My lovely FW wanted me to post this for discussion and some possible ideas. FW has found the dresses she wants for her bridesmaids. They are around $200 each. What is the etiquette here in asking them to pay for their own dresses?
We're already asking our wedding party to pay for their trip to Jamaica and since they will be laying out the expense of joining us on the beach, should we incur the expense of the dresses? I have no problem paying for the shirts for my groomsmen, since those are not going to be that bad cost wise.
Typically the bridal party pays for their own attire. I paid for my BM's dresses, because one of them flew across country, one was my sister, and one was my bff. DH and I could afford to pay for their dresses because they were only about $80.
However, you are asking your entire bridal party to fly to Jamaica, and asking the girls to spend $200 on dresses. What about their shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry? You may want to take into consideration, if they can afford to purchase all of that in addtion to the plane ticket. I also think if you are paying for your GM shirts, you should at least offer to pay for a part of the BM dresses, or choose cheaper dresses.
In most cases I would feel that the cost of the dress is the responsibility of the BMs - HOWEVER, as you are having a destination wedding, and the dresses are not that inexpensive (not to mention alterations), I agree with rubyred that if you can offer to pay say half of the dress that would be really appreciated by the BMs or find another dress that's less expensive.