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Bridesmaid with not a lot of money

Hello there,

I'm getting married next august and I was wondering if anyone can give me an advice about my bridal party. I have a friend that I have been friends with for a long time and I asked her already to be one of bridesmaids. When I told her she had to pay for her entire ensemble, hair and make up she was a little hesitant to be part of the bridal party. At first she was happy but when she heard she had to basically pay her way her tone just completely changed. I know she has never really had a steady job and she does not make a lot of money. I understand this but I was a little disappointed that she would even think twice about not being in my bridal party because I know I wouldn't. I don't want to have to beg her to be in it and I did tell her that it would mean a lot to me if she was in it. I was thinking of offering to pay for her shoes but I am really tight with my budget. So far she is the only one who has not agreed on paying her way so I feel kinda stuck. I don't want to disinvite her but the last time I spoke to her I left it up to her if she wants to be in it or not. I don't want her to feel forced but it makes sense to me that I would choose her to be a bridesmaid. Advice?  

Re: Bridesmaid with not a lot of money

  • In Response to Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE]Hello there, I'm getting married next august and I was wondering if anyone can give me an advice about my bridal party. I have a friend that I have been friends with for a long time and I asked her already to be one of bridesmaids. When I told her she had to pay for her entire ensemble, hair and make up she was a little hesitant to be part of the bridal party. At first she was happy but when she heard she had to basically pay her way her tone just completely changed. I know she has never really had a steady job and she does not make a lot of money. I understand this but I was a little disappointed that she would even think twice about not being in my bridal party because I know I wouldn't. I don't want to have to beg her to be in it and I did tell her that it would mean a lot to me if she was in it. I was thinking of offering to pay for her shoes but I am really tight with my budget. So far she is the only one who has not agreed on paying her way so I feel kinda stuck. I don't want to disinvite her but the last time I spoke to her I left it up to her if she wants to be in it or not. I don't want her to feel forced but it makes sense to me that I would choose her to be a bridesmaid. Advice?  
    Posted by CaylaSummer[/QUOTE]

    Did you ask your bridesmaids their budgets before pricing anything out? You should do that before you look at dresses. If the lowest bridesmaid budget is $150.00, you find a dress that is less than that or offer to pay the difference.

    If you are requiring a certain pair of shoes, and your bridesmaids to get their hair/makeup professionally done, YOU pay for it. Not them. Otherwise, just tell them what color shoes to get and let them handle their own hair and makeup. The only thing they have to pay for is the dress if you are requiring everything else.

    Brides who demand their bridesmaids get hair/makeup/nails/shoes, must pay for all of them. If that's not in your budget, you need to rethink your requirements. It may be that she can get a nice cheap pair of black shoes, she could probably do her own hair (lots of girls on here will tell you that they've done their own hair or had bridesmaids do their own and looked great), and I'm pretty sure she could probably manage her makeup.

    Requiring your bridesmaids to be matchy matchy usually tells people your more concerned about them being props, than being comfortable at your wedding.
    image
  • I agree. I am paying for my girls to get hair /nails/makeup because I want to do something nice for them not because I feel they cant do thier hair  themselves. I think you really need to look at it as you want them to do you the honor of being in the party. If you make it expensive and someone can't be in it that you really want involved  and you cant believe would have to think about it then you need to think about how to make everyones budget work not just yours. And remember while yes you only wear your dress once like she will yours is something that can be passed down to any children you have. Most bridemaids dresses sit in the closet for the rest of your life.
    60 Invitedimage Attendingimage Declinedimage Not Repliedimage RSVP Date September 15, 2011 image
  • It is your responsibility as the bride to make sure that you work within your BMs' budgets.  That means asking everybody up front and individually what they can afford to spend.  You could also go the route of giving everybody a color and letting them choose their own dress, so that they can decide how much to spend, and possibly get something cheap from a consignment store, etc.  As for the hair and makeup, tell her that she can choose to do her own.  If you're requiring her to have it done professionally, then you must pay for it.
    Married 10/2/10
  • TO QUOTEQUEEN: ok I need help with this site. A) how do you send a private message and B) how did you put the invite thing on the bottom.  
    60 Invitedimage Attendingimage Declinedimage Not Repliedimage RSVP Date September 15, 2011 image
  • Ditto everyone above.  The dress is the only thing you can specify.  Other than that, you are entitled to pick a color for shoes, but they get to pick the shoe, unless you're paying for it. As for hair, makeup, and nails, well, if you're requiring them to get those done professionally then YOU have to pay for it.

    I didn't require anything except to buy the dress and to get a gold sandal, especially because two of my four girls didn't have full time jobs last year.  Guess what?  ON THEIR OWN, all four girls decided to get their hair and nails done professionally.  And for the three girls who did their own makeup?  They looked beautiful.  

    Calm down.  And I bet that if (but hopefully, WHEN) you tell your girls that either a) you're paying for the additional expenses) or that b) you were wrong to tell them they HAD to get these things done, and that you're sorry, you're going to have some very grateful girls who will probably go and do these things ANYWAY because they WANT to, not because they are being FORCED to.
    image Anniversary

    RIP Dr. Irving Fishman - 10/1/19-7/25/10 - thank you for holding on for me.
    You made my wedding day complete.
  • Once again ditto to the other ladies. You made some mistakes.

    First, if you are requiring to get their hair, nails, makeup done professionally then you pay for it.

    If you are requiring a certain shoe then you pay for it. 

    You need to ask each BM individually their budget for the BM dress and find a dress in that range. 

    Being a bridesmaid does cost extra than a regular guest but it does not have to be outrageous. You need to respect your friend's financial situation and accommodate to her when it comes to BM expenses. Friendships can sometimes be tested when it comes to weddings, many Brides out there get the "wedding crazies" and trample their friends for their wedding vision. Do not let that happen to you, be respectful and accommodating to your friends and things will work out great. 
  • Hello there,

    No I did not say to my BMs that they must get their hair and make up done. I did ask for their budget and it is a mix of everything. One doesn't care how much it cost and wants to go all out, one would like to do the same and the other is more on a cheaper side and she even wants to lose weight before we try on dresses which of course i did not ask her to do. A couple of the girls are not into hair and make up in general, I would love to do it for them but obviously I do not want to be doing that for my wedding day. I was just thinking the BM that I had mentioned, I would offer to pay for her shoes and not even expect to get me a gift. I have never seen her wear makeup before and do her hair so I was thinking to lend her my make up (of course it would be sanitized) and I have some hair stuff (hairspray etc.) that I can lend if she does not have these things. I don't know maybe the hair thing and make up is her issue. 
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Cayla, your update and your original post do not jive.  Originally you said "When I told her she had to pay for her entire ensemble, hair and make up she was a little hesitant to be part of the bridal party."  Now you're saying that you're not requiring professional hair and make up.  So which is it?

    You should not have asked her to be a bridesmaid and immediately told her it was going to be a financial burden for her.  It should not be a financial burden for any of your bridesmaids.  What you should have done is asked her about her budget, privately and without judgment, and then done the same with your other bridesmaids.  The cost of the dress should have accomodated the lowest budget.  As for shoes, it's another 'you require it, you pay for it' situation.  Instead of buying her shoes, just let your girls wear a neutral color that goes with the dress.  Chances are she either already has a pair in that color or she can pick up some for cheap. 



  • One of my bridesmaids didn't spend a penny extra to be in my wedding, other than the travel and accommodation costs she would have incurred as a guest.  She already owned a suitable dress, shoes, and jewelry, I paid for her hair, and she did her own makeup.  I have no idea what she did about her nails, I didn't remotely care.

    I would think that having your closest friends up there with you would be more important than requiring them to spend a certain amount of money or look a very specific way.  I knew that none of my girls had a ton of money to spare, so I went out of my way to be accommodating and ensure that my wedding wasn't a burden.  It wasn't really that difficult, honestly, and saved me a TON of drama.
    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
  • quotequeenquotequeen member
    2500 Comments
    edited August 2010
    In Response to Re: Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE]TO QUOTEQUEEN: ok I need help with this site. A) how do you send a private message and B) how did you put the invite thing on the bottom.  
    Posted by cmmosley81[/QUOTE]

    To send a private message, click "private message" below the person's post.  There is also a link for private messages on the lefthand side under "community links."

    For the RSVP ticker:
    Copy and Paste this into your sig, and change the numbers accordingly:  5
    5
    55http://tinyurl.com/3capks">
    Married 10/2/10
  • In Response to Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE] When I told her she had to pay for her entire ensemble, hair and make up she was a little hesitant to be part of the bridal party. 
     
    Posted by CaylaSummer[/QUOTE]

    How on earth does this equate to "I am not requiring professional hair and makeup"?

    Anyway, here's what you do:

    "Friend, I really would love it if you'd be one of my bridesmaids. Let me know what you can afford for a dress and I'll work with your budget."

