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UKbride Member Request 30 Jan 2019

Asking Bridesmaids to pay for their own outfit

Hi I need help, I have been planning our wedding since our engagement last year, set a budget asked our brothers and sisters to be a part of our wedding party, but since then our budget is going to have to be reduced significantly due to unforeseen circumstances and now I am panicking about how to ask our wedding party to pay for their own outfits hair and makeup. are there any suggestions on how to do this. I don't want to upset anyone.

30 Comments
UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Just explain your situation. If they are important and they care about you, they'll understand. If they don't and kick off about it, then you don't want them as part of your wedding anyway

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

I’d write it in a card & just say I really want you to be a big part of my special day but can’t afford this because of certain circumstances. I know if my
Friend was struggling I wouldn’t hesitate to buy my own dress xxx

Demi Wright
Demi Wright 30 Jan 2019

If they're upset then they're not your friends. Just say there isn't enough in the budget

Sammi Briggs
Sammi Briggs 30 Jan 2019

Be honest. The worst they can do is say they can't afford it therefore can't be part of the wedding party

Jennifer McEvoy
Jennifer McEvoy 30 Jan 2019

Be honest. That's all you can do. T if they are true friends etc they won't mind

Sarah Park
Sarah Park 30 Jan 2019

I'm on a tight budget so agreed to get bridemaid dresses but they are sorting own shoes etc. I got lovely dresses from chi chi london with a friend's student discount so hasn't cost me much. 😁

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

I didn't have to ask my bridal party, but then i did let them wear what they wanted so long as it was in the colour scheme

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

I was quite lucky everyone knew we were on a budget and they offered to pay. If you explain I'm sure they won't hesitate as long as it's not extortionate prices

Caroline Larner
Caroline Larner 30 Jan 2019

Just explain the circumstances and be honest that you can't afford to pay for everyone. Any true friend would be sympathetic and try their best to still be a part of your wedding.

You could help by choosing cheaper suits (M&S do a whole suit for £99 or less at great quality) and choose high street dresses from Debenhams or Roman etc., both of which could easily be worn again for other occasions. If you're not bothered about matching shoes etc. you could ask what colours the ladies already have and try and find one that will match the dresses and that they won't have to buy a new pair for. Costume jewellery is inexpensive and can be worn again too.

For hair and makeup you could all save £5-£10 per month (or whatever is doable in the time you have before your wedding) and group it together to pay for a makeup artist? You can set up a joint account easily online and not many people would miss that much per month but on the day you'll still get the whole wedding experience.

I know it's awkward talking about money but I'm sure you're worrying over nothing and that everyone will rally round to give you and your partner a wonderful day :-)

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Just be honest - if they're family they'll know what circumstances you're talking about and will understand.

I'd leave it open - say you'd love for them to be involved, but you appreciate the cost involved and won't take offence if they can't afford/don't want to spend the money on being in the actual wedding party.

Don't overthink it - they may buy their own outfits, as othrs have said, high street stored have lovely dresses at a fraction of the price of bridal stores, and decide to do their own hair and makeup to keep costs down, so could be in your wedding for £60 each or so.

It lets them know you'd still like them to be involved, but also gives them an out if they can't afford it themselves either.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

I’ve put it forward as not expecting any wedding gifts from them, and that them paying for their outfits etc is the gift

Jaz Nokes
Jaz Nokes 30 Jan 2019

Just make sure if they are buying their own stuff that they can choose their stuff and prices so that they don't feel forced to spend money on something they won't wear again xxx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Agree be honest. Personally i don't think you can ask people to pay for their hair and make up doing - that's got to be their choice- and with the outfits be reasonable, find something that won't cost a bomb

