(Closed) Do I pay for bridesmaid dresses? Also wedding invites and registry

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
47188 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

miricast :  It is always nice if the bride can pay for the bridesmaid dresses, particularly if she is requiring them to wear something specific that they will not likely wear again.

Custom does however vary with where you live. In the US and Canada, it seems BM’s usually pay for their own dresses. Have you asked married friends what the custom is where you live?

It’s not rude to put out a table for gifts. Often there is a container labeled “Cards” on an otherwise empty table, rather than a sign that says “Gifts”. The polite thing to do is to send gifts to the couple, bride or groom’s home before or after the wedding.

It is proper to include registry information with a shower invitation, because showers are all about gifts. It is not proper to include it on the wedding invitation itself. Opinion is divided on whether or not it is acceptable to include a registry insert. Will you be having a website? It can be included there. Otherwise, you depend on word of mouth. If someone asks you or close family where you are registered, they can tell them.

Post # 3
3832 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

In the US the BMs seem to pay, in the UK the bride does, in Australia it could go either way… personally I would pay for them or maybe go halves. For a gift table, it’s a useful thing since people need to put their gifts somewhere! I agree with PP about a card box on a table and people should catch on that they can put gifts there. I have no idea about registries though! 

Post # 4
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

1.  Paying is nice. Seems to be standard in the UK. Not required in North America, but then you need to check your BMs budget before choosing a dress to make sure its ok with them. 

2. People bring gifts to a wedding. It happens. Putting out a table is not rude, it’s just a logistical thing. 

3. Don’t put registry information into the invitations. Either put it on your website or it’ll get passed around by word of mouth. People who are interested will ask. It’s a non issue. 

Post # 5
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

As other bees have mentioning paying is standard in the Uk, I think as in some way you might have certain requirements as to what you’d like them to wear it is the fair thing to do. A table seems like a sensible idea, not rude at all. I’ve never been to a wedding where they had a registery, I’d have thought if someone wanted to get a gift and was stuck with what to get then they would just ask. 

Post # 6
96 posts
Worker bee

I’m always pretty shocked when brides aren’t sure if they should pay for the bridesmaid dresses. You decided to get married, you’ll be dictating the colour and style, you rarely end up being able to wear your bm dress again so of course the bride should pay. 

Post # 7
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

miricast :  UK bee – im buying my girls the dresses. I was thinking that they could get their own shoes but I’m not sure yet as I’ll have to see what the cost of the dresses are first. (I would like to get them as I don’t think it’s fair for them to pay) I find the concept of asking someone to be a bridesmaid but then making them pay for their stuff a little bit bizarre. It’s like saying ‘merry Christmas buy yourself a gift’ oh and put a tag on it saying it’s from me. 😂😳

Post # 8
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I think it’s a very nice gesture to offer to pay for the bridesmaid dresses. That is what we are doing with my bridesmaids. In my personal opinion, I think it is kind of silly to make them pay for something they don’t get to pick out theirselves and may not ever wear again. I’ve been in a couple weddings before though and both times the bridesmaid dresses were well over $100, so if you decide to have your bridesmaids pay I think they will appreciate the lower cost.

Every wedding I’ve been to that I can remember had a gift table set up where people placed gifts and there was usually a box for cards, so no I don’t think that is rude. 

For registry information, I would leave this information out of the invitations. Some people view this as tacky. Instead, I would provide a link to your wedding website on the cards and provide the registry information on the website. 

Post # 10
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

miricast : 

re: dresses – it depends on where you live, here in the UK yes dresses are bough by the bride… in america it varies, it much more common for bridesmaid to buy them but I have heard some bride (seems to mainly be people from some parts of the mid-west but could be other areas) claim its normal for the bride to buy them like in the UK

re: gift table – you can put a gift table but I always think it makes it very kids birthday party rather than wedding, most people dont seem to bring gifts too weddings also bare in mind you might need a ‘gaurd’ to stop things being stolen if you do this – that said as others have mentioned registry aent common in the UK and gifts arent expected, most people who get a gift seem to either stop by on the morning, send it to the house of give it to the bride a day or two before hand

re: registry – DONT put it on the card, its very bad ettiquette as it demands a gift is sent regardless of response or attendance (basically just a way to maximise grabbing gifts undecided) if you really must have a registry then put a link to a website on the card and have detail on the webpage

Post # 11
159 posts
Blushing bee

Personally I think it is crazy that in US bridesmaids have to pay for their own dresses. Its ridiculous. If someone invited me to their party and chose a dress for me, they have to pay for it. About the gift

About the gift table i am not sure as it appears that its a bit different in US as well. In my country everybody brings a gift or a card and they give it to you after ceremony and before dinner. A bride and groom greet each guest individually and get a gift. So my bridesmaids had a basket where she put all the cards we got and the guys took the presents and put them away on a table that was next to us. Then once the dinner started the presents were taken away. 

Post # 12
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I think it depends where you are?

In the UK, the bride pays for bridesmaid dresses as standard. From what I’ve seen on here, this is less common in other places but if you can afford to do it, I don’t think there is any bridesmaid that would complain about you relieving them of having to fork out for a dress they may not even like.

In the UK, I have never been to a wedding that hasn’t had a gift table. It is usually set up somewhere with something for guests to post cards on to then a space for any gifts they bring. It doesn’t specifically say ‘Gifts’ or ”hey, please drop off your presents here!’ but by seeing a place to leave cards, we all know that it’s where gifts should be left too if there is any. To be honest, I’d be more confused if there wasn’t anywhere set out as I’d have to carry around my card or gift until someone told me where to put them which is awkward but again, this may just be the UK.

No idea on the registry front I’m afraid. I’ve never been to a wedding with one and we aren’t doing one either. I have had a number of people ask whether we have a gift list but where I come from, you don’t really do them. People just bring you what they want or have chosen to give you in the form of cards, money, vouchers, physical gifts etc I’m not a fan of people asking for things with their invitation. It all seems a bit ‘you’re welcome to come but please make sure you buy us one of these things before you do’ to me but that’s probably just my personal opinion. I even hate all of these ‘please give us money, not physical gifts’ poems and feel like it’s all a little bit assuming and ungraceful when sent with your invitation. Obviously it largely depends on your guests though. You know what they will find inappropriate and what they won’t see as a problem so you may have to judge it on that. We don’t do wedding websites in the UK so no experience of this but may be less forceful than including it with your main invitation.

Post # 13
28 posts
  • Wedding: May 2017

I’m from the USA, where bridesmaids are expected to pay for them, but I plan to pay for mine because it gives you absolute and complete control over what they wear. When you make them pay, you have to find something everyone likes at least a little bit, which can be literally impossible if you’re like me and have girls with completely different fashion tastes. If you pay, they have no valid reason to complain if they hate the dress. 

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