Friday, June 6, 2008

Who pays? You or the Brideslave?

Because I can't focus on one thing at a time, lately my mind has been wandering towards what my bridesmaids will be wearing.

I am not sure if it is Utahn culture, LDS, or North-Western, but for my wedding and for my friends weddings, the bride buys the dresses for her bridesmaids. It's factored into the wedding budget from the very beginning. The more I read through the weddosphere, the more I realize that this isn't the case in many other instances.

So a question for all of you: Will you be buying the dresses for your bridesmaids? If you assign them a dress, how do you set a price range? If the bridesmaids are traveling, don't you feel that it is kind of a burden to force them to buy a dress as well?

P.S.-Does anyone ever get the evil little thought that it would be fun to pick out a horrible dress just to see if your girls would actually wear it?


The Clarkes said...

Well, seeing as I was a bridesmaid just YESTERDAY, this is how it went down for us- the bride bought the dresses (we offered to pay but she insisted) but then we each had to buy a matching undershirt and sweater/cardigan/shrug thing to make it garment appropriate. Some of us also had to buy shoes to match if we didn't already have some. So- all that combined ended up costing more than the dress so I felt like it was pretty fair. At my wedding, everyone paid for their own dresses but I only had sisters and s-in-l's so it wasn't too awkward. They were all older and offered to pay. good luck!

Kelli said...

At my second oldest sister's wedding she told all the girls to wear whatever they wanted (non-LDS) as long as it was either red, pink, or orange and it turned out amazingly well. It all came together and was beautiful, and people followed their own budgets. At my oldest sister's wedding all the bridesmaids were sisters, except one, so I think my family paid for them all (I was only 12). At my twin sister's wedding she only had one non-sister bridesmaid and we all paid for our own.

Shaylene Rene' Photography said...

Jenna I hope you know that if you do pick out a horrible dress, I will NOT be wearing. I am sister/bridesmaid- meaning I will be in twice the pictures as the other bridesmaids. I am going to look good in those pictures. If you do pick something fugly, I will make you wear something so much worse for my wedding!! So take that!

Linda said...

I asked my bridesmaids to choose a dress that was chocolate brown and knee length. I did not buy their dress. That's just not done in our circle.

tina said...

1) Navy dress with ivory lace top.
2) Banana Yellow Custom-made dress.
3) Pastel blue dress.
4) Maroon two piece dress.
5) Black spaghetti strap dress.
6) Coral two piece dress.
7) Capuccino strapless dress.

Paid for all of them and the overpriced strapless bras and shoes to go with them. There may have been some disadvantaged students wearing questionable dresses to prom over the last 10 years.

tina said...

P.S. The banana yellow dress was for the wedding of my Mormon-turned Catholic friend. I am pretty sure that she never once considered paying for our dresses. We were poor college grads, but I don't think it would have been considered. Maybe it's a Utah LDS thing.

Ty and Jenny Robbins said...

I've been a bridesmaid twice and both times I paid for the dress. It actually is customary for the bridesmaids to take care of that finance. I actually didn't have bridesmaids for the simple fact I got married in the temple and the only reason they are really there is for pictures. However, if I did have bridesmaids, then I would have had them pay for their own dress (which I would have picked out for them to match). Just in case I did want to have them though, I found a really pretty dress at an LDS dress place online. I think the dress had started out as $170 and went down to $60. Just make sure that you can find something in the budget of everyone.

Rachel said...

I am going to be in a wedding in October (non-LDS) and all of us bridesmaids had to buy our own dresses that the bride chose. She is also currently choosing matching shoes and jewelry for us all.


Lady T said...

lol...i have trouble focusing too....

as you know, my girls are buying their dresses. my way to make this more palatable was to allow them to chose their own tops. they get to wear their own shoes. haven't quite decided whethter their accessories will be a gift or not.

another great thing abotu letting them choose their top was they were the ultimate decision maker in how much their dress would cost. skirt was included with the selected top.

i also stuck with a lower end bm designer.

