(Closed) Guilt over Bridal Party Expenses

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What costs are you covering for you bridal party
    Dress : (9 votes)
    6 %
    Hair/Makeup : (37 votes)
    23 %
    Accomodations : (10 votes)
    6 %
    Dress & Accomodations : (3 votes)
    2 %
    Dress & Hair/Makeup : (22 votes)
    14 %
    You're Paying for Everything : (16 votes)
    10 %
    You're NOT paying for anything : (63 votes)
    39 %
  • Post # 3
    478 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    I’m paying for EVERYTHING because I didn’t want to have those feelings, and like you everyone is from out of town.  I’ve been in weddings where nothing was paid for (and I didn’t expect anything to be) but Fiance and I are better off financially than everyone in our bridal party and I didn’t want our wedding to be a burden.  I want the bridal party to be able to relax and enjoy the weekend and not have to worry about paying for anything.  

    Post # 4
    611 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I mean they could have said no, and they could back down at any time so if they said yes then they’re financially capable or at least know what to do to be financially capable for you on the day

    Post # 5
    8695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    My bridesmaids paid for their dresses. They all had nude shoes already so I told them to wear any shoe that was nude or silver. I didnt require their hair to be done…just somehow pulled up. I paid for all their makeup. I paid for one of my bridesmaid’s dress bc she is a single mom of 3 and my best friend and I really wanted her in the wedding. One of my other bridesmaids got married last year and I spent over $400 to be in hers so she didnt complain. Another was my sister so my mom paid. THe other 3 said they were fine (single women with no children making around 6-figures).


    Have your girls complained?

    Post # 7
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Etiquette Snob here… lol

    Lol, I am sooo glad you asked Laughing

    There is some definite confusion on this front because things have always been done differently in this regard be it in North America or abroad.

    As well…

    Modern Etiquettte & Traditional Etiquette on this subject varies greatly.

    I am a fan of Traditional Etiquette because in my opinion it is far more considerate to the Bridal Party, the wonderful folks who are there to “stand up” for you

    My Best Advice on this matter is that Brides (and Grooms) should have a Sit-Down Heart-to-Heart with the members of their Bridal Party.

    For Brides & Bridesmaids… North American “Traditional Etiquette” would divide up the Responsibilities & Expenses as follows:


    * Bridesmaids’ Luncheon

    * Thank-You Gifts for the Attendants **

    * Accommodations for the Bridal Party (often 2 Nights if there is a Rehearsal  Dinner / Party)

    * Transportation of the Bridal Party from Accommodations to Ceremony Site –  Ceremony to Reception – and Reception to Accommodations

    * Bridesmaids’ Flowers

    * Extending to any member of the Bridal Party over the age of 18 the courtesy of bringing a Guest to the Wedding (and that Guest can be anyone of their  choosing… Hubby, Fiancé, Long Term Boyfriend or Best Friend, random Date… or even their Mother IF that is who they wish to spend the Weekend with… it is THEIR CHOICE… and not yours to judge.  This is one of the perks of being in the Bridal Party and giving of their time to your Wedding)

    * Making sure that the Bridesmaids and their “dates” (see above) are included at the Rehearsal Dinner … or whatever form of Meet & Greet is planned  before the Wedding.

    This is especially important if you have decided to go with a Head Table… in so much as the “dates” then all can get to know one another, as more than likely they’ll be seated together at the Wedding itself.



     * Purchase of Wedding Day Apparel and necessary accessories ***

    * Transportation to the Wedding Destination

    * Contribution to a Gift for the Bride (often a pooled gift with other Bridesmaids)

    * Individual Gift to the Couple

    * Attendance (and possible gift) for any Showers, or Pre-Wedding Parties for the Bride / Couple

    * Reponsible for their Dress Fittings

    * Assist the Maid/Matron of Honor whenever one can

    * Attend as many Pre-Wedding Events as possible

    * Possibly Co-Host a Party or Shower (not mandatory… hopefully at least attend)

    * Assist Bride with errands when feasible

    * Contribute to Bridemaids’ Present to the Bride

    * Arrive to Appointments Promptly

    * Arrive to Dressing Site on Wedding Day Promptly

    * Participate in Professional Photo Shots

    * Dance with Ushers & Single Guests (optional / courteous)

    * Help gather people together where necessary (ie First Dance, Cake Cutting, Bouquet Toss etc)

    * Help out with Elderly Guests if needed

    * Pay for their Bridesmaid Dress and Transportation to the Wedding City



    * Helps the Bride with selection of Maids’ Attire (if required)

    * Helps with Addressing Wedding Stationery Items (Invites, Placecards etc)…  if asked

    * Attends as many Pre-Wedding events as possible

    * Organizes Bridesmaids’ Gift to the Bride

    * Makes sure that others in the Bridal Party are on-time for Appointments

    * Holds the Groom’s Wedding Ring on the Wedding Day

    * Helps the Bride get ready on the Wedding Day

    * Arranges the Bride’s Veil & Train before Processional &  Recessional

    * Makes sure the Bride looks “Picture Perfect” throughout the day

    * Holds the Bride’s Bouquet during Ceremony

    * Is a Witness to the Marriage (signs documentation)…if required

    * Is in the Receiving Line (if there is one… long version / not in the short version)

    * Keeps the Bride on schedule

    * Helps the Bride into her Going Away Clothes (if necessary)

    * Takes care of the Bride’s Gown and Accessories after the Wedding  Reception

    * Pays for her own Dress and “some” accessories ***

    * Arranges for and pays for her own transportation to the Wedding Destination

     — — —

    Two of the greatest areas of misunderstandings is what is paid for by whom.

