It’s been a while since we’ve talked weddings on this blog but I thought I would take us back there following an email I received recently from a reader about bridesmaid dresses.
Just wondered if you could help me out with something? A friend has asked me to be bridesmaid at her wedding taking place next year and I'm expected to pay £200 for dress+ accessories and the headtie and lace for her engagement ceremony. I'm good for the money so financially that isn't an issue but its still a lot of money especially considering my relationship with this person isn't a close one. In fact I use the term friend loosely here. The fact that I've been asked by her I should consider it an honour to be a part of the wedding but I keep asking myself why I should spend such an amount on someone I'm not close to and by the way this person is Nigerian and so you know a wedding gift will also be expected.
What would your advice be and what price range did your bridesmaids pay for your wedding?
I've always been under the notion that if someone wants you to be part of their bridal train they should at least pay 50% towards the dress, after all you wouldn't expect your wedding guests whom you invited to come and share your day with you to bring their own food.
But anyway what's your two cents on this?
Thanks for your email.
I personally think £200+ is a lot to pay especially if you’re saying you are not 'close' to this person. For people you care a lot about, money is not an issue, but as you have stated in your email, whilst you are honoured you use the term 'friend' loosely.
It really all depends on how much she means to you and whether you want to be her bridesmaid. If you feel the price is too much to pay, then my thoughts would be to politely decline her request or see if she is willing to contribute to the costs. My guess is, if she was in a position to contribute to costs she would have offered from the outset. Maybe if the style/design hasn't been confirmed you could suggest cheaper options e.g. tailor make the outfits, choose a colour and you all get your own dress. There are different options which are cheaper.
There is no set rule around who pays for what but from a bride's perspective I was conscious that I couldn't ask my friends and family to fork out loads for something they might only wear once. I wanted outfits they would comfortable in and would not break the bank. Hence why we went down the “buy fabric and use tailor” route.
For my bridesmaids the most they paid was around £65 which included the dress and accessories. I did not expect a gift from them even though some of them did kindly buy a gift, some even bought the aseobi as well. Bear in mind that 5/7 of my bridal train were family and the remainder best friends.
Hope this helps!
Bridesmaid-to-be response back…
When I was first told of the costs involved I did mention it were a lot of money but the bride-to be insisted she had been bridesmaid at a few weddings where she had had to pay £500.
The dress has already been chosen by her and I'm still deciding whether its something I see myself wearing again, it would've been nice to have had some input in choosing the dress since I'm asked to pay £110 for it, the rest of the money is towards accessories and gele+ lace which I haven't even seen.
I wouldn't mind being a bridesmaid but then again I would be just as happy as a guest at her wedding but I feel that by declining, she'll hold it against me which is not something I want. By asking her to contribute to the costs I would see it as inconsiderate of me knowing full well that she has other expenses to cater to in regards to her wedding.
Like I said before, she didn't have to choose me as one of her bridesmaids but she did....*sigh*.....I dunno, guess I'll put this into prayer and seek God's wisdom in this.
Readers…what advice would you give?