Attire and Accessories

Who should pay for bridesmaid dresses?

Hi everyone,

I recently had a trouble about buying bridesmaid dresses. When I was in my bestie's bridal party, I paid for my own dress and other girls did the same. I think everyone in the States does the same, ins't it? However, when it came to my wedding, I told my bridesmaids that I want satin dresses with a nice cape to go with my wedding dress, but they said it's me who should pay for the dress. This is really awkward. I don't know what to do, and I think it's better to avoid making a fuss before my wedding, especially over these trifles.

How do you think I should do? Anyone got into trouble with this?

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Re: Who should pay for bridesmaid dresses?

  • Ask them each, privately for their dress budget and choose something that is within the lowest budget. If you want something that is more expensive you then need to make up the difference. I do think if you’re asking for dress+cape you should pay for the capes. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    In the US, attendants typically pay for their own attire. However, this is provided that you ask for a budget before shopping and select something that fits everyone's budget.

    If you require specific accessories (cape/shoes/jewelry), you have to pay for that. And no, it's not a gift to the attendants. 
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingCMGragain
  • CasadenaCasadena
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited November 2017
    In the US its common for the bm's to pay for their own dresses.  HOWEVER I personally think this is stupid and frankly very rude - I think it is ridiculous to have to essentially pay for the honor of standing next to you at your wedding.  I've complained about it on here many times over the years. 

    If you are asking others to pay for a dress you MUST ask their budget beforehand, privately, and either find a dress that fits within the lowest budget you're given or give them parameters (long, navy) and let them spend what they want.  

    I cannot reiterate enough how much I hate this "tradition" of bridesmaids paying for their own dresses even if it is "what everyone else does".


    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875ahoyweddingMusicluvr325
  • I heard from my friends it is bridesmaids to pay for the dresses in the U.S.. You may ask your girls about their budget privately. 
    sophieme
  • How much is this dress/cape?


  • Hi everyone,

    I recently had a trouble about buying bridesmaid dresses. When I was in my bestie's bridal party, I paid for my own dress and other girls did the same. I think everyone in the States does the same, ins't it? However, when it came to my wedding, I told my bridesmaids that I want satin dresses with a nice cape to go with my wedding dress, but they said it's me who should pay for the dress. This is really awkward. I don't know what to do, and I think it's better to avoid making a fuss before my wedding, especially over these trifles.

    How do you think I should do? Anyone got into trouble with this?

    In the U.S. the bridesmaids generally pay for their own dresses. HOWEVER, the bride should ask each of them, privately, for their budget prior to picking a dress (or material or accessories). Go with the lowest budget and that's the entire budget for attire. 

    Example: 

    Bridesmaid A says $200
    Bridesmaid B says $100
    Bridesmaid C says $150

    Your budget for everything you want them to wear is $100. That should account for taxes, shipping, alterations. So if you want them to buy a cape AND a dress, the whole total (including taxes, shipping and alterations) needs to come under $100.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    charlotte989875ahoywedding
  • Casadena said:
    In the US its common for the bm's to pay for their own dresses.  HOWEVER I personally think this is stupid and frankly very rude - I think it is ridiculous to have to essentially pay for the honor of standing next to you at your wedding.  I've complained about it on here many times over the years. 

    If you are asking others to pay for a dress you MUST ask their budget beforehand, privately, and either find a dress that fits within the lowest budget you're given or give them parameters (long, navy) and let them spend what they want.  

    I cannot reiterate enough how much I hate this "tradition" of bridesmaids paying for their own dresses even if it is "what everyone else does".
    While I understand your feelings, it IS the tradition in the USA for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to pay for their own apparel.  If you don't want to do this, you simply politely decline the honor of being chosen as a bridesmaid, without explanation.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44
  • I think if you have lots of requirements, you should pay. If the dress they can wear thereafter, you can ask them to pay. Actually if you want a theme and purchase all the bridesmaid dresses together in a same color or style, it's amazing. Worth the money.
  • It's definitely the tradition in the US for the BM to pay.   I completely respect your opinion @Casadena and ultimately bought my BMs dresses but when DH or I have been in weddings we never balked at the attire costs.   It's something that you assume as part of the expense of being in a wedding just like your hotel.

    That said, PLEASE follow @southernbelle0915's advice and get the budget from your guests and then stick to the lowest cost for all things.   A cape can be lovely but it's an additional expense that you may need to cover yourself and such an expense needs to be considered a wedding expense and not their gift.
    charlotte989875
  • In the US, it's expected that the bride will get the budgets for the bridesmaids before shopping, and it's also expected that the bride will at least pretend to get input into the dress from the bridesmaids. I've never had a bride say "this is the dress you need to buy". Once I got "this is the designer and color, and you can pick any of these 10 styles. The dress costs $125, but let me know if you have any concerns with the price". And once all the bridesmaids went shopping with the bride, and even though every single one of us hated the dress, it's the one she picked, and somehow she rationalized it (It was a strapless satin dress in a burnt orange color with a train. Yes, a train on a bridesmaid's dress). 
  • MandyMost said:
    In the US, it's expected that the bride will get the budgets for the bridesmaids before shopping, and it's also expected that the bride will at least pretend to get input into the dress from the bridesmaids. I've never had a bride say "this is the dress you need to buy". Once I got "this is the designer and color, and you can pick any of these 10 styles. The dress costs $125, but let me know if you have any concerns with the price". And once all the bridesmaids went shopping with the bride, and even though every single one of us hated the dress, it's the one she picked, and somehow she rationalized it (It was a strapless satin dress in a burnt orange color with a train. Yes, a train on a bridesmaid's dress). 
    Well, Pippa Middleton had a train. Maybe she was going for uber fancy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

  • andisummers94andisummers94 San Antonio, TX
    10 Comments
    member
    I've been in two weddings so far and I've paid for my bm dresses both times. I'm young, so maybe it's a millennial thing? Or a tradition among younger generations to contribute, maybe? Both brides were having low budget weddings, so we all wanted to chip in where we could. 

