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Bridesmaids Dress Costs

My bridesmaids will largely be paying for their own dresses. FI and I are contributing a set amount towards each dress also (possibly - keep reading).

I really like the idea of matching shoes, but my mom feels that if I want the girls to have matching shoes that I need to pay for them.

I can't afford to contribute to both the dress and the shoes. Do I give the girls the set amount and let them decide if they want to spend it on their dress or their shoes? Or do I just have them pay fully for the dress and then FI and I pay for the shoes? Or pay partially for the dresses and they buy the shoes?

Either way they'll be paying the same amount and getting the same amount from me and FI...it just changes what the money from FI and I goes to. I'm probably way over thinking this.

Thoughts?
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Re: Bridesmaids Dress Costs

  • In my opinion, if you're requiring all of the girls to wear the same shoes, I would pay for the shoes and have the girls pay for the dress. In my 2.5 years of working at a bridal store as a teenager, I'd say almost 95% of bridesmaids paid for their own dresses so I think bridesmaid's anticipate having to pay for their dress. However, if the dress is expensive, you may want to consider putting money towards the dress and reconsider having them wear the same shoes. 

    Also, you should consider that your bridesmaids will probably only wear their shoes during pictures and the ceremony. Usually, the shoes come off at the reception so you should decide whether it's worth the extra money to buy matching shoes. 
  • With my maid of honor (I only had one attendant so things were a little bit different for us) we split the cost 50/50.  If the dresses you are thinking of having your girls wear are long, it doesn't really matter what shoes they wear, no one is going to see them.  Im pretty sure my maid of honor changes into her chucks when we got to the reception.  I didn't care, I wanted her to be comfortable. 

    The other wedding I was in as a bridesmaid, they paid a portion of the dress cost and we all wore whatever silver shoes we wanted/had.  I would say if you are dead set on having the girls wear the same shoes, you probably need to pay for them.  And, like pp said, if the dress that is picked out is expensive, you might need to consider chipping in for that as well.  Coming up with that money as a bridesmaid can be hard especially if you add up the cost of travel, gifts, etc. Hope that helps a little.  

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  • I would agree with PP, it should be one or the other. For my wedding I let the girls pick whatever dress they wanted and I paid for half. Now it was pretty easy because 2 of the 3 of them just used a dress they already had.

    If you want them to wear the same shoes then you should pay for those.
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  • IF your heart is set on matching shoes, buy them the shoes. But I want you to think about how important it is. Do you just want a pretty picture? Because I get that, but consider your budget and if it's something that's a must.
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  • Have you already chosen the dresses?  If not maybe you could discuss with them what they think is a reasonable cost and try to keep the dress below that price.  I agree that you should purchase the shoes if you want them to wear matching ones. 
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  • I am letting my bridesmaids choose their style of dress - they are all the same color but they choose the design. I told them for shoes they can just wear black dressy sandals with them. I've been in a few weddings where we had matching shoes and they are just collecting dust in my closet. I thought it was such a waste of my money on top of paying for the dress too. I wanted my bridesmaids to pick a style of dress they liked so maybe they could wear it again and they are paying for the dress - they are all knee length dark purple and then black sandals. I figure most of them already have a pair of black dressy sandals. Nothing more to buy since they are paying for their dresses.

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