    The dress is her only financial obligation. If she decides to get her hair and makeup done, pitch in for a bridal shower, get a hotel room for your wedding night, that is HER choice.

    There is no reason why someone should have to decline being in your bridal party over finances, if you have asked for her dress budget in advance and required nothing more from her. If you truly want her standing next to you as a bridesmaid, then you should do everything in your power to make it easy on her, even if it comes down to letting her wear any ol' dress in her closet if necessary. Otherwise, if you tell her that it's O.K. to drop out if she can't afford to contribute a lot of money to being in your wedding, then you're basically telling her that your friendship comes at a price.
    image
  • I'm betting your BM's change in tone had something to do with how you brought up the money issue.  I'd start over, with "I'd love for you to be in the wedding party".  Ask her her budget (privately) and then respect that amount.  As pp's have said, shoes, hair and makeup need to be paid for by the bride if there is a specific look required.  Instead of making your wedding sound like a financial demand, try looking at it that all of your nearest and dearest are around you that day.

    Also, there are lots of BM dresses available on ebay for much reduced prices.  People really only do wear them once in most cases, so there are a lot of pre-owned ones available.
  • Ask her what her budget is and then stick with it. If the dress is more you'll need to help her pay for it. I know she doesn't typically wear makeup but my guess is that she'll put some on the day of your wedding.

    Also, don't feel disappointed that she has to consider whether or not to be in your wedding. I'm the wife of a med student and I will seriously have to consider whether or not I can be in some of my friend's weddings if they choose to get married in the next year or two. It's better if she lets you know up front that she may have trouble paying to be in your wedding than if she waits until a month before your wedding and still hasn't paid for or picked up the dress she ordered leaving you to wonder whether or not she'll show up on your wedding day.

  • In Response to Re: Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE] I did ask for their budget and it is a mix of everything. One doesn't care how much it cost and wants to go all out, one would like to do the same and the other is more on a cheaper side and she even wants to lose weight before we try on dresses which of course i did not ask her to do.
    Posted by CaylaSummer[/QUOTE]

    The hair/makeup/shoes part in your reply is completely contrary to your OP. Here's what you do:
    -ask each of the girls privately or their dress budget
    -take the lowest number and that's your BM dress budget

    OR tell them to all pick out a certain kind of dress (such as black, knee length) and let them each pick out their own dress that fits their own individual budgets. Then let them choose whether to get their hair and makeup done. Then the girls that want to go all out can go all out, and the ones that do not want to, don't have to at all.

    Problem solved.

  • It seems your friend has a certain amount of money she is willing to spend on your wedding. Seems reasonable. Since you are saying that you are trying to stick to your budget also, you can try to understand where she's coming from, right?
    For your friends that want to go all out, and get dolled up, that's fine, but this other friend of yours doesn't sound like makeup and such is her thing- isn't that okay? I'm sure if she brushes her hair that day it should be just fine. Let your friends be who they are on the big day. That's why they are your friends.
    If a little makeup is something you'd like, purchase some for her, have some in the room for you all to touch up with or apply. Chances are if your friend can't do her makeup, one of your other BM's can help her out.
    As far as the dresses go, do try to work with everyone. PP's suggested consignment stores or the internet. There's a lot of used dress sights, and something like that would save. Your guests won't know or care if it's the spring 2008 line.
    Be reasonable about the attire, and any extra goodies you want for them are going to have to come out of your pocket. I'm sure they will all look just fine.
    Night swimming in the ocean= pretty sweet reception!
  • Hello,

    I think this is what is happening. I am getting different messages everywhere since I announced that I am engaged everyone is telling me different things. It appears that the consensus here is to just have her pay only for her dress. My sister in law told me that when you ask someone to be a bridesmaid, part of that is that they are agreeing to spend money for the entire ensemble, hair and make up. I also have others who have told me the same thing. So I am not sure what to actually follow. I do not want to pick and choose who pays for what because that would be unfair to others that are paying for their shoes, hair and make up. I suppose I can keep it quite that I paid for certain things while others paid for their own way.  
    My future sister in law offered to do my friend's make up for free which is nice so problem solved. Anyway I will talk to her again and figure something out and see what I can help her with. If she would prefer to have her own shoes then that's fine. A good blow dry makes a big difference. She is pretty the way she is so it not necessarily a problem. I don't want to be a bridezilla so I'm sure we can come up with some kind of an arrangement. 
  • In Response to Re: Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE]Hello, I think this is what is happening. I am getting different messages everywhere since I announced that I am engaged everyone is telling me different things. It appears that the consensus here is to just have her pay only for her dress. My sister in law told me that when you ask someone to be a bridesmaid, part of that is that they are agreeing to spend money for the entire ensemble, hair and make up. I also have others who have told me the same thing. So I am not sure what to actually follow. I do not want to pick and choose who pays for what because that would be unfair to others that are paying for their shoes, hair and make up. I suppose I can keep it quite that I paid for certain things while others paid for their own way.   My future sister in law offered to do my friend's make up for free which is nice so problem solved. Anyway I will talk to her again and figure something out and see what I can help her with. If she would prefer to have her own shoes then that's fine. A good blow dry makes a big difference. She is pretty the way she is so it not necessarily a problem. I don't want to be a bridezilla so I'm sure we can come up with some kind of an arrangement. 
    Posted by CaylaSummer[/QUOTE]

