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Kaylex
Savvy March 2021

Bridesmaids Paying for Dresses?

Kaylex, on March 5, 2020 at 9:48 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 4 77
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I'm going back and forth on whether or not I should have the bridesmaids pay for their dresses. Of course if everything else wasn't so expensive, I would have no problem paying for them. But that is not the case. I also feel like out of the entire wedding, other than making it to the events, I am not expecting any other monetary contributions from the bridesmaids. Also, what is a reasonable price to pay for a bridesmaid dress? I would let them know up front when I do the proposals exactly what they will be responsible for, that way there are no surprises throughout the planning journey. What should I do? What has everyone else done?

77 Comments

  • Sherry
    Rockstar September 2019
    Sherry ·
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    Typically they do pay for their own dresses. If you want them all to have the same dress, try to choose one that is inexpensive or if you don't care, just give them the color and maybe type of fabric and let them order their own dress in a style they like.

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  • T
    Dedicated September 2020
    Taylor Online ·
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    Every wedding I have been in I have paid for my own bridesmaid dress. So I don't think it should come as a surprise.

    Before I started looking for dresses for my girls I made sure to ask them each individually what their budgets were, and stuck to that. I also gave them options at varying prices, all within the budget. I think as long as you talk to them about what they are comfortable spending before you choose the dresses, you will be fine.

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  • Rebelle Fleur
    VIP January 2021
    Rebelle Fleur ·
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    Try azazie and DB They have dresses @100$ thats should be within most people’s budgets.
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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Thanks Sherry! I felt like it was the norm to have them pay for the dresses, but when I thought about having to tell them I got unsure.

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  • Fleur
    October 2020
    Fleur ·
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    I felt the same way!! I ended up asking the BM's to pay for their dresses since I couldn't afford it, and it IS sort of something BM's expect to pay for. But I'm trying to pay for everything else like hair and makeup and their food and expenses for the wedding weekend, and being clear that "extra" stuff is optional (like bachelorette weekend). Good luck!

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  • Sherry
    Rockstar September 2019
    Sherry ·
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    I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you want to, make a girls day out of going to DB or something so that they can all try on dresses and they can see what like/can afford etc. and also get an idea of color. Maybe mention that they won't be expected to purchase that day but once the style is decided, they will have until x date to purchase to give plenty of time for alterations.

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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    There are some cheap dresses on AliExpress. They have photo reviews too but it can be hit or miss. David’s Bridal has beautiful dresses but they range from 100-200. My sister has been in like 10 wedding parties and she’s paid for all of her dresses. I personally am paying for the dresses but this is largely because they live out of state. My mother was originally paying for them but we had a “falling out” so I’m paying for them now instead.
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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Very true. I'll make sure to keep them in the loop about everything.

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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Very nice! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Thanks! I do plan on paying for hair & makeup. Luckily I have family that are stylists to help out with this as well.

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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Hm, I didn't really think about online boutiques. I feel everyone would be happy about the prices, but worried about how they will look once they arrive. I will definitely look into this just in case. Thanks!

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  • Alex
    Savvy May 2021
    Alex ·
    • Flag
    We didn’t do proposals for any of the wedding party. They all kinda knew they’d be in it, so all we had to do was ask 🤷🏼‍♀️
    They also assumed they would need to pay for their own attire, since it’s more customary to do it that way now. MOH gets to pick her dress in our color, BM was assigned attire. Both around $100.
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  • Rachael
    Expert September 2020
    Rachael ·
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    I've always paid for my own dress as a bridesmaid. I think most people realize as a bridesmaid you're going to be paying for dress, hair, makeup, nails, etc. If you want to go the online route azzaie has alot and great reviews. We went to davids bridal to keep the cost down, most bridal stores bridesmaids dresses are expensive! Also find a local seamstress for your alterations, usually much cheaper than davids.

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  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle Online ·
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    I let mine choose their own. They bought theirs. I only asked for it being a certain color scheme
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  • Fleur
    October 2020
    Fleur ·
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    That is awesome! I really wish someone in my family had some wedding related talent that would save me $. lol. Good luck!
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Yeah, and keep in mind too, even if the dress is like $20-$30, you can still get them altered to fit them perfectly. Another hopefully helpful FYI, when I was looking in David’s bridal I was picking out all of these dresses with spaghetti straps or just different style dresses. If some of your bridesmaids don’t have the proper bra keep in mind the bras themselves will cost anywhere from like 40 bucks or more and if they have to wear any undergarments.(TMI) One of my bridesmaids will be breast-feeding, so that’s why I decided to just let them pick their own dress stylesBecause from what I’m told people wear certain brasWhen they’re breast-feeding I guess, so I wouldn’t want her to feel uncomfortable with minimal padding.My friend was actually the one who brought that thought to my attention and I was like wow that’s a really good thing to keep in mind so I hope this helps and congrats girl!!!!
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  • Pattie
    Expert June 2020
    Pattie ·
    • Flag

    So there are lots of options for bridesmaids now. As a bride I told them the color and fabric I wanted as well as it being floor length. Then I let them choose the dress. I figured if they were paying for it they should get more say. My maid of honor is renting hers from Renttherunway.com


    As a bridesmaid for my brother's wedding in september, his fiance gave us a range of colors & requested floor length. I went to Poshmark and bought a BEAUTIFUL dress for 30$!!! Most listings are great and give sizes, but also body measurements for the bridesmaid dresses. They have a TON of options. All the sellers I messaged were very helpful and responded quickly.


    It doesn't need to expensive, there are so many options now. Smiley smile hope this helps!

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  • Kenzie
    Dedicated June 2021
    Kenzie ·
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    In the wedding I was in we paid for our dresses and I will be having my girls pay for theirs. However when choosing a style for them to wear I plan on keeping it around $130 max I’m also debating on letting them choose the style though in the color to allow them to keep it in their budget that’s what the bride did for us so I choose a $110 dress that was pretty affordable. The other girls choose $170 dresses. However if you were to choose the dress I think privately talking to each bridesmaid and asking their budget would be helpful if you’re unsure!
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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    It definitely helps! Most of my BMs are busty, so I want the dresses to be supportive where they don't have to constantly adjust or feel uncomfortable.

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  • Kaylex
    Savvy March 2021
    Kaylex ·
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    Oh cool! Poshmark is a great idea; I've been looking there for my shoes since I've already spent so much on the dress. I'm starting to come around to letting the bridesmaids choose the style of their dress. I have slight OCD tendencies lol, which I why I lean more toward everyone getting their dresses from the same location to make sure the color is exact.

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