Should the Bridal Party Pay For Their Own Attire?

March 13, 2017

Should the Bridal Party Pay For Their Own Attire?

Money is a funny thing. It has soured many relationships and we want to draw your attention to a very contentious question: should the bridal party pay for their own attire?

The topic of whether the bridal party should pay for their own attire has two perspectives:

  • The perspective of the bride and groom.
  • The perspective of the bridal party.

Bride and Groom

To the wedding couple: we know weddings can be expensive. Wedding expenses can easily exceed your initial wedding budget and it is tempting to ask the bridal party to pay for their own items (such as dresses, suits, shoes and jewellery) to help you save some money.

You may not think this is a big issue. However, it could be a very big issue for your bridal party.

We would recommend that brides and grooms consider whether the bridal party can afford to pay. Some (or all) members of your bridal party might be doing it tough financially and may not be able to afford the dress or suit you have chosen.

Making matters worse is the shame that most people have when they are lacking funds – most people would be too embarrassed (or guilty) to say they can’t afford to pay. So you should take the initiative and bring up the topic with your bridal party.

We’d imagine that most wedding couples cover the expenses of the bridal party (we did) but that won’t necessarily work for everyone. So we aren’t advocating one way or another. Instead, what we suggest is to have an honest and open conversation – in private – with members of your bridal party and ask if they are willing or able to pay their way.

If, however, you insist that the bridal party pays, then be flexible and let the bridal party choose what they buy. For example, pick the colour but let each bridesmaid source a dress at a price they're comfortable with.

Have a look at our free wedding budget calculator – it might help you find ways to save money in order to pay for your bridal party.

One final word to the bride and groom: if you can afford to pay, then you should. No one likes a penny pincher and, if the wedding couple have enough money to cover the costs of the bridal party, it isn’t right to ask the bridal party to pay. Remember, you asked them to be a part of your wedding. They're doing you a favour already.

Remember that your bridal party is likely giving you gifts for your engagement and kitchen tea - not to mention the added expense of the hens' or bucks' night - so it's already getting expensive for them!

Bridal Party

To the bridal party: we know that weddings can be expensive! Between engagement gifts, kitchen tea gifts and wedding gifts, bridal party expenses can be significant. However, spare a thought for the wedding couple, who may be pouring all of their savings (or maybe even getting into debt) to pay for their wedding.

If you can afford it, it would be considerate to help financially by paying for your clothes, shoes, adornments, hair and make up.

However, if you genuinely cannot afford to pay, then you need to let the wedding couple know. Relationships are all about honesty and our advice is for you to be honest with the bride and groom. Tell them you can’t afford to pay!

Once you have that conversation, try and see if there is a compromise. Maybe the wedding couple can pay for everything. Or, maybe the cost can be shared. Either way, the last thing you should do is fume about the matter in private and not resolve anything. The relationship is more important than that.


Our recommendation is that the wedding couple and bridal party have open, honest and frank conversations – in private! – about who is paying for what.

And do it as early as possible! Problems with money can become toxic if they are left to fester and could destroy your relationships. Don’t let that happen to you. Have the honest conversation and find a compromise so that you can enjoy your special day with your loved ones.

Bridal Blue specialises in designing and handcrafting custom-made bridal and wedding headpieces, crowns and tiaras featuring pearls and crystals from Swarovski for brides, bridesmaids, and flower girls. See Bridal Blue's ever growing wedding tips and bridal inspiration blog for more great wedding ideas. 

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