Wedding Etiquette Forum

Cancelled Wedding- Bridesmaids Dresses

Hi Ladies,

I had a dream last night (clearly the product of being in 4 weddings over the course of 18 months) that one of my dear friends had to cancel her wedding. Have no fear, she had already found someone new and was still getting married. :) However, they were not doing a Disney theme anymore and so my Belle-inspired bridesmaid dress was no longer going to work. In the dream I was really annoyed that I was going to have to buy a new BM dress and have one hang in my closet never worn.

It got me thinking, if a wedding gets cancelled, should the bride/groom re-fund the wedding party for their attire expenses? Obviously if this happened to one of my friends, that would not be the first question I would ask, but I was curious. What does The Knot think?

Re: Cancelled Wedding- Bridesmaids Dresses

  • I think they should refund BP members. Obviously it's a terrible situation, but they BP members shouldn't have to go in the hole for it. 
    grumbledoreMinnieLovesMiki
  • I guess I have never really considered this aspect of cancelled weddings before. If it were me, I would reimburse everyone but I don't think you would technically have to in most situations. I ended up paying for the BMs' dresses for our wedding anyway though just because I wanted to.
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  • I want to see your Belle bridesmaid dress. :( Dream cameras, where are you? It's 2014 for god's sake.
    This is me reading threads on TK
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    grumbledorethemuffinman16theartistformerlyknownasElcaB
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hmm. I never really thought about that. I guess it would be nice for the couple to cover any costs their BP incurred. However, if I was a BM in a wedding that was called off and had already purchased my dress, I wouldn't expect it. And I certainly wouldn't be angry about being out the money. things happen. 

    japrincess24
  • ShellD13ShellD13 Can't get there from here member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I was engaged once before about 18 years ago, we called off the wedding about 5 months before.  My bridal salon may have made an exception for us because with another sister who was planning to get married 1 month after our date my family had spent a good sum of money there already.  So while I had paid the deposit on all 4 of my BM's dresses the salon never asked us to pay the balance of the cost.
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  • ShellD13 said:
    I was engaged once before about 18 years ago, we called off the wedding about 5 months before.  My bridal salon may have made an exception for us because with another sister who was planning to get married 1 month after our date my family had spent a good sum of money there already.  So while I had paid the deposit on all 4 of my BM's dresses the salon never asked us to pay the balance of the cost.
    Well that's what a deposit is :P If you never received the dresses, you wouldn't be liable for anything but the deposit.
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited May 2014
    Absolutely, they should be refunded for the dresses. No question. However, if I'm close enough to someone to be in their wedding, then my first concern is probably not going to be the money for the dress, it's going to be about my friend. 

    Unless maybe my friend has done something heinous and completely unforgiveable and it was costing us our friendship. Then I very well might make a stink about it. But maybe not. Depends.
  • tigersgirlgvtigersgirlgv member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    I want to see your Belle bridesmaid dress. :( Dream cameras, where are you? It's 2014 for god's sake.
    Here's a link. The color is canary. :)

    Editted because I am that person that always forgets to attach documents to e-mails and links in posts...
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I think that yes, if any engagement is cancelled the couple should reimburse the wedding party for their attire and travel cancellation costs, like the non-refundable portions of airline tickets.
  • PLEASE tell me the GMs are dressed as candlesticks :)
    CLoGreenEyesPellegcmwrigleyvilleperdonami
  • I would say yes. I was engaged once before and the wedding ended 5 months prior. Luckily, I knew the owner of the shop we got the dresses through (was actually a mom of one of my bm's) and she gave me back all the money my bm's paid (including deposits) except for my ex's troll of a sister that apparently was a heinous bitch to my friend's mom. I didn't bother to fight for that one.

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  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I was supposed to be in two weddings that were cancelled.  I was the flower girl in the first.  My mom had bought the dress at a children's store and it was not specifically a flower girl dress so I wore it to a couple of birthday parties. I was a bridesmaid in the second.  The dresses were being custom made. The last time I saw it was at a fitting.  I have no idea whatever happened to it, but I didn't spend a penny on it so it doesn't really matter.  


