(Closed) How much is too much for bridesmaid dresses?

posted 14 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 32
Member
44 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2008

JCrew bridesmaid dresses often don’t require alterations.  You can order several sizes and return the ones that don’t fit to the store w/ no cost for shipping.  We are leaning towards JCrew for our May wedding (yes, May ’08 – yikes) but all of the women have been out of college for 5 years.  Each of them have emphasized that they aren’t scared of the possible $250 (max.).  On another blog, someone mentioned that students get a 10% discount at JCrew. Also, possibility of having it sent to a JCrew store and avoid shipping costs.  Worth looking into.  We are also considering Ann Taylor dresses but I think they will require alterations which can add a considerable cost. 

Post # 34
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2008

i wanted my ‘maids dresses to be under $150, but i didn’t find anything in the color i was looking for (aubergine) that would be flattering on all the girls.

 we decided on aria dresses, which are $190. they are very well made, 100% silk, and each girl can get the style that she likes best (all will be tea length, aubergine). 

i’m still not entirely comfortable with the price, but i’m paying for all shipping costs, and they can get any shoes they want. so this is really the only ‘required’ cost. 

http://www.ariadress.com 

Post # 35
Member
63 posts
Worker bee

My Maid/Matron of Honor wore a black dress of her choosing, so I’m not one to ask.

I did want to chime in from a former BM’s perspective, though. Don’t assume that if people are a few years (or more) out of college, that they’ll be fine paying $200+ on a dress they’ll wear once. Yes, I could probably swing it, but the Mr. and I have a mortage, student loans and lots of other expenses. My wedding dress was only $250, so I would def. feel weird about spending the same or more on a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress.

Yes, as another poster mentioned, it is about being there for the bride, but it is also about the bride being respectful of her most-valued friends. I do think that the acceptable cost probably varies widely based on your social circle, geographcial location and other factors.

Post # 36
Member
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

What about j.crew sales??? Have you seen their amazing sales that they have? Unfortunately, I wanted each of my bridesmaids in a different dress, so we couldn’t go the sale route, but if you are willing to put them all in the same dress, you could easily find a dress of their’s under $100.

This dress is on sale for either $60-$150:

http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/weddingsparties/PRDOVR~90772/99101643169/90772.jsp' defer='defer

 or this:

http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/weddingsparties/PRDOVR~98999/99101579981/98999.jsp' defer='defer

 or this:

http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/weddingsparties/PRDOVR~96057/99101504617/96057.jsp' defer='defer

This is $100:

http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Feature_Assortment/catalogjcrewcomexclusives/dresses/PRDOVR~12105/99101711561/12105.jsp' defer='defer

This is $90:

 http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/WomenBrowse/Women_Shop_By_Category/dresses/weddingsparties/PRDOVR~10803/99101628936/10803.jsp' defer='defer

 

You can totally do this! If you need help, just PM me. I am j.crew crazy! 🙂

Post # 37
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I was in my friends wedding in October and our dresses cost $250. The wedding I am in August the dress cost $250. My maids dress was priced at $300 at some stores. I looked around until I could find it for $175. But I think $250 is pretty standard. But then again, we’ve been out of University for about 4 years and the pricing for the dresses here are a little more.

Post # 38
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I totally hear everyone’s comments about keeping it under $150, especially for really "bridesmaid" looking bridesmaid dresses that you won’t want to wear afterwards. however the dresses I chose for my maids are approximately $214-240 in price (differenct styles).  They are a really brilliant colors of silk and pretty funky. I had a few of them try them on and they love them. I paid for taxes and bought them shoes to help. Everything else is pretty much optional with how much they can spend- hair (my firends know how to do hair really well) makeup , not sure what I’ll do about jewelry just yet. I also made sure they were ok with prices before making final decisions. None of my party is straight out of college, although some are a bit broke. You really have to gauge it well with them. I let the ones who had trouble paying pay for it gradually.

Post # 39
Member
8 posts
Newbee

I am very frustrated even though I was asked to be a bridesmaid to my friend’s wedding. It is a previledge but I am told to purchase a dress that is $450. It is a nice dress aside from the super low bust neck line, not too forgivable stone colour on skin and did I mention the $450 price tag? I hinted that bridesmaid dresses should be less than $300 …in the end she decided that dress without consulting on all the bridesmaids. Is it good etiquette to do so? What should I do? I hinted so many times about the bust line and cost but she seem to be set on that dress. I know she is the bride but I am the one paying for it. What should I do??

[attachment=347522,43877]

Post # 40
Member
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!

For my bridesmaids, they said they’d pay whatever, because it was my wedding, but they’re all still in school. I know they can’t afford a $300 dress. I’m going to do LBDs, so hopefully we can find some stuff that looks awesome that is around $200.

Post # 41
Member
3856 posts
Honey bee

Redthread, I’ve heard several stories (from college days) of girls actually having to bow out of a wedding party because they couldn’t afford the dress. $450 IS pretty steep (that’s more than I’ll be paying for my WEDDING dress, even after alterations!), and if it really is a financial burden, you might talk to your friend about it in more than just hints. Be ready for her to be saddened or maybe hurt though – broach the subject carefully (i.e. “I want you to know how much it means to me that you chose to include me in this special day, but with the economy/paying for school/whatever reason, I’m having a little bit of a hard time with finances right now, and rather than try to take on a responsibility I can’t afford right now, I’m afraid I have to let you know I won’t be able to afford to be a bridesmaid/buy the dress you’ve chosen.”)

If she’s already spending an arm and a leg on the wedding, she may be willing to pay for part (or all) of the dress as well, if it means keeping you in the wedding.

Of course, if it’s a really good friend and you technically CAN afford the dress (but just don’t want to), you may have to suck it up or be guilty of emotionally blackmailing your friend. 🙂

As for the neck, ask (directly) if it’ll be okay for you to wear a flesh colored tank top or bandeau underneath; try playing it off in a joking manner – “I wouldn’t want my girls to detract from all eyes being on you on your wedding day!”

Good luck!

 

For the record, I think $150 is the most Bridesmaid or Best Man Dresses should cost too, but am personally considering going the Mrs Powder Puff route and saying “pick a bright dress in tea length.”

Post # 42
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009 - Bernardo Winery

I’ve spent well over $150 for all the weddings I’ve been in so $250 sounded okay to me Embarassed But I agree that you should try to make it as cheap as possible.

Post # 43
Member
2220 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Depending on the look & style of the dress… I’d be pretty unhappy if I was asked to pay $250+ tax for a dress. If your heart is set on an expensive dress I would suggest co-paying with your BMs 🙂

As much as we like to think they will wear it again, BMs don’t wear their dresses that much after the wedding is over. I’ve only worn 1 Bridesmaid or Best Man dress twice…

Post # 44
Member
8 posts
Newbee

Thank you for all the suggestions on my cry for help! Being self-employed is a bit hard during this recession, so it hurst to save up for such an expensive dress hurts…my custom wedding dress cost less than $500. I will have a talk with her.

 

Post # 45
Member
8 posts
Newbee

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Thank you for all the suggestions on my cry for help! Being self-employed is a bit hard during this recession, so it hurst to save up for such an expensive dress hurts…my custom wedding dress cost less than $500. I will have a talk with her.

Post # 46
Member
40 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@Redthread – Are you close with any of the other BMs? I wonder if they’re feeling the same way? $450 is quite a lot for a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress in my area. As you probably know, that’s just the beginning . . .

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