Wedding Party

Bridesmaid budget (Maybe a dumb question)

I've talked with my bridesmaids privately to determine their budget for a dress.  One of them has a pretty low budget, which is fine- I understand not wanting to pay $100+ on a dress you'll wear once.  Is it okay, etiquette-wise for me to offer to pay the difference if I choose a dress that's above her budget?  I don't mind helping her pay since she's important to me and I want her to be a part of the wedding party.  I'm wondering if this will be considered rude if other members of the bridal party found out and were upset since they paid for the dress themselves.  I also don't want her to feel guilty, or like I'm offering some kind of charity.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: Bridesmaid budget (Maybe a dumb question)

  • I would find a dress within the lowest budget - because of the reasons you stated. The other girls finding out could cause them to be upset, and it could be seen as "charity", even though your heart is in the right place.
    You could also consider just telling them to find a dress of a specific color, and then they can all shop within their own budgets.
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    PrettyGirlLostlc07
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    It's not against etiquette to just pay for this one girl, but you're right that it can cause some sticky issues. You could always insist that she keep your contribution between the two of you, but she may still feel that her budget wasn't high enough for you.

    I would do everything possible to find a dress within her budget to avoid the issue. If you're absolutely in love with a dress that's a little out of budget, I would probably want to be fair and go ahead and contribute something to everyone's dress.
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I've talked with my bridesmaids privately to determine their budget for a dress.  One of them has a pretty low budget, which is fine- I understand not wanting to pay $100+ on a dress you'll wear once.  Is it okay, etiquette-wise for me to offer to pay the difference if I choose a dress that's above her budget?  I don't mind helping her pay since she's important to me and I want her to be a part of the wedding party.  I'm wondering if this will be considered rude if other members of the bridal party found out and were upset since they paid for the dress themselves.  I also don't want her to feel guilty, or like I'm offering some kind of charity.  Thanks in advance for your help.
    I would say that it is necessary for you to pay the difference if you pick a dress beyond her budget - if she gives you a price and you ignore it, that's on you, not on her.  If you don't say anything to your other BMs, then they have nothing to be upset about.  What you (and your one BM) do with your money is not anyone else's concern.

    That being said, I agree with @anrforanr.  If they all pick something in a specific colour, they can spend what they want.
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
    huskypuppy14
  • I did exactly what you did. I offered to buy my friends dress so she could be in my wedding. My bm heard and they were ok with it. But my friend said no because she didn't want me to go out of my way. I would just keep it the way it is. If she has $100 limit and the others have $200. Then leave it alone.

     
  • If you don't mind different styles of dresses, find a designer that has a nice variety of dresses in different prices and just tell the girls, you need to get this designer in this color. I know for many people David's Bridal is taboo, but they do offer many dresses in the same color and the can even look online for things on clearance. I would just go to the store to figure out size before ordering a dress online.

    They may even have luck then finding previously worn ones on ebay for a fraction of the retail costs. I found 3 out of the 4 dresses for my BM on e-bay and saved about $50.00 per dress. It would have been a bigger savings, but I also got each dress dry cleaned for my girls so that they would feel more comfortable wearing a previously worn dress.

    Also check out Target online, they sell BM online. They are under $100 most of them, but over $50 so they would get free shipping. And if the dress doesn't fit them, they can return it to a local Target store if there is one in the area.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • Yep, I agree that this could get tricky. And I'm another vote for letting them pick their own dress so that their budgets aren't an issue. I let my BMs pick their own dresses; I sent them paint chips from the hardware store in different shades of pink and said "pick a floor-length dress in one of these shades, any style." It worked out great and they all looked awesome. One of my BMs wore her old prom dress (it was a really amazing dress, and did not look the least bit prom-y) so hers was free; another girl found a dress on clearance for $20; another girl splurged and bought an expensive dress just cuz she felt like it, and the other two found dresses for somewhere around $50 on sale. 

    There was no stress or pressure to work within every person's budget, and there was no stress or pressure to find ONE dress that would magically look good on 5 totally different ladies. They all loved what they were wearing and all felt comfortable and looked beautiful. 

    If you don't want to go that route, then I'd say stay away from bridal boutiques and wedding-oriented designers, because those dresses tend to be way over-priced IMO. You'd have better luck finding affordable dresses at places like department stores, Target (as PP suggested), Lulu's, or even H&M and Victoria's Secret (website). Expand your shopping horizons. 

    If all else fails, if you do end up paying for part of her dress, either make sure that stays private or maybe offer to pay for part of everyone's dress.
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    What is fair is not always what is equal.

     I don't think there is any problem with paying the difference for one bridesmaid if the dress you pick is in the other bridesmaids' budgets. The other bridesmaids shouldn't find out, especially if they get their dresses on their own. (I kind of hate the let's all buy the dresses at the same time at the same store). 


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    PrettyGirlLost
  • adk19adk19
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I was once a bridesmaid where the bride changed her mind about the dress after four of the five of us agreed on one.  She decided that since she decided to go with a more expensive dress, she would pay for the 50% deposit.  We'd pay for the rest and alterations after we came to pick it up.  Pretty sure she paid the rest of the cost for her MOH because this girl is chronically poor.  I didn't have any hard feelings because MOH was my friend too, and had the bride not picked up the rest of the cost, I probably would have offered this help to my friend.
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