(Closed) Did you pay for your bridesmaids' dresses?

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: Did you pay for your bridesmaids' dresses?

    Yes, 100% of the cost

    No, not at all

    Some- up to 50% of the cost

    Most- more than 50% of the cost

  • Post # 17
    815 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I paid for their dresses,, other than the Maid/Matron of Honor dress. She wanted something different so she’s getting her own and shopping around.


    I got all the BMs gifts and my Maid/Matron of Honor two gifts. The rest is up to them.

    Post # 18
    6386 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @PinkBubbles:  I’m in the “other” category.  I’m letting my girls wear dresses/shoes they already own.  The only expense they will have is travel, same as any other guest, but I am taking care of their accommodations (no showers, bachelorette, etc).  I spent about $100 in gifts (coach wristlets, emergency kits, gift cards) for each girl and also made them custom jewelry and cases (macaron coin purses).

    Post # 19
    367 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    I have 6 BMs and am paying for all their dresses. If they can fly to Thailand from Philly for me, the least I can do is pay for their dresses. I’m still thinking of other non-wedding-related gifts to get them. They’re the girls dearest to me and when I asked them to be my BMs, not a single one of them showed even a hint of hesitation, despite the expenses they’ll have to fork out. I’m very lucky.


    Post # 20
    1015 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I bought their dresses – they can wear whatever cowboy boots and pearls they can get their hands on. If they owned the boots then they are one step ahead – if they have a mom or grandmother willing to let them wear their pearls then their whole ensemble was free.

    Hair and make-up is optional – I will have a girl there for me and if they want to schedule around my appointment with her then they can; but it’s not required.

    Might even let the groomsmen wear mismatching (already owned) suits…still thinking on it but it sounds like fun 🙂

    Post # 21
    6835 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    No. BUT, we’re doing mismatched dresses so they can get a style and price they like and will reuse. Plus I’m not making them pay for hair and makeup or shoes. And they’re not throwing me a Bach party (just doing a big coed camping trip) or bridal shower.

    I think a lot of it comes down to how much you’re asking of them in return…

    Post # 22
    140 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    The bridesmaid dresses I found were at dillards for $69.  I thought it was reasonable for the girls to pay themselves.  I am not requiring them to buy new shoes or jewelry or even get hair and make up done.

    Post # 23
    2478 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Manhattan Church Rec Center

    I am getting coflicting responces. US based bee. My mom says the bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. my court for my sweet 16 paid for their own dresses. we are working class folk. My sis is my Maid/Matron of Honor and my mom will pay for her dress. My Bff1 & Bff2 are BMs. Bff1 and I have already talked and she said she will pay for her own dress and her style has put her in the $100-$175 Range for a dress. Bff2 is the one I am worried about. Luckily the main event is quite a bit away but I fear she may flake on me, so I am prepaired, against my mothers better judgement, to hash out the money and buy her a dress of MY choosing and in my price range if she says she can’t pay. 

    Weddings, funerals and ihertiance situations test people’s relationships….Lets just say I am prepaired for the hashout.

    But I totally plan on spoiling my girls with gifts, and mani-pedis.


    Post # 24
    1391 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’m not paying for their dresses, we are paying for our wedding ourselves & really can’t afford it. Its not common in our circle for the bride to pick up the tab. But my sisters fiances family is paying for theie entire wedding so she paid half of each girls dress which came to $125 plus alterations, hair, makeup & jewelry. 

    Post # 25
    1036 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    They paid for their own dresses (granted I only had 3 girls, one is my sister whose in college and my mom paid for it, the other 2 are in law school and still living at home and their parents paid for theirs as well so it’s not the same, lol, but even still I wouldn’t have paid for their dresses, I’ve never had a bride pay for my dress, it’s just not how things are done around here I guess???). They all do great hair and makeup, so they just did their own. I gave them very generous Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts, spending over $200 on each of them (their dresses cost about $200 each but I wasn’t trying to spend the same amount, I just kept seeing things I wanted to give them and it came out to that in the end)

    Post # 26
    1391 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I think a lot depends on what your bms are use to. My sisters wouldn’t be shocked to put out $250 for a dress plus shoes, hair $200 for a shower etc. They have expensive taste, then I have a close friend who is one of my  bm who is the total opposite! So you have to try to find a gappy middle. 

