(Closed) Am I supposed to buy the bridesmaids dresses?

posted 6 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
1862 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

No, you’re not. You can all go bridesmaid dress shopping together if you think they’re gonna be picky. My bridesmaids didn’t care and I showed them the dress I fell in love with and they loved it too. One of my bridesmaids asked me if she can put sleeves on hers to feel more comfortable which I of course told her absolutely. Dress still looked great in pics. 

You know your friends best and whether they would need to give you a price cutoff or not.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Diamond84.
Post # 3
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Who pays for it depends on where you live. In some parts of the world (I’ve heard the UK mostly) buying dresses for your bridesmaids is the norm, but in America bridesmaids tend to buy their own dresses. As the bride of course you get a say in what they wear! Most brides will either pick out a specific dress and ask all of the bridesmaids to buy that or pick a “”theme” for their bridesmaids to buy mismatched dresses. I think its very important to ask them what their price range is, as well as giving them some chance to give input into what styles they like and dislike. Theres nothing worse than being told to buy a dress you can’t afford, or having to wear one that you absolutely detest!

As far as the strapless dress, it would probably be good to show it to the girl who doesn’t like strapless and ask what she thinks. Maybe she would be willing to make an exception, or you could be flexible and have her add straps or a small coverup to make it more comfortable. 

Post # 4
1724 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

For the weddings I’ve known the bridesmaids typically buy their own dresses and shoes.  The bride can try to pay for their hair and makeup, and at least usually gets them a gift to acknowledge the expesnse in both time and money to help and be part of the wedding.    

Yes, I’d ask the bridesmaids about dress styles and price ranges – some may be ashamed to admit their cost limitations, but you need to at least give them a chance.  Choosing the dresses can work many ways – maybe you should take them a few at a time or all together to get ideas.  

As for differing tastes or styles, I know many brides who accomdated the BMs by letting them all choose from a ranges of dresses all in the same color, so the ladies with bigger busts were not stuck in strapless or something that made them feel ugly.  

I think only in the case of exceeding wealthy brides have I ever heard mention of the bride or her family paying for the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress.  Since they shoulder the cost of being in the wedding themselves, and are supposed to be there to help the bride as they can and show support that day, this is why accepting is such a big deal and should not be taken lightly on the part of the Bridesmaid or Best Man.

Post # 5
2165 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

No you don’t. I’ve had people pay a certain amount toward my dress, which was unexpected and nice! My dad paid for my ladies dresses because we were all new college grads, but all other dresses I’ve worn for weddings, I bought myself. 

Post # 6
1410 posts
Bumble bee

You don’t.

I am. But I’m only having 2 BMs and while one is very well off, the other will have just started her graduate program and I don’t want to burden her!

Post # 7
1570 posts
Bumble bee

In the UK the bride pays for all the dresses. 

Post # 8
7605 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

It’s not customary in the US but I think it is the right thing to do. It’s your wedding. Why should it cost your bridesmaids a lot of Money to be there?

Post # 9
5151 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

If you’re in the US – no. It’s well known that bridesmaids buy their own. Yes – please ask them a budget and take it into consideration when choosing dresses. 

Post # 10
465 posts
Helper bee

Irish bee here, I have bought my bm dresses (and shoes, bags, accessories) but this is the norm here, I understand from the bee its not the norm in most places. So it depends on where your from. Either way you of course have the say, but you can tell your friend to add straps if she doesn’t like strapless. You want your bm’s feeling comfortable! 

Post # 11
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I picked the dress, they bought them. I purchased shoes, jewlery and a surprise pair of Tom’s for the reception. 

Post # 12
232 posts
Helper bee

It’s usually culture and ability of the couple. In Canada it’s customary for bridesmaids to pay for their own but I wanted to and was lucky enough to afford them.

Maybe try to arrange for them to go shopping but call each beforehand to make sure you know their budget and tastes are. That way you can choose an appropriate store. Maybe ask each something they’d absolutely wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing so you have an idea beforehand (no strapless/empire waist etc). So you don’t fall in love with something everyone hates.

Post # 13
3234 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
castela1389:  like PPs have said, it depends on where you’re located. I would, however, hope that your friends/family’s preferences would be an important consideration for you re strapless, especially if you’re having them pay for the dresses! I would never make my friend wear something she was uncomfortable in. 

Post # 14
10735 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply

Have to   second you re  the strapless-hating bridesmaid. Hope OP doesn’t make her wear one . Adding strap/sleeves is good , though  will , of course , make her look different.

Post # 15
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would warn you that if you are on a tight budget, even if you do not pay for dresses, the more bridesmaids you have, the more it will cost.  It is traditional to give them each a gift, and you will have them and their SOs at the rehearsal dinner.  If you demand a certain shoe, hairdo, makeup or purse, you should pay for all that 

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