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is it okay for your bridesmaid to complain about dress costs?

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biblobaggins23

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okay, i realize that its the brides ultimate final decision as to what her bridesmaids will wear most of the time. anyway, do you think its appropriate for your bridesmaids to complain about the cost of your bridesmaids dresses? or should she just suck it up and pay for the brides sake? yes or no?

i'm in the process of picking out dresses and i found a few gorgeous ones i love!

i'm curious....what are your experiences/suggestions?
 

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aprilcait

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If the dress costs an outlandish amount of money, or is well beyond her means, I think that it is acceptable for her to discuss the matter with you and for the two of you to work towards a solution. Now, "complaining" about the cost seems to be a bad move on the bridesmaid''s part. However, if she is complaining, I would suggest taking a deep breath (I know I would need to do that...maybe 4 or 5 deept breaths), sitting down with her, and discussing her reasons for considering the dress too expensive and coming up with possible solutions together.
 

biblobaggins23

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yeah, i always thought or was told by my mother growing up and from weddings i''ve been in myself that no matter the cost whether its too expensive or super cheap, that the bridesmaid never complain. i was wondering if there were etiquette rules or if the bridesmaid has the right too?
 

Liquiddazi

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With my best friend''s wedding, all of the bridesmaids have complained about one thing or another with the dress. I''ve told her that they should all suck it up. However, I am the only one that didn''t complain about the dresses in one way or another and try to support the fact that they are pretty and beautiful. I think the reason why the bridesmaids are so vocal is that I am the only one that I isn''t a relative of some sort.

I think it is okay for them to complain, but when the bride can''t do anything about the cost of alternations, they just need to be quiet.
 

poptart

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If they are spending money on it, they have every right to complain and decide whether or not they want to spend that much money, or have it in the first place. Also, I think if the dress makes them look horrid they should be able to speak up too. No one needs to be humiliated on their friend''s wedding day. I actually let my bridesmaids take over most of the dress looking. I gave them the color, length, and cut and said ''go for it!'' That way, everyone was happy and they turned out lovely! It is your special day as the bride, but bridesmaids are friends first and foremost, and you always want to include their opinions and feelings throughout the dress buying process.

*M*
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 12/13/2006 1:01:45 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
yeah, i always thought or was told by my mother growing up and from weddings i''ve been in myself that no matter the cost whether its too expensive or super cheap, that the bridesmaid never complain. i was wondering if there were etiquette rules or if the bridesmaid has the right too?
Well, in your mother''s day they probably didn''t have some of the crazy prices they do today...

Ladies these days have very high designer tastes at much younger ages. It sometimes amazes me the stuff they pick out and expect their BMs to pay. Any bride who feels bridesmaids should always suck it up for their sake is a bit of a bridezilla, IMHO. However, on the other hand, there are ways that BMs can express their concern without flat out complaining.
 

eks6426

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I think the bride should sit down and discusss the budget for the bridesmaid dresses with each bridesmaid individually BEFORE they start shopping for dresses. That way the bride knows right up front how much her maids can afford. This also gives the potential bridesmaid the ability to back out if the bride has expectations beyond her means. The bride can also off to kick in some on the dresses for the bridesmaids or 1 particular one if she wants. I think communication up front is the key to avoiding future problems.
 

CrownJewel

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I always assumed that your bridesmaids were your closest friends or family members. In that case, both parties (bride and bridesmaids) should be considerate of each other''s circumstances.

It would be nice for the bride to choose a dress that flatters the ladies and is appropriate for their financial situations. No bridesmaid should be expected to go into debt for their friend''s wedding. If I was ever asked to go beyond my financial means for a friend''s wedding, I would be resentful and clawing for a way out!!!

Along the same lines of consideration, the bridesmaids should not be frivolously complaining. The bride is under enough stress as it already is, so as long as being a bridesmaid doesn''t cause a financial hardship, she should suck it up and support the bride.
 

robbie3982

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I think it depends on the situation. How much are the dresses you like? Are they complaining that they don''t like them? What''s the age range of your bridesmaids?
 

Minny

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Um....if a bridesmaid cannot afford the dress you are thinking about, then of course they have a "right" to let you know that. I think the only "etiquette rule" would be that the bride should take her bridesmaids'' budgets and body types into consideration when looking for dresses. JMO.
 

dtnyc

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I think that a bride needs to be somewhat considerate of her BM''s wallets.

