Should I pay for the bridesmaids dresses? Does the bride buy the bridesmaid dresses? Here’s the latest etiquette question on who-pays-for-what, sent in by a reader. Subscribe now for more helpful tips to your inbox!
Hi, loves! A new year, a new Ask EB question: do I pay for my bridesmaids dresses? This wedding question came to us from Diana. She is getting married in June and is shopping for bridesmaid dresses. After seeing some of the prices, she was hesitant to ask her bridesmaids to order them, worried they will be too much of a burden to her bridesmaids.
“Hi Emmaline! I’m getting married in June and wow, the bridesmaids dresses I found are super expensive (in the $250 each range). Is the bride supposed to pay for the bridesmaids dresses? I’m already planning on paying for my bridesmaids hair and makeup, so the cost of the dresses would really send my budget over the edge. I have four bridesmaids total. What do you think? Should the bride buy the bridesmaid dresses, or are they supposed to buy their own dresses? Thanks in advance.”
Hi Diana! Great question. When the cost of bridesmaid dresses exceeds $150 or $200, typically I recommend you to chip in for the remainder of the bridesmaids dresses.
Or you can select dresses that are $150 and under, which I think most bridesmaids would agree is a fair middle-ground price to pay for their own dresses.
Here are your two options when it comes to bridesmaids buying their own dresses or having the bride pay for the bridesmaids dresses.
Who Buys the Bridesmaids Dresses?
Here are arguments for both to help you make a decision that is best for you.
– If the Bride Pays for Bridesmaids Dresses
If you have the budget for it, and you’d like to buy your bridesmaid dresses their attire, go for it. But there is no rule that states the bride is responsible for paying for bridesmaids dresses. Traditionally, bridesmaids are responsible for paying for their own dress, something that comes with the territory of being a part of the bridal party.
However, modern times dictate for new rules, and if the bride wants to pay for bridesmaids dresses, go for it, especially if there’s a pricier dress you have in mind and you don’t want to burden your bridal party with the cost.
– If Bridesmaids Buy Their Own Dresses
If you cannot afford to pay for your bridesmaids dresses, or want to follow traditional standards, do not feel pressure to do so. However, we recommend you find a dress that costs less than $150.
And if you’re going above the $150 mark, you may wish to chip in the difference.
In this way, the bride pays for bridesmaid dresses but is just chipping in to make it more cost-effective for everyone.
Or, as you pointed out, pay for bridesmaids’ hair and makeup and/or give them beautiful bridesmaid gifts as a way to say thank you for being a part of your wedding party.
Bridesmaid Dresses Under $150
If you’re looking to buy bridesmaid dresses that are cost-effective — but look beautiful as pricier attire! — shop these tried-and-true places.
P.S. If you’re wondering what else falls under the list of what-to-pay-for, here’s the guide: What Do Bridesmaids Pay For?
Hope it helps and thanks so much for writing!
P.S.S. Jumpsuits? Now those are fun, too!
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