S
Dedicated December 2021

Bridesmaid Dress - Is $250 too much?

Stephanie, on April 28, 2021 at 12:45 AM

Posted in Etiquette and Advice 52

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...

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

  • A
    Expert June 2021
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    I think $250 is a lot of money for a dress that someone will only wear once (unless it's actually an evening gown instead of a bridesmaid dress). It was important to me to let my bridesmaids know my vision for the BM dress before actually asking them to be my bridesmaids (so they would know what they were agreeing to before answering), and I emphasized how they didn't need to let me know their answer immediately. I think that once someone accepts the role of BM, they may feel forced to act OK with the $250 dress budget. No matter what someone's financial situation may look like, my personal opinion is that $250 is just straight-up a lot of money for anyone on a bridesmaid dress (again, slightly different for a re-wearable evening gown, but still super steep). That's my personal opinion, and I applaud you for coming on here to seek out opinions!

    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Hi Katherine,

    Thank you for the advice, the dress I have in mind will for sure be something they can use more than once.

    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I wouldn't say entitled. I selected a dress in the upper level of BM dresses because the wedding is nothing like a normal wedding. But thank you for the advice

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    $250 is alot for a dress no one wears again in reality. Azazie is very popular and has many dresses under $100. You also have to consider they are paying for transportation/lodging, hair/makeup, shoes, jewelry, expenses for other pre-wedding events and a gift from the registry (or 2 if they attend the shower). That adds up quickly to well over $1000.

    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag

    I would bristle at $250 for a dress even if there weren't additional costs because that is just a lot to spend for a dress, especially one you might never wear again. Plus shoes and alterations and you're easily over $300. I think the sheer cost may just rub the bridesmaids the wrong way.

    This is why I agree with the suggestion that you need to ask them their budget and respect it. This should get you the info you need to decide if you want to ask for the dress or not.

    "They have time to save up" and "they should do this for me because I'm not asking a lot" are not reasonable because at the end of the day it is their money and you are not entitled to it. If Melinda Gates was your bridesmaid and didn't want to pay for a dress that's above average in cost, that's her prerogative.

    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    What makes your wedding "nothing like a normal wedding"?

    • Reply
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    It doesn't matter if strangers think that amount is reasonable (for the record, I don't think it's reasonable for a one-time use dress; no one will wear it again). It matters if your bridesmaids are willing and able to afford it. Have you asked them their budgets?

    Giving someone more time to save up for your expenses doesn't count as being respectful of their budgets, so your timeframe is irrelevant. It's a reasonable amount of money for them to spend on your event, or it's not. Only their bank accounts can answer that.

    • Reply
  • Allie
    VIP November 2021
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    As others have stated, I think you need to ask your bridesmaids what their budget is. For me, $250 is a lot to spend on a dress they will wear once, even if you think they might wear it again. I've had literally almost every person I've been in the wedding for say that I'd for certain be able to wear their dresses again and I never once did, so I don't think it's a fair assumption to say that they will be able to wear it again, especially if you are requiring them all to be in one specific style. Have you had your bridesmaids try on any dresses yet? I think that would be a good place to start as well.

    I'm allowing my girls to pick their own dresses as long as it's a chiffon or mesh dress and as long as it comes in my color. And I will tell you first hand...two of my girls ordered the same dress to try on (we did Azazie, so they all did it from home and showed me photos or had me come over). One of the girls did not look good in it and opted to not go with that dress while my other girl looked absolutely amazing in it and chose it for her dress. My first girl has more of an athletic shape and my second girl has more of an hourglass shape, so quite different body types. All of my girls have very different body types, so I want them to be comfortable. For your girls, I would make sure most of all that they are comfortable with what they are wearing, especially if the dress is going to be $250. If they aren't comfortable it will show through in all of your photos and they might not be happy with their experience. So I'd ask them what they can budget for and I'd have them try some on. You might be surprised by what you find!

    • Reply
  • SHY
    Master January 2022
    SHY ·
    • Flag

    I always suggest speaking with your bridal party and finding out what price point they're all comfortable with. Even though you don't expect to be having a bridal shower or bach trip, I still think $250 is a bit much for them to spend on a dress they probably won't wear again.

    It all depends on your friend group though. Some people know that their friends can afford that amount, and others know that they can't. It all comes down to communication and making sure that the bridal party is somewhat included in making the decision.

    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Girl. "I think [spending $250 on a dress is] the least they can do for me after all it is my wedding" is an attitude of entitlement. Ain't no getting around it. Why is it the LEAST they can do for you?

    If you're trying to say you're having a black tie wedding, that's all well and good, but unless black tie weddings are common in your friend group then that doesn't give you justification to expect your friends to shell out money to fund your vision.

    No one is going to wear the dress again, btw.

    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    You have no idea of our background financially so how can that be entitlement? But again thank you for your advice cause I did ask.

    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    My girls spent around half of what you're asking for and while that was below average, I never once thought this is the least they can do for me. Instead I was grateful that they spent their hard earned money on a dress they, for all intents and purposes, didn't choose. Even though buying the dress is the most basic bridesmaid expectation, the bride should still be thankful her friends spent that money on her instead of acting like they owe it to her. That's where the entitlement comes from.

    • Reply
  • Ava
    VIP May 2022
    Ava ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Being entitled has nothing to do with your financial background. The definition of entitled is believing that you are inherently deserving of something. In your case, feeling that you are entitled to demand your bridesmaids pay $250 for a dress you like because “it’s the least they can do” for you “after all it’s [your] wedding”


    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    This is a “know your crowd” thing and it really does vary. And may well vary in your friend group. Even if all the bridesmaids have the financial stability that a $250 dress is affordable, they may have other financial priorities right now.
    This is really a question for them - and it’s not that you are asking “too much” but if it’s in their comfort level right now.
    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thank you again Tiger Bride for the advice, like I mentioned before you do not know the dynamic between my friends and I or our financial situation which is why I said it's the least they can do for me. Again I appreciate your well devoted time to my post to inform me of my entitlement.

    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thank you Ava for your advice and the definition.

    • Reply
  • S
    Dedicated December 2021
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thank you Samantha, I think you said it best this is a "know your crowd" thing. I have asked my bridesmaid and they are all ok with spending the money. I just wanted to hear from other brides on here if I was asking for too much. It's not something I was looking for it's just the dress I like cost 250 and thought it was the least I could ask of them when the groomsmen are spending around the same amount.

    • Reply
  • Vicky
    VIP January 2020
    Vicky ·
    • Flag

    They should decide their budget, not you. Ask them each individually and privately what their budget for a dress is, including possible alterations, and go with the lowest number.

    • Reply
  • Deb
    Dedicated October 2018
    Deb ·
    • Flag

    I purchased the dresses for my bridal party. This would eliminate the worry about if the dress is too expensive. There was no shower or other parties because I didn’t want them.

    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Your financial background isn't relevant. Even if your BMs were all billionaires, it's their decision how they choose to spend their own money and how much they want to spend
    • Reply

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