Who Pays for the Bridesmaid Dresses?

Etiquette
who pays for the bridesmaid dresses

Photo: Caroline Tran

Is the bride responsible for purchasing all of the bridesmaid dresses? Or are the attendants expected to pay for their wedding outfits and alterations? Everything related to what the bridal party pays for can get tricky, which is why our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your bridesmaid dress questions in our daily post.

Who is supposed to pay for the bridesmaid dresses?

If the bride can afford to, it is a very thoughtful gesture for her to pay for the dress or a portion of the cost for each of her 'maids. But many brides can't afford to do so, and bridesmaids are usually expected to pay for their own dresses and accessories, as well as hair and makeup. (And you should let everyone know about this financial responsibility before they accept the invitation to be in your wedding.) Since your bridesmaids will be spending a significant amount on your wedding, it is very important that you carefully consider the cost of their dresses, as well as their heights and body types when choosing their outfits. Choose styles that are flattering, comfortable, and reasonably priced (resist the urge to pick out a $500 bridesmaid dress, even if you adore it!). This is usually at the heart of any conflicts that may arise between brides and their bridesmaids: The last thing you want is for your attendants to be upset or frustrated about having to shell out a ton of cash on a dress they will never wear again.

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