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Who Pays for the Bridesmaid Dresses?

It will be so excited to be invited as a bridesmaid, because we can be the second attractive girl in the bridal party. However, when it comes to the budgets can sometimes get a little bit blurry, which presents the question of who pays for the bridesmaid dresses.

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The First Question Comes to Be How Much Should a Bridesmaid Dress Cost?


It totally depends on the dress. The traditional bridesmaid dresses can range anywhere from $100 to upwards of $800 online or from a wedding store.

It will not be a small budget especially when the bride invites more than one bridesmaid.

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So, Who Should Pay for the Bridesmaid Dresses? The Question is Controversial.

1. The situations that people think bridesmaids should pay for their dresses.

(1). Bride have no enough budget.

Weddings are expensive, and yet, some couples still want a lavish, opulent wedding, and having to pay for several dresses can be added their wedding expense that can break their bank.

(2). Everyone should pay for their own things.

Bridesmaids come in all different shapes, sizes. Finding an affordable off the rack dress that can accommodate and flatter everyone is almost impossible. Custom gowns cost more, and the dress is for bridesmaid, not bride.

2. The reasons people think why the bride should pay for the bridesmaid dresses.

(1). It’s typical for bride to pay for their bridesmaids’ dresses.

Wedding etiquette (in the US) states that it’s typical for bride to pay for their bridesmaids’ dresses and that’s one of the expenses they should expect to incur. It makes sense from the perspective that the bride and groom are already shouldering the cost of venue, food, flowers, photography, etc.

(2). It’s the bride’s wedding, the bride should pay for everything in wedding.

Some bridesmaids don’t think your day should cost her money, “It’s not me who’re going to get married.”

(3). The bridesmaid dress is only for one wedding.

Most people don't attend two events with a same dress, so there're often no other occasions to wear the dress again.

And sadly, sometimes the bridesmaid dresses often (not always, but often) unflatter the bridesmaids and sometimes even don't fit as well as they think.

(4). Bridesmaid dresses depend a lot on what the bride has chosen for her wedding.

It’s the bride’s day and her wedding, she is going to likely choose styles that suit her taste and vision, which may mean that it is not the bridesmaid’s taste.

(5). Bridesmaids usually have no enough money.

Bridesmaids are typically the bride’s age, and brides are typically in their 20’s to early 30’s, they might have no enough money to pay for it.

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So, is there any negotiated way to solve the problem and the bride and bridesmaids will both happy?

Weddings are expensive or they can be sweet. No matter who pays, the best way to avoid loss of friendship is to both realistic about the budget.

As friends, they should understand and be sympathetic. Communication is the key.

The following is some negotiable solutions:

  1. Bride hasn't specified style or color or give a color range. Bridesmaids could choose casual dress or old dress.
  2. If money is tight, there are also shops that rent bridesmaid dresses out as well btw.
  3. Bride pays for the bridesmaid dress, bridesmaids pay for their own jewelry, shoes, makeup and nails.
  4. As close friends, bride could generously split it with bridesmaids.