Who pays for bridesmaids dresses – the bride or the bridesmaid?

It’s hard enough finding a dress for yourself most the time, let alone picking a style that’ll flatter different body shapes, suit your dress, and that are available in just the right shade of pink. And then comes what can be the trickiest question of all – who pays for the bridesmaid dresses? The bride or the bridesmaid?

Traditional etiquette actually dictates that the bridesmaid pays for everything. This runs counter to what the majority of my brides do – with most couples picking up the tab for their bridesmaids.
Most brides start pondering getting the bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses when the budget gets squeezed, or when bills are starting to add up! But if you have the chance, seriously consider the costs involved before asking your wedding party. Weigh up, for example, whether you are better off to have two, fully paid for bridesmaids, than 5 bridesmaids who have to pay their own way, and could harbor resentments.

Talk about who is paying for the bridesmaid dress and shoes upfront. It’s important to discuss who will pay for what – yes, it’s an awkward conversation to have, but if you want someone to be your bridesmaid, and you want them to pay for their bridesmaid dress, then you should let them know this when you ask them to be your bridesmaid (so that they can opt out early if they won’t have the money).

I have more advice and ideas on different ways to cover off the bridesmaid dresses and keep the budget under control at http://www.southernbride.co.nz/pays-bridesmaid-dresses/