    *** In North America, a Bridesmaid is only obligated to pay for the Dress that the Bride has chosen.  She is to provide her own foundation garments, shoes and accessories.

    BUT if a Bride wishes for everyone to be matchy-matchy beyond the Dress, then the Bride is supposed to pay for those elements… so matching shoes, accessories, jewellery, hair & make up etc.

    ** The Bride’s Thank You Gifts to the Bridesmaids should not be something that she has chosen for them as part of the Wedding itself… so Hair, Makeup, Jewellery, or other matchy-matchy items… ARE NOT THANK YOUS. 

    A Thank You Gift should be chosen for each individual member of the Bridal Party… as part of the friendship bond you share.  It should never be matchy-matchy… it should be chosen with much more care.  That isn’t to say that it cannot be earrings tho if that is something that EVERY Gal in your BP would like… just that they shouldn’t all be the same.  They should be chosen to ONLY “match” the personality of the girl, and nothing else.

    Hope this helps,

    PS… Worthwhile Reviewing this List BEFORE someone chooses a Bridal Party (and also going over it with potential Maids BEFORE they accept the role)…  because there are some serious obligations / responsibilities on here that can add up to BIG BUCKS for BOTH Parties… BUT particularly the Bride (ie. Transportation, Hotel Rooms, Maid & Guest, and Thank You Gifts) … and the bigger the Bridal Party… the more it costs.

    PPS… This is also WHY Bridal Parties are not a necessity (cost).  In days gone by couples got by with what they could afford… and there were fewer “hard” feelings cause everyone understood that it was a HUGE commitment on BOTH sides of the equation. 


    Post # 9
    9668 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2019

    I will be factoring the cost of the bridal party’s attire, etc into the wedding budget. So I will be paying for everything, except maybe accommodation. Not sure about that yet.

    I don’t think your nearest and dearest should have to pay for the honour of being in YOUR day but that’s just me.

    Post # 10
    8576 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I’m paying for everything, I don’t want them to have to foot the bill.

    Post # 11
    2508 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I’m just paying for flowers and hair for the bridesmaids.  The bridesmaids pay for the dresses and can wear any gold shoes and any jewlery.  We are paying for tuxes and accomendations for 2 groomsmen.  They are my fiancés best friends, they don’t have a lot of money and they live in a different state.  It will be enough for them to swing for airfare to attend.  All in all, each member of the bridal party will end up spending around 250 total

    Post # 12
    1979 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    @This Time Round:  i had never heard that you pay for the accommodations of the bridal party. I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man many times and always paid for my own… maybe I’m a bad person, but I’m not paying for that.

    Post # 13
    4047 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I would feel guilty too. I really don’t like the American tradition of having the bridal party pay for all of their stuff – dress, hotel, hair, make up, etc. They’re being told what dress to wear, so why should they have to pay?

    My Fiance and his family are English, so my Future Mother-In-Law said she would pay for the bridal party. It’s typical there and in Aus/NZ for the bride and groom to pay for the bridesmaids dresses. I was thrilled she offered this since I hated the thought of my girls paying for their own.

    Do whatever you like. If you’re in California, no one will bat an eye whether you make them pay or not. If you can afford it, I think it’s lovely to cover the cost.

    Post # 14
    1475 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I paid for accomodations, hair, makeup. They paid for their dresses and shoes.

    Post # 15
    1649 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2015

    @lollygagon:  I’m a Bridesmaid or Best Man next month. I do care about the Bride a great deal and I’m honord to be part of her day. . . but it has always struck me as really weird that its acceptable to tell people what to wear at your wedding if they’re in the Bridal Party. I mean, its really the only time something like that is considered acceptable and I’ve never been given a reason why its considered OK. It used to be that Brides and BMs would just wear the nicest dress they had at the time; if I have Bridesmaids I think I’ll do something like that and see how it works.

    I think its sweet you’re concerned about the cost and you want to help. I also think its very sweet of your BMs to tell you not to worry and that they don’t mind paying. If you continue feeling guilty then maybe you could consider doing personalized Bridal Party gifts for them; and by that, I mean setting a limit for each gift and choosing items that reflect that person’s personality (like books and hot cocoa mix for a BookWorm or something). Its more personal then just handing out a bunch of flip flops and small bottles of liquour, which not everyone likes or will wind up using.

    @bowsergirl:  +1

    @mgbser:  I wish that was what I was spending next month. That total barely covers the Bridesmaid or Best Man dress with alterations. . . but I knew the Bride had fancy taste and I knew what I was getting into, so I can’t really complain (and she was nice enough to offer to pay for me to get my nails and toenails done with her the day of because I offered to do them after another Bridesmaid or Best Man pulled out; I turned her down because I would have felt bad accepting her money).

    Post # 16
    1344 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

    We let the women in the party choose their own dress in a fall color (we ended up with green, burgundy, purple, navy, orange, yellow and copper) and their own shoes. They also all did their own hair (or just brushed it out) and makeup (or didn’t wear makeup at all). Because of this, we didn’t pay for anything for them.

    The topic ‘Guilt over Bridal Party Expenses’ is closed to new replies.

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