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Don't Be Bridezilla! How To Ask Your Bridesmaids To Pay For Their Own Dress and How Not To!

How to propose to bridesmaid
Do not be THAT Bridezilla called Karen who we read about on Reddit!

Too many brides lose their besties over this, don't be one of them. Sit yourself down with a brew, feet up and dig into this guide.

The easy part! Make a list of your bridesmaids and propose to them with a ton of romance and artistry. Loads of youtube videos and ideas on Pinterest for how to propose to your Bridesmaids. You could take the easy option and just call them - don't be that person though who just sends a text!

But before you do, here are some things you need to think about

  • Are the Bridesmaids' outfits being purchased by you or are they buying them or contributing a % to the cost?
  • Are they all wearing the same outfit, or are they able to mix & match their outfits?
  • Is it possible that they'll go through a weight gain or pregnancy between the time they order the gown and the wedding?

Yikes, more to it than you thought right? Now let's get down to business. If you want to ask them to pay for their own bridesmaid dresses, accessories, hair and perhaps even more, here's how to do it! Do NOT be a Bridezilla and just dictate your wants screaming

"it's my wedding, it's my wedding, I should have what I want, the world stops on my wedding day for me!" 

Don't be her.

How To Drop "The Bridesmaids Pay For Their Own Dress" Bomb

Explain to your besties and close family at the time of proposing to them that you're on a tight budget and hence need to keep things basic yet exquisite in your presentation. The only way to include them is if they are able to contribute financially to the expense of their outfits and accessories. Reassure them you won't be offended if they are not able to commit to those costs. They just won't be in the Bridal Party.

Give your bridesmaids an estimated cost (anything over you pay for it yourself) and let them know any expectations you may have for professional hair, makeup, nails, shoes, accessories etc. The costs can quickly escalate and your bridal party will need to be well informed before they accept your offer. What an angelic bride-to-be you are ... all good so far!

Be aware some bridesmaids when put on 'the spot' will accept your proposal to be their Bridesmaids for fear of offending.

Later down the line, due to costs and too many commitments, you may see your bridesmaid's enthusiasm waiver. These are some of the hiccups newly married women found when planning their own wedding. Keep in touch with your bridesmaids regularly, perhaps via a private Whatsapp group etc. Be mindful if they start complaining about other expenses in their life and see if you need to pre-empt a discussion about the bridesmaid costs.

Do not pull the 'you have time to save' routine on them

Most people these days live close to the wire regarding the cost of living and if they have any money to save it will be for their children's Christmas, or a family holiday, a new fridge etc. It is very unreasonable to expect people to spend the only money they're able to save on your event. It is a fact of life that our direct families needs take priority. Be understanding of that. Let them decide if they can afford it or not, don't tell them they can! 

Being flexible re the style of dress helps them feel more comfortable about paying for their own bridesmaid dress

If you allow your Bridesmaids some flexibility regarding the style of the dress, (since they would be purchasing something to wear to your wedding in any event) you can more easily justify asking them to pay for their own Bridesmaid dress. They can choose something for themselves that they would wear again. You could keep your request to a simple color theme, length of dress, etc. This however will depend on your overall vision for your wedding.

Sticking to your vision

You may prefer to dictate the wedding dress style but offer to pay anything over a set amount yourself. So they are partly contributing. 

Understand different body types and do not force all your bridesmaids into the same style of dress if it really only looks good on one body size or shape. There are plenty of bridesmaid dresses these days (multi ways) that offer a variety of ways to wear this single dress. They seem very popular among brides and bridesmaids alike. 

Know when to cut them loose

If you've been more than reasonable and after it all you feel you're getting the run-around, have a chat with your bridesmaids, see where they are at and if necessary let them know you would prefer they attend as a guest instead. There is no guarantee re how this conversation will go! They might be relieved or offended. Just reassure them you want to remain tight friends. 

If you have any more ideas re how to tackle this, let me know in comments!

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