Who Pays?!

WifedUpMartin
WifedUpMartin Posts: 167 Member
I am newly engaged and starting to plan a wedding (holy crap I had NO idea how much work went into it). I was looking for advice on bridesmaids dresses. Who pays for them typically? Our budget is already stretched thin and one of my bridesmaids hinted that she bought the dresses for her wedding party the first time she got married. So I'm thinking she wants me to buy hers... But I was under the impression that they buy their own?

Any advice on who is supposed to pay for what?!
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Replies

  • lborsato1
    lborsato1 Posts: 1,011 Member
    Well..... My wedding was a loooonnnnggg time ago, but my bridesmaids paid for their own dresses. Typically that is how it works, unless times have changed that much....but I doubt it...
  • Sinistrous
    Sinistrous Posts: 5,589 Member
    See if you can get people to donate, that way it's win-win, and a final vote on dresses from the people that donated.
  • orangesmartie
    orangesmartie Posts: 1,916 Member
    Traditionally (in the UK) the bride pays for the bridesmaids dresses, particularly if you want them to wear a particular style/colour.

    If you don't mind what they wear, regardless of any colour scheme that you have, then you can ask them to pay - but they might not match.
  • SparkyJess3
    SparkyJess3 Posts: 625 Member
    I'm in 2 weddings coming up in February and I paid for both of my bridesmaids dresses.
  • ltlemermaid
    ltlemermaid Posts: 637 Member
    Typically if one agrees to be part of the bridal party they should know that paying for the dress is on them. I have seen instances where the bride did buy them for the girls but that is not typical in my area.
  • ilfaith
    ilfaith Posts: 16,524 Member
    I have always paid for my own bridesmaid dresses...with the exception of one very expensive Vera Wang gown that the bride's family partially subsidized. My bridesmaids all bought their own dresses...although I did help cover the cost of my maid-of-honor's dress as she was going though a rough financial period.

    With the exception of the dress I wore to my brother's wedding (my sister-in-law let us choose our own gowns as long as they were long and black) I never wore any bridesmaid dress after the wedding.
  • Myhaloslipped
    Myhaloslipped Posts: 4,317 Member
    I have been in a couple of weddings, and I paid for my own dress both times. However, the bride consulted with us first on finding reasonable dresses at reasonable prices.
  • bambi2578
    bambi2578 Posts: 155 Member
    Congrats on the engagement! I'm getting married soon, and my girls are paying for their dresses. If you agree to be a bridesmaid, you agree to all the expenses that come along with it. If you want to pay for their dress as their gift, you're more than welcome to, but that's at your discretion. Just make sure you do gift them well, since they are putting out some big bucks to be a part of your wedding.
  • eeelizabeth2012
    eeelizabeth2012 Posts: 132 Member
    My sister is getting married and we are picking our own and paying for them.
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    I am pretty sure the past and current norm is for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses. I've read enough "wedding guides" and rants from bridesmaids online (who think the chosen dresses are ugly/overpriced) to realize that ;-)

    When I was married in a traditional wedding back in 2002, though, I paid for mine. We were all in our twenties and my girlfriends didn't have a lot of income, most were students or had babies/toddlers at home and were in NO position to drop even $50-100 on a dress they would wear once, much less spend any more than that. I didn't feel right asking them to and I know they appreciated it.

    I have been in a lot of weddings as an attendant and as maid/matron of honor, and only once has the bride paid for my dress. Then again a lot of my friends had really nontraditional weddings or just asked the attendants to have a specific color of dress, which I loved and did not mind paying for it myself. In fact I preferred that because I could find the right cut/fit with no embarrassment and bargain shop for the dress.

    I realize none of this is the "norm". Just another view!
  • My bridesmaids paid for their own, and I have since paid for my own when being a bridesmaid. Thankfully I and My best friend were able to find the perfect "off the rail" dresses in Debenhams (6 years apart) so it didn't cost each girl an arma and a leg.
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    I was in my best friends wedding in May and bought my own dress. I think that its becoming the norm for the bridesmaids to buy their own.
  • Spnneil06
    Spnneil06 Posts: 18,745 Member
    The bridemaids usually pay
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,321 Member
    My wedding, my wife and I paid for both the bridesmaids and grooms attire. I don't know where the rule came from or where it's set in stone, but IMO if a couple is requesting their favorites to be in the entourage and they have selected the attire, the others shouldn't have to be obligated to pay. It's their wedding and if for some reason a bridesmaid or groom can't afford it, then they may opt out of the entourage and some feelings may get hurt.
    I feel the same about parents having to pay too. It's not their responsibility, IMO. 2 people want to get married, it's should be their debt, not anyone elses.

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  • The norm where I am from is to buy your own. I have only not had to pay for my dress once and that was one of my brother's wedding. All the other bridesmaids in the wedding had to buy their own though.
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    Now that I'm thinking about it- Can you split the cost with your bridesmaids? I saw you said your budget it pretty tight.
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 701 Member
    I have been in a couple of weddings, and I paid for my own dress both times. However, the bride consulted with us first on finding reasonable dresses at reasonable prices.

    ^ I've been in four weddings with one more coming up this spring and this has been my experience as well (in the US). In my sister's wedding, she didn't even pick dresses, we all wore a long black dress we already had. For my best friend's wedding coming up here soon, she told us a color and we pick out our own. I thought this was really cool because I was able to pick out a dress that I'll definitely be able to wear again.

    Although I have heard horror stories about brides picking out really expensive dresses and/or shoes. So be cognizant of your bridemaids' budget. No one wants to bankrupt their friends!

  • melschaben wrote: »
    I am newly engaged and starting to plan a wedding (holy crap I had NO idea how much work went into it). I was looking for advice on bridesmaids dresses. Who pays for them typically? Our budget is already stretched thin and one of my bridesmaids hinted that she bought the dresses for her wedding party the first time she got married. So I'm thinking she wants me to buy hers... But I was under the impression that they buy their own?

    Any advice on who is supposed to pay for what?!

    If you can't split the costs do you have someone who can do the alterations for cheap or free? I know alterations cost a lot, so in our family weddings my mom always did the alterations for the bridesmaids and wedding dresses for free since she used to make formal dresses when she stayed at home when we were younger. It saved tons for the brides and bridal parties.
  • Archerychickge
    Archerychickge Posts: 606 Member
    Talk to your bridesmaids. Discuss budget with them if you expect them to pay for their dresses. If you can't afford to buy their dresses for them and they can't afford to pay either, you may want to choose to include them in the ceremony in another way (like they could sing or do a reading, or help with the guest book) so they still feel included as part of the wedding but not pressured to spend a ton of money on a dress they'll never wear again.
  • WifedUpMartin
    WifedUpMartin Posts: 167 Member
    Thank you all for the responses! I think it's a great idea to split the cost. I think that would be a nice compromise. The dresses I am looking at are only about $50-$75 so that wouldn't be too much of a budget breaker. It's going to be a small wedding so I only have 2 bridesmaids.