Lady T said...

also...this post reminded me of the situation that my friend (and also bm) found herself in just the other summer.

her best friend from college was getting married and she was a bm. in the beginning, the bride stated that she was picking up the tab on the bm dresses. i had never heard of this before and thought it was incredibly gracious of her but wierd. toward the end of the planning process, my friend received an email from the bride's sister asking that all the ladies bring their money for their dress. (!) the bride never addressed the issue yet had her sister and wedding planner ask the girls on more than one occasion for the money for the dresses.

i speculate that although the bride wanted to do this for her friends, in the end when she had to pay her vendors, she simply did not have enough money and had to recoup cash somehow.

i dont recommend doing this. make sure that you budget correctly so you don't have to go back on your word. its hurtful and inconvenient when you do.

Kelly said...

My girls are paying for their dresses. I have paid for all the dresses for the weddings I have been in also. The rare times I have heard of the bride paying for the BM dresses, I have thought that was very generous, but unusual.

I decided on their dress mostly because of the price. I happened to love the dress also, so that was a bonus. (It was a little under $100) I didnt want them to have to spend a ton of money on the dress since there are other expenses they will pay for also (traveling, gifts, hair, etc)

Guilty Secret said...

I am just having my little sister as my best woman and I'll pay for all her attire, simply because she can't afford it and I can.

I imagine if I were having a gaggle of bridesmaids, I'd most probably expect them to pay for their own dresses, but choose with their help something in the price range they would expect to spend on a new dress for a wedding anyway.

Likes Chocolate said...

I don't know if this helps, but typically the bride buys the dresses. However, if you do not want a uniform look and just agree on a particular color, then I feel it is ok to say could you wear something in this color skeem. Example, if you want them to wear this $125 dress that they can't really wear anywhere else then you should pay. However, I just selected a color and since I was the last one of my friends to get married they bought there own dresses. Talk with them and see how they feel about it. You could have them buy there dresses instead of getting you a gift.

Angel said...

She said she could buy a dress that was no more than X dollars, and if I found something that I absolutely had to have, then I would cover the rest. We did, and I did and it was great...teamwork!

Blablover5 said...

My girls paid, though they were free to pick what they wanted (and had the option of either blue or green) and one is actually wearing a dress she'd already had.

Tara said...

I don't think I have personally known of a bride that has bought the BM dresses althought I have seen it on message boards a few times. I struggled with this as even though my BM are my sisters I didn't want to ask them to buy expensive dresses... ackward! They reminded me that they would have bought a dress anyways so they didn't see it as a burden. But to be respectful of their wallets I went the inexpensive route, Ann Taylor dresses on sale, even though it wasn't exactly what I would have loved... .

Erin Marie said...

I wish I could afford to do this...but I am paying for their hair, nails, lodging and transportation (excluding airfare) along with giving them gifts.

Jenna said...

Wow, I don't think I realized when I wrote this post that buying the dresses for your bridesmaids was so rare!

clarkes-I have thought about doing that several times, but I don't want to go the whole "buy something immodest and make it modest route". Why is it so expensive to find cute modestly made dresses?

kelli-It would be easier if I was just sticking to family. It would be very easy to make sisters buy the dresses you chose. Because there is a guarantee that someday they will have the chance to get back at you and make you buy one as well.

shay shay-good reason to pick out something cute.

linda-I just want the girls to pick something a little bit more formal but I don't think that they would. Otherwise this owuld work great.

tina-That list singlehandedly convinced me that if I am going to force them to wear something, I should but it for them.

jenny-Have you never heard of this tradition of mormons buying their bridesmaid dresses?

rachel-I can't believe that a bride is making you buy matching shoes and jewelrey as well. Ridiculous.

lady t-Don't worry there isn't any chance that I will let them down. After I all I never even told them I would buy their dresses, it's just expected.

angel-I like your thinking.

erin marie-It sounds like you are doing more than enough already!

Brandi said...

After not being able to find a dress that perfectly suited my 6ft MOH and my other 5'3" bridesmaids- I decided to let them all pick out their own dresses- as long as it's black, tasteful, and tea length. This way they can find a dress in their budget (they're paying) and hopefully- want to wear again. Hope this helps!