(Closed) Be my BM? Oh, and can you pay for your own dress?!

posted 11 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 17
33 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Totally agree with the other bees-two conversations. I think most bm’s know they will be paying for their dresses-and as long as you keep their financial needs in mind it should work out great. But for a clever way of asking I thought this was cute: http://www.bellaregalo.com/will_you_be_my_bridesmaid_cookies.html they are cookies!!! maybe you can have a local baker make up a few and decorate them in your colors 🙂 I already asked my bm’s and then I saw this-wish I had thought of it!!!

Post # 18
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

BMs nowadays are still expected to pay for their own dresses. HOWEVER, lately a lot of brides are helping to pick up the slack, or if a Bridesmaid or Best Man has already been asked and cannot afford the dress, etc. (and isn’t wise enough to step down), the bride often steps in and pays — that’s what happened at my cousin’s wedding.

I’d warn you about asking someone who obviously doesn’t want to pay the price of being in your bridal party. Not that she’s not a lovely person, but you would need to make it clear to her that you’d be expecting her to pay for her own dress. Make it a separate conversation if you want…but do make it clear.

Post # 19
169 posts
Blushing bee

every bridesmaids pays for their own dress, just like guests pay their own airfare, hotel and still get you a gift. weddings are xpensive for everyone involves. period. if they cannot afford it maybe they should not be in it. also forever21 sells some pretty bridesmaids esque dress for under 30 each.

Post # 20
84 posts
Worker bee

I was a bridesmaid for both of my cousins’ (sisters) weddings, each a year apart, and I paid for both gowns. And one was hideous. So I think that it is not out of the question that they’d be responsible for the cost. After everything you pend on the wedding you shouldn’t be expected to pay for their dresses as well.

Post # 22
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

just wanted to second the post to be cautious of someone who may not want to pay for the dress – at least anticipate more trouble later. because the dress is certainly not the only expense – and it’s not even just the wedding day stuff (depending on what you do – could be dress, hair, shoes, makeup, jewelry, travel, etc) but also any shower or bachelorette activities. I picked an inexpensive dress and just asked for neutral shoes of any kind, am paying for hair/makeup/jewelry, and most of my girls have local family to stay with. Yet there is one girl who has just constantly mentioned the money (even though she makes the most of all the bridesmaids) and I have just found it hurt my feelings sometimes. There is a difference between those who truly can’t afford certain things and those who are just going to make a fuss and knowing that upfront should help you deal with it.

Post # 23
153 posts
Blushing bee

When I asked my US bridesmaids, they already knew that they had to buy the dress and believed that they would have to buy the shoes, hair, make-up, shower, batchelorette party, etc.  It is the norm rather than the exception to the rule.

When I asked my European bridesmaids, I spelled out everything in detail that they would have to purchase as soon as I asked.  From the few UK weddings I’ve been to (and watched on TV), the bride pays for everything.  This may be why the wedding parties are so small.  Again, my experience was limited, so I wanted to make sure my girls knew the financial obligation and gave them a way out if they wanted.

For all the girls after they said yes, I sent a group e-mail explaining that I would keep the expenses to a minimum.  The dress is less than $100.  They can wear their own shoes.  It’s DIY hair and makeup.  I don’t expect a shower or a batchelorette party.  I just want them to be there to celebrate with me!

I agree with the other posters about your one bridesmaid that’s already worried about the costs of the wedding.  Sure you can be as considerate as possible to your BMs, but it’s not just the dress that costs money; there are usually alterations as well.  You probably need to talk to her about it, sooner rather than later.  If you’re sure that she’s going to continue to worry and worry you about it, is it the best to have her as a BM?

Good luck!

Post # 25
1037 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010 - Carlouel Yacht Club

I always have thought that the BM’s just know that they have to pay for their own dress. I’m the first of my group of friends to get married, so I know I’m setting the standard on everything with us…I’m really trying to keep the dress at a reasonable price…under $200, more like $150 tops if possible…and I’m considering purchasing them their jewelry as a gift. I’m letting them pick out their own shoes, so if they already have a pair, they won’t have to purchase that on top of it…

Post # 27
159 posts
Blushing bee

i have always assumed that i will be paying for my own dress.  of course i think this means the bridesmaids get some input on choosing the dress.  i’ve had my dress bought for me once and it was an amazing surprise, but totally unexpected.  if you can’t afford it, don’t feel bad.  

Post # 28
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

My girls definitely bought their own dresses, and I’ve never heard of another way.  I did make an effort to get a good price (herecomesthebridesmaid.com) and pick something that is universal and everyone can wear again – 4 styles, black, to the floor.

Good luck!  Have fun asking!

Post # 29
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

my girls offered to buy there dresses now mind you im looking at the price rage of 50 to 100 but still they didn’t mind.

Post # 30
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Maybe talk to her and ask if you could split the cost with her if it’s in your budget. I have been in a few weddings and always paid for the dress. However, the last one I was in, the bride definitely made the extra effort to help us find things that were discounted or cheaper to help offset the costs. We also got to pick our own dresses and, since they were long, as long as we had the same color shoes, she didn’t care since you really couldn’t see them.

I tried to do something similiar for my BMs. They all picked their own dresses and when I asked and gave them all cards, I said I would try to help them find things as cheap as possible so it was kind of unsaid that they would be paying for their own dresses. 

I hope that helps. If not, she could help light a candle, usher, be a guest book attendant or even help with a cultural aspect of the wedding. At our wedding, since a lot of my asian relatives will likely give cash instead of gifts, the guestbook/gift attendant is really important role. When we explained this to our attendant she was more than honored to be part of our wedding. 

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