(Closed) Who Pays for the Dress?

posted 10 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 32
Member
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

BMs should pay for the dress unless it exceeds 200 in which case you should pay the remainder. 

Post # 33
Member
90 posts
Worker bee

I think having an honest talk with your friend as to what you think is reasonable.  I paid for my bridesmaids dresses and my bridesman’s suit, and their shoes, but not hair/makeup.  I was very lucky and found dresses we all liked for $29 and $39 dollars (CDN).  I was willing to spend up to $100.  I have been in a wedding where the bride has paid for dresses as well.  It was nice to have that part of the wedding covered.  By the time shower, stag, and wedding costs are added to being in the wedding it can be very pricey to be a bridesmaid!  I think it is a nice gesture if the bride can help out.  I would state what you can afford to spend so the bride has proper expectations.  It is not fair to force someone to wear something that they choose and make them pay upwards of 300! 

Post # 34
Member
3460 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’ve been fortunate to be in two weddings and pay for neither dress, but that’s unusual.  I think unless stated, the Bridesmaid or Best Man pays.  I know in some cases, the bride pays for someone she particulaly wants included who can’t afford it.  If that’s the case for you, say so.  If you have a budget, say so.  (I once had a friend give me his frequent flier miles so I could fly out to his wedding while in grad school.  He had been saving for years but felt it absolutely worth it to make sure I could be there.  There were only about 15 people at the wedding.)

The first was my sister’s wedding.  I was 20 (alas! no drinks for me at the head table with mom able to look over and see) and in college.  My sister picked out the style of dress that she wanted (sigh, *exactly* the same as my prom dress, except slit up back not side) and my mom sewed the dresses for me & my cousin.  The other two non-family bridesmaids had theirs made up by a seamstress.  The cost for materials for mine came out of the budget that my parents gave my sister for her wedding.  I think my mom paid for my shoes as well.  Hair & makeup we did ourselves.

I was also recently in a friend’s wedding in India.  Not only did they provide a sari for me and the two wives of friends of my friend who also attended the wedding and were “honorary” bridesmaids” – they also provided a sari for my mother and outfits for all our our boyfriends/husbands.  Crazy, no?  This is on top of various parties for about a week straight.  We paid for our hair/makeup.  I believe this was in part because they felt we paid a lot to attend the wedding in India and also to make us feel welcome so that we didn’t need to worry about whether we “fit in’ or not,

Interestingly, my parents really hit it off with her parents when they met approximately 2.5 years ago.  (We had been friends for about 10 years at the time – met in college.)  My parents were invited over as “personal guests” of the bride’s parents, which meant that her parents paid for the hotel stay for my parents at a nice place.  I paid for my hotel stay, at the same place with the other friends.  Now of course, my parents are wondering how they can possibly repay their generosity when it eventually comes time for my wedding.  (The second half of the trip we traveled and stayed in guest houses owned by the groom’s father’s company, the State Bank of India.)

Post # 35
Member
565 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

my BM’s are really tight on cash, so i’m going to buy their dresses, but normally the BM’s pay for their own dresses, i thought that was the tradition.

Post # 36
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think I am one of the odd balls here because I have been in 5 weddings and 4 out of 5 the bride paid for the dress. I am paying for my BM’s dresses too. I guess it depends on your circle.

Post # 37
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Bridesmaids always pay. Unless she’s said otherwise, you need to be prepared for that. However, maybe you could have a discussion with her about your finances, and maybe ask that if she’s able, she could pick a dress that is under X amount (whatever you can pay). 

Post # 38
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

That  being said, if she’s in your wedding, and you’re expecting her to pay for her dress, you shouldn’t be picking a $200 dress and asking her to stick with a $50 one. 

Post # 39
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

A couple of decades ago, in Canada (at least in my area), it was tradition for the bride’s family (or bride) to pay for the dresses.  You have to remember that a lot of the time people were buying fabric and either having dresses made or making them themselves from patterns.  The thought was that if you (as a BM) don’t have a say in the style and/or colour of the dress, then you don’t pay.  

My mom was shocked that I had to pay for my dress when I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man for the first time.  That dress, with alterations, DID cost almost $300.  I was a student and couldn’t afford it, so my parents gave me the dress as a Christmas present.  The second time I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man (I’ve done the deed four times now), my dress, hair, and makeup was paid for.  The MOB/bride insisted that she was doing things “old school”.

I think that it’s nice to do, if you can afford it as a bride/couple/whomever is paying, but it isn’t a given.  If you’re concerned about money, be upfront about it- ten to one, you aren’t the only Bridesmaid or Best Man who has the concern.  The bride really should have already talked to you about the budget for the dresses and/or what she was going to pay for.  I would assume you are paying unless she says otherwise.

Post # 40
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2011

A bridesmaid, WITHOUT QUESTION, should pay for the dress. The bride is asking you to stand up there with them on their wedding day, and that is an honor. Even if it is the most hideous, expensive dress, do it to support them. 

Post # 41
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

In most weddings, I’ve heard that the BM’s pay for their own dress and accessories. However, for my wedding, I will be paying for the BM’s dresses, but if they want to buy new shoes, or get their hair, makeup, or nails done, that expense is on them since I’m only really requiring them to wear the dress.

Post # 42
Member
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

In the three weddings that I have been a Bridesmaid or Best Man in, the bride has payed for everything. I too will be paying for everything that my BM’s need – hair, makeup, shoes, dress, jewellery, and accommodation on the 2 nights before and the night. My BM’s are doing me the honour of being my maids. I don’t see it as the other way round. They just have to get their gorgeous selves there on the day.

Post # 43
Member
1682 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My BM’s are paying for their own dresses since we’re on a really tight budget, and they’ve been really cool about it. I asked them flat-out what price point they would be comfortable at and they both said they’d be okay with paying around 300$ for one. I am SO thankful and lucky my best friends are amazing people – not that I’m going to ask them to pay that much, but its a huge relief to know they’re okay if it does end up that much (heaven forbid).

The only exception to this rule would be my sister, because she’s in a different place financially and I really want her to be in my bridal party, so I said I would pay any difference over 150$. To be honest, though, I will probably end up paying the full cost of the dress, and thats okay because she IS my sister & I really want her as a Bridesmaid or Best Man.

All that being said, however, if I had the money to do it I would pay for their dresses in a heartbeat.

Post # 44
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

it is still very much tradition in the UK that brides pay for Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses – I’ve never known them pay for their own (apart from hearing about USA brides doing this)

so I suppose it depends where you are from in the world as to what the tradition is.

 

 

Post # 45
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

yup, Australia seems to be the opposite too. BMs dont pay, they are provided with a dress. Thats what i will be doing.

Post # 46
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m paying for my five bridesmaids’ dress ($150/each), hair and make-up as they have paid for mine when I was a bridesmaid.  They are on their own for alterations, shoes, and jewelry, I’m not picky if they match or not. 

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