Bridal party outfits have long been a subject of confusion, especially in terms of the costs involved. After all, weddings are nowhere cheap and any couple who have already been there and done that knows it all too well.
But things are not cheap for the members of the wedding party, either. From taking part in the bachelorette and bachelor parties to buying your outfit for the big day, your expenses can add up fast without you noticing it once you become a bridesmaid.
Do bridesmaids buy their own dresses, you ask? The short answer for this is Yes, because it is part of their responsibility the moment they agree to be part of the bridal party. To learn the long answer, you might want to continue reading below.
Why Bridesmaids Pay for Their Own Dress
In the US in particular, the bridal party, and that includes the bridesmaids, is often expected to pay for their own attire.
The bridal party is traditionally expected to cover the total costs of their wedding ensemble, including everything from the clothes to shoes down to every last piece of accessories. They also have to pay for potential expenses for transportation to the wedding as well as hair and makeup appointments.
Bridesmaids must be ready to cover all the costs for such expenses the moment they accept the bride’s offer to be part of her bridal party. Having said that, it will be the responsibility of the bride to inform everyone regarding all upcoming financial obligations right from the beginning. The bridesmaids, on the other hand, should be upfront and honest If they will have monetary issues.
Of course, it is worthy to note that most weddings today no longer have traditional wedding parties. Aside from this, not all bridesmaids are expected to wear dresses during the ceremony, either. There is also another rising trend where bridesmaids get to pick their own dress in their personal choice of a color palette. This means that they get to choose the amount that they are willing and ready to spend on their dress.
Since every wedding is unique and different, there is no such thing as the right way to deal with the costs of bridesmaid dresses.
Who Pays for the Dress of Junior Bridesmaids?
In the case of younger bridesmaids, or the so-called junior bridesmaids, it is traditionally assumed or expected that their own parents will be the ones to buy their dresses for them.
However, since it has now become less and less common to have junior bridesmaids at weddings, most people are no longer aware of the tradition.
If you are a bride and you want the parents of your junior bridesmaids to pay for their attire, you might want to do your homework ahead of time to know what the expected budget will be. Be sure to do it before you ask the parents upfront regarding the purchase of your junior bridesmaids’ dresses.
Should Bridesmaids Offer to Pay for Their Dress?
If you are a bridesmaid, it is only expected that you will have to buy your own dress for the wedding. This means that it is not really out of the ordinary to offer to pay for your dress.
Being asked to be one of the bridesmaids always comes with some expenses anyway. There is no reason for you not to offer to pay in the first place, especially if the dress is off the rack, comes with a reasonable price, or is something that you can wear again in the future.
However, some brides may feel a bit uncomfortable making their bridesmaids for their dress. The bride usually offers to pay for the dress expenses if they want a certain style or color that the bridesmaids may no longer be able to wear or use again. It also happens if the bride likes a certain dress, but the bridesmaids may not, or if she picked a designer or expensive gown for them to wear.
Sometimes, the bridesmaids and brides are on the same page, and they will actually agree to split the price of the bridesmaid’s dress. It is recommended to split the bill for dresses that are specifically made for the wedding alone, the bride is aware of the financial constraints of the bridesmaid, or the bridesmaids need to shoulder other costs such as accommodation or travel.
If you are a bride and you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, it means that you want them to stand right there beside you on your special day. Thus, it shouldn’t be a problem to spend some cash to make it happen.
The general rule of thumb here is that bridesmaid dresses worth $200 and below can still be considered reasonable. If the dress is worth anywhere between $200 and $500, you might need to talk about splitting the cost. If the bride picked a dress worth over $500, it is only expected for her to offer to shoulder the cost.
What are the Special Cases When Brides Offer to Pay for Bridesmaid Dresses?
While bridesmaids are expected to pay for their own dress, this rule still has several exceptions.
One of the most common reasons why the couple may offer paying for all or part of the cost of the bridesmaids’ dresses is if these are very expensive and are beyond the budgets of their bridesmaids.
Brides who feel generous or would want their bridesmaids to wear dresses that are considered pricey, or more than the usual expense of a bridesmaid dress is one of the instances when the bride should foot the bill.
There might also be instances in which one of the bridesmaids might not have the budget to pay for the dress, and in this case, the bride or the rest of the bridesmaids may then offer to contribute to pay for the cost of the dress.
Why do bridesmaids pay for their dress? They say that it is an honor to be asked to be part of the bridal party, and so it only makes sense for the one being honored to foot the bill.