Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2010 - Family Lake House
So I have this one bridesmaid who keeps asking me if she will need to pay for her dress. I said yes but because I felt guilty I said if it was a problem I could pay for it as my gift to her. All of my other bridesmaids have assumed they would buy, but they are more experienced with attending/being involved with weddings.
What is the correct thing to say when a bridesmaid asks such questions? Is it OK for me to say: "I’m going with tradition and would like to ask you and the other bridesmaids to buy their dresses, but I’ll be flexible on the style as long as they are in the same color."
Have any of you dealt with this situation before? Any advice?
Post # 3
Maybe some of the other bridemaid could talk with her. Not pulling her aside or anything but brought up in small conversation.
Post # 4
I agree with NatashaN. Maybe someone cold say "I am sure glad we get to pick our dresses out so I can find one that i like that won’t blow my budget!" or if you picked something "I really like the dress that _______ picked for us, it is so pretty, and it was a great deal for us too!"
Post # 5
I think the first thing is for you to come up with the parameters about the BM dresses. Color, fabric, price range… Is it going to be a uniform dress or let them pick it themselves? Once you have that established, I think that’s your launching pad for discussing price with her. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to offer that to her as her gift. So I don’t think you necessarily made a mistake by saying what you did.
If you want them to be in the same dress, you can try to find something less expensive. Maybe look at Nordy’s or Macy’s, etc. You can try to see how she feels about the prie, and see what she can swing, and how much you’ll have to supplement. If you allow them to choose their own, maybe you can help her find something in her price range. If she ccan’t afford anything, I would haope she’d be more upfront when you asked her to be in the wedding, that she didn’t have ANY money. (Although you did mention that she’s not that experienced in being a BM.)
Post # 6
I would tell her that you would like her to buy her dress, and let her know that she can pick one out in her price range. Also let her know about shoes and stuff. It is difficult to discuss money with friends sometimes, but if she doesn’t know the traditional way of what the bridesmaids pay for, you will just have to let her know the estimated costs ahead of time if possible. If you are willing to buy her dress as her gift that is really nice of you. But would the other girls expect the same?
Post # 7
I always assumed when I accepted the role of bridesmaid I was responsible for dress, shoes, hair, makeup, etc. If the bride gifted any of those items that was great but not expected.
I agree give her the dress basic requirements and look at the department stores especially now with them changing out the seasons there could be some good deals out there.
Post # 8
I like all of the above suggestions! One other idea, and this is what I’m doing with my BMs…you could always give her a gift card. This way you can help her out with whatever amount you are comfortable with without paying for the dress in it’s totality. Another gentle way to get your point across might be to point her towards sales when you see JCrew or someplace has a big online sale. Just and email like "Hey, I know you’re still looking for your BM dress and I saw that X has a 50% off sale this weekend!"
Post # 9
All good suggestions from the hive! I really like the gift card idea! All my bridesmaids are paying for their dresses, but I am providing their jewelry and shoes as part of their BM gifts to help them out a little. I don’t think making her BM dress is necessarily a good idea, because then you might feel obligated to provide the other BMs with a gift of equal value. How about just telling her you will front the money and she can pay you back?
Post # 10
I am planning to tell my bridesmaids they will need to purchase their dress, but I am trying to be very reasonable in my selection (trying to stay under $100). That way, my BMs know they need to pay, but will understand I have their personal budgets in mind.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2010 - Family Lake House
Thanks so much for the advice, ladies!!! All of it has been EXTREMELY helpful. This bridesmaid and I are so close that it wasn’t difficult to discuss the dress and decide that she would in fact pay for it rather than having it be her bridesmaid’s gift. I never did tell her "it’s tradition" for bridesmaids to pay for their own dress, shoes and makeup–I’m positive she’ll learn that eventually from the other bridesmaids who have been in weddings before. Leave it to me, green as I am to weddings (never been in one as a bridesmaid myself) to nearly screw things up!
[Unrelated] Side note to other newbie brides: try to find out your bridesmaids’ dress sizes BEFORE you start seriously looking into them. I found out last night that she is a size not listed on the limited size chart at Jcrew. I had been sending her email links to dresses at Jcrew to inquire whether she liked any of them, to which she replied "yes" so I even ordered swatches and was getting all excited about my bridesmaids ordering them this fall. I could have saved a lot of time looking at impossible dresses had I just asked what dress size rather than guess.
Post # 12
Just a little input here…
My first wedding, the BM dresses came from JCPenney and were perfectly lovely. JCPenney no longer has a bridal department, so that option is no longer available.
The BM dresses for my 2nd wedding this coming October came from another online store. They are NOT BM dresses & not purchased from a wedding vendor. They were the exact fabric (chiffon) and exact color (its called Pomegranete-between claret and a dark pink with a bit of a plum undertone-but not as muddy as a burgundy)and the cut-similar neckline, similar flutter sleeve, etc. as my dress. It came in all sizes, the price was right (under $150). The return period was 30 days (unheard of for ordered BM dresses from a boutique or most online stores for traditional BM dresses) and they were delivered in less than a week!
When I am asked to be in someone’s wedding I fully expect to be responsible for paying for the cost of my dress, shoes, hair, etc. I also expect to be partially responsible for assisting with at least one shower, the bachelorette party/weekend/dinner/spa day (whatever we decide to do), and to delegate my time as the bride needs to assist with details of planning (invites, music, dresses, decorating, florist, etc.). If I felt that I was unable to fulfill these duties, I would discuss this with the bride. If I am close enough to someone that they would ask me to be in their wedding, then I feel that we would have a close enough relationship to discuss these items as well. Poor communication makes for mixed signals and hurt feelings-most of which could be avoided!
Post # 13
you should just be upfront and be like, I would love to purchase dresses for all of my bridesmaids but I cant afford it, every bridesmaids buys their own dress, however if you cant afford it I totally understand if you cannot be a bridesmaids, thats normal