    I guess it comes down to your comfort levels with all your bms. Like, I'd def ask family members to pay if I couldn't afford it but if they were recent friends or something I'd go ahead and pay for them. 
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited November 2017
    I've been in two weddings so far and I've paid for my bm dresses both times. I'm young, so maybe it's a millennial thing? Or a tradition among younger generations to contribute, maybe? Both brides were having low budget weddings, so we all wanted to chip in where we could. 

    I guess it comes down to your comfort levels with all your bms. Like, I'd def ask family members to pay if I couldn't afford it but if they were recent friends or something I'd go ahead and pay for them. 
    I have never paid for a bridesmaid dress and the brides in question were 19, 18 and 25. 

    I also paid for my bridesmaids' dresses and I was in my early twenties. 

    Casadena
  • I've been in two weddings so far and I've paid for my bm dresses both times. I'm young, so maybe it's a millennial thing? Or a tradition among younger generations to contribute, maybe? Both brides were having low budget weddings, so we all wanted to chip in where we could. 

    I guess it comes down to your comfort levels with all your bms. Like, I'd def ask family members to pay if I couldn't afford it but if they were recent friends or something I'd go ahead and pay for them. 
    I have never paid for a bridesmaid dress and the brides in question were 19, 18 and 25. 

    I also paid for my bridesmaids' dresses and I was in my early twenties. 
    I think it’s very much a standard in the US that bridesmaids pay for their dresses. 
    charlotte989875southernbelle0915
  • I've been in two weddings so far and I've paid for my bm dresses both times. I'm young, so maybe it's a millennial thing? Or a tradition among younger generations to contribute, maybe? Both brides were having low budget weddings, so we all wanted to chip in where we could. 

    I guess it comes down to your comfort levels with all your bms. Like, I'd def ask family members to pay if I couldn't afford it but if they were recent friends or something I'd go ahead and pay for them. 
    I have never paid for a bridesmaid dress and the brides in question were 19, 18 and 25. 

    I also paid for my bridesmaids' dresses and I was in my early twenties. 
    I think it’s very much a standard in the US that bridesmaids pay for their dresses. 
    Oh, I agree. I was just disagreeing that it's only young brides who ask their bridesmaids to buy their dresses. 

  • banana468 said:
    It's definitely the tradition in the US for the BM to pay.   I completely respect your opinion @Casadena and ultimately bought my BMs dresses but when DH or I have been in weddings we never balked at the attire costs.   It's something that you assume as part of the expense of being in a wedding just like your hotel.

    That said, PLEASE follow @southernbelle0915's advice and get the budget from your guests and then stick to the lowest cost for all things.   A cape can be lovely but it's an additional expense that you may need to cover yourself and such an expense needs to be considered a wedding expense and not their gift.
    I totally understand that I'm in the minority when it comes to this issue.  I've sucked it up and paid for lots of bridesmaid dresses because I love my friends and family - but purchased the outfits for our wedding party regardless. 

    I guess it bothers me because in my mind the BM/GM is a position of honor that the bride/groom is "bestowing upon us", if you will.  I chose my closest friends and family and didn't want to burden them with additional expenses as a consequence of our closeness.  Anyone coming to a wedding out of town has to pay for lodging or drive home, etc. so I just can't get my head around asking your "most honored" guests (bridal party) to pay extra money for that honor.  

    I fully understand that it's tradition in the US - but too often I hear "well I had to pay so they do too" and it makes me crazy!.  I just wish I heard an alternate viewpoint occasionally so I always want to explain my point of view :)


    lovesclimbingMandyMost
  • Indeed it is my BMs who will pay the dress. Their budget is around 150$, are you asking it too much?

  • Thank u so much. Ask them asap.
  • Thank you so much for you advice. Will ask them asap.

  • sophiemesophieme
    10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2017
    You mean I should pay for the cape, right?That's fine, and I just did not think it would be an issue. The cape I ask for is really cheap, and I've send them the ebay link. It's just about $20.
  • Thank you so much. 
  • The dress is about 180$ and the cape $20.
  • OMG. I'm afraid that's what they are thinking now.
  • Thanks a lot. I guess I am asking too much, they cost about $200 without alterations and stuff. 
  • I respect your idea. Actually I heard it from one of the BMs that one of them feels you. Their opinion also divided, and this is so complicated.
  • I don't think that's what they meant, turning me down so they don't show in the wedding. We are good friends, only sharing different backgrounds.
  • I'll check that, and I'll let you girls to know.
  • I'll check that, and I'll let you girls to know.
    The reply button doesn’t work ::major eye roll:: use the quote button so we know who you are talking to. Based on your replies though, it sounds like you are going to ask them their budget and possibly alter your requests based on their responses. That’s awesome.
    charlotte989875sparklepants41
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