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MandyMost said:In the US, it's expected that the bride will get the budgets for the bridesmaids before shopping, and it's also expected that the bride will at least pretend to get input into the dress from the bridesmaids. I've never had a bride say "this is the dress you need to buy". Once I got "this is the designer and color, and you can pick any of these 10 styles. The dress costs $125, but let me know if you have any concerns with the price". And once all the bridesmaids went shopping with the bride, and even though every single one of us hated the dress, it's the one she picked, and somehow she rationalized it (It was a strapless satin dress in a burnt orange color with a train. Yes, a train on a bridesmaid's dress).
I'm sure your friends have great experience in shopping online, and many online shops sell good stuff. But just double check the site before you purchase. I think as grown ups, we have the ability to tell fake websites and genuine ones.
My caterer said she'll offer me good wine at a budget price if I want, and if I want to return it, she can surely help me with the unopened ones. But her offer is 100$ more than I buy it myself based on calculation, but I have to return those by myself. Considering the troubles I'll go through, I think I'll stick with my caterer.