top of page

Do Bridesmaids Pay for Their Dresses?

Bridesmaids dresses are a huge wedding expense! Here’s what I found when looking for answers about who should pay for bridesmaids dresses.

So who pays for the bridesmaid dresses? If the bride can afford to pay for all the dresses, she often does. However, the bridesmaids usually help with costs by paying for their own dresses, accessories, hair, and makeup.

If the bridesmaids are expected to pay their way in the wedding, learn how to ask them, how much does it usually cost and where they can find money-saving deals.

Table of ContentsToggle

How to Ask Bridesmaids to Pay for Their Dresses

More than likely, you are probably very close with your bridesmaids. It’s perfectly fine to be completely open with them right up front about it.

Let them know that you have a limited budget and therefore need them to help with buying their dresses and accessories. Buy being completely open up front, you can avoid any surprises later on.

If there is a concern that one of your bridesmaids might not be able to financially contribute, arrangements can be made early on to help get her a dress. There are many ways that you can find inexpensive yet lovely dresses for your bridesmaids.

It’s a good idea to address this at the time you ask her to be your bridesmaid. If you’ve already researched dresses you like, you can give your bridesmaids a budget. This way, when the time comes to order their dresses, they can already have money saved up for the cost.

When Your Bridesmaid Delays Ordering Her Dress

Unfortunately, you might run into a bridesmaid that delays ordering her dress due to the cost. This can be an awkward place to be in. Your dress boutique will want to order all your dresses at one time to ensure that they come from the same dye lot. No one wants bridesmaid dresses that are slightly different colors!

No bride wants to be rude, but it’s important to let your bridesmaid know that the boutique will be placing a group order of all the dresses on “such and such date” and she needs to have her order in before then.

Additionally, you can ask your maid of honor to send out reminder emails to all the bridesmaids to order their dresses.

If it’s still an issue, have a one-on-one chat with her. Let her know how important it is to you that she be a part of your wedding. Also, let her know that you completely understand if she needs to step down due to financial issues.

How Much Do Bridesmaids Dresses Cost?

Bridesmaids dresses typically cost around $150. However it completely depends on what dress the bride chooses, it could be up to $500.

If you’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid and money is tight, it’s important to be upfront and honest with the bride as soon as possible. If she knows the financial limits of her bridesmaids, she will hopefully look for dresses that fit within the budget.

Additionally, start saving money from the moment the bride asks you to be in her wedding. By saving just $50 per month, you should have enough saved in just a few months.

How Much Does a Bridesmaid Typically Spend?

Depending on travel needs and what the bride chooses for her wedding attire, you could end up spending anywhere form $1000 to $1500 to be a bridesmaid.

If the cost is an issue, try to budget and save up money as soon as the bride asks you to be in the wedding.

Here is a break down of common expenses:

The dress will cost $150 to $300 on average. This cost will depend on what the bride chooses for bridesmaid dresses. Dresses could be upwards of $500. With shoes and alterations, you can expend approximately $150 in addition to the cost of the dress.

Hair and makeup with costs around $100. Unless you go the DIY route, hair and makeup can be pretty expensive. The bride may want to do manicures and pedicures for the wedding, in addition to paying a hair dresser. You might be able to get away with doing your own makeup. Sometimes the bride pays for this.

You’ll spend about $500 if you need to travel. This can be a little pricey, especially if you need to fly. You’ll need airline tickets, possibly a rental car, hotel costs, etc. This can quickly add up!

Gifts for the bridal shower and the wedding will cost around $150. You’ll want to get two different gifts, one for the shower and one for the actual wedding.

If you’re expected to help throw the bridal shower, expect to spend another $100 or so. Assuming the other bridesmaids are going to help with the costs, your portion of the cost will vary depending on how lavish you get.

Who Pays for the Bridesmaid Bouquets?

Typically, the bride or her family pays for the flowers bridesmaids and flower girl’s flowers at the wedding and flowers for the reception.

The groom or his family usually pays for the bride’s bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages for the mothers and grandmothers.

Of course every wedding will be different, but the bridesmaids are not usually required to pay for their own bouquet.

Where to Find Inexpensive Bridesmaid Dresses

A great option for finding inexpensive bridesmaids dresses is Amazon. It might sound a little scary, but if you have Amazon Prime you can try Amazon Wardrobe! This will allow you to order up to 8 different dresses, try them on and see how they look, return the ones you don’t like, and then pay for the one you decide to keep. Seriously, check out Amazon Wardrobe!

A newer trend in weddings is the have bridesmaids wear all different dresses that are the same color family. If you want to go this route, you might be able to find some great options on ThredUp.

Do a little searching… you aren’t limited to only bridal stores to find bridesmaids dresses. Depending on the time of year, places like Kohl’s, JCPenny, VonMour, Yonkers, and even Target have great sales and discounts.

Also, don’t just assume the bridal store will be too expensive. You can check out David’s Bridal for clearance bridesmaids dresses too!

You also might want to consider renting bridesmaid dresses from places like Rent the Runway, Vow to Be Chic, Weddington Way, and Union Station.

When looking for bridesmaid’s dresses, you might want to consider finding something that your bridesmaids will be able to wear again. This will help cut down on the shock of some prices, knowing that they’ll be able to wear the dress more than once.

Who Should Go Bridesmaid Dress Shopping?

You do not have to bring all your bridesmaids with you to find bridesmaids dresses. In fact, if your worried about too many opinions, it’d be best if you didn’t have all of them along with you.

You should bring 2 or 3 bridesmaids with different body types to see how different dresses look on different body types. Also, having 2 or 3 bridesmaids will ensure that one bridesmaid style choice isn’t the only one represented.

Also, when choosing bridesmaids to come with you, choose someone who has similar taste and style to you. She should also be the least opinionated and most supportive person.

If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, it might be best to head out on this expedition alone, at least for the first round. Take pictures of dresses you like and bring your bridesmaids with you for a second look and to try them on.

All this applies for bringing your mom too. If you’re worried that she’ll complicate your choices too much, it might be best to go without her. However, it can be a fun and memorable time for both you and her if everyone can behave 😉

Related Questions

When should bridesmaids dresses be ordered? Bridesmaids dresses should be ordered around 6 months in advance of the wedding. It’ll take 2-3 months for the order to come in and another 4-6 weeks for alterations.

When should you ask your bridesmaids? You should try to ask your friends or family to be a bridesmaid 8 months to one-year before the wedding. This will give them enough time to plan, save money, buy their dresses, etc.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Hi, I’m Kristin. While I haven’t found my Prince Charming yet, I’ve been dreaming of getting married for a long long time. I started this site as a place to record all the things I’ve found and researched in preparation for my own wedding someday. I can’t wait to share it all with you!

bottom of page