MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?

Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:
Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?

Your daughter has been asked to be bridesmaid and is very excited about getting to look like a princess for the day. Yet, since you agreed the couple have told you they're expecting you to pay for a specific outfit which is above your budget and isn’t really something your daughter would wear again. The couple have booked a posh reception so it's not as though they're desperate to cut costs. Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?

Click reply to have your say.

Previous MMDs:
Do you ask for new shoes?
Should Heather take the money and run?

*** Get the Martin's Money Tips Free E-mail at ***


  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    It is traditional for the bride to choose, and the bridesmaids to pay for, their dresses (which is why my redheaded little sis got shoved into a bright pink frilly number by an apparently colour blind bride).
    It is rare that bridesmaid's dresses can be worn again except for another wedding, but there is a small re-sale market.
    If the bride was not prepared to accept a change then DD would have to step down from being an actual bridesmaid, and just wear an affordable bridesmaid / princess style outfit to the wedding.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • MiniG
    MiniG Posts: 3 Newbie
    We're getting married and as we're choosing what the bridesmaids have to wear we're paying for the dresses. Seems only fair.

    As an aside, if there's a specific dress, they could try looking at american websites such as TJformal (who supplied one of ours).

    My 2 pence...
  • ioh
    ioh Posts: 15 Forumite
    no way should they pay. As a bride 7 years ago, i had 2 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls, and i paid for all 4 dresses and shoes.
  • picnic
    picnic Posts: 635 Forumite
    their wedding... they pay... is similar to a question I read somewhere else... and replys came back... would the bride & groom expect their family & friends to pay for the disco, meal, reception etc....? i dont think so.

    just on a personal note.. when hubby and I got married (nearly 20yrs ago) we paid for the bridemaids & page boy outfits... ((I was a nice bride I let them choose what they wanted to wear as I wanted them to feel as happy and comfortable as I was))...

    This is just my opion... please dont shoot me for it...
    Life is like a box of chocolates........
    too much all at once and you start to feel just a little sick...._ _pale_
    SW start weight 13st 3lb
    SW currant weight 12st 8lb
    SW weight lost 0st 9lbs
  • Marisan
    Marisan Posts: 96
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    I have never known a case where the bride and groom have expected the bridesmaids to pay for their own outfits.Certainly,we paid for our bridesmaids dresses,head garlands,shoes,and hand held posies and even a small gift each of a silver crucifix.We did only have two bridesmaids though (this was some years ago) and not the retinue that some brides have.
    .Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Up to the bride and groom to pay.

    Unless it's a wedding on a shoe string in which case the bridesmaids could be expected to provide their own "pretty dress" - which they'd have to do as a guest to the wedding anyway.
    As the question states it's a posh reception you can rule out a shoe string wedding in this case so bride and groom have to pay.

    Money Saving isn't about being tight with your friends and family.
  • In all my (many) years as a bridesmaid and bride and friends and family experiences, I have never known bridesmaid having to purchase their own. Always been tradition for Bridal couple to foot the bill and unless they are meanies they usually pay for shoes and hairdresser too.
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety". - Benjamin Franklin
  • We're certainly paying for the bridesmaids' outfits for our wedding this year, even if it does stretch us to (and beyond) the limit!

    A lot tougher since my wife-to-be decided she must have four of them!

    On the other hand, we're not picking up the tab for the best man and ushers, though we are insisting they wear kilts of our choice, so everyone matches. :o
  • haziec
    haziec Posts: 379 Forumite
    ioh wrote: »
    no way should they pay. As a bride 7 years ago, i had 2 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls, and i paid for all 4 dresses and shoes.

    I agree our daughter got married last month :beer: and all three bridesmaids had their dresses, headdresses, shoes and even tights paid for by us!
  • I've been a bridesmaid twice and I have never paid for the dresses (I paid for the hairdressers and the shoes the first time though). The brides would never have expected or asked us to pay for our own outfits. If the couple want an expensive outfit then they should pay for it.
    I have to get back to work, when I stop rowing the slaveship goes round in circles.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 341.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards