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Dedicated December 2021

Bridesmaid Dress - Is $250 too much?

Stephanie, on April 28, 2021 at 12:45 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 52
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Hi, I am having a hard time picking a dress for my bridesmaids. I feel bad asking them to spend 250 on a dress but I feel like they had enough time to save up. I've been engaged since Sept 2020, ask everyone Jan 2021 and wedding is Dec 2021. I will not have a bridal shower or bachelorette trip. I think it's the least they can do for me after all it is my wedding. Am I wrong for wanting them to spend 250 on a dress?

52 Comments

Latest activity by Hanna, on May 6, 2021 at 12:43 PM
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    And what for makeup, what for hair, any travel or night in a hotel, at any point? What for shoes or any wrap?
    It is hard to judge reasonable without the whole picture.
    Meanwhile, as dresses do not need to be ordered until July or Aug, since BM dresses come in 2 - 10 weeks after order date, Bm are wise not to buy them early so they do not change sizes , and end up paying$150-$250 more than hemming, in alterations. So, what are the totals in each area, and how far are they out in what they have?
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  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
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    I will be paying makeup for the day of the wedding for everyone, when it comes to traveling everyone is local no more than 30min drive, hair I told them they could do it themselves if they want. I am not being strict on hairstyles. The only thing I am being strict on is the dress. I found them a great deal on shoes that was less than 30 dollars. So for BM who will not be planning a bridal shower or bachelorette trip for the bride I think they have it easy and shouldn't be much spending 250 on a dress. I just don't want to sound like a bridezilla when I ask them to get the dress.

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    I think you'd need to ask your bridesmaids what they're able to afford and willing to spend. The first thing I did before I even began looking at bridesmaid dresses was ask my girls what their budget was. At the very least, you might consider purchasing their shoes since you indicated you found them $30 shoes. Generally, when a bride requests that the bridesmaids wear matching accessories such as shoes or jewelry, the bride covers those costs. I have to say that I'd be pretty upset as a bridesmaid if the bride insisted that I had to spend $250 on a specific dress without consulting me prior.

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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    You need to talk to your bridesmaids on what their budget is and find a dress that’s within their budget. They could have financial situations you don’t know about. So have private conversations with each of them and find a dress you like for them within a budget they can afford
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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    Given the other costs, $250 is a very reasonable amount. Of course, If they are doing something I loathe, planning either a surprise shower or bachelorette, and They know about $300-500 each more, someone needs to fess up before a nice surprise causes an ugly mess.
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  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
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    Hi Hanna,

    I see what you are saying, but I do think when bridesmaid accept the invitation to walk in weddings they shouldn't be expecting the bride to pay for anything for them. I have been a bridesmaid before where I paid for everything. Now I am covering for their makeup which is 100 per person. Mind you they will not be throwing me a bridal shower which in a way they should have, and I have been vocal about not wanting a bachelorette trip.

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  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
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    Thank you for the advice

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  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
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    Haha Judith I think you are right but I will be very busy in the months leading up to the wedding which is why I told them I don't have the time for bridal shower or bachelorette trip. Hint why I said 250 for a dress is not bad because if they had to plan other things for me I would try to be reasonable on what they spent.

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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    You don’t have to pay for their makeup. That’s a gift to them. You could easily tell them they can do their own make up.
    Did you tell them you wanted a bridal shower? They don’t *have* to throw you one. But I still stick by speaking with them about their individual budgets.
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  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
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    I will ask them what they feel comfortable spending, I did mention I do not want no bridal shower or bachelorette trip in order to save them money because I know the dress was going to be in that price range. This is why I am giving them the freedom to do hair on their own. The only thing I ask for is for them to have a nice dress on.

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  • S
    Expert November 2021
    Sara ·
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    Here are my thoughts:

    1. You need to know their budget before asking them to buy a specific dress

    2. You'd probably want to consult with them in general about what style(s) of dress they'd be comfortable in instead of saying "purchase this exact dress and wear it." Everyone has a different body type and things can go very wrong when everyone is forced into the exact same dress without being able to try it on beforehand

    3. If you're going to make them buy $250 dresses, at least purchase their shoes or let them wear whatever shoes they want. If the dresses are long, nobody will be able to see the shoes anyway

    For what it's worth, I think that $250 + $30 shoes + the cost of alterations is too much to ask for attire, unless they're all well off financially. Not having a shower or bachelorette isn't really relevant because those events are optional to begin with. But the point is: if everyone is fine with spending that much on their attire and everyone is ok with the dress you've selected for them, then you shouldn't have any issues. But you'd need to ask first!

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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    Oh I understand. Your reply just said they should have thrown you a bridal shower anyways. So I was confused as to if you had expressed you wanted one. You can find a lot of nice dresses for between $100-$250. Maybe they’re all fine spending $250 and then you have no issues. But you can still find nice dresses for $100 or $150.
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  • Ava
    VIP May 2022
    Ava ·
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    This is up to the bridesmaids. Have a discussion with them about what they are comfortable spending on a dress and choose one (or let them choose one) within that price range.
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  • J
    Beginner October 2021
    Jen ·
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    I don't think you're unreasonable or a bridezilla for wanting them to buy the 250 dollar dress. I would have a talk with the bridesmaids first. See what they can afford and if it is within their reach and be prepared to compromise if they can't spend that much.

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  • A
    Expert June 2021
    Allie ·
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    This is excellent, well-stated advice!!

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  • Grace
    Super February 2022
    Grace ·
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    You might want to talk to each bridesmaid individually when you ask their budget. Some may be shy or otherwise not feel comfortable speaking up in a group setting if they cannot afford it. Also, this way you can reiterate that you are not going to throw additional expenses at them like hair, makeup, parties, etc.



    Personally, I think $250 is a lot for a dress but if I was a bridesmaid I would buy it without making the expense an issue. For reference, I'm not exceptionally well off but I do have a full time job.
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  • Katherine
    Expert October 2021
    Katherine ·
    • Flag
    My bridesmaids dresses were almost just as expensive. None of them had a problem with paying it. I of course made sure ahead of time with all of them. I also made sure it was a dress they could definitely wear more then once.
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  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    Here is my take on this:

    1. $250 is significantly above average for a bridesmaid dress (average is $150), especially when there are plenty of good quality options to be had in the $80-$130 range. IMO, it's in poor taste to select an option on the upper end of the price scale when you are putting that cost on someone else.

    2. While it's nice of you to cover the makeup, you're assuming everyone would opt to have their makeup done. If you're requiring it, and they don't have a choice, then you're not really doing them a favor. Same with shoes.

    3. What kind of rubs me the wrong way here is you're basically trying to trade the $ they'd spend on a shower/bach and put it toward the dress. As a BM maybe I'd prefer to spend the money on an event, or a gift, or a girls' weekend than having the bride say well as long as you're spending the money anyway, spend it on this expensive dress. At least at a bach or shower I have fun, too.

    "I think it's the least they can do for me after all it is my wedding" this is...not a good look. I don't even know how to put it into words. Entitled, maybe?

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  • Kk
    Devoted October 2021
    Kk ·
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    All of this.


    Also, OP, if you only asked them in January, that's really not all that much time to save for a cost they may not have been expecting. $250 may not be a lot to some people, but it is to others who may be on a strict budget. Definitely talk to your girls one on one about what they can afford to spend on a dress.
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  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    This really depends on your bridesmaids. When I married my first husband I was young and all my bridesmaids were broke college students so there’s no way any of them would have been able to afford a $250 dress and I would have wound up with no bridesmaids. Even now in my thirties, you’d have to be my very best friend for me to be willing to spend $250 on a dress I might never wear again.
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