MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?



  • Paddington
    Paddington Posts: 16 Forumite
    Old_Git wrote: »
    why does the bride get to spend £1,000 on a dress and the groom gets a hired suit

    Not always!

    My dress cost £180, my groom bought 3 suits (himself and 2 ushers) for £1,000
  • moggylover
    moggylover Posts: 13,324 Forumite
    luxor4t wrote: »
    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.

    Not sure if that is a Welsh/English difference of tradition - but in England it has always been traditional for the brides family to foot the bill for the wedding including bridesmaids dresses!

    I would try to talk nicely to the bride and explain that you just cannot afford that particular dress (why are we alwys too ashamed to admit cannot afford) and see if thre is a compromise which can be reached.

    Personal feeling: if people want to waste money on big, showy weddings then they should pay for it all themselves! Whenever I see the preposterous sums wasted on these frills and fripperies days these days I find myself thinking that the 15K/20K/40K would have been much better spent on a decent deposit on a house - and that one can have just as nice a time for far less with a bit of savvy choosing!

    So far, last three really big, showy weddings I have been to the marriages only lasted 18 months to 2.5 years! Think girls especially are too keen on the pretty dress and the fuss and flummox - and not really thinking long term past that day! Not so much the "marriage£ they want, as the "big day"!

    And yes, I do know I am a cynical old bag!!!:rotfl:

    However, a couple of years ago I went to my friends "eBay wedding" which is how she termed it. Her dress and those of her 4 bridesmaids were all from eBay company in China - and were simply stunning - they cost her well less than £1,000.00. The mens suits were hired. A friend provided her pony and trap for free to get them to the Church, and her parents hired a marquee - about £1,000.00 which was a close squash in their garden - but meant that if the weather turned wet we were all under cover. Five of us undertook to cook and provide not only the buffet for the afternoon - but a midnight curry - and before we went back to the house we all went to a particularly beautiful little beach for some superb and unusual photos! The whole lot cost well under £3K for around 150 guests and it was wonderful! None of us bought gifts either - we all put cash into envelopes with the cards (and we were asked to make £25.00 our MAXIMUM gift as our presence at their wedding was what was wanted not our money (they had tried to set £10.00 - but we all argued - and some of us cheated - my family sent 4 cards - one from each of us £25.00 each from the adults and £10.00 each from the kids) cos they are the kind of people who will help anyone.

    Including a few larger money gifts from close family they ended up with £6,000.00 - which went quite a way to finishing off the renovations on the old house they bought a couple of years before and were doing up.

    Great day, a marriage made in heaven and common sense!
    "there are some persons in this World who, unable to give better proof of being wise, take a strange delight in showing what they think they have sagaciously read in mankind by uncharitable suspicions of them"
    (Herman Melville)
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    moggylover wrote: »
    However, a couple of years ago I went to my friends "eBay wedding" which is how she termed it.
    The whole lot cost well under £3K for around 150 guests and it was wonderful!
    Including a few larger money gifts from close family they ended up with £6,000.00
    That's double their investment! What a great way to make money!
  • Mrs7ones
    Mrs7ones Posts: 411 Forumite
    DH's sister gets wed next year, and we were told that we were expected to pay for DDs bridesmaid dress (plus shoes, headdress and hair do) plus suit hire for DH and DS1 and DS2..... it was expected to cost us over £500.
    when DH objected, she kicked up a stink to the point that they're not talking to each other now :o
  • Daisy_Bell
    Daisy_Bell Posts: 186 Forumite
    As far as I am aware, in England it has always been the tradition for the bride's family to foot the bill for the wedding, although times have changed, as in all too many cases, the 'Bride' has been living with the 'Groom' for years before the 'Wedding' anyway and most often these days, pay for the wedding themselves, (only right in my opinion). Our daughter was a case in point. As far as we were concerned, she was already married. We were retired by then and couldn't have afforded the expense of paying for the lot anyway, so we gave them a substantial cheque to do as they liked with. We had already forked out for our son's wedding many, many years previously, as the bride's parents were broke (or said they were). Our son's marriage ended in divorce eight years later. Our daughter and her husband paid for everything themseves, including the outfit for her Matron-Of-Honour and the hiring of the suits for the Groom and the Best Man.
    I don't consider myself to be a 'Cynical Old Bag' Moggy Lover - just a pragmatist! As you are! :D
    Incidentally, I was married to my husband in 1960 in a Registry Office with a teeny reception afterwards (paid for by my parents - I didn't have any bridesmaids). We are still married almost 50 years later - so much for lavish weddings and receptions! ;)

    "Common Sense is really not so common!"
  • IainRWB wrote: »
    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
    Hi, I don't mean to cause any offence but if you're not paying you're not really in a position to insist. I hope what you mean is you're asking your best man and ushers nicely if they would mind hiring (or buying if they prefer) your choice of kilts. I also hope you have a great wedding :beer:
    The couple in the hypothetical scenario have behaved appallingly, but the situation requires tactful handling: it's not fair on the child just to tell the bride where to shove it. The couple probably didn't mean to be so nasty and selfish: they might be just so caught up in the bustle and excitement of their wedding plans that it hasn't occurred to them this might be a problem. An offer of compromise would be appropriate.
  • I was asked to be a bridesmaid at my brothers wedding last year. I happily accepted. When it came to the bridesmaid dresses, his then fiancee (now wife) had all ready picked out our dresses saying they were only £50, but when we went for measurements, these dresses were actually £180!! Guess what, we had to pay for the dresses, I say we, 2 of us paid for our dresses, her sisters back in Spain, she paid for there dresses.

    To top it off, me and the other UK bridesmaid got lumbered with paying for the fiancees Hen Do..... a weekend in a posh Hotel in Chester...... not very cheap... but apprantly, its the done thing according to my brother.

    I think my SIL felt bad afterwards and phoned me to say how lovely the dress was (which it was) and how I could wear it again..... knowing full well that I wouldnt be wearing it ever again.. I came back with 'if you like it that much I will get it dry cleaned for you and you can have it as a wedding pressent' to which she said 'ooh no, dont do that we want money of you and OH and dont forget it has to cover the cost of your meal!'

    My flabber was gasted at this remark.

    Anyway, we're not on very good speaking terms as 'there day' turned into a finacial fortune for me.

    edit to say that it wasnt just the dress we had to pay for, it was the shoes, hair fascinator, flowers etc etc
    I also remember the words of my friends, but I would rather have enemies than friends like you :p

    :p would like to make it known that ZubeZubes avvy is a DHN, she's not dancing :o
  • :eek: It must have been so embarrassing for your brother, her acting like such a cow.
  • nope, he agreed with everything she said. Like I said, we're not on the best of speaking terms at the moment:rolleyes:
    I also remember the words of my friends, but I would rather have enemies than friends like you :p

    :p would like to make it known that ZubeZubes avvy is a DHN, she's not dancing :o
  • :eek: :eek:I'd be tempted to turn up with my own food in a lunch box and eat that instead, and if anybody queried it tell them what SIL had said!
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