Realize that chances are these dresses will never be worn again, unless everyone has agreed on style, color etc.
I have found that many BM dresses look lovely and brides say they are re-wearable- but most of them are are made out of polyester. Quite frankly if I am going to attend a formal event, I won''t be wearing synthetics. Also I have found from wearing different BM dresses in weddings, that the cheap synthetic fabrics they are made of normally gets quite hot and uncomfortable by the end of a long day/night, dancing, etc, and that many times these synthetic fabrics don''t photograph well. I have been in 4 weddings and have 4 dresses that I know I will never wear again.

Also BM''s have other wedding related expenditures that they are responsible for like shower and bachelorette costs, possible travel costs for the wedding, hair and make-up on the day of perhaps? Let alone a nice gift for the couple.

Yes it is your day and they are there to support you, but don''t you want them to be happy and feel good about themselves? It shouldn''t be torture for them.

Have you looked into ordering the dresses from a place like Pearl''s place or netbride to try and get a better deal? Also After Six and Dessy do dresses in many of the same styles has VW, etc- like knock-offs, that look just as good.
 

AmberWaves

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I''m doing the same as Poptart did, letting my MOH pick her own dress. I give the colors she can choose and she can find something to fit/look good/within price range. I mean, most people don''t care nearly as much about your wedding as you do, and expecting your bridesmaids to just automatically do as they''re told, and pay an exhorbitant amount for something you chose seems a little extreme. You want them to be happy to be in your wedding, no to do it grudingly. I''d rather my BM''s get a dress they want and have friends after the wedding than not have any friends but the perfect dress I chose. That''s just me, though. I think within reason a person can complain, some things are just impossible to ask.
 

swingirl

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The bridesmaids'' dress should be picked with consideration to the bridesmaids'' financial situations. There are so many hidden costs for BM like the under garments, shoes, hair, nails, shower gifts, wedding gifts, etc. It is a big expense. If it is a case of someone not having the money the bride should either offer to help with the expenses, tell her BM not to get an extravagant wedding gift, pay for hair and nails, or what ever.

Some brides want everything perfect and matching so they can have lovely pictures but they might not realize their budget is for a once-in-a-lifetime event, and a gal can be a bridesmaid many times if she has a large group of family and friends.

So if everyone is complaining just to complain because they are ending up with a dress they''ll never again wear then those are BMs that shouldn''t be part of the bridal party. But if someone truely is having a difficult time with the expenses, then they should get some help with the costs. Even tho being a BM is an honor, it really is a favor to the bride who needs attendants to help her...isn''t than the real reason why their are BMs in the first place? They are supposed to attend and fuss over the bride?
 

AceP

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This often becomes more than just about the dress. I was in a wedding a year ago where the dresses were around $150 - relatively reasonable, all things considered. but as the wedding date grew closer, the expenditures ratcheted higher: shoes, purses, travel costs and gifts for bachelorette party, travel costs to the wedding, etc. at one point the bride said she wanted us to pitch in for a hairstylist and makeup artist on the wedding day, as well as shell out another $50 or so for a wrap for over the dresses. at this point, i was not pleased with the $1000+ i was paying for this wedding, and some of the girls who were in more dire financial straits were straight-up livid. but no one would say anything to the bride, who is a lovely person but just got caught up in everything. i felt terrible - both for the girls who were really straining their budgets and for the bride, because i knew she would be upset if she knew how everyone was feeling. so i took her aside and told her, as gently as possible, about everyone''s concerns. she was upset at first but quickly saw the bigger picture. she ended up paying for hair/makeup, which was something that was important to her but the rest of us didn''t care about, and she nixed the shawls. we ended up all wearing closed-toe black shoes, which most people already have. so it worked out - though it was still an expensive weekend! i also was in one wedding where the bride paid for all costs - dresses, alterations, even travel and hotel for the wedding. a lovely lovely gesture but obviously one most people can''t afford.
 

Mara

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IMO it''s a two way street in terms of considering feelings. If the bride chooses some exhorbitant dress and everyone is in college and doesn''t have much money, yeah I''d imagine they''d dnot be jazzed to have to buy an expensive dress in fuschia or something. But if everyone is a little older and makes good $$ and has disposable income and the bride chooses something reasonable for everyone, I would imagine complaints would be in fairly poor taste...typically people do know that when you sign up to say YES to being a BM...there is typically a fairly significant amount of cost involved. I tend to spend about $1k when I am a BM from beginning to end...that is kind of my mental norm.
 

MINE!!

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I would say yes and no. Being is a Bmaid is not all fun, and a bride should conisder this in her choices. When I am asked to be a Bmaid, I groan as well as am joyful, here comes the time, the shoes, the dress, blah blah blah. I am happy for my friend and will do it, but if she is really my freind, she will consider my sitation as well... It is life and the sacrifices and the comprimise that everyone has to learn. We want our day to be perfect. Is it more perfet to have your exspensive dress or to have your friend in it? If it is the former.. perhaps you need to get different friends.
 

tanyak

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Date: 12/13/2006 1:15:37 PM
Author: IslandDreams
I think the bride should sit down and discusss the budget for the bridesmaid dresses with each bridesmaid individually BEFORE they start shopping for dresses. That way the bride knows right up front how much her maids can afford. This also gives the potential bridesmaid the ability to back out if the bride has expectations beyond her means. The bride can also off to kick in some on the dresses for the bridesmaids or 1 particular one if she wants. I think communication up front is the key to avoiding future problems.
I agree! And one more thing, just because people have graduated from college and are no longer students doesn't mean they don't have financial concerns. Most of my friends have been out of school for seven plus years, but we still have living expenses, students loan repayments, etc, and paying $1,000 for a wedding is nearly out of the question.

When I got married, I picked a designer and color and let my maids choose the style that they wanted.
 

FireGoddess

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I''ve been on both sides of the coin...being a MOH or BM, and being the bride.

I think it is perfectly acceptable for a BM to approach a bride about financial constraints, if that includes having to buy a fairly expensive dress. I was in grad school for one wedding I was in and the bride knew my financial position and I didn''t even have to say ''I can''t afford a dress that is hundreds of dollars.'' She picked an affordable dress because she was considerate.

As a bride, my 2 BMs picked a really nice dress they both liked, but it was a pricey dress. I told them I was more than fine with us going to David''s Bridal to pick something similar out that was cheaper, but they decided that they wanted that dress. So it''s a case by case thing. I would not want to impose a financial hardship on my friends if I could avoid it, and if it was a real problem for them. Remember they also usually have to throw a shower and bachelorette thing too, as well as buy gifts, and maybe even have to travel to be in the wedding. That''s my take.
 

biblobaggins23

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i have a dress in mind, and i would hate for a bridesmaid to threaten to back out of the wedding. if she did, i would be devestated. i would say that i have been in weddings wear i thought the dresses were affordable, but lwere poorly made and the material was not good quality. i want good quality material and i want my bridesmaids to look good in my pictures. i want my bridesmaids to be well tailored and look expensive, but not have to pay 500 dollars. i did find a dress that is pricey, but not like 500 dollars. they are gorgeous and i had my 2 sisters try them on with my mom with us. they looked great in them and we decided thats what we are going to do we all love them. because they are classic i know they can wear them again. my sister said she would wear it to another wedding or formal party. hopefully i will get the same response from my bms.
thanks for all your advice!!! i will now know how to approach the situation.

much appreciated!
 

anchor31

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It''s definitely okay for them to complain... It may be your wedding, but they won''t just be wearing the dress, they''ll be paying for it! Sure, in our parents'' days they didn''t complain, but I''m not sure they paid for it either. If you want to impose a dress on them, I think you should consider splitting the cost with them. Otherwise, letting them pick would be more sensible.
 

Fancy605

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My BMs are easy to please. I let the MOH pick out the dress (although she browsed styles with the other girls). They collectively decided on black for the color.
I am in one of my other BM''s weddings, and her BM dresses cost about the same as the ones I am having, so it''s not a problem to her. (I just feel sorry for my maid of honor who is in both PLUS a third wedding on top of that). I only had one BM I was concerned about, so I asked her how much was too much for a dress. She replied, and her limit was well above what the BM dress will cost. I think everyone is basically happy.
 

Miranda

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I think it depends. Some people will complain about anything and everything. Or perhaps this is a financial issue for her. I would talk to her and find out which it is. I tend to think anything close to $500 is a lot to ask anyone to spend on a dress that will only be worn once in someone else''s wedding regardless of how much money they have. I''ve been in 5 weddings and all of the dresses were $200 - $250. Some were beautiful and of outstanding quality and some were, uh, really ugly. I never minded spending a bit of money on something that is pretty, but, I really didn''t like spending any money on the ugly dresses. I know it is about supporting the bride, but, who wants to spend money on an ugly dress. Could it be that she just doesn''t like them? Have you checked Nordstrom??? They have some lovely dresses in their Special Occasion dept. We got the BM dresses for my SIL''s wedding. They were gorgeous.
 

