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Should you purchase the bridesmaids dresses?

A question I am asked surprisingly often, whether from brides or just from someone genuinely curious is,

"Are bridesmaids supposed to buy their own dresses?"

This has been a hot topic in the last several years and I will straight up admit that my opinion on the matter is not the most popular, but here is my advice.

If you are intending on your bridesmaids to pay for their attire then have that talk with them way in advance. The sooner they can begin budgeting and saving, the better. If you are choosing the attire ask them what their budget is and stay within that budget. If money is tight then allow them to choose their own shoes and maybe even their own jewelry as they may already have pieces in their wardrobe that can be utilized. And don't forget hair and makeup. This can easily add another $150.00 to their expenses. If it's just not in their budget to pay for beauty services as well don't force it; however, if you are wanting to purchase gifts for them then consider paying for their hair and makeup instead of a gift that they will probably never use (tumbler, robe, tote with their catch my drift).

You are asking these people to be a part of the most important day of your life so it is absolutely your responsibility to be mindful of the money they will be spending to share this day with you. You may have a bridesmaid who won't blink an eye at spending the $$, but the bridesmaid standing next to her has three children and her husband works two jobs to keep up with the bills. Be mindful and be kind.

So what did I do for my wedding you ask? I paid for the bridesmaid dresses, the jewelry, and hair and makeup. Why? My wedding was in Chicago, an expensive place to travel to and to stay especially in the fall when my wedding took place. Two of my bridesmaids were in Tennessee and the other two were in Vegas so as my thank you to my best friends for not only for being a part of my life, but for also saying yes to my proposal, I gifted them these items. They paid for their alterations and chose whatever shoes they wanted to wear. It is not in everyone's budget to do this I understand; however, my husband and I chose to take 2 years to plan our wedding so that I could budget this into my overall wedding costs.

No matter what you choose to do:

  1. Talk to your party, individually

  2. Give them enough of a notice to save money

  3. Be mindful of their financial situations

  4. And most importantly, be GRATEFUL for them and their love for you!

Photography by Gin and Sake Productions (Las Vegas)

Hair and Makeup by Pin Me Up Chicago

Wedding Dress from Celebrations Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses by David's Bridal in Nashville and Allure Bridal in Las Vegas

Floral by Dilly Lily


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