(Closed) Etiquette: Cost of bridesmaid dresses?

posted 3 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
12774 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Usually the dress shops require a 50% deposit to order the dress.  Tell the girls you’ll cover the deposit for each of them.  I would include your sister in this as well, so you don’t make it awkward for the other two, and work out the financial stuff with your parents later.

Post # 3
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I think you should first consult with the BMs on budget and style options.  Then, if the dress you like is more expensive than that, or even if it’s not,  tell them that you insist on covering a portion of the cost of the dresses  and that it is your pleasure.  

Post # 5
8580 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think you should have them go try on dresses before worrying over money. There are plenty of dresses that are long & formal without spending nearly $300 on a dress. I paid for my girls dresses and they cost a little under $125 each.

Post # 7
5218 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

cateacherbee:  I had long dresses and we got them at davids bridal. Surprisingly, they looked really great. They ranged from $79-$129. 

Post # 8
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I let my bridesmaids pick their dress. Told them what length, what material, and what color. From what I see from other weddings, it works out pretty well. They get to pick their budget this way, and you don’t have to have their opinions conflict with each other

Post # 9
721 posts
Busy bee

I offered to pay for hair and makeup and the dress.  The reaction to hair and makeup was “ok, thank you.”  The reaction to the dress was a bit uncomfortable.  I said that, to be practical, in lieu of a gift, I would pay for the dress.  Then my BMs were more comfortable accepting.  Just an idea for you.

Post # 10
1382 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

cateacherbee:  My girls all picked long dresses from a local bridal shop, and every single one was under $250 (even with the girl who needed to order a longer one for her height). I picked up $150 of the cost, so each of them paid about $30-60. All three were very surprised I was covering part, and tried to not let me (haha – already paid the shop! neener!) but were happy that the biggest attire cost was covered.

They are responsible for their alterations, shoes, jewelery. They’re actually sending me pictures right now of all these necklaces and coordinating what ones we’ll all wear – they’re all different chemical structures. Shoes are up to them – whatever they’ve got as long as they look nice. Makeup and hair are both up to them, but none of them would want someone else doing their makeup anyway. 

Post # 11
1559 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m going to disagree with PPs and say that I never saw a long bridesmaids dress that I thought was beautiful that was less than $250 (Sorry I’m not trying to offend, it was just my experience). My 6 maids and I all have relatively high salaries – I covered any cost above $300. We ended up with Joanna August dresses which were $350CAD with tax. We did one big order through a store in my city and I paid for the total and then they each email money transferred me the $300. I realize this is a lot more than most people can or want to spend. 

so that’s one way to communicate it with them- simply say “because I know I have expensive taste, I will only feel comfortable if you do not spend more than $125 – I will cover the remainder”. 

Post # 13
2279 posts
Buzzing bee


Mori Lee has beautiful and inexpensive BM dresses. The shop I work at has a large amount of bridesmaids dresses and Mori Lee is the only brand we carry that has really nice dresses under $200. Like another bee suggested most boutiques require a deposit of half (except David’s Bridal which is not my favorite). You could cover their deposits however if I accepted to be bridesmaids I would never expect the bride to pay for me. Its a privlege to be asked and if you can’t handle it financially it might be better to decline being a bridesmaids so their is no unecessary stress. That being said its very kind of you to offer to help pay. I think anywhere from $150-$200 is reasonable for a nice long bridesmaids dress, especially when you don’t have to pay the full price tag upfront. 



Post # 14
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Our MOH dress was $165 with a discount because it was the same boutique where I bought my dress. Ours was a long, one shouldered dress froom Bari Jay. MOH is a published model and really into fashion so our work was cut out for us. I paid for the dress though – also hair and other things just because DH and I could afford too. I agree that anything higher than $200 is a lot for a bridesmaid dress. At my boutique they required the dress paid in full before they created the order. 




Post # 15
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

The truly correct thing would be for the bride to cover the cost of the dresses. 

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