TravelingGal

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Is it all common these days for the bride to pay for all the dresses? I would imagine that would put a bit damper in the complaint department (not just about the dresses, but about BM duties in general, as it would be seen as a nice gesture). If people are spending 1000s on a wedding, wouldn''t it be nice to spend a few hundred on dresses and have happy bridesmaids?

I didn''t have bridesmaids, but we did pay for everything that was worn by those standing with us, including the officiant. When I was my brother''s groomswoman, he gave me $300 to go buy a dress of my choosing.
 

ephemery1

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I guess you'd have to define "complain".

If I was a bridesmaid and the bride just assumed I'd buy a $300+ dress... I'd certainly express some concerns, and maybe ask about other options. I'm a poor student! But I can't imagine being somebody's bridesmaid if I didn't feel totally comfortable talking to them about that kind of stuff.

As the bride, I felt no need to make my BMs spend over $150... we went with an off-the-rack dress from White House/Black Market that my MOH chose. It's a pretty basic "little black dress"... I love how it looks, but I mostly love that my BMs are so happy with it. We're in our late 20s, and all of us have multiple wedding obligations over the next few years... so they were thrilled to put their money towards something practical for this one!
 

Kit

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Date: 12/13/2006 12:50:04 PM
Author:biblobaggins23
okay, i realize that its the brides ultimate final decision as to what her bridesmaids will wear most of the time. anyway, do you think its appropriate for your bridesmaids to complain about the cost of your bridesmaids dresses? or should she just suck it up and pay for the brides sake? yes or no?


i''m in the process of picking out dresses and i found a few gorgeous ones i love!


i''m curious....what are your experiences/suggestions?
Yes.

While it''s generally a good idea for folks to frame their complaints as constructive feedback, your bm''s are not mindless robots who should not speak unless spoken to. If they complain, they complain. Try listening.
 

psaddict

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Date: 12/13/2006 3:02:09 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
i have a dress in mind, and i would hate for a bridesmaid to threaten to back out of the wedding. if she did, i would be devestated. i would say that i have been in weddings wear i thought the dresses were affordable, but lwere poorly made and the material was not good quality. i want good quality material and i want my bridesmaids to look good in my pictures. i want my bridesmaids to be well tailored and look expensive, but not have to pay 500 dollars. i did find a dress that is pricey, but not like 500 dollars. they are gorgeous and i had my 2 sisters try them on with my mom with us. they looked great in them and we decided thats what we are going to do we all love them. because they are classic i know they can wear them again. my sister said she would wear it to another wedding or formal party. hopefully i will get the same response from my bms.
thanks for all your advice!!! i will now know how to approach the situation.

much appreciated!
You say it''s not $500... does that mean it''s $300 or $350? And the rest of your bridesmaids haven''t even seen it yet? If money isn''t a problem for any of these girls, it may not be a problem at all, but something in the $250 - $350 range is asking kind of a lot for the typical girl.. especially considering they had not even a tiny bit of say in what the dress looks like or anything. I don''t know... I don''t think I''d feel thrilled about being expected to shell out that much for a dress that could be unflattering on me or not my style. Maybe you should talk to all the bridesmaids before making a final decision? Just my opinion.
 

tanyak

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Date: 12/13/2006 7:46:44 PM
Author: psaddict

Date: 12/13/2006 3:02:09 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
i have a dress in mind, and i would hate for a bridesmaid to threaten to back out of the wedding. if she did, i would be devestated. i would say that i have been in weddings wear i thought the dresses were affordable, but lwere poorly made and the material was not good quality. i want good quality material and i want my bridesmaids to look good in my pictures. i want my bridesmaids to be well tailored and look expensive, but not have to pay 500 dollars. i did find a dress that is pricey, but not like 500 dollars. they are gorgeous and i had my 2 sisters try them on with my mom with us. they looked great in them and we decided thats what we are going to do we all love them. because they are classic i know they can wear them again. my sister said she would wear it to another wedding or formal party. hopefully i will get the same response from my bms.
thanks for all your advice!!! i will now know how to approach the situation.

much appreciated!
You say it''s not $500... does that mean it''s $300 or $350? And the rest of your bridesmaids haven''t even seen it yet? If money isn''t a problem for any of these girls, it may not be a problem at all, but something in the $250 - $350 range is asking kind of a lot for the typical girl.. especially considering they had not even a tiny bit of say in what the dress looks like or anything. I don''t know... I don''t think I''d feel thrilled about being expected to shell out that much for a dress that could be unflattering on me or not my style. Maybe you should talk to all the bridesmaids before making a final decision? Just my opinion.
I agree.

