What do bridesmaids pay for???

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  • Posted: 30 Jun 2018 1:35

    What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I am currently deciding on who to have for my bridesmaids. I have a really close group of friends and I'm struggling to choose less than 10 bridesmaids!! This is quite worrying as bridesmaid ensemble can get quite expensive. I have only ever been bridesmaid as a child so I have no idea what my bridesmaids should pay for. Do they pay for their dresses and hair or is this the brides place to pay? I'm not planning on choosing expensive dresses as asos have a really good range and also a few different dress styles in the same colour. I would be happy for my bridesmaids to choose their own dress once I have picked the colour and shortlisted a few dresses for them to choose from. 


    Any advice would be very much appreciated and thank you in advance!

  • Posted: 2 Jul 2018 18:50

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    You're asking them to do this for you and your wedding so they shouldn't have to pay for anything, especially if you want them all to wear certain dresses or have their hair done in a certain way. If you can't afford to pay for them all then you don't have them all as bridesmaids. 

  • Posted: 3 Jul 2018 0:44

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I have heard of bridesmaids being expected to pay for their dress, but personally there is no way I could bring myself to ask them to do that, since it was me who asked them to be bridesmaid, and I will be expecting them to wear a dress of my choosing that may or may not be in a style they actually like, and that they probably won't be able to wear again... also I know most of them are struggling for money at the best of times too... so basically I don't think it would be fair to ask them to pay for anything.

  • Posted: 3 Jul 2018 11:18

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I was very lucky, and my bridesmaids all offered to pay for their dresses. It's also a dress that can easily be worn again to another event.

    I am, however, paying for their cardigans, shoes, hair and make up. As well as a necklace as a present :) Them paying for their own dresses has saved me nearly £300.

  • Posted: 3 Jul 2018 19:48

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I suppose you could sit them all done and explain that you would love to have them all as bridesmaids but that you can't afford to pay for all their dresses in the hope that they might offer to either pay for their own or make a contribution towards them but bear in mind that they might not all be able to afford it either and if the majority say yes the one person who can't afford it is going to feel awful by saying no and may feel pressured in to saying yes.

  • Posted: 4 Jul 2018 13:06

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I think the general ruling is - if you're going to specify what they wear then you have to pay for it. With mine I said they could wear pretty much whatever they wanted, but I requested bright colours. I'm also putting £50 each towards their dress/shoes etc. If I was a bridesmaid I'd be happy to pay for my own dress, as long as I could choose the style and colour myself, so I think it's reasonable. However you do have to be prepared for them to say they can't afford it either!

  • Posted: 6 Jul 2018 9:31

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I agree with what Informalbride said.

    If you are happy to give them a colour scheme but let them choose their own dresses, it's ok to ask them to pay, but if you want something specific, you pay.

    I've asked mine to provide their own shoes - I'm not worried about them matching and would rather they wear a pair that they already own and are comfortable in, as well as saving a bit of money. 

    I'm probably not going to book hair and make up, as most of them are pretty good at doing their own, plus I have one friend who is allergic to everything make-up and hair product-wise, 1 girl has short hair and 1 has braids, so it would seem a waste of money to spend a lod of money for someone to put a flower clip in or something! And I don't want o seem like I'm favouring anyone by paying for some but not others! 

    I have 6 BM's (and 2 flowergirls) but managed to get beautiful tulle skirts on Amazon at a great price. I'm pairing these with a simple vest top, but the whole outfit should come to about £50 each (including flower crowns). Buying stuff in phases makes it feel like less money! 

  • Posted: 6 Jul 2018 23:53

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I always thought it was US custom to expect the BM to pay for their own, and UK custom for the bride to pay, but that could be wrong. Both times I was a BM the bride paid (this was in the US). At my own British wedding, my friend made my BM's dress, and we went halves on the fabric, and I bought her shoes.


    Btw it's of course up to you, but I think 10 BMs us OTT. I only had one (though it was a small wedding). My mum had one too. Anything over 3 or 4 seens excessive to me. If you cannot choose between friends because you've got several close ones, I would go with a sister or future SIL to save arguing. Again, just my opinion.

  • Posted: 8 Jul 2018 10:37

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    I have given my girls a colour scheme and they are picking their own dresses. The reason I decided to do this is because I want them to be comfortable in the dress they pick. (This has also helped the fact that my MOH is pregnant). I will be providing shoes, jewellery, hair and makeup for the girls. 


  • Posted: 8 Jul 2018 12:37

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    Instead of having them as traditional bridesmaids I've heard of people asking their close friends to wear a certain colour that would tie in with the wedding but they don't necessarily walk down the aisle or the usual bridemaids things but can still have photos together etc. Might be something to look in to, I'm not sure how exactly it would work or how to approach it but something to think about?

    I have five bridesmaids and although expensive getting their dresses I just wouldn't think it would be fair to ask them to fork out for a dress, particularly as they are all paying for hotel rooms, travel, hen do etc etc. I am also paying for make up for them but only eyes, lips and cheeks which is half the price of a full face. I decided with hair just to let them do their own, however going to say if anyone wants to pay for theirs I can book them with the hairdresser which they all seem to think is fair. 

    Hope that helps x 

  • Posted: 13 Jul 2018 21:07

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    What are you paying towards for groomsmen? We have decided that we will spend the same on groomsmen as bridesmaids, and worked out how much a Next suit is going to cost us (£130) and so that’s the budget for the bridesmaids as well. 

    Out of that, it’s going to pay for their dresses, and hopefully hair and makeup. I’m not precious about what jewellery they wear,  it will buy them a gift for the day and then they can wear shoes they are comfortable in. 

  • Posted: 2 Aug 2018 0:19

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    Honestly, it’s your wedding, it’s entirely up to you.

    I’m paying for the bridesmaids dresses, hair and i’m going to surprise them on the day with jewellery. I’ve asked them to buy their own shoes. My fiancé’s best men all made a pact that for each other’s weddings they’ll buy their own suit and it seems to have gone down well with the previous weddings.

    If they’re going to buy their own dresses, maybe make an agreement that if they should ever want you to be a bridesmaid you’ll pay for your own dress? X



  • Posted: 8 Sep 2018 22:43

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???


    It's so hard because it varies so much. But we've decided to pay for the dress (they will have some say but ultimately it's our choice) and hair (as I'd like it in a certain way) but they will pay for shoes, make up (if they want) and accessories as I don't really mind about that. You know your bridesmaids so just have a chat. Whenever I've been bridesmaid (4 times) I've always offered to help with the cost of my dress etc, so yours may too :) 

  • Posted: 26 Sep 2018 8:25

    Re: What do bridesmaids pay for???

    i think it came down to whether you want their dresses to fit in your theme very well or they can wear any dresses they are willing to but with the color scheme you had in mind. if you want something very specific, then you're expected to pay for the dresses, but if not, they can choose the dresses of their own and you provide them like an accessory or shoe or anything that will still make them look stunning with the different dresses type they'll be wearing.

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