(Closed) Bridesmaid Paying for Dress Etiquette

posted 8 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: Be a Bridesmaid to my friend
    Suck it up and buy ridiculously expensive dress, but that will be wedding gift to couple : (11 votes)
    10 %
    Decline the offer as a bridesmaid and attempt to go to wedding as a normal guest : (97 votes)
    90 %
  • Post # 3
    4753 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    You don’t say no to the question but you do tell her that you simply can’t afford a $500 dress. Tell her you’d like to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man but can’t afford to pay that much on the dress. At which point you say I’ll drop out if this is a problem for you.

    Post # 4
    374 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    From the sounds of it, your friend is not taking your financial situation into consideration.  If it were me, I would tell her thank you, but I don’t think I can afford to pay for a $470 dress on top of buying a gift and pitching in for all other wedding related events.  If she is a real friend she will understand.  You can always offer to help with wedding related planning to let her know that you care and you didn’t come to this decision lightly.

    Post # 5
    1048 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    $470 for a bridemaid dress is ludicrous.  I think you should be straightforward and tell her with all of the potential wedding expenses you just won’t be able to afford the dress.  Perhaps then she’ll back down a little and compromise/nix any other wedding expenses for you?

    Post # 6
    121 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I would research online to see if there are cheaper dresses avaialble in the same style and color as the original dress. Confront your friend about your money situation, show her the alternatives and say “I could afford this version, which is still in my budget but very close to your original vision.” It shows that you’re making an effort to be a part of her day. Even if she says absolutely not to your replacement dress idea, you made an honest effort. At that point, be upfront and say you can’t pay the $500 for the dress, and will have to decline being a bridesmaid. 

    Post # 7
    10285 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011

    Anyone who is demanding a $500 bridesmaids dress should break open their checkbook and pay for it themselves. Asking your bridesmaids to shell out $500 for a dress is almost insulting. Seriously, if this chick can’t see past the fact that $500 for a bridesmaids dress is ridiculous and she refuses to budge, I can only imagine how the rest of your bridesmaids responsibilites will pan out. Maybe she’ll require louboutins and a bachelorette party cruise of the Mediterranean.

    Post # 8
    6512 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @msbadger7: I second your idea!

    OP, if the bride does not budge, she is being a jerk.  Sorry about not mincing words, but geez!  That is ridiculous. 

    Post # 9
    10713 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I felt bad when I fell in love with a bridesmaids dress that was $189. I’m still looking for something cheaper. 

    Maybe you could find that dress on sale or used? Or maybe none of the other bridesmaids will be able to pay for that either and she’ll have to keep looking!

    Post # 10
    1827 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @Bridesmaidnotortobe: oh there is NO way in hell i’d have my bridesmaids pay that much. I even feel bad about a dress being over $150. I’ve informally told them to not spend a lot of money on a gift for us- something small and sentimental would be perfect.

    You definitely need to have a serious talk with your friend. Good luck!

    Post # 11
    152 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I voted to decline the offer…but before you do you can take the advice of the pp and see if you can find a used one. Check sites like Craigslist, recycledbride.com…But if you can’t I would definitely decline. I felt bad even asking my bmaids to spend $75, so I bough the dresses for them, and they have been paying me as they can. (Only one actually paid me, but as they are my besties it is not a big deal. Better to have them all with me than to have them decline for financial reasons!)

    I hope things work out for you!

    Post # 14
    155 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I agree that she is being unreasonable. I am actually almost in her shoes, but I hope that my actions were more considerate – I found bridesmaid dresses that I absolutely LOVE that are almost $400. 2 of my bridemaids are my sisters, and my parents are paying for their dresses (as well as the wedding) and my mom was fine with this price. My other 2 bridesmaids are friends, and I would NEVER ask them to straight-up pay $400! Instead, we told them we would be paying for half of the dress as well as any tax, alterations, etc. So in the end they are paying a total of $200 (I know is still a lot, but we thought this was reasonable and they are ok with it). As a bride, I think it is okay if you pick out expensive dresses – but only if you are willing to use some of your wedding budget to bring them down to a price your girls can afford.

    If I were you, I would try to be honest with her, and I agree that if she doesn’t budge then you have every right to politely decline the role.

    Post # 15
    2554 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    That is waaaay too much for a bridesmaid dress. I would tell your friend, sorry, but you cannot afford that, plus any other expenses you might have. Or, as others are saying shop around a bit for dresses (though it sounds like your friend is dead set). I am a Maid/Matron of Honor for my friend and I have been on the hunt for potential Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses in the style she wants. This way I can find something she likes (and I like!) for a good price.

    Post # 16
    362 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    Just be upfront. The bride has to remember that $470 is just the price of the dress. Doesn’t include alterations, shoes, accessories, bridal shower/bachelorette party contributions. This dress is way overpriced and you just need to tell her that you love her but you simply can’t AFFORD a dress that expensive. 

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