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Bridesmaid/pageboy outfits-who pays?

(18 Posts)
Edenviolet Wed 26-Mar-14 20:57:35

When dh and I got married we had our own dcs as bridesmaids/pageboys and dn as flower girls, we got their dresses and they wore shoes they already had.

Sil got married recently and asked dcs to be bridesmaid/flower girl and page boys and sil got the outfits, we got dcs the shoes. I thought this was pretty standard as to how things are done.
As a present we usually give or spend £50

Dsis will be getting married soon, she would like me to be her bridesmaid and for our four dcs to be bridesmaids/pageboys. She was showing me dresses/colours etc she wanted, cheapest dress for me was £100 and dcs stuff would be a lot. She said "instead of buying us a gift your gift to us will be that you buy your own dresses/outfits/accessories and please would your dh make our cake as it will save us money" judging by what she is looking at the outfits will cost us £££ and we can't afford it but I don't know hw to tell her. She wants to keep costs to a minimum and as much as I'd like to help Its just too expensive.
I was thinking of steering her towards cheaper options but she has her heart set on certain colours etc and certain 'looks'.

Flopsy28 Wed 26-Mar-14 21:04:09

What an awkward situation for you. Has your sister not observed the etiquette from other weddings?

Tbh, I think a solution would be to say you'll be happy to be her bridesmaid and the children will just wear party clothes they already have. .. Our the other way round.

IDontDoIroning Wed 26-Mar-14 21:09:59

I would say whoever chooses pays. So if brides says anything pink - bridesmaids pay. If bride says I want this particular dress then she pays, especially if it's something that isn't going to be able to be worn again, or screams bridesmaid.
Shoes similar.

Edenviolet Wed 26-Mar-14 22:52:50

I think she has very set ideas, and that's fine but I just can't afford to pay! I want her to have a lovely day and I'm happy to do all I can to help but dresses/outfits/shoes etc for four dcs will be expensive.

I think I'm going to have to have a look for reasonably priced alternatives and persuade her the cheaper dresses etc are much nicer!

GertyD Thu 27-Mar-14 06:40:41

It has always been my understanding that the bride pays, for dresses, accessories and shoes. That is what I have done. It didn't cross my mind that my bridesmaids should pay for themselves. It is my wedding after all.

AuntieStella Thu 27-Mar-14 06:53:00

I have a family member who is an excellent baker and she would give a wonderful cake as wedding present, so that strikes me as normal within a family.

I would sat that it's up to the hosts/bridal party to pay for attendants clothes. But if she is insisting otherwise, there really isn't much you can do except work out what you can afford and break it to her gently but firmly that that really is your limit.

Quinteszilla Thu 27-Mar-14 06:55:40

You need to tell her that she can't cut costs by offloading the costs to other people.

She wants a wedding above her means. Can your tell her what yhe etiquette is, amd that you can't afford it so your kids will either wear outfits they have or they are not part of it?

AuditAngel Thu 27-Mar-14 06:56:21

I agree that it should be her that pays, and telling her firmly. If you were able to find alternative dresses, that might help smooth things along.

Lj8893 Thu 27-Mar-14 07:12:24

I would tell her your happy to do this as a wedding gift, but your budget for a wedding gift would be £?? And so that's what your budget for the outfits is. Say your happy to hunt for outfits within that budget that fit her ideas.

She can't argue with that.

Blithereens Thu 27-Mar-14 08:50:36

Wtf no. I bought all my bridesmaids' dresses, I made their hair pieces and I bought them all a necklace too. I did their hair and my friend (trained) did their make-up. I also bought my ring-bearer's outfit.

They chose their own shoes so they paid for them, but I could never ask them to pay for their dresses!

Blithereens Thu 27-Mar-14 08:53:57

Actually I did make my MOH pay for the replacement when she fattened out of her dress grin but I also helped her sell the too-small one to cover the cost. And they were from the high street, not ££££.

SparklySocks Thu 27-Mar-14 12:50:34

Definitely the bride should pay. If they want you in a certain thing they have to cough up. Saying that, my mate was given £30 by the bride to get her outfitshock . Not surprisingly she ended up spending alot more.

Ludways Thu 27-Mar-14 12:56:14

Wedding party pays, in the states the bridesmaid pays for her own dress. Answers the question why we only have a 2-3 (usually) over here whereas they always have about 10 over there.

emawaste Fri 28-Mar-14 06:16:36

In your situation, i think one solution is that you say her that you will not be able to spend too much money.If she want you to buy wedding dress at least give some contribution or buy shoe for you.It will reduce your cost.

Ludways Fri 28-Mar-14 08:20:48

What about the outfits they wore to SIL's wedding, can they be used again, or the little ones wear what the big ones had and just buy for the big ones this time?

What about hiring?

Edenviolet Fri 28-Mar-14 08:51:51

The outfits for sil wedding were cream/burgundy dresses for dds and dsis has a completely different colour scheme. Sil had an Xmas wedding, dsis will be a spring wedding with champagne/turquoise colours.

Suits for ds1&2 were hired (I think even that was quite expensive about £75 for each) I'm wondering if I could suggest party dresses for the girls in dsis desired colours as they would be cheaper than actual bridesmaids ones and perhaps ds's could just have smart trousers and a shirt rather than a full suit.
I might just say to her what I can afford and that we either need to work within that budget or she needs to pay the extra if she wants more expensive stuff.

Ludways Fri 28-Mar-14 10:36:36

Damn them and their different colour schemes, lol.

There are some seriously gorgeous party dresses around so I think your suggestion is a good one.

Good luck!

purpleroses Fri 28-Mar-14 17:25:18

My DS was a page boy and DSis's wedding and just wore cheap black trousers (that I bought) and a nice red shirt, that my DM gave him for Christmas. But it was about £15 I think. I polished his school shoes.

If she wants you to pay for them then tell her that you can only afford off the peg party dresses. You can buy nice dresses for girls from any highstreet store. Is she wants them all in her choice of matching bridesmaid ones made to measure then she should pay.

Do your DCs have birthdays coming up between now and the wedding? Could you suggest she buys them the dresses as birthday presents? grin

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