Attire and Accessories

Who should pay for bridesmaid dresses?

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Re: Who should pay for bridesmaid dresses?

  • 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 don't really agree with this. Being comfortable with someone does not equate to knowing their actual financial situation or being free to ask them to spend money they may or may not have.

    It really just comes down to their budget. Which each BM should be asked *privately* for prior to looking at dress options. 
    *********************************************************************************

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    charlotte989875
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2017
    Indeed it is my BMs who will pay the dress. Their budget is around 150$, are you asking it too much?

    It sounds like you asked them and they told you $150? Then the dress and cape you ask them to buy should be no more than that. 

    The dress is about 180$ and the cape $20.
    If they told you $150, then you really shouldn't ask them to pay $200. The total cost of both should be no more than than $150 unless you pay the difference. 

    charlotte989875
  • Indeed it is my BMs who will pay the dress. Their budget is around 150$, are you asking it too much?

    It sounds like you asked them and they told you $150? Then the dress and cape you ask them to buy should be no more than that. 

    The dress is about 180$ and the cape $20.
    If they told you $150, then you really shouldn't ask them to pay $200. The total cost of both should be no more than than $150 unless you pay the difference. 

    Those are different posters. @ashashashley's BMs have a budget of $150 and suggested that knottie# might be asking too much, to which knottie# confirmed the whole shebang was $200 and it sounds like she didn't ask a budget.
  • Indeed it is my BMs who will pay the dress. Their budget is around 150$, are you asking it too much?

    It sounds like you asked them and they told you $150? Then the dress and cape you ask them to buy should be no more than that. 

    The dress is about 180$ and the cape $20.
    If they told you $150, then you really shouldn't ask them to pay $200. The total cost of both should be no more than than $150 unless you pay the difference. 

    Those are different posters. @ashashashley's BMs have a budget of $150 and suggested that knottie# might be asking too much, to which knottie# confirmed the whole shebang was $200 and it sounds like she didn't ask a budget.
    Oh, whoops!

  • Casadena said:
    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 :)
    The alternative, which is quickly gaining in popularity, is that matching outfits that someone will never wear again is not a requirement for being in the bridal party! While it's still rare to hear "will you be my bridemaid? You can wear anything you damn well please, I trust and respect you", it's more common now to just give bridesmaids color palettes and lengths, and very common for each bridesmaid to have their own style of dress in the same fabric. I think the trends will continue in this direction. 
  • I think you should pay at least for the capes. They can pay for the dresses.

     
  • I think you should pay at least for the capes. They can pay for the dresses.
    I think you should pay at least for the capes. They can pay for the dresses.
    Thank you for the advice. I really didn't think that much. I thought it's a pieace of cheap cape, so, u know, I don't know it would be an issue.
  • Yes, in the states generally bridesmaids pay for their own dresses IF you ask privately for budgets and then choose a dress under the lowest budget or you pay the difference for a more expensive dress.  

    If they are from the UK, I believe the bride usually pays, and they may expect that. 
    Thanks a lot. I've checked with them, they said it's because they want to buy me something amazing instead. It's suppose to be a surprise, but they just want it to be a different wedding. Surprised yet worried.
  • 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. 
    Thanks a lot. I would love to make the difference, and now I know. While I just landed in a different situation now. My BMs said they want to surprise me with another gift, honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed.
  • 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. 
    Oh, thank you so much. I did plan to buy them a good cape as a gift if they dress+cape is over their budget. Luckily to see your advice .
  • 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. 
    Thank you. <3
  • lnixon8 said:
    How much is this dress/cape?
    It's about $20, and that's the cheapest I can find. 
  • 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.
    Thank you so much for the great tip. I got your point and I thought I should've asked them their budget first, and privately. Cuz I remembered I've checked with the group once, texting "Is it OK?" I guess it's not appropriate. 
  • sophiemesophieme
    10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2017
    CMGragain said:
    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.
    Casadena While I have to admit, I felt a little upset because I don't know what it is.
  • 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.
    Oh, good to know. Great advice.
  • 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.
    Thank you so much.  <3
  • 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). 
    Why don't you just say so? As a bride-to-be, I really want my BMs to feel beautiful and comfortable.
    MobKaz
  • 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. 
    Love your idea. I think maybe it is the characteristics of young generation. My BMs want to buy me a gift instead of the dresses, I think it's a good idea. But just so u know, I'm the bride and it's my wedding, so I'm a little insecure.
  • Casadena said:
    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 :)
    I feel you.
  • Casadena said:
    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 :)
    I feel you.
  • Hi everyone, as am a new knottie. I don't know how to reply you as a whole. But I just want you to know that i asked my BMs respectively whether they are financially burdened. One of them said that it's just because they think it's too cliche to buy BM dresses, instead they want to buy me a gift as a surprise. The gift is not on my list, but everyone kinda run out their budget, so they can't afford to buy dresses anymore.

