’t already have them, all of that should be factored into the discussion. If you expect them to pay for hair/makeup/nails, etc., all of that should be discussed so no one is surprised later on.

Post # 16
Member
1071 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Greenbrier Country Club

@jdhall89:  +1
Ask them there budget! (make sure it’s realistic)

I’d also let them know what style you were considering , color, length, matterial…
even send them webpages/ pictures.

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