Who Pays for Bridesmaid Dresses?

by Deb Powers

Being chosen as a bridesmaid for a friend's wedding is an honor, but it comes with expenses, responsibilities and questions. One of the most commonly asked questions from bridal attendants is "Who pays for the bridesmaid dresses?"

Tradition

Traditionally, bridesmaids are responsible for the cost of their bridesmaid dress. Each bridesmaid also traditionally bears the expense of her shoes, jewelry, hair and makeup.

Average Costs

According to a survey conducted by Discover Card in 2007, the typical bridesmaid spends $963 on the varied expenses associated with a wedding. She pays about $200 for the bridesmaid dress.

Miss Manners Says

In newspaper interviews and in her Miss Manners column, Judith Martin has stated a bride should be considerate of her attendants' financial circumstances when choosing bridesmaid dresses.

Modern Trends

As it has become more acceptable for bridesmaids to wear nonmatching dresses, many brides opt to have their attendants choose their own dresses instead of requiring them to pay for an expensive dress they might never wear again.

Considerations

Some brides choose to pay for their bridesmaids' dresses, but it is neither traditional nor expected.

About the Author

Deb Powers is an avid urban gardener who works with a community collective to promote sustainable urban agriculture and build partnerships between local business owners and community organizations. Powers serves as a social media and marketing consultant for local non-profits and businesses, and is collaborating with a coffee roaster to publish a cookbook highlighting coffee as a culinary ingredient.