MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should you foot the bridesmaid bill?



  • smiles80
    smiles80 Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I believe that in other countries - I think America - it is tradition for the bridesmaid to buy their own dresses. As I am getting married myself I have been trawling all things wedding related and this seems to be something that keeps coming up. Very different to the UK. I have paid for the dresses for my bridesmaids and have pretty much let them choose colour and style but within my constraints. I can't afford the shoes, hair and make up but have said they can go with whatever they want - if they are paying they can choose. As my partner and I are footing the bill for the wedding (not our parents) we can't afford to pay for hair and shoes etc and I resent anyone saying that is 'tight'.
  • 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.

    There is no way it is traditional for the bridesmaids to pay for their dresses! I have been a bridesmaid once, and a bride twice :wink: and on each occasion as a bride I footed the bill for the dresses. When I was a bridesmaid (29 years ago), my dress was paid for.

    As I see it, why should anyone have to foot the bill for the happy couples requests (apart from parents to a point). Maybe they should live within their means!
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  • rosietech
    rosietech Posts: 7 Forumite
    hi ya
    my wife and i paid for all but one of the brides maids dresses and that was because my mother insisted on a young girl being a brides maid so my mother paid for it as we was working to a strict budget of £400, the church was free as i lived in church property
    the food was free cos my aunty was the catering manager of a golf club and was given to us as a gift the car limo was bartered to £50 my dad payed for the suit hire the wedding dress was £250 in a sale and then there was a tenner for the soloist and the organist played for free cos he didnt want to miss it and the three bridesmaid dresses in laura ashley were £80 a piece so we went over a little.
    i dont understand why people spend so much when they can get the guests to pay for it for them as gifts
  • marco1com
    marco1com Posts: 18 Forumite
    I've heard of the bridesmaid paying, only once, and that was my wife when she was bridesmaid to her sister. My wife paid a lot of money for her dress, shoes and bag and I can't even sell them on ebay, now I believe it's their wedding so make sure they've got enough money to cover all costs or rearrange to another time when they can afford to pay.:think:
  • cl_appleton
    cl_appleton Posts: 12 Forumite
    No, the bride should foot the cost of having bridesmaids dresses no matter how inexpensive or overpriced they may be! Hair and makeup are negotiable, but I think a bride should pay for those too. American brides tend to do things differently, with bridesmaids being responsible for the bridal shower and dresses, makeup, shoes etc. Hopefully that tradition won't catch on over here; it's just not cricket!
  • Dekazer
    Dekazer Posts: 452 Forumite
    I've been a bridesmaid several times (but never the bride ;) ), both as a child and as an adult, and have never been asked to pay for anything integral to the role.

    I regularly fork out for expensive hen events (rarely just a night these days!), travel to weddings, accommodation, gifts, even my own drinks at the reception (a sore point :mad: ) but would draw the line at paying for something someone else has decided or insisted upon.

    As a matter of etiquette, I would suggest that anything the bride chooses to be uniform or 'compulsory', such as dresses, shoes, flowers etc, should be paid for by the bride (or the couple, or their families) - NOT by the bridesmaids or their parents. Anything optional (eg if the bridesmaids are allowed to choose and create their own hairstyles) should be funded by the bridesmaids.

    I suppose there might be a grey area where parents of small girls have begged the bride to let them be a bridesmaid. If I only wanted 2 adult friends, but suddenly everyone with a small daughter wanted in on the act, I might suggest they help with costs. Not really my style though ;)
  • This happened to my best friend who was forced to pay over £150 for her bridesmaid dress, shoes and then her hair on the day. My husband was best man at his best friend's wedding and had to fork out over £200 for the hire of a Saville Row suit. We were flabbergasted as we had just moved house and had a baby on the way so were really skint.

    Incidentally, we did not charge our bridesmaids, ushers or our best men for their suits at our own wedding.

    I don't care what the tradition is (though I am sure that it is the bride who pays). It's plain bloody rude!
  • marvic_2
    marvic_2 Posts: 9 Forumite
    No, if they want to show off then they should pay for it.
  • Shytalker
    Shytalker Posts: 32 Forumite
    The bride's family ought to toffee up for it. They made the request - they should pay.
  • sluggy1967
    sluggy1967 Posts: 190 Forumite
    r!!!004 wrote: »
    I was best man at my friend's wedding recently and assumed he was paying for the suit. A week before the wedding he asked me for £120 to cover it. I was really quite shocked, and am paying it but am not happy. I wouldn't dream of having my friend's out of pocket on my wedding day. It's my day, I pay for it.

    Same sort of thing happened to my husband - his mate expected him to pay for a hideous looking waistcoat (on the basis of the fact that my husband could keep it afterwards, yeah great - to wear to what? a clown's convention?) my husband had just had to pack in work due to ill-health & we thought we were going to lose the roof above our heads, so asking for £160 was unacceptable. My husband was too proud to tell his "mate" but I wasn't! I shamed him into paying for it himself!
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