Aussie bee’s – bridesmaid etiquette

posted 10 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Aussie bee here…my understanding and experience is the the bride pays and chooses dress/hair/makeup etc.

Post # 3
4486 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

nlouised12 :  Aussie custom used to be like British custom. You paid for clothing, shoes, make-up, hair etc for your bridal party. It’s changed somewhat more to the American way of doing things over the last few decades where bridal party pay for their dresses etc. I’ve also noticed we seem to have more recently adopted baby showers from American culture too….

I’ve been  flowrgirl and bridesmaid a lot over the years but I’ve only ever once paid my way by way of clothing etc. Every other time  all expenses have been paid for me and I contributed to the cost of a kitchen tea and hens party. 

Having said that I’m of Italian descent and a lot of the bridal parties I’ve been part of have usually been for couples that are Australian born but of some sort of Mediterranean descent where custom is to pay for everything for your bridal party. 

How you do it here in Australia does really depend on your circle or even what cultural background the bride and groom are from. We paid for everything for our bridal party because cultural custom from our heritage dictates that as the norm but even so I personally feel that your wedding shouldn’t be a financial burden on others and if you are dictating dresses, shoes, hair, make-up etc then its not right to ask others to empty their pockets for your choices. I’m probably in the minority on that though. I think if you can’t afford to dress your bridal party then they can still be your bridal party in whatever clothes/make-up/hair/shoes that they would have worn normally to your wedding. Whatever they wear they are still the people you asked to stand up with you on the day.  A lack of matching and coordinated outfit doesn’t change that fact. 

Edited because autocorrect decided I meant decent not descent! 😕


Post # 4
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m from New Zealand and from what my Australian friends tell me it’s pretty similar here.

Some brides pay for hair, makeup and dress.

I paid for hair and makeup. My bridesmaids bought their own dresses.  

Post # 5
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’m in Australia as well and I paid for the dress, hair, makeup, jewellery and bags for the girls but they bought their own shoes and they were responsible for own accommodation for the wedding.



Post # 6
1575 posts
Bumble bee

Brides pay as you are doing 🙂 

Post # 7
255 posts
Helper bee

I’m only having my two sisters as bridesmaids, but the understanding is that they’re paying for their dresses (haven’t discussed hair and makeup yet). They’re both in better financial situations than me and would be uncomfortable otherwise I imagine, based on many other discussions.

Post # 8
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

Aussie bee here – I think either the bride or bridesmaids can pay for the dresses, but if the bride is dictating hair and makeup then the bride should pay

Post # 9
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Aussie bee here. My bridesmaids are paying for their dresses and shoes. I pay for the rest. But I’m not fussed on what dress they pick (within reason) so long as it’s the right colour. 

Post # 10
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

nlouised12 :  my girls bought their own dresses – but they could pick any style they wanted in the colour I gave them.  I paid for hair and makeup and got them thank you presents.

Post # 11
617 posts
Busy bee

Im 100% Aussie. Probably on the much more relaxed and upfront end. 

I told my bridesmaids how much I was contributing for their dress. I gave them a colour and let them pick what they wanted to wear and if they went over their limit it came out of their own pocket. I will be covering their hair and makeup. 

I believe if you are a bride and have a specific dress and hair/makeup style in mind then you should be prepared to cover it all. If brideamaids are covering 100% of everything then they should have a large say in what they like. 

Post # 12
3852 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Australia is kind of a mix of UK and US customs when it comes to weddings, which makes it very confusing as the expectations are not clear! 

Two of my bridesmaids insisted on buying their own dresses and I paid for the third who was financially struggling. A friend did their hair and makeup so they didn’t have to pay for that but I would have paid in any event. My ‘hens’ was just a brunch and everyone paid for their own meal. 

Post # 13
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

All my bridesmaids travelled from interstate, and they paid for their flights and any pair of nude coloured shoes they were comfortable wearing. I paid dresses, accommodation, most meals etc.

Post # 14
2705 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

I bought dresses and jewellery for my bridesmaids, asked that they just wear silver shoes (didn’t care if they wore a pair they already owned, didn’t care about heel height or style) and I paid for hair and makeup.  Both flew from New Zealand and paid for their accommodation (well, I think my mum paid for my sister’s accommodation!).  I wouldn’t have asked them to buy their own dresses under any circumstances.

Post # 15
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

Aussie here

Ive only been a wedding party once (MOH). All the wedding party lived in other states and we had to fly over, but she put us up at her place (farm). Bride paid for dresses and I think we paid for hair and makeup it was a few years ago and I honestly cant recall, due to distance we squeezed in the bachelorette party that week and it was a pretty low key and cheap affair at her house in the spa.

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