To refuse to pay for bridesmaid dress

(834 Posts)
bridezilla1 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:43:39

I am to be one of 5 bridesmaids for my friends wedding summer 2019.

I am the only one of the 5 who has young children, I am also a single parent with very little money.

Already the "honour" of being her bridesmaid is being very costly. There has been a few dinners to talk over her wedding plans, of which I have had to pay babysitters. The dinners have been of the brides choosing and expensive restaurants with bottles of wine etc.

There is a hen do before the wedding that I cannot make as it is a long weekend away (not possible for me) and the bride was quite unfair about it saying she was upset that not all of her bridesmaids would come.

We went to the bridesmaid dress fittings and selected our sizes from the pre selected dresses of her choice. the dresses were £250. Yesterday the bride messaged saying she was going to order them so can we all transfer the cash by the end of the day. I don't have that kind of money and I am just really shocked, surely if we were paying for our own it should be a dress of our own choice. I would never spend £250 on an item of clothing especially one that I will never wear again but what choice do I really have now? All the other bridesmaids have responded that they have transferred (it's a group Facebook chat) I have no idea what to say!

OP’s posts: |
HomeEdRocks18 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:45:47

Just be honest and say you cannot buy the dress. If she's any type of friend she will understand.

halcyondays Mon 03-Dec-18 14:46:18

I was a bridesmaid twice and the brides paid for my dress both times. when I was a bride I paid for the BMs' dresses. In all cases the bride chose the dress.

BunsOfAnarchy Mon 03-Dec-18 14:46:41

Tell her you have a small child and 250 is ridiculous.
Isnt tradition that the bride pays for bridesmaid dresses?! Unless you choose your own? (Im indian so my knowledge on non Indian weddings isnt the best)

MuddlingThrough1724 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:46:46

I'd say she's a CF and not much of a friend if she hasn't considered your circumstances. I'd be politely backing out of being her bridesmaid as a real friend would be mindful of the cost and wouldn't be making a fuss about you it going to the hen do. You're best of out of it.

Alfie190 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:46:49

It is normal to pay for your own bridesmaid dress. You maybe needed to say you wouldn't be able to do it because of cost.

Butterflycookie Mon 03-Dec-18 14:46:54

Just be honest with her and say that you can’t afford it! Maybe she will pay for it or pay half. You could say that you don’t want to be a bridesmaid either.

Justmuddlingalong Mon 03-Dec-18 14:47:10

"I quit" should do it.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Mon 03-Dec-18 14:48:00

£250 for a dress you didnt choose?
No way.
I'd back out now, it's not like she's short of bridesmaids

WerewolfNumber1 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:48:04

I Think you have to be honest here.

Maybe message your friend outside the chat? Along the lines of


I’m sorry, I suppose we should have discussed this before, but I just assumed that you’d be paying for the bridesmaid dresses as they are your choice.

I simply can’t afford to spend £250 on something I can only wear once.

You know that I was thrilled to be asked to be your bridesmaid, and I’m so happy for you to be getting married.

But as a single mother, money is very tight. This wedding has already cost me a lot of money (expensive dinners, lying for a babysitter, etc) and I just don’t have another £250 to spend.

If you’d rather I step down as bridesmaid obviously I totally understand.


That strikes me as assertive, but still polite and hopefully doesn’t end the friendship.

I agree with you btw that if bride chooses the dresses, she pays.

pinkhorse Mon 03-Dec-18 14:48:23

I'm paying for my bridesmaids dresses. I thought everyone did that.

RoboticMary Mon 03-Dec-18 14:49:07

I’d be honest and tell her bluntly that I couldn’t afford it. I paid for my bridesmaids’ dresses and didn’t expect them to subsidise my wedding day. Why should they?

WerewolfNumber1 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:49:36

That should be paying for a babysitter, obv.

And @Alfie190 - in the UK the norm is that the bride pays for bridesmaid dresses, unless the bride just tells the bridesmaids to wear what they want in which case they pay.

ChocolateChipMuffin2016 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:49:52

I would be honest, but I get the impression from your post it might not go well and I think you may need to consider stepping down from the role as it'll be hair/make up/spa day before/hotel for the night etc etc.

If shes a good friend she will pay or take your circumstances into account, if not she won't.

And for what its worth I paid for my BM's dresses and their hair and said they could opt in to make up if they wanted, but they had the choice (no drama either way). I also asked the person organising the hen to make sure it was as affordable as possible as I wanted people to come and not stress about money, but I like my friends!

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 03-Dec-18 14:51:23

I cannot get my head around this thing where the bride expects her bridesmaids to pay for their dresses. It's CFery of the highest order.

Eatmycheese Mon 03-Dec-18 14:51:35

She's got a nerve. Just tell her you can't as you don't have the money.

Do people really have to buy their own bridesmaids dresses these days?
"Please be a part of my big day, because you are special to me and I love you. Oh and by the way it will cost you"

I'm sorry if this offends anyone but I think that is really cringeworthy.
If you want someone to be a bridesmaid then pay for their bloody dress.

Novinosincebambino Mon 03-Dec-18 14:51:46

It's the bride's choice to have as many bridesmaids as she wants but she should have the budget to pay for the dresses for that many. No way you should be paying for your dress that isn't your choice and can only be worn once. A non bridezilla would get that. If she doesn't then step back and dodge that bullet.

Steelesauce Mon 03-Dec-18 14:52:01

I think it's something that should have been discussed ages ago. It is normal to pay for your own dress but usually there is talk about it first

LittleScottieDog Mon 03-Dec-18 14:52:22

If the bride is choosing the dress then it's normal for her to pay for it. Just like the B&G would pay for hire of the men's suits. My bridesmaids choose their own dresses but I gave them colours to choose from and requested a certain fabric to match my dress. I paid for all of them, including alterations. I said they could wear whatever shoes they wanted though, and didn't pay for those.

You need to say to your friend that your upset but you'll have to step down as a bridesmaid as you can't afford the dress. £250 is ridiculous, TBH. I'd be saying it to any friend who wanted me to pay that much for a dress THEY'D chosen for me for THEIR wedding, and I can afford it. She needs to know this isn't okay, not for you.

PineappleTart Mon 03-Dec-18 14:53:46

I think this is quite an American thing which has made its way over here. If she can't afford to pay for dresses for 4 bridesmaids then she shouldn't have so many.

ajw88 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:53:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleScottieDog Mon 03-Dec-18 14:55:11

*chose their own

*you're upset

TetherEnding Mon 03-Dec-18 14:55:17

I would also politely decline the entire role. She's a burgeoning bridezilla anyway so you're well out of it.

LAlady Mon 03-Dec-18 14:56:29

I paid for my bridesmaids' dresses. I wouldn't have dreamt of asking my bridesmaids to pay. Surely this isn't normal practice now ?

CalamityJane10 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:57:14

I paid for my bridesmaids’ dresses, shoes, hair, make-up etc. It never crossed my mind that they would be expected to pay confused

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