(Closed) Shouldn’t the bridesmaids pay for their own dress?

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 31
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@BackyardLoveBird:  I am not British either but I still find it sad that people expect everyone else to spend so much on their weddings, just because they are. Two of my bridesmaids are still students, one has vast student debt…should I not allow them to be in my wedding in spite of the fact that these are the same people who came to get me at the hospital after a car accident? Is the $300 dollar dress necessary? Do I want the girl, or the dress?

I think people lose sight of WHY they want these girls to be with them when it becomes about cost…

Post # 32
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Wow! It’s all go here!

At the risk of going off-thread here, there are a lot of expenses and roles that BM’s in the US take on…

In the UK, my BMs will organise my hen do (shower/bachelorete (sp?)), but there won’t be the invitations, centerpieces, etc that I’ve seen on some US threads. They won’t pay any more than the other guests to attend (except maybe buying me a couple of silly presents or cocktails). They might book to stay in a hotel close to our wedding venue, which will cost them a bit, but I don’t expect it – they all live within 2 hours of the wedding so if they want to rock up on the morning, then so be it. One of my BMs will have a 2 year-old son, so I don’t expect to see her the whole day – so long as she’s in the ceremony and some photos, all other day-of duties will be optional. Oddly, I think we sometimes have a much more relaxed view on ettiquete.

Smile

PS – Sounds like there are quite a few US brides who feel bad for their bridesmaids – why not take on some of the costs to make it easier for them?

Post # 33
Member
1501 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@anne B: I’m from Canada and I agree with you. I was going to pay for my girls dresses, but my mom offered, so I let her. I’m also arranging for their hair and makeup. I want them included in my day, so why should it cost them a tonne of money.

Post # 34
Member
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I covered the cost of the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses b/c I wanted them to wear a certain style and color. I would have had to pay for my daughter’s dress anyway, and I know that my other 2 BMs have other responsibilities…so I added it as a line item to my budget and paid for them myself. They will be responsible for their own shoes and accessories…which don’t have to match b/c the dresses will cover the shoes anyway. 

OP…if your friend can’t afford the dress then you may have to pick up the cost if you want her to be in your wedding. The economy is tough and even spending 100 bucks on a dress can be much more than some people can afford. Talk to her and find out why she feels like you should pay and then go from there. It may not even be a money issue at all.

Post # 35
Member
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Seaside:  I agree with Seaside.  BMs paying for dresses is the norm but if you want them to have pro hair/make-up/nails than the area gets greyer as to who pays. 

I wish brides were as considerate as you bees!  I will be buying a $200+ dress that I know I definitely will never wear again!

To cut costs for my brides, instead of having them buy the $265 Lazaro dress I love, we are having them made for less than half of that.  Everyone wins.

 

Post # 36
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@RainStorm: That’s what we did, we paid for our MoH’s dress, my parents paid for my sisters dress, my IL’s paid for my SILs dress, and the other two bridesmaids we heavily subsidized the dress and would have paid if it were any hardship for them!

Post # 37
Member
34 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I am from Australia and I think the culture here is about 50/50.

I am paying for my BM’s dresses and all the bridal parties I have been in the bride has paid for the dress. I guess this way you can pick the dress colour and style you want rather than if they paid i feel they should get more input.

Weddings are definately expensive these days and i wouldnt be offended if someone asked me to pay for mine. I’ve found in the Australian/Italian culture the parents of the bride and groom pay for almost every party of the wedding. Most of the weddings i have been too have been over 200 people and plenty of food! I guess weddings seem to be a high priority in my culture with no expense spared.

Post # 38
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Yes they should pay for their own dresses. With mine, I had to pay for the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses as both are poor struggling college students. My Maid/Matron of Honor paid for her own. It wasn’t too bad, I only paid $35 per dress!

 

Post # 39
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I think they should pay for it, but if they do not have the money and are really close to you, maybe both should come up with a solution, like paying for it little by little or something… and if they’re not that close to you maybe they can just go to the wedding without being a Bridesmaid or Best Man

Post # 40
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Lighter: If they’re not that close to you, why would you be asking them to be in the bridal party? If they *are* that close to you, why would you want them in a dress they can’t afford more than you would want them in the wedding at your expense? It’s one of the major myseteries of the wedding world for me!

Post # 41
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@Beansy:

haha u’re right.. but she did say she just added that bridesmaid 😛

and if they are close to you, maybe they actually want to wear something different and more special than the other girls in the venue, my friends did.. maybe because everyone knows it’s your time to get picky even with what they’re wearing, specially if you’re never picky or bossy  :p

Post # 42
Member
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

All my girls paid for their own dresses. We wouldn’t have room in the budget to pay for 4 extra dresses and alterations.

Post # 43
Member
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I think it’s pretty much standard here in the US that bridesmaids pay for their own dress.

But honestly, I have never understood that tradition. I feel like the bride should pay for the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses.

Totally agree with @anne B.

Post # 44
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It varies upon cultures as well though… traditionally in the Chinese culture, the bride pays for the bridesmaids dresses… but that is not to say that those born here always follow that tradition.. because the western tradition of the bridesmaids paying for their own dress was what the ones born here learned. 

 

So it isn’t just a simple thing as the bridemaids pay for their own dress…. and to ask someone to pay for an expensive gift and still throw you a shower and bacholerette party and still give you a gift is pretty expensive…. so if the person you asked was not expecting all of that, you can purchase one of those bridesmaids’ duty cards/ books and give it to her. Or email her an article and if she cannot afford it, then allow her to graciously bow out. And having 1 less bridsmaids wouldn’t be the total end of the world. I’m having 1 less bridesmaid when I had originally started (she couldn’t afford it because her brother is getting married the week after me and she was asked to be a bridesmaid and so I understood). 

Post # 45
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I am from New Zealand and I am unsure of what the “norm” is here, but I know that in our case we are paying for everything for our bridal party, and IMO that’s the way it should be done.

We do not have a very large budget, but we will sacrifice other things. At the end of the day it’s our wedding, why should they pay? My bridesmaids are even choosing their own dresses, they have a budget of $150 each and they can just go for it! I find it so strange that some people ask their so called best friends to not only pay for their outfits, but also not give them any choice in what it looks like.

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