    Excited and thankful as i am, i am a bit worried. As the gift is not on my list so I felt a little insecure. Also, I thought if the dress+cape is too much, maybe I can get them a pretty scarf as a gift so they can wear it thereafter. Now everything is changing. Besides, I know it's inappropriate to buy them BM dress+cape as gift. But a nice scarf for each of them is out of my balance. So should I just follow their idea? Or I should get them other gifts? Now i'm really troubled.
  • sophieme said:
    Hi everyone, as am a new knottie. I don't know how to reply you as a whole. But I just want you to know that i asked my BMs respectively whether they are financially burdened. One of them said that it's just because they think it's too cliche to buy BM dresses, instead they want to buy me a gift as a surprise. The gift is not on my list, but everyone kinda run out their budget, so they can't afford to buy dresses anymore.

    Excited and thankful as i am, i am a bit worried. As the gift is not on my list so I felt a little insecure. Also, I thought if the dress+cape is too much, maybe I can get them a pretty scarf as a gift so they can wear it thereafter. Now everything is changing. Besides, I know it's inappropriate to buy them BM dress+cape as gift. But a nice scarf for each of them is out of my balance. So should I just follow their idea? Or I should get them other gifts? Now i'm really troubled.
    I don’t understand what is going on here. But if they all refuse to spend any money on a dress because they decided to buy you a random gift, I’d buy their dresses and that’s it. All of this is strange. 
    charlotte989875MandyMostInLoveInQueens
  • sophieme said:
    Hi everyone, as am a new knottie. I don't know how to reply you as a whole. But I just want you to know that i asked my BMs respectively whether they are financially burdened. One of them said that it's just because they think it's too cliche to buy BM dresses, instead they want to buy me a gift as a surprise. The gift is not on my list, but everyone kinda run out their budget, so they can't afford to buy dresses anymore.

    Excited and thankful as i am, i am a bit worried. As the gift is not on my list so I felt a little insecure. Also, I thought if the dress+cape is too much, maybe I can get them a pretty scarf as a gift so they can wear it thereafter. Now everything is changing. Besides, I know it's inappropriate to buy them BM dress+cape as gift. But a nice scarf for each of them is out of my balance. So should I just follow their idea? Or I should get them other gifts? Now i'm really troubled.
    I don’t understand what is going on here. But if they all refuse to spend any money on a dress because they decided to buy you a random gift, I’d buy their dresses and that’s it. All of this is strange. 
    This may sound strange at first, but I think it's nice that they want to surprise you. I think if you've asked them to be your bridesmaids, then they must be close to you, aren't they? So I think eventually you can buy them the dresses. Just relax. I totally get how freaking it is when preparing weddings. It's better to believe that it's your big day, no one wants to screw it up, so it might surprise you, but you'll might be amazed at last.
  • sophieme said:
    Hi everyone, as am a new knottie. I don't know how to reply you as a whole. But I just want you to know that i asked my BMs respectively whether they are financially burdened. One of them said that it's just because they think it's too cliche to buy BM dresses, instead they want to buy me a gift as a surprise. The gift is not on my list, but everyone kinda run out their budget, so they can't afford to buy dresses anymore.

    Excited and thankful as i am, i am a bit worried. As the gift is not on my list so I felt a little insecure. Also, I thought if the dress+cape is too much, maybe I can get them a pretty scarf as a gift so they can wear it thereafter. Now everything is changing. Besides, I know it's inappropriate to buy them BM dress+cape as gift. But a nice scarf for each of them is out of my balance. So should I just follow their idea? Or I should get them other gifts? Now i'm really troubled.
    I don’t understand what is going on here. But if they all refuse to spend any money on a dress because they decided to buy you a random gift, I’d buy their dresses and that’s it. All of this is strange. 
    This may sound strange at first, but I think it's nice that they want to surprise you. I think if you've asked them to be your bridesmaids, then they must be close to you, aren't they? So I think eventually you can buy them the dresses. Just relax. I totally get how freaking it is when preparing weddings. It's better to believe that it's your big day, no one wants to screw it up, so it might surprise you, but you'll might be amazed at last.
    Yes, they are close to me. You are right. Maybe I overreacted it. I'm sure they love me. Actually I can understand that they are naughty girls, as we all are. It must be the wedding pressure. I'm the first to engage among our group. I should believe you, they are cool and they love me. You are right, they will never want to screw my wedding.
  • sophieme said:
    Hi everyone, as am a new knottie. I don't know how to reply you as a whole. But I just want you to know that i asked my BMs respectively whether they are financially burdened. One of them said that it's just because they think it's too cliche to buy BM dresses, instead they want to buy me a gift as a surprise. The gift is not on my list, but everyone kinda run out their budget, so they can't afford to buy dresses anymore.

    Excited and thankful as i am, i am a bit worried. As the gift is not on my list so I felt a little insecure. Also, I thought if the dress+cape is too much, maybe I can get them a pretty scarf as a gift so they can wear it thereafter. Now everything is changing. Besides, I know it's inappropriate to buy them BM dress+cape as gift. But a nice scarf for each of them is out of my balance. So should I just follow their idea? Or I should get them other gifts? Now i'm really troubled.
    I don’t understand what is going on here. But if they all refuse to spend any money on a dress because they decided to buy you a random gift, I’d buy their dresses and that’s it. All of this is strange. 
    Thanks. I think I should follow your advice. Actually if I put myself in their shoes, I'd probably do the same thing. It's a clash between tradition and innovation, I believe. And maybe I should accept that, because they are my friends.
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