(Closed) Who Pays for the Dress?

posted 10 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 17
Member
823 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - The Tribute Golf Club

I’ve always thought that BMs paid for their dress, unless the bride was being very nice and gifting it to them.  My girls are paying for their dresses, and I paid for the dress I’ll be wearing in my best friend’s wedding.

Post # 18
Member
1816 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

My BMs paid for their own dresses, but I just asked that they be a certain color.  This left it up to them how much money they wanted to spend on a dress.  One girl found her dress for just $40 and it is gorgeous!  I am paying for their hair and makeup though since that is an extra, and not something I would expect them to have done themselves.

Post # 19
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Yeah, all the PP’s are correct, typically a Bridesmaid or Best Man will pay for her own dress. With that said, I’ve been a Maid/Matron of Honor 3 times, and a Bridesmaid or Best Man once, and all my friends paid for the dresses/hair/makeup. For my own wedding, I too, paid for all of my BMs dresses/hair/makeup and even included the shoes. So, while it’s typical for you to pay for your own dress, your friend may feel otherwise.

Ultimately, it depends on what the bride and groom can afford and also, how they feel about having their friends spending $$$ on their wedding day. For each wedding that I’ve been a part of, I had sometimes spent over $1k on wedding gift, shower gift, hosting the shower and bachelorette party! Aaah…weddings can be so expensive!

Post # 20
Member
2136 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Make sure you tell the bride your budget! If she is a good friend, she’ll take that in account. I would NEVER pay $300 for a bridesmaid dress, even if it was my sister’s wedding. That’s ridiculous for a dress you’ll never wear again. I wouldn’t pay that much for a dress for my own occasion (graduation, etc. ) so why would I pay it for someone else? 

But I do agree that its traditional here in the US for bridesmaids to pay for their own wedding attire. I’ve heard that in other places that the bride pays, but here, its more common for the BMs to pay. 

Post # 21
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Bm’s pay for their own dresses, unless the bride offers to.

Its expensive to be a bridesmaid, you should ask about the costs up front.

I’ve been in wedding parties with dresses close to $400 after alterations, and had to pay for hair/makeup and shoes… plus contribute to a bachelorette, so it can get pricey.  You have to start saving early, or be honest with her if you really cant afford it and she might try to help you out.

Post # 22
Member
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It is cultural I think. Most British brides I know pay for the Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses, but every US wedding I have ever been in we have had to buy our own dresses. I think it is best to initiate the discussion on what sort of dresses are likely to be required, you might be pleasantly surprised by the cost.

Post # 23
Member
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Yes, in the US it is more customary for the BMs to pay. Agree with PP–talk to the bride about price range. You want to know what you’re getting into. Not only that, but some brides require their BMs to have their hair and/or makeup professionally done or to purchase shoes, jewelry, and/or other accessories to wear. It can really add up. Talk to the bride and see if this is something you’re able to swing. If you think you may have to bow out b/c of the cost, it’s better to bring this up sooner rather than later.

Post # 24
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I agree, I was in a Bridesmaid or Best Man in a wedding recently. The BMs had to pay 170.00 for the dress, $30.00 for the shoes. Not to mention the makeup and jewelry etc. I wish I would have asked up front about the price of the dress and other things. I would not have been in the wedding at all. And to top it all off, the dress was not cute at all!

I think in my wedding, I will have stipulations like I want the dress to be short (knee length), sangria in color and wear silver strappy sandals. Other than that, I will let them pick out their own dress, hopefully they will pick something that they can wear again.

 

Post # 25
Member
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I am a bridesmaid in a wedding next summer and we already bought our dresses.  It was just assumed that we would pay for our own dresses, accessories, hair and makeup.  With my bridesmaids, I will be paying for their dresses.  But they won’t know that until they pick out their dresses, just to keep it a surprise for them!  I’ve budgeted up to $250 per dress so depending on the cost of their dress, I may end up paying for their alterations too. If they choose to buy new shoes, or get their hair and makeup done, then they will have to pay for those costs.

Post # 26
Member
5920 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

My girls paid for theirs.  They were $130. I have always bought dresses for weddings I’ve been a bridesmaid in.

Post # 27
Member
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think it depends on where you live and what the practice is there. 

In Hawaii, the bride pays for the BM’s dresses.  I’ve been in 5 weddings and I have never paid the cost of my dress.  For my wedding, I will be buying my BM’s dresses.  If I were on the mainland, and a Bridesmaid or Best Man, I would expect to pay the cost of my own BM’s dress. If I were a Bridesmaid or Best Man in Hawaii and the bride was from Hawaii, I would honestly be shocked to be asked to pay the cost of my own dress. I have never heard of a Hawaii bride asking her BM’s to buy their own dress.  Never.  I do think that on the mainland, sometimes the bride will pay the cost of the BM’s dress. 

Not sure what the practice is in Canada (one of the poster indicated that paying for their dress was “traditional”).  If money is tight and you might not be able to afford the dress, I’d mention that to the bride and see what her response is.

Post # 28
Member
841 posts
Busy bee

Hmm, I have never heard of the Bride paying for their BM’s dresses… I don’t think it’s fair for the Bridesmaids to be dishing out $300 for a dress though!!. Maybe come to some compromise in the dress/pricing department? I love my friends dearly, but that is just steep! 

Post # 29
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

My bridesmaids actually paid for their gown themselves. I gave them each $25 towards it and I had a coupon that the bridal shop had given me for $25 off each bridesmaids dress. So they had a total of $50 off a $165 dress. I tried to help as much as I could without going broke.

Post # 30
Member
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I have never heard of the bride paying for the dresses.

Post # 31
Member
1536 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

My BMs are paying for their dresses because they are the ones who get to keep them and wear them again! I did, however, give them the option of a price range that they could all afford. We’re looking for dresses around $150-$200 (Alterations included).

On a side note: I am paying for one of my bride’s maids dresses as she has already stretched her budget to attend the wedding..

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