Post # 1
Some friends of mine and I were recently discussing past weddings we’ve been in over the years, and the topic of financial obligations that fall on the bridesmaids came up. We were discussing brides with too fancy of tastes (I was once instructed to buy a $375 dollar dress and a pair of $108 dollar shoes!!), and being in bridal parties where one maid sits in David’s with her arms crossed, refusing to agree to the purchase of a $99 dollar dress (that happened to a friend, and she says it was the most uncomfortable she ever was).
We all felt like before agreeing to be a bridesmaid one should make sure that they’re able to take on $500 dollars worth of financial obligations, and if they can’t, then they should have an honest conversation with their newly engaged friend about it. We all seemed to agreed that brides who asked for much more were kind of being bridezillas (unless their friends are all equally wealthy), and bridesmaids who complain about costs that fall within these guidelines are being unfair to the bride, since they really should have considered what they were getting into before agreeing.
We came up with that number based on $200 to dress yourself (as in, if the bride wants you to have special shoes/jewelry, or if alterations are needed, then the dress better be lower in cost to compensate, or she should offer to cover the difference), $150 toward a shower (we kind of felt like $100 toward the party, and $50 for all of the bridesmaids to go in on a gift seems reasonable), $100 for a wedding gift, and an extra fifty bucks to have drinks and/or dinner for a Bachelorette party.
Obviously everyone has different financial circumstances, but when we broke it down, it really made sense this way. So, I was interested to hear what others think about the financial obligations of bridesmaids. Does this seem reasonable to others or are we way off?
Post # 3
I think it really depends on each bridesmaid. I have bridesmaids that cover basically every income bracket, and their ideas of “normal” would be really different. I don’t think there is such thing as a universal budget for bridesmaids. If those numbers are reasonable for you and your friends, then that’s great! I’m glad you all could figure out a budget that works nicely for everyone! 🙂
Post # 4
I also had bms that covered all areas of the income bracket….there’s this saying my friends and I always say when we snowboard as a group “you can only go as fast as your slowest person”…..I believe that’s true for bridal parties as well. You can only spend as much as your poorest person. That is how I went about things. And considering the lowest income person in my group of girls I would not have felt right asking her to pay more than $100 so my DH and I covered everything except alterations.
I agree that if you’re asked to be a bm you should have it in your head that you’ll spend AT LEAST $500 and to consider that before agreeing. It would be wonderful if it stayed within $500 though!
Post # 5
I’m with @abbie017: I don’t think there is a universal budget for a BM. What seems reasonable to you won’t seem reasonable to others. If I were still a college student, no way could I come up with $500 for someone else’s wedding. I also definitely don’t think a BM on a budget is unfair to a bride. Parties and presents aren’t mandatory and no BM should feel she must contribute financially to one. I think people trump money so it’s kinda weird to me to say that one should decline standing up with a good friend on her wedding day because one can’t afford a fancy dress or pay for a party.
Post # 6
I kinda agree with OP. I think a lot of the time a friend accepts the position as a bridesmaid without really thinking about the costs. I did go over the costs with each of them in detail and they all assured me it would be no problem. They had over 1 and1/2 years to save for the bridesmaids gowns and when the time came to order my mom had to pay because they werent prepared. It has happened to me with my own sisters. I wish they had just politely declined rather than making things difficult. Maybe it is horrible for me to say, but it really put a strain on our relationship.
I dont think there is a universal budget for everyone, but OP has thrown some numbers out there that seem very average/reasonable to me. I think if bridesmaids went into it planning for these expenses it would eliminate a lot of problems.
Post # 7
I’m not implying that a friend who can’t afford this type of budget should be kicked to the curb. The implication was that this seems to be the average cost of being in a wedding. It’s fair for the bride to assume that this is about what her maids can afford unless she’s been alerted otherwise.
On the other side of that coin, brides need to adhear to a reasonable budget, and not spring out of hand costs on their BM’s. I was once in a wedding where what the bride expected financially ($400 dress, matching shoes, country club shower, hair nails and make up at an upscale spa) was outrageous. Everyone in the wedding made the kind of money where they could afford it, but did anyone really WANT to shell out that much of their hard earned cash on a dress they didn’t choose? Nope! By the time her bachelorette party rolled around no one even wanted to go because the wedding wasn’t fun anymore, it was just a lot of dollar signs.
Ultimately I wasn’t saying that $500 is 100% what all bridesmaids need to spend on each wedding they’re ever in. The idea was that it’s a reasonable middle of the road BM budget, and if it’s something a girl feels she couldn’t possibly do, she should probably alert someone to that fact early on, and if no one says anything, then the bride should still try and keep things inside of that reasonable budget.. I think I just always hate seeing those girls on say yes to the dress bridesmaids edition who keep saying they hate every dress, then eventually burst into tears and admit that they’re doing that because they really can’t afford it. Why did they not have the conversation privately ahead of time!? It drives me nuts!
Post # 8
All bridesmaids NEED to shell out for is the dress. Most of the time we can wear our own shoes, do our own hair and makeup and nails (those things are something the bride should pay for if she wants them done). Shower and bachelorette parties are nice, but are not required events.
Clearly all bridesmaids are responsible for their own travel, but as brides we do try to find good deals at hotels and reserve a room block at discouted rates.
Post # 9
I think the bridesmaids should pay for their dresses, since its something that they can wear again (hopefully?).
But, I think asking them to pay HUNDREDS of dollars is a bit much. Even if they can afford it. Unless its a dress that they love and would wear again, then that’s cool. But hundreds of dollars on a dress her friend picked out to wear to HER day? I think that’s too much.
Personally, my bridesmaids dresses are going to be as inexpensive as possible. Their budgets are $100 tops. This is mostly because they’re all students and somewhat broke, like me haha!
Post # 10
I agree I think it’s different for everyone. Even if I could afford it since I know by experience that you hardly ever reware a bridesmaid dress I’m not willing to spend hundreds of dollars on it. I think the bride should sit down with all the brides maid and find what they are all comfotable spending.
I know for me a few people doing very well, one has two kids, and other doesn’t make that much. I plan on asking the ladys what their budget is, and if we go over I’m paying for the last too. It does end up costing a lot with all the events. I think even with in the bridal the party there are going to range of what people can afford.