Should your bridesmaids pay for their own dresses?

Your bridesmaids will play essential roles on the big day and in the run up to your long-awaited, much-anticipated nuptials. Helping you plan the hen do, attending bridal events (including those all-important fittings) and simply being at your beck and call whenever you need them is all part and parcel of a modern day bridesmaid’s long list of duties. These days, what your bridesmaids receive in return for their long service isn’t as clear cut as it might have been in the past, however.

Paying for bridesmaid dresses

Traditionally bridesmaids would have to pay for the privilege of being a part of a wedding day, including footing the bill for their dresses. Today, there are varying opinions about who should pay for the bridesmaid dresses. In this blog post, we take on one of the greatest debates on the wedding scene to (hopefully) provide some clarity on this very issue.

You keep control

One of the main reasons why brides choose to foot the bill for bridesmaid dresses is to maintain complete creative control. There are so many bridesmaid styles to choose from, and if your bridesmaid pays for their own frock they may feel that they have some input into what said dress should look like.

If you’re being particularly specific about the types of dresses you want your bridesmaids to be in, then you should pay for them. The same theory applies if the costs of the bridesmaid dresses you have in mind is particularly steep or the style makes it very unlikely that your bridesmaids will ever wear them again.

You save money

With the average UK wedding now costing £30,355, it’s safe to say that the majority of couples tying the knot are stretched to their limits financially. This means many look to shave down the cost of wedding essentials any way they can. An easy way to cut costs is to take the traditional approach, letting your bridesmaids and groomsmen pay for their attire and accessories.

Purchasing wedding attire for even the most style-conscious bridesmaids and groomsmen doesn’t have to cost the earth these days. A variety of high street stores now stock stunning wedding ranges. The savings made per bridesmaid or groomsman can equate to a significant amount for cash-strapped couples or those looking to keep a handle on their wedding budget. As a bridesmaid or groomsman, settling the bill for your own attire is just one way you can show your support and commitment. If you’re feeling guilty as a bride or groom, tell your bridesmaids or groomsmen to ditch the wedding gift in lieu of paying for their attire themselves.

Do what you’re comfortable with

For many, the thought of asking for a financial contribution is something that doesn’t sit well. Asking your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses doesn’t have to be embarrassing. If asking your bridesmaids to pay guarantees more pros than cons, don’t be afraid to ask the question, even if your intention is for your bridesmaids to pay for just part of their dress or for their accessories.

There are many more expenses associated with being a bridesmaid, but being clear from the outset on what you will pay for and what your bridesmaids should pay for is imperative. As well as footing the bill for their shoes, their accessories and a wedding gift, hen planning portal GoHen suggests that all bridesmaids should chip in to cover the bride’s costs at the hen party:

“Yep, that’s right, she’s already forking out a fortune on dresses and venues and rings and music and food and certificates and hairdressers and shoes and vicars and cakes and florists and favours and invitations and caterers. Therefore the cost to you is really just a drop in the ocean- be grateful that it’s just a tiny amount compared to the wedding costs… With the average hen party costing £138 per person and the average amount of guests being 13 (figures cultivated from our own records) that means you’ll only have to fork out a tiny £11 each to pay for the hen. So really it’s not that big of a deal.”

Whether you decide to foot the bill for your bridesmaids’ attire and accessories, ask for a contribution or get your bridesmaids to dig deep for the entire ensemble, giving each bridesmaid a great gift is a lovely way to say “thank you”. View our top bridal party gifts for inspiration.

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Leez Priory, please don't hesitate to call Kristy via the contact details below:


T: 01245 362 555

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