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The cost of the bridesmaids dresses

Hi folks!  I am having 6 bridesmaids and after looking around I'm noticing that it's going to cost them on average $150 for a bridesmaid dress.  For a couple of the girls that will be ALOT of money to invest.

My question is: How much is too much to ask your bridesmaids to invest? Is there some sort of etiquette as far was helping to pay for the dresses?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Whitney
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Re: The cost of the bridesmaids dresses

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    Your girls' budgets should determine the price of the dress, unless you plan on buying it for them. What is reasonable to one person is way over the top to another. Ask the girls individually how much they can afford and look at dresses from there. If one of them is very low and you're having trouble finding dresses that fit the criteria, consider helping her out (discreetly of course). Make sure that you don't discuss their budgets with anyone else, it's between you and her. HTH! :)
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    It's going to be different for everyone. You should ask each of your BMs individually what they can afford to spend on a dress. Don't ask them all together because they may lie to go along with the group or save face because they don't have a lot of money. Then set your budget based on the lowest amount. Like lizzie said, if 1 girl is way under everyone else, offer to help her out, if you can.
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    Ditto PP, this is not an easy "blanket" question.

    It totally depends on your ladies' financial situations. You should ask THEM how much they are willing to spend.

    I sent my ladies to a few websites where the prices were blatant and asked them to pick out a few that they liked. From that I was able to see their budgets w/out having to flat-out ask them about their financial status. Which made me more comfortable.
    Steph and Chris, 6/26/10
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    Ditto it really depends...

    By the way, they are not "investing" in the dress. They are not getting any return from it. They are "spending" on the dress. It's a subtle, but important difference.
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    The bridesmaids set the budget for the dress, period.  You can't make them spend money that they simply don't have.  If the dress you want is more than they've told you they can afford, then you pay the difference.

    FWIW, I just told my girls to pick any black dress.  That way they could shop within their own price range.  One girl actually just wore something out of her closet.

    And ditto ring pop, it's not an investment.  An investment is something that appreciates in value over time, and a dress that will be worn once is pretty much the antithesis of that.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    I didn't answer your poll because they shouldn't be "expected" to spend any certain amount. The bride should work with them to find a price point they are all comfortable with ...

    ... Meaning, you need to call each girl and say, "What can you afford to spend on a dress? Don't forget that you'll likely need alterations, and you might want new shoes or other accessories, too." Once you get a quote from each girl, then take the lowest number and that's the price point you need to stay underneath. (Or, if you feel that the lowest number is "too low," then chip in some cash yourself for each girl to bring it up to what you feel is a more reasonable amount.)

    Don't just pick an amount that you feel is reasonable. Ask THEM what is "reasonable" - "reasonable" is completely open to interpretation. You will be sorry if you pick an amount that YOU like, but then you run into a problem when it's time for them to pay their dress bills, or you run into hurt feelings if someone can't afford the dress and wants to drop out because of the price limitation that you set for her.

    I e-mailed my two bridesmaids and they each said that they would prefer to spend under $200 for their dresses. I found some nice cocktail dresses on sale at Anntaylor.com for $129 each with free shipping, and sent them the link and they O.K.'ed the dresses. They got their own alterations (I can't imagine they spent more than $40 each, it was basic hemming and taking in the waists/straps), and they each chose to buy new black shoes. They used jewelry they already had, and they both elected to have pro hair and makeup done.
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    One thing you should consider, if you have them spend a little more on a long dress, they can wear shoes of their choice, rather than having matching shoes if they wear cocktail length dresses.  ALSO, most bridal shops give you a discount on the dresses if you are ordering over a certain number of dresses or you purchased your own dress there.  Don't worry, the girls know that they are going to be spending money on their dresses, consider helping them out a little with other expenses as a gift (I paid for my girls to have their makeup professionally done).
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_attire-accessories_cost-of-bridesmaids-dresses?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:15Discussion:e6ccedc1-73b8-447a-8b83-73f8dcd88fe0Post:35d9fd99-5667-4c0d-8d54-ce4017649c40">Re: The cost of the bridesmaids dresses</a>:
    [QUOTE]One thing you should consider, if you have them spend a little more on a long dress, they can wear shoes of their choice, rather than having matching shoes if they wear cocktail length dresses.  ALSO, most bridal shops give you a discount on the dresses if you are ordering over a certain number of dresses or you purchased your own dress there.  Don't worry, the girls know that they are going to be spending money on their dresses, consider helping them out a little with other expenses as a gift (I paid for my girls to have their makeup professionally done).
    Posted by jennyg0330[/QUOTE]
    They can wear shoes of their choice anyway.  No one ever notices the bridesmaids shoes.  If the bride mandates anything other than the dress (shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup, nails), it's her responsibility to pay for it, not the bridesmaids.
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    image
    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    Thanks for all the input.  I am going to speak with each on individually and see how it goes.  Thanks for helping me with getting an idea of what is appropriate!
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    Yes, definitely call around to several bridal stores in your area. You may be shocked at the price difference (even ordering in bulk).. the range I was given differed by almost $80 p/dress.  Good luck!
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    I know you don't "mandate" the shoes, BUT, most brides do when it comes to cocktail length dresses.  Most brides want the bridesmaids to look the same, not one to show up in glitter pumps with another in flats.  Doesn't look quite right. 

    Hey, also, Anne Taylor has a bridsmaid line that is very cute, or look at dresses at regular stores, you don't have to order from a bridal shop!
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    Hey, has anyone used or known anyone who has used Ariadress.com for their bridesmaids? 
     I am considering them and want to know how easy they are to deal with since most of the dealings are all online.

    They have cute styles and all the pics look great!
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