Post # 1
First time Bridesmaid or Best Man, never a bride here- so I’m completely new to this game. I’m also a student and a penny-pincher galore. When my Bride asked me to be one of her BMs I was thrilled. Not know how much it all would cost, I figured $300 for dress, alterations, and hair/nails. My Bride did not give us an estimated cost when she asked us, never took us dress shopping, had us buy something off-line, and now hates the dress with around 3 months till the wedding.
I’m freaking out at the cost of everything since she wants us to completely redo the dress making alterations close to $150.
How much should a Bridesmaid or Best Man spend on a wedding? Is it wrong for a Bride to expect her BMs to spend $500-$600 on one wedding?
-Lost in Taffeta
Post # 3
@Bridesmaid333: Honestly, she should foot the bill for the new alterations because she doesn’t like the first dress she had you buy. I think every bride is different, though; I know I’m trying to pinch pennies for my bridesmaids, so won’t need to spend a ton.
Post # 4
I think its crazy that she wants to alter the dress that much! Sometimes things don’t go as planned but it is not right for her to make you pay that much. If she wants it altered she should supplement the additional cost by $100 or so.
My bridesmaids paid $136 for their dress which was a little cheaper than we anticipated spending. I allowed them to wear any nude/blush tone shoe that they wanted. Some purchased new shoes, other’s didn’t. Some had their hair done and other’s did not. I guess the only thing I made them buy was a dress.
I am sure that they all did spend about $500 once all was said and done though. That is when you take into account wedding attire, gifts, bachelorette party, hosting showers, travel, etc.
Post # 5
Theoretically my bridesmaids could spend $0 on their wedding outfit. I am asking them to wear a dark blue dress and silver shoes. I am buying them their jewelery as a bridesmaids gift. I think it is really unfair to put a big financial burden on bridesmaids
Post # 6
I think she should pick up the cost. I think the all brides should ask bridesmaid what their max budget is before picking dress. 150 in alterations for a bm dress is outrageous.
Post # 7
This depends on everyone’s financial situations. But for me personally, I expect to spend around $500 when asked to be a bm. And hope that the bride chooses a reasonable bachelorette location.
Post # 8
She has offered to foot the bill- but I feel like a snitch saying yes, when I know the other girls (who are established and have jobs) will foot the bill themselves. How do I say yes- please help, when I’ll be spending money on gifts, her parties, etc.? I feel like I just have to suck it up out of courtesy.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
This is why I would politely decline an invitation to be a bridesmaid in pretty much any instance.
That said, I think expecting BMs to spend more than $200 on dress and accessories is unfair and the bride should foot the bill if she’s asking for anything over that and her BMs can’t afford it. As for hair, makeup, and nails, if the bride wants something more than what the BMs do on their own then again the bride should foot the bill. BMs are friends not accessories and if the bride wants to treat them like accessories or pets she should pay for them to look the way she wants.
That said, I didn’t have BMs for my first wedding, only flower girls and they were easy. This time I will have three BMs and I plan to give them some parameters (white, knee length or shorter, not satin/shiny material) and let them buy whatever they want within their budget.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
It depends on the bride and the bridesmaids. Everyone has different priorities and different finances. As for your particular situation, the bride should cover the cost of the crazy alterations.
My BMs had to buy their dresses (maybe about $200; I can’t remember exactly) and pay for standard alterations. They also had to get themselves to the wedding (one lives in PA, the other just on the other side of the state). Hair and makeup and shoes and all that was up to them. My MoH had her hair, makeup, nails, and toes done professionally as a bill probably close to $300 or $350, but my other Bridesmaid or Best Man did her own hair and makeup, no mani/pedi. Both used shoes and jewelry they already had, though I did give them some jewelry they were welcome to wear (and did).
Post # 11
I would not suck it up out of courtesy. She’s one of your closest friends if you were asked to be a bridesmaid, right? Take her up on the offer to pay for the new alterations. It is a very high price to ask a bridesmaid.
I had 7 bridesmaids. Two were cousins. My girls paid for their dress, which was $162. I bought them something to wear with it. And then after that whatever else they wanted was for them to decide. They wanted a mani/pedi? They got one. They didn’t? They didn’t. Hair and makeup? They chose what they did, whether that be going to the mall to get it done or doing it in my bridal room themselves before the wedding. I had no shoe requirements either. The only other cost was a plane ticket for some of the bridesmaids who are in school in another state (the two cousins came down with their families). There were no other parties invovled for them to pay for (the bridesmaids did not cover the cost of my shower and there were no bachelorette parties). I did receive gifts from a few of them, but the gifts were actually bought with their parents, as well, so was not a sole cost on that bridesmaid alone.
Post # 12
No, if she offered to pay, take her up on it Really, she should INSIST on paying for the new alterations. It’s not your fault that the dresses aren’t what she wanted, and it’s not fair for her to ask you to pay so much more. You can be honest and say that you feel bad accepting her offer to pay because ideally, you’d prefer to pay for it yourself, BUT that you can’t afford it and it’s too much of a financial burden on you at this point in your life. If any of my BMs said that to me, I’d pay for what they couldn’t afford, no questions asked.
Post # 13
In your situation I’d expect her to foot the alterations bill
I expect to shell out 1.5 – 2k when I’m a bm. In my circle people have engagement parties, showers and OOT bachelorettes. The dress is the least of my costs.
Post # 14
You have to be honest with her. If you’re a Bridesmaid or Best Man, then I’m assuming you are a good friend of hers. You may not think it will now, but not saying something may make you resent her in the future. Plus, she offered, so I don’t think it’s rude at all for you to take her up on the offer. If you really feel that badly about it, you could tell her to forgoe your Bridesmaid or Best Man gift.
Post # 15
I’m asking my bridesmaids to pay for their dress and shoes. Which should be around $250. I’m covering professional hair and make-up, plus two nights at the hotel the weekend of the wedding, and I bought them cute little shirts.
I think thats pretty reasonable. I wouldn’t ask them to pay for alterations the second time around. If she offered and you can’t afford it, I would let her foot the bill. I can’t imagine she would run around telling all of the other girls she paid for you, if thats what you’re worried about.
One of my bridemaids just had a baby, and bought a house, and only works part time. I’m considering offering to pay for her dress and shoes because I don’t want it to be a burden for her.
Post # 16
She offered! Take her up on it! I was going to say she should offer since she is the one who wants the dress redone! I am paying for my girls dresses up to $250, and I also bought theit shoes and am giving them free reign on accessories, but I am doing that because it is costing them so much to actually come to mywedding that I feel bad asking them to pay a penny more. I think your original estimate would have been pretty reasonable.