Post # 1
So since becoming engaged, I have more or less used this site to establish the various protocols, etiquette, dos and don’ts of weddings.
The first thing I knew and was 100% on was my choice of bridesmaids/MOH. I sent them all a lovely email (as they live in separate parts of the word), and popped the question, with reasoning behind each choice and a photo of a special moment we have shared together in life.
Now – Upon viewing this site, I thought it was standard to ask them to pay for their dresses – Once they all agreed to my question (all of them did :)) I basically told them that I have a while to decide the colour schemes, however, I would like them to choose their own dresses using my theme and colour scheme as an inspiration.(I want non-uniform). I told them that they can purchase within their own set budget and that I’d prefer the length to be knee length or just above. I told them I wanted them to feel beautiful and comfortable in their dress and to just run their choices past me first for feedback – I really am quite easy going!
I have already got them all a little package of goodies as thank you’s and will write them all hand written note to be opened on the morning of my wedding.
Now – NON of my girls complained, they were all happy and said YES, that it’s a great excuse to buy a new frock, etc. I sent them all a few start off inspiration pictures.
My issue is, most of you lovely Bees are from the USA and I am British, and I have just found out in the UK it’s more standard for the brides to purchase their bridesmaids dresses, I am worried my girls are secretly hating on me or something and I am being paranoid that I said/did the wrong thing!
ANY UK BRIDES OUT THERE? What did you do and what do you think?
Post # 3
I’m in the UK!
I’ve bought everything for my girls:
– trainers (for the reception)
– (will probably pay for hair and makeup on day)
– plus their gifts
In the UK, IMO, the bridesmaids NEVER pay for their dresses. I never have and I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man twice here. None of my friends have ever had to pay either.
Hope this helps. It’s an expensive business, but seen as I’m getting married in NY and they have to pay for flights/hotels etc, it’s a small dent in the grand scheme!
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
In American, traditionally the attendants pay for their attire.
Post # 5
@Button: Oh bloody hell! I have already gone and sent the emails and made the requests. I am on a tight budget since we are getting no help at all from any one, I too am also having a Destination Wedding wedding in Sri Lanka, and I am paying for all their accomodation for 3 nights! But seriously, if it’s really the right thing to do, I’ll pay for their dresses…..what is a reasonable budget to suggest? I mean, I want simple just above the knee dresses, their ultimate choice, but my choices of colour and fabric.
It’s easier for them to buy the dresses, as half live here in Dubai with me and the other half live in the UK, no time for fittings, alterations, get togethers. I’d rather we compramise and they choose their own dresses with my guidence.
Post # 6
@rdownie1: Worry not, fellow Brit!
Etiquette is _much_ more relaxed over here and it depends a lot on what you want your Bridesmaids to do. If you have a uniform frock which you expect them all to wear, then it’s more conventional that you pay. If you just specify a colour scheme and let them pick what they want, then it’s not a problem to ask them to pay. It sounds like you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in making your bridesmaids feel special and to be honest, you can ask them to pay in either senario over here – it’s not a massive faux pas. But seriously, most would only grouse about it if you were super-prescriptive.
It also sounds like your Bridesmaids are all just pleased to be involved in your big day! It’s great to have such good friends.
Post # 7
As you are paying for their flights etc then I suspect you’re in the clear!
Also, as purpleiris said, if you are just giving them a general colour scheme and not a specific dress you’ll probably get away with it.
Right. Have you thought of a colour? There are some sales on at the mo and some great highstreet dresses about. (Coast, KM etc). What about budget?
Post # 8
@rdownie1: P.S. You could always just ask them if they mind… Bear in mind that if they paying and are running options by you, you shouldn’t complain unless it’s _terrible_. But why not suggest going on a shopping trip with them (either individually or together) and look at some options together, so that everyone can give each other feedback? You could buy them a round of drinks afterwards ‘as I’m not paying for your dresses’. It might help keeping everyone on the same page. Or have them round for drinks and laptops to hunt online together.
Post # 9
I’ve always thought that the bride pays for the dresses in the UK, but it sounds like you’re already paying for a lot, so I don’t think your girls will mind! (I’m sure the dress will come out cheaper than travel and accommodation, lol!)
Post # 10
THANKS FOR THE ADVICE 🙂 – 3 live in the UK and 2 live in Dubai where I currently live, so it will be hard for me to go shopping with them all, BUT I am over in the UK in Jan, so can arrange a day of trying dresses on and outfit shopping. And I can do the same with my girls here in Dubai, lunch on me sort of thing.
Honestly I am really easy going and they all seem fine. I am doing all the standard stuff like paying for their hair n make up, gifts, etc and they have their accommodation sorted for three nights in SL. I thinking asking them to buy their own dress in their own set budget is reasonable – I don’t want them in anything uber over the top or glam, just nice classic summery style dresses – Colours are neutrals, beiges, crèmes, blushes and light apricots with yellow or pink undertones.
I think I will double check with them all that they are OK with this, as I don’t want to feel funny about it or for them to secretly resent me.
Post # 11
Im in the Uk and my bridesmaids paid for their own dresses, they totally didn’t think anything of it! Its normal in my group of friends at least, i have always paid for my own bridesmaids dresses. I did pay for teh flowergirls, and for all their hair and make up stuff though..
Post # 12
@Button: Oh goodness I am not made of money, lol, I am not paying for their flights (all 5 of them). I am covering their accomodation for 3 nights, hair and make up, gifts. – I have said they can buy the dresses within their own budget, I dont want to dictate what that is :S.
Post # 13
@mrsbacon: Thanks 🙂 The last time I was bridesmaid was when I was 12, so I am not used to this. I am going to be bridesmaid twice next year and neither bride has told me anything regarding paying for dresses or not. SO I am not akin to what is right or wrong.
Post # 14
I’m a UK Bee living in Australia, and the common practice here is that the BM’s pay for their own everything, but all weddings I’ve been a Bridesmaid or Best Man in over in the UK the bride has paid. I will be buying everything for my BMs….but it is entirely up to you. If your girls are happy with it, and I’m sure they will understand you are on a budget then there is nothing to worry about. If you are giving them the flexibility of choosing their on dresses, even better. Nothing worse than “having” to fork out lots of cash for a dress you hate!!!
Post # 15
@rdownie1: Yep, it’s standard for you to pay in the UK! You could just ask your girls, tell them you didn’t know and you’d like to pay? Or, do it your own way because tradition shmadition. You can do what you want – it’s your wedding. But yes, they may very well think it’s rude and cheeky.
Post # 16
If you can’t afford to pay for their dresses I don’t think you should dictate what they wear. Colour/style/fabric etc should be their choice. They might even want to wear something they already own. As they have to fly to sir Lanka, your wedding is going to be a very expensive day for them..
I paid for bms dresses, shoes, flat shoes for dancing, hair, make up, gifts, accommodation 2 nights. Oh and they chose their own dresses, shoes etc. They didn’t match at all.. I find the matching/uniform thing a bit odd.. But I’m not hugely traditional.