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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I was in a wedding that was cancelled, and the bride refunded our money.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • If I was the bride I would offer reimburse the BMs and any GMs that were my friends or family. If I was a BM I would not accept the offer as I would be more concerned about my friend and her shattered world than a dress :(

    In your dream scenario I would be hella mad and wear my Belle dress regardless of the new theme, but I'm a real badass in my dreams ;-P

    Yep, totally this. And now I really want a Belle dress!

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  • cmclaire said:



    If I was the bride I would offer reimburse the BMs and any GMs that were my friends or family. If I was a BM I would not accept the offer as I would be more concerned about my friend and her shattered world than a dress :(

    In your dream scenario I would be hella mad and wear my Belle dress regardless of the new theme, but I'm a real badass in my dreams ;-P




    Yep, totally this. And now I really want a Belle dress!

    My favorite is Elsa's snow queen dress from Frozen.
    image
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2014
    cmclaire said:
    If I was the bride I would offer reimburse the BMs and any GMs that were my friends or family. If I was a BM I would not accept the offer as I would be more concerned about my friend and her shattered world than a dress :(

    In your dream scenario I would be hella mad and wear my Belle dress regardless of the new theme, but I'm a real badass in my dreams ;-P

    Yep, totally this. And now I really want a Belle dress!
    imagesexy Belle or
    imagegawdy Belle??? :-p
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    SarahRN87 said:
    PLEASE tell me the GMs are dressed as candlesticks :)
    Grandfather clocks.
    kitty8403
  • kitty8403kitty8403 member
    1000 Comments 250 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited May 2014
    :-)
    I put the deposit down on the BM dresses so they could all be ordered at once without any budget hassles. If something happened between now and when they come in, the only person who will be out any money for BM attire is me.
  • @photokitty I want gaudy belle!
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I was BM in a wedding about 6 years ago that got cancelled 2 weeks before the wedding date. So, it was close enough that BM dress was in my possession and already altered.  It was a simple long black satin, strapless, A-line gown. We knew bride wouldn't be able to repay anyone for dresses and she was going through enough hardship that nobody would have asked her to.  But, she said that she will likely use the same dresses in the future whenever she does get married, so we could still use them then and the money wouldn't be wasted.  So, I've had that dress sitting in the back of my closet for 6 years, never worn. 

    Now jump ahead 6 years and she's getting married this summer. And... she chose a different BM dress.  It's still long black satin, but now it has illusion halter instead of strapless. Very similar to previous dress, but just different enough. Luckily on this one I just need to have it hemmed, so alterations are cheaper.  Most of her BM's are same, but not all, and they don't make the exact dress style anymore (photo below is similar though), so I kind of understand.  If it were me, I would just do non-matching, long black satin gowns, but she really wants everyone to match. I am now getting the old one shortened to mid-calf and plan to wear for formal night on an upcoming cruise, so I'll get to wear it at least once. 

    But, if wedding gets cancelled, if you can afford to pay wedding party back for any expenses, it would definitely be a good thing to do.  But, depending on circumstances, your best friends/family may be somewhat understanding if that isn't an option.

     imageimage

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  • ladyamanuetladyamanuet member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited May 2014
    I guess for me it depends.  Like one PP said, if the bride did something heinous and that is why the wedding was cancelled, I might be asking her for my money back. But if her heart just got stomped on by some jackass, I'm probably just going to try and sell it online or something.

    Now, I was asked not to be in a wedding once after I had already put a $60 deposit on a dress. Another BM didn't like me so the bride kicked me out. So, the bride kicked me out because one of her other friends was an asshole and NEVER offered to refund the deposit I put on the dress.  As you can imagine, I did not attend her wedding and we are no longer friends.

    That is obviously a different situation than a canceled wedding, but I bring it up because there are definitely situations in which I think the bride is responsible for reimbursing BM expenses.

    Edited to fix spelling mistake
    My reaction to most everything on the internet today:
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