(Closed) What to do when one bridesmaid can’t afford dress?

posted 7 years ago in Bridesmaids
  • poll: What should Jamie do?
    Buy her friend's dress since she is in a different financial situation than the other girls? : (57 votes)
    59 %
    Buy her friend's dress and have that be her bridesmaids gift : (31 votes)
    32 %
    Other- please elaborate below : (8 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 3
    3572 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I think if she can afford to pay for the other girl’s dress and wants her to be in her wedding, she should just buy it. $290 is an expensive Bridesmaid or Best Man dress.

    I wouldn’t worry about it being “fair” to the others – everyone is an adult and everyone has a different financial situation.  Why would they even need to know that she paid for the other girl’s dress?  I also think she should still get a present for being in the wedding. 


    Post # 4
    288 posts
    Helper bee

    I’m not sure if this is plausible, but what I would do is offer to pay around $150 for each girls dress and then get them a simpler bridesmaids gift, that way she’s offering the same option for all of the girls =) If not, I’d offer to pay for her dress and have that be her bridal gift. I’m sure the other ladies will be understanding, they’re close friends/family after all! Best of luck! =)

    Post # 5
    2183 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

    I paid for her’s. It’s my day, and I wanted her to stand with me. I knew she couldn’t afford it, so I paid– and I’m so happy I did. I don’t feel about not paying for the others because they were happy to buy them (and could pretty easily). It was $160, and I wish it was cheaper… but my maid of honor said it was okay.

    So, it’s totally fine, from my perspective, to pay for one and not the others.

    Post # 6
    5183 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Maybe the bride could ask how much she COULD afford and offer to pay the difference? I doubt it will be mentioned to the other BMs… and I don’t think it would be unfair.. different situations call for different measures 🙂

    Post # 7
    3374 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I paid for one of my poorer BM’s dress. I would never admit it to the other girls, but it’s fair in my book. She might get a smaller gift than the other girls.

    And speaking of “fair”, we all make different salaries and it’s not always “fair.” Sometimes the harder workers/ smarter people make less. I got lucky and make more than my BMs now. It’s a sort of gamble where we all help each other out every once in a while.

    $290 is outrageous for a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress In My Humble Opinion. I would refuse to pay that much. I think $150 is a good price point. Has she looked online? I found mine $70 off online and they love them.

    Post # 9
    1927 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Pay for the girl’s dress.  No one else has to know about it.  Honestly, she should have had the girls give her a budget they were comfortable with and then worked for there, instead of picking the dress first.  Now that she’s in this position she should just cover the cost.

    Tell her NOT to make this the bridesmaid’s gift.  All that does is draw attention to the fact that the girl couldn’t afford the dress and it makes her feel bad.

    Post # 11
    466 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @MrsTVLover: I agree. $290 is A LOT for a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress. She should just buy it, and maybe look for compensation in other ways? Like a little extra help with DIY elements? Or something? Just so the Bridesmaid or Best Man doesn’t feel like it’s too much of a gift?

    Post # 12
    1553 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I would pay for the dress for the Bridesmaid or Best Man who can’t afford it and not say a word to the others.  It really isn’t their business what her financial situation is.  I’d also give her the same gift as everyone else.  Not doing so would only single her out and embarrass her.  

    Post # 13
    13096 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I would pay for the girl’s dress and the other BMs would never need to know.

    ETA: Although I agree with the PPs that $290 is crazy expensive for a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress.

    Post # 15
    18 posts
    • Wedding: June 2009

    My dresses were cheap, $99, and I still paid for one girls dress.  She’s never had a job in her life and is still in school.  I really wanted her in my wedding so I thought it was only fair.  I didn’t tell anyone else, though, because I didn’t want anyone to be angry.  One Bridesmaid or Best Man already seemed pissed that I only paid for their hair and not make-up.  $290 is a lot for a dress so I think Jamie should pay for her dress and just not tell any of the other girls.  THey don’t need to know the financial difficulties facing the rest of the BMs

    Post # 16
    3374 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    @Evie19 Fiance and I make pretty significant salaries and I would still balk at $290. I would probably accept it and keep my mouth shut, but it’s more than I would want to spend, no matter how nice the bridesmaid gift is.

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