Should I offer to pay for the dress?
As a bridesmaid, you’re expected to buy your own dress for the big day. So offering to pay for the dress isn’t something out of the ordinary. Being asked to be a bridesmaid does come with some costs after all. Particularly if your dress is a reasonable price, off the rack, or something you will wear again, there is no reason why you shouldn’t offer to pay.
However, making their bridesmaids pay for the dress can make some brides feel uncomfortable. A bride will often offer to pay for the cost of the dress if they are dictating a colour or style that the bridesmaid will never wear again, it’s something they like but the bridesmaid isn’t happy with, or if they’ve chosen an expensive or designer gown.
Sometimes brides and bridesmaids are on the same page and will actually discuss splitting the cost of the bridesmaid’s dress. We recommend splitting the bill if the dress is being specially made for the day, there are a lot of other costs for the bridesmaids such as travel or accommodation, or the bride knows that the bridesmaid might not have a lot of money. As a bride, if you’re asking someone to be a bridesmaid then the chances are you want them with you on your big day. So forking out a little bit of money for that shouldn’t be an issue.
As a general rule of thumb, a bridesmaids dress priced under $200 is considered reasonable. If it’s a dress between $200-$500 you should discuss splitting the bill, and if the bride has chosen a dress worth more than $500 then she should offer to pay for it.
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