(Closed) Why do people think it's okay to ask Bridemaids to pay pay for things?

posted 9 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 182
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@drummerbride:  where exactly is it written that the role of a bridesmaid is to buy their own dress?

My girls are getting their dress, hair, makeup, jewellery plus a beautiful box filled with all the beauty products/nail polish/massage voucher because for over a year now they have been to dress fittings, looked at countless photos, organised my hens night etc.

Make a decision and own it- but don’t blame it on ‘tradition’, ‘culture’ or anything else that isn’t really true.

Post # 183
7553 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

I haven’t read all the replies but I agree it is a cultural thing. I am paying for everything for the bridal party. I will include it when working out the budget, just like everything else. I wouldn’t wait until I calculated everything else in a budget before deciding whether I had enough to pay for it. Just think attire should be calculated into the budget and it is more important than non essentials like favours and photo booths.

Post # 184
46 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

@theone99:  amen!! Laughing “Make a decision and own it- but don’t blame it on ‘tradition’, ‘culture’ or anything else that isn’t really true.”

Post # 185
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m paying for everything dress, shoes, accessories, hair, makeup you name it. I even paid the accommodation costs for one of BMs because the hotel that I chose is terribly expensive and she is already going to have to pay for flights so I believe that this is fair. 

Post # 186
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Lake Taghkanic State Park

I will be asking my bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses and possibly shoes and probably to contribute a little bit toward the bachelorette party, but we’re covering their accommodations for the night of and all the hair/make-up and everything else. They know we’re on a tight budget so they understand.

When I was a bridesmaid for my cousin when I was 18 I had to pay for my dress and a few other things. I think it’s pretty normal.

Post # 187
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@icetea:  thats true, they keep it why would you pay for it?



You aren’t telling bridesmaids they have to be in your wedding, it is an honor to be asked. and you never invite someone to a party and say hey ill buy your outfit! if you can afford to buy it for your bridesmaids go ahead, thats nice of you. But you shouldn’t say bad things about the people who can’t. 

as for the 16 year old not being able to buy the dress that is ridiculous… i was 15 when my sister got married, she bought the dress for me, but every other bridesmaid bought their own

Post # 188
5 posts
  • Wedding: March 2014

i feel like any bridesmaid already does pay hugely with her time and patience. she shouldnt have to pay any money as well!!  

Post # 191
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I have been lucky enough to be a bridesmaid for three very dear friends. Each time I happily paid for my dress and shoes, and in one instance my hair and make up. I attended each shower and bachelorette party, hosted a handful myself even, and was excited to bring presents each time. It made ME happy to be able to contribute to their weddings and give gifts that I knew they wanted/needed in their married lives, and it was always worth whatever sacrifice to see the smiles on their faces. 

It most definitely IS an honor to be able to provide all of that for my friends. In fact, the two weddings in which my hair and makeup were paid by the bride, I was so uncomfortable taking money out of their budgets. Just like it’s an honor to be a bridesmaid, I considered it a gift to them to take care of my stuff by myself. It never occurred to me to question my friends’ mindsets regarding the money I was spending because that’s so nitpicky and nickel and dime behavior. 

It was all worth it to be there behind the scenes on the wedding days. Getting to spend the intimate moments pre-ceremony and being able to talk to them about the future that was suddenly in front of them. I loved walkind down the aisle and seeing the grooms’ faces, also dear friends, when they realized their brides were about to walk down behind me/us. I loved having better than front row seats to watch my closest friends walking towards their true loves and seeing the looks on their faces. Each experience was beautiful and touched me so deeply. Do you really think I’d put a price on that or resent what I had spent?

Currently, my Maid/Matron of Honor and I are fighting over who is paying for what and how much to spend, but not in the way some of the PPs who suggest. I want her to keep her costs down and help pay for things, but she refuses to let me! Right now it’s a race to buy the jewelry before the other one can, haha. 

Post # 192
869 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@MrsSmokey:  I agree!! I’m paying for my bridesmaids hair and make up and renting their dresses, because we’ve all been bridesmaids before and don’t want yet another long dress that they’ll never wear hanging in their closet. They can wear any shoe they want as long as it’s silver. 

That said, my bridesmaids apparently are taking me to a crazy bachelorette on some beach, out of the country, for 5 days. Didn’t ask them to do that, they are amazing.


Post # 193
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@HisMoon:  I actually went out and individually asked my bridesmaids (best friends and close sisters who wouldn’t lie) what they thought of this topic. 

They said the same thing you did-it was an honour to them. They would actually be offended if they were not allowed to “do their part”. Three of them saw the idea of me paying everything for them as “a little snooty”- as if I thought my situation was so much  better than theirs that I couldn’t possibly let them lend a helping hand in the financial way. They appreciated me doing “small favours” for them and helping to ease the load but considered my appreciation of their gesture way more valuable than my money. 

And I realized that I felt EXACTLY the same way about each of them. I am shelling out $1200 for my future husband/self to travel and stand in my best friend’s wedding. I would feel a bit detached if she had paid for everything and not let me contribute to her day. This is something I can do for her that really makes a difference for her. I’m truly honored. 

Now, if the bride had massively expensive expectations, I would feel less inclined to be a part of her day at all. It’s never happened, thankfully. 

I am not saying that this perspective is the right one, as it’s so dependent on each bride and what they are all accustomed to, and also everyone’s financial situation. Talk about cultural differences!!


Post # 196
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsSmokey:  What exactly would offend you? My BMs got to pick their dresses, they are also not required to have their hair and make-up professionally done, if they choose to do so that is up to them. Being a Bridesmaid or Best Man does not require one to have their hair or make-up be any different then how they would normally wear it, anything more is a choice made by the individual. The only reason I had asked each girl if they were interested in having their hair and make-up professionally done is due to appointment bookings being required. 

I think it’s entirely one thing if the bride is demanding a specific look: shoes, dress, hair style and make-up. When we went to look at dresses, my girls asked for guidelines, the only guideline I have them was to get something in either purple, blue or black and preferably in the same fabric for each dress. Long/short, strapless/straps, none of that mattered to me because I want my friends to be happy and comfortable in their dresses. 



View original reply
@theone99:  The whole concept of who pays for what is very much a regional and cultural thing. And I’m fully aware of what it means to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man and have BMs, which is exactly why the only thing my girls have been asked to help with is one dress shopping excursion to pick out their dresses. I don’t talk wedding with them, and I don’t force them to shell out money for unnecessary things. Yes as BMs they are expected to help organise my bachelorette and bridal shower, notice I say organize, not pay for everything. There’s a difference, and I sure as heck don’t expect them to cover anyone but themselves for either. As a matter of fact, for the shower as long as they don’t decide to hold it at a restaurant, I will be the one catering it, because I am good at it and enjoy cooking/baking for those close to me. Can’t really say at this point what the plans will be since my Maid/Matron of Honor won’t let me privy to anything until I ‘need’ to know.

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