Wedding Party

Bridesmaids spending

Hi everyone, I have been extensively searching for bridesmaids dresses. I finally found one I really really like today at the shop where I ordered my dress from. I asked the girls about their budgets ahead of time and they all said $200 or under was fine. The dress I found today will come to $192 with tax (alterations NOT included). I'm feeling really guilty about the price tag. I was really hoping to find a dress for $100-$120. This just isn't possible, the only place I can find such a dress is at David's Bridal. There is a dress I like "enough" at Davids so I am wondering if I should just get the David's dress instead? (that dress is $120). All of my bridesmaids are spread out so the only girl that has tried any dresses on is my MOH. She says she is fine with the more expensive dress and technically it is still within budget its just at the high end.

Also, the bridal shop is telling me I need to order the dresses by 1/15 in orer for them to come in on time and give me extra time to ship the dresses to the out of state girls and give them time for alterations. My wedding is 8/4/12. Does this timeline seem correct? I felt like they were rushing me or pressuring me at the bridal shop.

My other thought was- what if I pay a little of each girls dress? I have 5 girls in the wedding but I could pay $42 of each girls dress so they are only paying $150. I wouldn't tell them I am doing this I will just pay it and tell the bridal shop my intentions. My MOH thinks I am being ridiculous because when people sign on to be in a wedding they know it will be expensive but I am feeling very guilty. Thoughts?
BabyFruit Ticker

Re: Bridesmaids spending

  • Yes, I think the bridal shop is pressuring you.

    I think if you can afford to pay for part of your girls' dresses, then I'd offer it to them.  Don't try to do underhandedly, just put it out there.  Your other choice would be offer to pay for alterations. 

    The dress is technically under their budgets, but I do understand why you are concerned.  That's very sweet of you :-)
  • Ideas in no particular order:

    E-mail everyone a picture of both dresses, without noting the price. If they like the more expensive dress much better, too, that might firm up your decision.

    Yeah, you don't need to order bridesmaids' dresses 7 months in advance. More like 3 or 4, so forget about that.

    So you were going to place all the orders and pay, and have your bridesmaids reimburse you? Usually, each bridesmaid places her order and pays herself. This makes it harder to pay part without your bridesmaids knowing.

    Is it a style likely to need alterations? I'd feel the same way in your situation. Whenever I budget anything, I'm secretly really hoping it'll be 25% less. But, they're grown-ups. They told you their budget. It's in that. You're OK to order the more expensive dress.

    Have you checked department store websites? What is your color? What's the style like? Mom and I found a dress for $80 at Macy's that we should just get for my bridesmaids, but she's still hoping we'll find something for $50. I'm flexible on the color, though, and I only have 2 bridesmaids, and they're common sizes (no maternity or plus size considerations), so the department store thing is easy for us.
  • If you can afford the extra, I think you should.  Alterations will probably cost at least $50, so by bringing the price of the dress down to $150, you'll be making it possible for everyone to stay in their $200.  Your MOH may be financially comfortable enough to afford the fact that the dress went a little over budget (once you factor in alterations) but what about everyone else? 
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  • Bridal shops are notorious for applying pressure to buy early, for commissions, but the details depend on the designer.

    If you have the spare budget, it's a lovely gesture to chip in for the dresses.  Just don't make it their gift.  Anything they have to wear at the wedding is not a gift for being in the wedding.

    I would highly recommend having your other girls try on dresses, though.  Even if they can't come with you, they can go to their local bridal shops, and send pictures of the styles that flatter, so you know what you're looking for.  Unless the whole party is the same size and shape as your MOH, the odds are against you here.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would ask each woman if the $200 budget was including alterations or not.  A simple "hey, I just wanted to double check the dress budget of $200.  Were you including alterations in that or not."  If anyone was including alterations in the $200 then go with the less expensive dress.  Otherwise don't feel bad at all about the other one.
  • My wedding is 8/3/12 and I haven't even started looking for dresses with my girls yet, and like you, they are spread out. You have plenty of time, so don't let the bridal salon pressure you. When I ordered my wedding dress, I was told "3-4 months"... I had it in 3 weeks.

    The other thing you could do is give each of the girls a color, fabric, length, and designer/store and have them pick out their own dress that they are comfortable in.

    Another thing: TBH, a lot of BM dresses don't neeeeed to be altered, though it is nice. If it fits their body types, perhaps alterations won't be necessary?
  • Thanks everybody! So nice to hear that the bridal shop was pressuring me and I don't have to order right NOW. 

    I think I may end up going with the cheaper dress anyway. Ahhhh this is so tough and idk why.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • mandydc0509mandydc0509 member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="">Re: Bridesmaids spending</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thanks everybody! So nice to hear that the bridal shop was pressuring me and I don't have to order right NOW.  I think I may end up going with the cheaper dress anyway. <strong>Ahhhh this is so tough and idk why.</strong>
    Posted by Ballet513[/QUOTE]

    I think selecting BM dresses was one of the things I spent the most time on. I finally realized the reason I was having so much trouble with it is because I felt uncomfortable telling grown women how to dress. Once I figured that out, I picked out a group of dresses that I was ok with and told my BP to take it from there to find what they liked the most/looked best on them, and that I was fine if ppl chose different styles.  They ended up picking two different styles.

    So my suggestion, as a pp suggested, is to show them what you narrowed it down to and let them pick. In regard to your question about paying part of the cost, I'm doing the same. You may want to discuss that with them to see what would be the easiest way to handle that, but I'm sure they would appreciate the help.

    My shop tried to pressure me into ordering quickly too. I ended up placing the order for my dresses already but I did it because half of my bridal party and I are public accountants heading into busy season with long hours. It was better to get this out of the way so that we don't have to worry about it.
  • If you want to avoid the alterations costs, go with the David's Bridal.  I have had different brands of BM dresses before.  The David's fit me perfect without any alterations needed.  My friend also in that wedding needed very minimal alterations.  Their sizes seem to be more standard, like what you would find when purchasing jeans or shirts, etc.

    I'm not sure what brand you were looking at that was more expensive, but my BMs are wearing Eden Maids dresses and they were reasonably priced.  Also, if you purchase your BM dresses from the shop that you bought your dress, they should give you an additional price off each dress.  Or try to purchase them during a trunk show.  I waited for a trunk show at the Macy's Bridal Salon for my wedding dress and BM dress and we all got 15% off each dress.  Depending on the salon, the whole store will be discounted, not just the brand having the trunk show. 
  • Don't make your friends stretch to the limit of their budgets. And don't ask them about it either - it's just going to come off as a bit of a guilt trip if you go BACK to them with the question about whether or not $200 includes alterations. They want to support you and be generous and they're going to feel cheap answering honestly. So don't put them in this awkward position. If there's a dress you really want them to wear and it's going to put them over the initially stipulated budget, you should pay the extra. They'll apprecaite it and you'll feel better about yourself.
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