Post # 1
I’m a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding (of a close relative-we’re like sisters). I’m an artist and have always loved making paper crafts, so I was asked to make the programs, menus and escort cards for her wedding. I definitely don’t mind, but the bride hasn’t mentioned anything to me about cost. Should I be paying for all of the paper, ink, fabric and other supplies? Or should the bride be paying for all of it? If she should be paying, how do I ask her about it?
I get the feeling that she may want me to pay for it all, but I don’t want to because I am not sure I should. Also, if this was the only cost associated with the wedding I might not mind, but I’m already spending close to (maybe over) $1,000 on clothing, the bachelorette party, etc.
If I could hear your opinions I would be SO happy. This is my first time as a bridesmaid, so as you can see, I’m not sure what I should be doing!
Post # 3
She should absolutely pay you for all the material. Your labor is a HUGE gift to her – to me, even asking so much of your time is asking for quite a lot.
I would just ask her what her budget is for materials and how you should be reimbursed. If she balks, explain to her that while you are excited to be her bridesmaid, you are already incurring signficant costs to be a part of this day, and that while you are happy to provide her the gift of your services, you can’t afford the materials as well. If she doesn’t get it, then gently suggest she hire someone to do this project for her, as you really aren’t in a position to do it after all.
Post # 4
Um, I don’t think you should have to pay for all of that! I am making thank-you notes for my friend’s wedding in December, and telling her that they count as her shower gifts. She loves the idea and definitely had no problem with their counting as a gift of some sort.
I would recommend this for your situation, but it sounds like you are making wayyy more paper products. Maybe just talk to her and ask her to pay for the supplies.
Post # 5
Since programs, etc don’t fall under "bridesmaid duties," I would say that you don’t need to pay for them unless they are your wedding gift. You should get this clarified. Since you two are close, just straight-up ask. If you want to be more subtle, you could say something like: "I’m really excited to start on your programs and have a ton of ideas – what budget do you have for them?"
Post # 6
You absolutely do not have to pay for all of that stuff.
You’re basically providing a service to her like any other vendor she’s hired. Perhaps you could do the research on the prices of things you need and then let her know that if she wants you to do it, it’s going to cost X amount of dollars.
And if you want to provide something as a gift, maybe say you’ll do the escort cards or menus as a gift for their wedding.
Post # 7
I absolutely agree with everything Janna said above. The labor and time you will be putting in to do this is already in and of itself a huge gift!
Post # 8
So I guess we know who’s getting the awesome bridesmaid award this year… =) I agree with all of the previous posters!
Post # 9
You should definitly NOT pay for this cost. I think the best thing to do is approach her and say – "the supplies will probably cost X amount of dollars for the things you wanted, does that fit within your budget?" This way it gives her the heads up about she will need to pay you back and you will not go over her budget and get into a tense situation.
I think the only cost that a bridemaid should assume to incur (unless the bride agrees to fund it) is the cost of the dress, and their share of the shower and bachelorette party. Everything else is discretionary and should only be done if all parties are in agreement. Invitation supplies would definitly not fall into the "you must pay for" category!
Post # 10
I did all the paper products (invites, programs, etc.) for a friends wedding which I was also a bridesmaid in. While I did consider my services a gift to her, she did pay for the paper.
This is how I would bring up costs, ask her what type of paper she would like her invites done in (linen, stardeam, metallic, etc.) and then just tell her how much it would cost for that paper (don’t forget envelopes and such). Maybe even send her the links to websites that sell paper, so she see’s it’s not a exactly pennies for paper.
I used http://www.paperandmore.com to order 1 pack of metallic cardstock ($30.00 for a pack of 100 sheets). That was enough for me to do 60 invitations (2 on a sheet=30 sheets), 60 map inserts (4 on a sheet=15 sheets), 60 RSVP postcards (3 on a sheet=20 sheets) and 70-ish programs (had about 100 guests come. 3 on a sheet=24 sheets). That’s 89 sheets out of the 100 sheet pack…room for mess-ups. Then you add envelopes; about $20. Total of $50.00 for all + my time. Sure beats spending $400+ on invites!
Post # 11
I don’t think you should have to pay for it, but if you choose to, make it your gift to the couple. Nejireta has a good idea how to bring the cost up. Or you could send her the website and tell her to order the paper and let you know when it arrives! 🙂 That would get the message across! Good Luck.
Post # 12
I think the gift to the couple would be the labor/services only. Certainly not a duty of a bridesmaid. Of course, she should pay for the materials, but I wouldn’t buy anything without going over the cost of every item you need. What a great gift, wish I knew someone who could’ve made that stuff for me. I could’ve done it myself, but I was a little overwhelmed with the rest of the wedding stuff I needed to do.
Post # 13
Wow – that’s quite an expectation! The other posters are spot on – just approach her with the expected costs and ask if that is in her budget. If she balks, explain that you would like to make a gift of your time, labor and artistic ability, but with the other bridesmaid expenses, you can’t pony up for the paper goods as well.