Is $200 a fair amount to expect a bridesmaid to pay for a dress?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

Roxytiki:  Maybe ask them what kind of budget they are on (for BM dresses) because everyone is different. Maybe some will be able to swing $200 easily for a dress they’ll never wear again and maybe some can spend $500 and maybe some can only spend $50.

It’s going to be a big mess if try to speculate based on their jobs and situations. I’d just talk it out with them.  

ETA: Nevermind, read that wrong

Post # 3
2658 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Every time I have ever been asked to be a bridesmaid, I have gone in fully expecting to pay around $200 for a dress before tax or alterations. 

I think it would be fine, but I would ask your ‘maids about their budgets before laying down the dress law. 

Post # 5
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I don’t personally think it’s unreasonable. Ask you BMs what they think and go from there.

Post # 4
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Yeah I would ask them first. $200 is a lot of money for wearing a dress once. The dress my girls picked out was $140 and they’re not getting alterations but I felt so guilty over it for awhile. When I’ve been a bridesmaid the dresses were $50-100. My wedding dress was only $400 so I can’t imagine spending that much on a bridesmaid dress. But they may be okay with it, just ask the budgets and don’t bring up the dress you like yet. 

Post # 6
592 posts
Busy bee

Objectivly: It just depends on each individual person. Especially since you have such a wide age range. There’s no telling what people make, how much debt they have, what bills they pay, what future expenses they have to plan for, etc. Like the PP said, I’d go to each one individually and ask them what sort of budget they can handle. Then decide from there.

Subjectively: I am a MOH for a friend right now, and $200 dollars + alterations for me would be out of my ability to pay. Most of my friends percieve me to have a decent job. My title and description sound like I might do really well for my age/station in life, however when my friends find out how much I actually make they are shocked it’s much lower than they thought it would be. Which I mention just to point out that perception of finances doesn’t always match the reality of it. 

Post # 7
1108 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Do you think alterations are cheap?  Your girls could end up paying $100 for alterations.  So, that dress you’re asking them to spend $200 on now becomes a $300 dress.  

Just because you think they have great jobs and can afford it doesn’t mean they can/do. 


Post # 8
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

 The bridesmaids will likely buy the gowns but probably complain about the cost either to you or behind your back. 

Post # 9
602 posts
Busy bee

In my opinion, $200 is too much for a dress that they don’t even get to choose. If you let your bridesmaids pick their own dresses and they fall within that price range then that’s one thing but asking them to spend that on something that they may or may not like, is steep. 

Post # 10
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think it’s fine, but as other people have said, it totally depends on what their jobs are and what “normal” is to all of you. My bridesmaids dresses were $385 total, and I asked each girl for $300. None of them minded and I knew they could all afford it. Plus I knew I would do it for them without complaint.

BM dresses are the hardest! It has been the only stressful part of planning for me!

Post # 11
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Roxytiki: I really think that only your bridesmaids can answer this. Mine all told me how much they would spend on a dress. I did buy one dress for my friend who was out of work at the time. 

Post # 12
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Roxytiki:  I think you just have to ask.  I know I felt horrible asking my bridesmaids to spend money on something, even $100 was too much. They all didn’t seem to mind, but the kicker is that they are picking their own dress with my guidelines, so they can get something they like and wear again.

I guess you just have to have that conversation with them!

Post # 13
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

You should ask each of them what they’d be comfortable paying, then take it from there. I feel $200 is a lot to ask them to spend. I was just a BM & our dresses were $280, but because there were 5 of us, the owner lowered it to $200. 

Post # 14
1216 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Roxytiki:  It totally depends on your group of friends. I plan on letting all of my bridesmaids pick out their own dresses as long as they are all long or all short (they can choose as a group, or let me choose for them) and all shades of purple that I approve. Other than that it’s fair game. I know they all have limited budgets, so I don’t want to make it harder for them than it already will be.

Post # 15
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I would 100% drop out of a wedding if I was told to buy a $200 dress +alterations. Not in a million years. 

Edit: Especially if I didn’t get to pick out my own unique dress. I might drop $200 on a dress if I was at Nordstrom Rack of Neiman Marcus’ Last Call and got to pick out whatever I wanted.

  • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  .
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