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Explain the situation, hair and make up needs to be optional and outfits they need input! I'm sure they will be fine, end of the day they would be buying an outfit to wear anyway unless they have something tucked away!!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Be honest with everyone and say you have a much smaller budget than you thought and that you cannot afford their outfits etc. I think it would be best to give them a colour scheme and maybe a style instead of telling them the exact outfit they must wear, that way they can choose something they like which still fits your wedding but that they will wear again (we all know how expensive clothes can be) also if they want to do their own hair and makeup then let them. I’m sure they will all understand, if they weren’t wedding party they would have to sort their own clothes etc! Good luck xx

Siân White
Siân White 30 Jan 2019

I just told my bridesmaids I was buying their dresses but if they wanted hair/makeup etc doing they would have to pay for themselves. They were completely fine with that as they understood we’re on a budget.. Don’t feel bad for asking them to pay for themselves, I’m sure they’ll understand!! Xx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

I asked my bridesmaids first. And maybe agree on something together instead of you deciding alone and then them having the bill?

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Can you not change venue ..and explain that you can not afford the outfits, or get cheaper ones or even offer to put towards their outfits ..good luck

Mel Ive
Mel Ive 30 Jan 2019

My bridesmaids have been really understanding and are wearing their own shoes and sorting their hair and makeup

Lauren Townsend
Lauren Townsend 30 Jan 2019

Cost savers:

Bridesmaids:
Have all hair straightened and down.
Do their own makeup.
ASOS for simple dresses or give them a colour scheme and a budget, if they want something more expensive they can add it themselves.
Flowers: either none or hand tie some eucalyptus.

Groomsmen:
Tell them what colour suit to wear (light blue, light grey etc).
Tell them it's white shirt.
Supply a tie and matching pocket square, maybe a waistcoat if you can afford it. X

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Just tell them the truth I was maid of honour for my brother and sister in law and I paid for my dress ECT because I knew they couldn't afford everything we also made dream catchers as the wedding favours for the guests together xx

Nina Theophanous
Nina Theophanous 30 Jan 2019

I bought the bridesmaid dresses but they paid alterations and makeup. They wore their own shoes in the same colours. The guys bought their suits we bought the bow ties - no one even questioned it 😊 xx

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 30 Jan 2019

Just be aware that they may not be able to afford it either... have an honest chat with them

Bethan Roberts
Bethan Roberts 30 Jan 2019

Just tell them, we had to do similar for the suits as we couldn’t afford to pay for everyones suits. They were all completely understanding and said they weren’t expecting it anyway!

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 31 Jan 2019

Hair n make up is not always a given that the bride will pay.. I didn't... as for clothes it doesn't have to be megga expensive for them either. Unless you have a strict dress code(then the BnG should really pay) most people will be happy to provide their own if they can choose what they want. After all the day and evening guests will prob all be buying new outfits. So unless what u have chosen is non negotiable the bridal party I'm sure will be fine.

Charlotte Wright
Charlotte Wright 31 Jan 2019

Don't worry if you explain your situation I'm sure they will understand and even help in your despite time of need. I'm also on a tight budget and have to be careful not to spend too much of our budget. :)

Jessica Pearce
Jessica Pearce 31 Jan 2019

I would do a lot of research before you say anything to them, I got my bridesmaid dress for £18 from Asos and she looks beautiful! She has offered to buy her own shoes which helps me out massively. If you still cannot find some deals within your budget, then just be honest with them.

Rachael Watkinson
Rachael Watkinson 31 Jan 2019

I told my bridesmaids that in the event that i needed them to pay for their own dresses (which i have to say is not unlikely) i would give them a level of freedom. They can go shopping together and choose the dress they like, i only ask that they are purple and the same. My MOH is professional make up artist so has offered to do my make up for free. My other bridesmaid will probably do her own.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 2 Feb 2019

You can do it pretty cheaply - personally I don’t think it’s fair to ask people to pay for clothes, hair and makeup (shoes and accessories that’s their choice and they can get their own). We did it on a very tight budget and if you shop around and cut the odd corner it can be done.

UKbride Administrator
UKbride Administrator 2 Feb 2019

Be honest with them

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