    Post # 27
    1241 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I budgeted $100 for each of my bridesmaids’ dresses so if I choose a dress over $100 I will ask them to cover the difference. I am also paying for everyone’s hair and offered to cover their makeup. 2 took the offer, 2 said they’d do their own. Three of my BMs are not well-off financially and two of them live several states away so they’ll be paying travel and hotel fees just to be here. I didn’t want to burden any of them with dress, hair, and makeup expenses when they’re already living on tight budgets and shelling out extra cash to be with me that day. I’ve been a broke bridesmaid and it was no fun for my wallet. I want to avoid putting my girls in the same situation.

    Post # 28
    1375 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I did not start out planning to pay for their dresses. I told them I would keep the dresses under $150 and they were all happy with that. They could wear whatever black shoes they wanted.

    As it progressed, we decided to have them custom made by a local seamstress, which actually was cheaper – around $100. So very reasonable.

    Our groomsmen’s tuxes were $150, but Fiance was only comfortable asking each guy to pay $100, so we were going to underwrite the $50.

    As it got closer, I got wind that one of my bridesmaids might be having a tight financial time, because she was thinking about not coming to the bachelorette party because of cost (just decided to become a Stay-At-Home Mom, bought a house, 7 months pregnant). My Maid/Matron of Honor mentioned it casually to me, saying that she was picking up the cost for this girl because it was important she be there.

    $100 for two of the groomsmen likely also would have been a bit of a strech, and we paid for them upfront so we wouldn’t have a guy end up with out a tux and would have had to try to “collect” which wasn’t an experience I really wanted. And they are all paying for gas/rooms, since the hotel is about 3 hours out of town (we all live far apart, this is a central location that is 2 – 3 hours for everyone, it isn’t that it is a “destination”).

    One day I just suggested to Fiance – “Do you think we should just pay for all their clothes?” We had room in the budget and I thought it would be a nice gesture, acknowledging how much they are spending on OTHER items for the wedding.

    So we are paying for dress/tux, hair, makeup, and then about $55 each for gifts for them. They can wear whatever black shoes they want and whatever jewelry they want.

    Utlimately, while the norm is to have the wedding party pay for their own clothes, I just felt like that is a tradition that didn’t make sense to me, and we had the room to pay for it and we knew it would be a thing they really appreciated, so we decided to do it. It did NOT change other plans in terms of us paying for or not paying for other items.

    Post # 29
    1221 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    No. We did mismatched floral dresses, and only two of six BMs spent more than $50 – one was even able to wear a dress she already had (they looked amazing btw). I didn’t pay for hair and makeup, and a few of them opted to pay but it was only like $40 for hair and makeup on site. Nobody complained 🙂

    Post # 30
    1875 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I didn’t pay for my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses.  But I only specified length, color, and fabric and let them pick their own.  They could where whatever shoes and jewelry they wanted so long as it was in the gold/bronze/neutral color scheme (my BMs actually picked that scheme).  I also didn’t require hair or makeup.

    I did pay for their manis and pedis the day before the wedding and got each girl a gift of about $70.

    I think in the States it’s almost always understood that the BMs will pay for their own dresses.  However, the bride does need to be aware of everyone’s budget and either stick to it or pay the difference.


    Post # 31
    8066 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Mine are paying for their own, they are $130.  Somehow we all agreed on the same dress (everyone picked the same one as the favorite)!  They can wear their own shoes and jewelry (unless I can find something I like enough…then I’d buy it). 

    I’m paying for their hair the day of.  They wanted to go to Vegas for the bachelorette, so we are all paying our own ways there.  They are also throwing my shower…but they won’t let me help plan it.  I’ve convinced them to allow me to make cookies for it though.

    I bought them gifts (necklaces, not required to wear for the wedding) and I think I might also get gift cards since I can’t think of anything else.

    I do believe in the US generally the Bridesmaid or Best Man pay for their own dresses.  I’ve never actually seen any bride buy her Bridesmaid or Best Man the dresses in real life.

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