(Closed) Bridesmaid dresses – explain

posted 6 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t know why it’s that way. I didn’t feel right about that so I did buy my bridesmaids dresses.

Post # 4
Member
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Where I am from (Australia) and the UK it is tradition for the couples (well originally the brides side for BM’s and grooms side for GM’s) to pay for wedding party attire.

I personally don’t understand the logic behind making the wedding party pay for things for your wedding! To me it is no different than asking your guests to pay for their dinner. Your party your dime.

Post # 5
Member
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

This doesn’t always sit right with me either… It isn’t in our budget to buy all the dresses for the BMs or GMs, but I searched as hard as I could for a dress that a) was something they could actually wear again and b) not over $150 (and as close to $100 as possible). A lot of women buy new dresses for nearly every wedding they attend, especially for weddings within the same friend-group, so I don’t think it is a totally unexpected cost when attending a wedding (though I think most people would buy a dress in the $50-$100 range as a regular guest). I think where it gets crazy is when the Bride picks out a $300 dress and requires pro hair styling without paying for any of it.

Edit: I am 99% sure the BMs will be wearing the convertible wrap dresses from henkaa ($130ish)

Post # 6
Member
4144 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

@happyface:  I agree with you

But as @j_jaye said, in the UK that’s what happens.  I can’t imagine asking bridesmaids to fork out money on a dress the bride wants.  How unfair is that?  Kind of stops it being an honour in my opinion, like your paying for the title: “be my bridesmaid, it’s only gunna cost you <insert $ here>”

But I get that it’s a tradition.  And since it’s normal for US girls, they probably don’t think twice about it.

Post # 7
Member
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ladyartichoke:  yeah but then where does that stop? At most American weddings, most guests need to fly in, pay for a hotel room, maybe rent a car in addition to buying whatever ensemble they want to wear and a gift (if they choose to give one), Close friends/bridal party, also have the added expense of showers and bachelorette parties. I think brides should ALWAYS talk to all of their BMs about their budgets before picking out a dress so no one has to break the bank. But I also dont think the Bride and Groom should have to shell out an extra grand or two just to have their friends stand with them.

Post # 8
Member
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@WoodenShoes:  But I also dont think the Bride and Groom should have to shell out an extra grand or two just to have their friends stand with them.

But that is the part I don’t get. The Bride and Groom want you to stand up there with them- they ask you (not the other way around) and then ask you to buy a certain dress etc etc. Personally if I couldn’t afford to have someone stand up with me then as much as it pained me I would skip it.

I get that it is tradition in the States but I wonder when and where it started!

Post # 9
Member
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@j_jaye:  I’m not sure when or where it started, but in the original tradition, the bridesmaids would wear the same dress (ensemble?) as the bride to confuse the evil spirits that were trying to muck up the union. Like it’s impossible to tell women apart if they are all wearing the same thing, sheesh. I don’t know who was responsible for paying for these dresses though 😉

I also think that this tradition is the reason that a large number of Americans have HUGE bridal parties (8+ on each side) whereas in Britain (from what I understand) the average bridal party is significantly smaller.

Post # 10
Member
827 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@WoodenShoes:  THIS!

I also think that this tradition is the reason that a large number of Americans have HUGE bridal parties (8+ on each side) whereas in Britain (from what I understand) the average bridal party is significantly smaller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

I am not sure if this is universal but I have heard from at least two differnet families that around the turn of the 20th century in the US when these relatives were “fresh off the boat,”  bridesmaids were often asked to stand up because they owned a dress. So in looking at old family wedding photos, you may notice a specific person is in multiple photos wearing the same dress and the reason was that she owned a formal dress so she was a bridesmaid for her sister and her cousin and wore the same dress. Again, I am sure this is not the real reason for the tradition but I can see how such a scarcity of possessions resulting from a recent immigration and/or the Great Depression would increase the need for a Bridesmaid or Best Man to have her own dress. It seems plausiable that this already owned could translate to asking BMs to buy a new dress as financial position improved. 

Post # 12
Member
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@slicey19:  Could be but in Australia (where most of the population again are immigrants) this doesn’t/didn’t happen? So it is interesting to see how it originated and why!

Post # 13
Member
4144 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

@WoodenShoes:  Yeah, 4 is considered a lot. 8 would just be outrageous.

Post # 14
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@j_jaye:  I didn’t know that was Australian tradition! I’ve paid for both the bridemaids dresses for the weddings I was in and my bridesmaid paid for hers (though my bridesmaid bought whatever she wanted. I just said ‘black’ because I only had one).

 

It definitely seems a bit silly though. My two dresses will never be worn again!

Post # 15
Member
4144 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

@j_jaye:  I agree with you, I would have to decline to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man if I had to pay for it.  I simply cannot afford it. 🙁

Post # 16
Member
8438 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@Uniquebee77:  Yep but alas since the invention of the internet and wedding forums Australian Brides are taking on USA customs. Rehersals and rehersal dinners are popping up and (shudder) the bridal shower. I think it has a lot to do with what Charlie pickering called the entitlement generation!

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