MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?



  • morg_monster
    morg_monster Posts: 2,392 Forumite
    I'm having one bridesmaid which makes things much easier! No arguments about what colour/style suits etc. I'm going to pretty much let her choose her own dress, I'm not too fussed about colour or style etc. I'm feeling quite generous as I work and she is a student, so I am going to pay up to £300 for dress, shoes, accessories etc, hopefully we'll find something lovely in coast or somewhere so it won't come to that much and I can put the rest towards hair and makeup etc, but if she falls in love with something over budget she can pay the extra.

    My OH thinks since I'm not too fussed about precisely what she wears, I should ask her to foot the bill, and she can get something she'll wear again, but she's my best bud and I don't want her to have to worry about money for my wedding. But it is SO much easier with just 1 bridesmaid! If I had more ... not sure what I'd do... probably have a budget per head and ask them to pay the rest, and not pick anything hideous that they will resent having to pay for! My mate is having 6 bm's ... wonder what she is doing?!
  • sidsmum
    sidsmum Posts: 66 Forumite
    The bride chooses the style etc of frocks for herself and the bridesmaids and usually pays for them, or her family do. This is because they used to be the same style but different colours and were made together....

    There's no hard and fast rule, I think they should pay if you can't afford it.
  • benn
    benn Posts: 8 Forumite
    i'm in the same situation, friend getting married has 5 bridesmaids and 2 have offered to pay for their dresses. Myself and one of the others said right from the start we couldnt / wouldnt pay - we are expected to stay 2 nights at the hotel and pay for that so asking us to pay for dresses as well is a bit rich - not to mention there's still the gift to pay for!!
  • Dorrie
    Dorrie Posts: 66 Forumite
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    No, wouldn't pay - up to the Bride and Groom to foot the bill, not the bridesmaid. Have only been a bridesmaid once (to my sister and I got married 7 weeks later) and our parents paid. Didn't have bridesmaids myself, but if I had, I would have paid for the dresses, etc.
  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Posts: 10,314 Forumite
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    luxor4t wrote: »
    It is traditional for the bride to choose, and the bridesmaids to pay for, their dresses .

    Where is this the tradition? I have never known a bridesmaid to pay for their own dress!

    Have had a quick discussion about this among work colleagues too, we've all (as brides) paid for our bridesmaid's dresses, and for all of us who've got daughters who've been bridesmaids, the dresses have always been paid for by the brides then as well.
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  • rednca
    rednca Posts: 26 Forumite
    I think it depends on circumstances. Weddings are so expensive these days. I think that if the bride expects bridesmaids parents to pay for their own outfit there should be consultation on cost most of all. The bride to be should not expect to choose all and have others foot the bill.
    When I got married, I paid for bridesmaids dresses, shoes and headwear and I consulted with them on the dress. No redheads in pink...I tried to choose a colour which suited all of them. At the time I could afford it and was happy to pay. I didn't ask for or expect them to pay.
    My brother got married last week and my daughters were bridesmaids. Bride chose and had dresses made for them...which were absolutely gorgeous. My other sister-in-law and I bought the shoes, headwear and jewellery. We worked together. I asked my new sister-in-law if she had any preference. She gave me free rein and we all worked together.
    Weddings can cause chaos and uneccessary fallouts among families. My experience,(there is a very long story here) is that when you work together and people show consideration for each other...e.g not assuming that others have endless all works out.
    We had a fantastic day.
  • bexx25
    bexx25 Posts: 1 Newbie
    I have been a bridesmaid 3 times (and 4th time next week). I have had to pay for my dress and shoes for 2 of these times but the bride paid to have my hair and make up done. Am getting married myself next year and having the same dilemma as we have a budget to stick to.
  • Usually the bride should pay but I think there are circumstances where a contribution from the bridesmaid would be reasonable - if the bride is on a very tight budget perhaps and the bridesmaid helped to choose the dress with a view to it being worn again, then a 50-50 split would be fair.

    That isn't the case in this dilemma though, so the bride should definitely cough up
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  • NatFeerick
    NatFeerick Posts: 85 Forumite
    I think it is normal and morally right for the bride to pay as they are her attendants. In the past I've had to supply my own shoes and shawl/wrap. If money is an issue then she should allow the bridesmaids to supply their own dress (most parents will not mind buying a dress that could be worn again for a party). My mother had only one bridesmaid and she supplied her own dress. Failing that, the parent can always withdraw the bridesmaid from the bridal party and the child can go as a guest and where what she likes!
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  • secgirl
    secgirl Posts: 17 Forumite
    I paid for my bridesmaid's dress. I believe that is the tradition rather than asking her to pay for it - I have never heard anything so ridiculous.

    My bridesmaid chose her own dress (not the colour I wanted but she was the one wearing it) and kept it after, I paid for dress she paid for own shoes and having them dyed to match. Hair and makeup also her own responsibility.

    If there is a budget problem than scale down. And this bride should NEVER have asked the child to be a bridesmaid before checking with the parent - especially if she is expecting them to pay for her choice of expensive outfit!!!!
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