Who Pays for Bridesmaid Dresses?
When and how to set a budget for bridesmaid outfits
By Samantha Cabrera
There's no doubt about it -- weddings are expensive. Unless you want to head to the courthouse and just pay for the marriage license, you have to keep tight reigns on the wedding budget, no matter how large or small your wedding. Bridesmaid dresses are a key part of the wedding, so sit down with your bridesmaids beforehand to discuss a budget.
Traditionally, each bridesmaid pays for her own dress and accessories.
When to Step In
If a bridesmaid tells you she cannot afford the dress or shoes for your wedding, it's up to you what to do next. One option is for you to pay for her items, while the other bridesmaids still pay for their own.
Yes, you want your day to be gorgeous, but you have to consider the time and money others have to devote to your special day. Keep a budget for the bridesmaids and stick to it. Anything more than $300 or thereabouts may have some bridesmaids reluctant to participate, so be prepared.
Tack the word "wedding" onto anything and the price jumps up. Instead of standard bridesmaid dresses from a bridal boutique (which can run up to $500 and beyond), look to retailers (e.g., J. Crew and Ann Taylor) that offer simple, chic bridesmaid and cocktail dresses fit to be all-purpose dresses year-round. If your bridesmaids are easy to fit, check online auction sites for old stock from both of these stores at an extremely discounted price.
The vast majority of weddings do go over budget. Remember that it would be better to go a few hundred dollars over budget so a good friend or family member is able to participate in your wedding than to buy more flowers for the reception.
About the Author
Samantha Cabrera is a freelance writer, covering fashion and beauty.
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