One final thought. At this stage in my life (I''m 31), I''d almost rather pay $90 bucks for a dress that I''ll only wear once than $350 for a dress that is called rewearable. Frankly, I don''t ever attend any very formal weddings or other events that would call for such a fancy dress and it would sit in my closet either way
.
 

aljdewey

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Date: 12/13/2006 1:10:02 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 12/13/2006 1:01:45 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
yeah, i always thought or was told by my mother growing up and from weddings i''ve been in myself that no matter the cost whether its too expensive or super cheap, that the bridesmaid never complain. i was wondering if there were etiquette rules or if the bridesmaid has the right too?
Well, in your mother''s day they probably didn''t have some of the crazy prices they do today...

Ladies these days have very high designer tastes at much younger ages. It sometimes amazes me the stuff they pick out and expect their BMs to pay. Any bride who feels bridesmaids should always suck it up for their sake is a bit of a bridezilla, IMHO. However, on the other hand, there are ways that BMs can express their concern without flat out complaining.
A wholehearted Amen to this!
 

psaddict

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Date: 12/13/2006 8:28:21 PM
Author: tanyak

Date: 12/13/2006 7:46:44 PM
Author: psaddict


Date: 12/13/2006 3:02:09 PM
Author: biblobaggins23
i have a dress in mind, and i would hate for a bridesmaid to threaten to back out of the wedding. if she did, i would be devestated. i would say that i have been in weddings wear i thought the dresses were affordable, but lwere poorly made and the material was not good quality. i want good quality material and i want my bridesmaids to look good in my pictures. i want my bridesmaids to be well tailored and look expensive, but not have to pay 500 dollars. i did find a dress that is pricey, but not like 500 dollars. they are gorgeous and i had my 2 sisters try them on with my mom with us. they looked great in them and we decided thats what we are going to do we all love them. because they are classic i know they can wear them again. my sister said she would wear it to another wedding or formal party. hopefully i will get the same response from my bms.
thanks for all your advice!!! i will now know how to approach the situation.

much appreciated!
You say it''s not $500... does that mean it''s $300 or $350? And the rest of your bridesmaids haven''t even seen it yet? If money isn''t a problem for any of these girls, it may not be a problem at all, but something in the $250 - $350 range is asking kind of a lot for the typical girl.. especially considering they had not even a tiny bit of say in what the dress looks like or anything. I don''t know... I don''t think I''d feel thrilled about being expected to shell out that much for a dress that could be unflattering on me or not my style. Maybe you should talk to all the bridesmaids before making a final decision? Just my opinion.
I agree.

One final thought. At this stage in my life (I''m 31), I''d almost rather pay $90 bucks for a dress that I''ll only wear once than $350 for a dress that is called rewearable. Frankly, I don''t ever attend any very formal weddings or other events that would call for such a fancy dress and it would sit in my closet either way
.
I completely agree! I actually have a couple of dresses that I bought and picked out on my own to wear to something nice, thinking that I''d wear them again, and years later they''ve never come out of my closet after being worn once. So I can''t imagine I''d wear a fancy dress I didn''t even pick out myself again!

This is a separate thought, but I also felt worried after reading the title of this post, biblobaggins23... "is it OK for your bridesmaid to complain?" It sounds like you think that there''s a good chance they won''t be happy with the dress or the price of the dress, and are just hoping that they will keep these thoughts to themselves because it''s "not ok" to complain.
don''t you want them to be happy and feel comfortable, and not be feeling annoyed/resentful through your wedding because they''re wearing a dress they don''t like and paid an arm and a leg for, but bottling these feelings up? I''m sure you don''t want this to really be the case.
 

musey

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Date: 12/13/2006 1:15:37 PM
Author: IslandDreams
I think the bride should sit down and discusss the budget for the bridesmaid dresses with each bridesmaid individually BEFORE they start shopping for dresses.

Agree 100%. I think it's inconsiderate of any bride not to cater to the financial constraints of her maids. Any time you are asking someone else to spend money on you, it seems only fair to give them an opportunity to negotiate their budget for the event.

Think of it this way, the ring is YOUR thing, but if your fiance had budgeted $3000, you wouldn't say, "well the one I picked is $15,000, so......."

If your BMs can't afford over a certain price, don't make them pay over that, IMHO. If their budgets top out at $100, shell out the extra for the dress if you want it that badly.

ETA:
Author: TravelingGal
Any bride who feels bridesmaids should always suck it up for their sake is a bit of a bridezilla, IMHO.
Love it. Completely agree.
 
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