Post # 1
Before I start this allow me to clarify that I live in the United Kingdom where Brides pay for their ‘Maids dresses.
I had a discussion with my Mum the other day and she said that the Bridesmaids don’t keep their dresses after the Wedding. I always assumed they did, I always got to keep mine when I was a Bridesmaid (though I haven’t been one since I was 14). I think my Mum’s only ever been a Bridesmaid for her sister and from what I could gather her sister asked for the dresses back after the wedding and sold them. I assumed that especially if they’d been altered to fit the Bridesmaid that they’d keep them?
To which my Mum replied ‘Oh… well I suppose you could give them the dress and not a present’. And so now I’m confused, you pay for a dress, shoes, hair, makeup and jewellery but you’re supposed to buy them a gift as well? Is there something I’m not understanding?
I’m not getting married but I am utterly bewildered by this.
Post # 2
I’ve never heard of the bridesmaid giving the dress back… but I guess if the bride paid for them she has a right to get them back
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
I’m in NZ/Australia and my sister paid for our dresses when I was her Bridesmaid or Best Man and we kept them; I’ll be paying for my girls’ dresses and they’ll be keeping them – I plan on gifting them their jewellery but no other gift. I’ll also pay their hair and makeup. They’ll get their own shoes but I just said silver heels, don’t care if they don’t match. Both are traveling for our wedding so it’s only fair really.
Post # 4
I’m Australian and I’ve been in both situations (bride pays and Bridesmaid or Best Man pays), but either way the Bridesmaid or Best Man kept her dress. I can’t imagine the bride getting very much selling them.
And I got my girls another gift as well as giving them the dress. So do you get them a dress and a gift? Yes – the gift is a thank-you for being part of the wedding.
But I think it’s fair enough to say that if you’re paying for her dress, you wouldn’t get her as an expensive a gift as if they were paying.
Post # 5
My mum bought my original wedding dress and four bridesmaid dresses and also my sisters wedding dress and four bridesmaid dresses as we were getting married within a couple of months of each other. She then sold them to a woman who was opening a bridal shop!! When I was a bridesmaid as a kid I kept both dresses and my mum shortened them so I could wear them as party dresses.
These days I think maids tend to keep their dresses and I am certainly looking at evening type dresses for mine that they can wear again.
Post # 6
I’m in the UK, bought my girls their dresses, hair, make-up, jewelry, they bought shoes, I was intendin too but they sorted them out temselves and I never got round to paying them back. They kept their dresses as what would I do with them? Plus they were not typical bridesmaid dresses at all, and chosen by the girls so hopefully they will be able to wear them again. We also bought them a thank you gift. In my opinion it should not have cost them anything to be part of my wedding, though I also know they spent out for my hen party, I’ll just have to throw them brilliant parties too when their time comes.
Post # 7
I am in Australia and we paid for everything for our bridal party and the girls kept their dresses. I also bought them a thank you gift. The dresses, jewellery and hair and make up were props for my wedding and the gift was to thank them for their time and support. Two very different things in my book.
Anyway by the time you got them back and dry cleaned there would be no money in selling them.
Post # 8
US bee, so I paid for mine, and kept it a while before donating since I will only wear pink satin in public for very close friends 😉
Post # 9
I bought my dresses for my maids (I’m in the US) and I would never thought of them giving them back to me. What on earth would I do with them?
Post # 10
CherryAndWhite: I think if you’re going to ask for them back to sell them, you should let the bridesmaids know this well before the wedding so it doesn’t come as a surprise. I am from the UK so I also paid for my bridesmaids’ dresses, and I have never heard of the bride taking the dresses back.
I made no demands re jewellery, hair, makeup or shoes and didn’t ask for much help with planning, so I didn’t buy gifts for my girls. I think a thoughtful thank you card will be enough. If you are asking them to pay for those things or spend hours planning with you, I think a gift is appropriate. If you are paying for everything, I don’t think you need to get them a gift as well. Hope this helps.
Post # 11
I’m from Sweden, but lives in Canada, and I asked my maids to pick a dress that they liked and then I paid for them. It would have felt very awkward to ask them to hand them back to me after the wedding! As for other outfit related items: they could wear whatever shoes they liked and I paid for their hair. As a gift I gave them a traditional Swedish bracelet the evening before the wedding. They were not asked to wear it during the wedding day, they just both opted to.
Post # 12
What would you do with the dresses if you took them back. My girls got gifts and and then they kept their dresses.
Post # 13
Audrey2: See this is what I wonder might have happened with my mum. When the subject comes up she seems quite sore that her sister sold her dress, and I wonder if perhaps she wasn’t informed prior to the wedding that she wasn’t going to be keeping the dress and thats why she’s upset she sold it. I don’t know what she wanted it for that shes still upset about it (its not the sort of thing she could have worn again) but she does still have my bridesmaid dress from her and Dads wedding and my prom dress in her wardrobe.
j_jaye: I never thought of it like that. That does make sence.
Thankyou all for your feedback, I feel like less of an idiot now
Post # 14
Maybe it’s a tradition that your mom has always dealt with? I don’t know … maybe! I never heard of BMs giving back their dresses. My BMs paid for their own dress and shoes are doing their own hair and makeup (they chose to) and they love their dresses that of course they want to keep them because they are dresses that they can always wear again for another special occassion.
I am giving them gifts because I really have appreciated their help and support during the whole wedding planning. We girls talked about this. If I had bought them their dress, they would have considered it a gift from me because they know how expensive weddings are and they are very understanding when it comes to finances. But since they insisted on buying their own dresses, I still want to get them a gift for everything awesome they have done for me.
Post # 15
CherryAndWhite: I’m from Canada and have never heard of that!
When I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man I did not give my dress back, and I do not expect my BMs to give me their dress. That’s strange.