    This is proper etiquette:
    BMs only have to pay or the dress (within reason) and show up the day of. That is it, etiquette-wise. Anything else is bonus.

    If you require your BMs to have hair and makeup professionally done, the etiquette to do this is for you to pay for it.

    Here's the easiet way to do it:
    leave the options open to your BMs and let them choose. If you let the girls choose to get their hair done, it becomes their responsibility to pay, not yours. Same with makeup.
    Your SIL is wrong, others who told you that BMs pay for everything are wrong. Even if they did it, it is wrong according to etiquette.

  • Okay thanks so much for clearing this up
  • I think it has a lot to do w/ where you are from too.  I never asked budgets, never heard of it but it does make sense.  The dresses were only $110 though which is super cheap.
    Shoes- everyone asked if i was having them get matching shoes, i said i dont know i didnt want to make them but they all said i should have them getting matching shoes since dresses were short, so i did
    Nails- I said i'm getting nails done here, if anyone wants to come for fun or to get nails done let me know, half of them did
    Hair- Never has my hair been paid for or would i offer to pay for theirs.  Nobdoy where I am from never has not gotten their hair done.  It's just what is expected.
    Make-up- mary kay lady did for free for everyone

    So, while I agree with everyone else, I think it really depends on the region and town you are from. 
  • In Response to Bridesmaid with not a lot of money:
    [QUOTE]Hello there, I'm getting married next august and I was wondering if anyone can give me an advice about my bridal party. I have a friend that I have been friends with for a long time and I asked her already to be one of bridesmaids. When I told her she had to pay for her entire ensemble, hair and make up she was a little hesitant to be part of the bridal party. At first she was happy but when she heard she had to basically pay her way her tone just completely changed. I know she has never really had a steady job and she does not make a lot of money. I understand this but I was a little disappointed that she would even think twice about not being in my bridal party because I know I wouldn't. I don't want to have to beg her to be in it and I did tell her that it would mean a lot to me if she was in it. I was thinking of offering to pay for her shoes but I am really tight with my budget. So far she is the only one who has not agreed on paying her way so I feel kinda stuck. I don't want to disinvite her but the last time I spoke to her I left it up to her if she wants to be in it or not. I don't want her to feel forced but it makes sense to me that I would choose her to be a bridesmaid. Advice?  
    Posted by CaylaSummer[/QUOTE]

    This has probably been answered before.. but I would say let them wear their OWN shoes and pick out their OWN dress in the color of your choice of course.  And let the hair and make up be optional.  If she still can't afford a dress, maybe you can pay for her and let her wear her own shoes.  You don't need a certain specific shoe to be a bridesmaid
    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/hx7ztv.jpg[/IMG]
  • Hey there,

    So I talked to my friend and told her that the only thing I am insisting is that she pay for the dress and if she needs help paying for it then I would help her. I want my bridesmaids to have the same style of dresses and colour and that is why I'm insisting on it. I am not insisting on anything else but the dress. Anyway, she said she did not want me to help her pay for the dress. I told her that its up to her if she wants to get her hair and make up and she can pick out her own shoes. I mentioned that my future sis in law would do her make up for free and that I have stuff at home that she can use to do her hair. She said its a lot of money and she doesn't really know if she will have money coming in next year and I understand she pays for rent. I told her we will not need to get the dress until February so she has time to save. The budget right now is at $200.  I still have to talk to one more girl and see what her budget is and I can imagine it would be on a cheaper side.  So at this point I'm just going to leave it up to her. It still sounds like she does not want to pay for anything and thinking of saying no. So she never actually said yes after I had offered to her what I can help her with.
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