Friendship, Relationships

Should bridesmaids have to shell out cash to be involved in YOUR day?

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
March 19th, 2016

There’s nothing like organising a wedding to send people off-the-charts cray-cray. All the pressure of “it’s the most important day of your life” and “you’ll only do it once” can seriously wreak havoc on a bride and groom and everyone around them.

As a VERY high strung individual, I was a surprisingly low maintenance bride. My main concerns were a) my make up looked good and b) I got married. Oh, and like all wog functions there had to be a shitload of food, heaps of vino, and lots of dancing – but apart from that, I was pretty cruisy. Sure, there are flowers, invitations, the dress, cake, seating arrangements, etc to organise but none of that really bothered me too much. My husband had only two requests for the entire thing; that Bittersweet Symphony be played at some point in the night and – this is no joke – that when we entered the reception we run through a Western Bulldogs banner just like the players on game day at the ‘G. I shot that shit down in a heartbeat and compromised by walking in to Bittersweet Symphony instead. Looking back I wish we’d done the banner run.

When it came to choosing the bridal party, the decision was pretty easy. I had my sister as my Matron of Honour and my sister in law and two close girlfriends as bridesmaids, so four awesome chicks to hang out with on the morning of the wedding and sip champers with. And they had it pretty easy in terms of my Bridezilla behaviour; I didn’t ask them for anything other than to show up for their dress fittings and be at my place early enough to get their make up done on the day. Sure, we chatted about the wedding in the lead-up, but no orders were barked, only opinions asked.


The thought of asking them to pay for anything on the day was no-brainer for me – I didn’t. I paid for their dresses, shoes, make up, everything….because why should they have to fork out for it? It was my wedding, I asked them to be involved, so I felt like it was my duty to cough up the cash for them to wear a dress that realistically, they were never going to wear again. Being a bridesmaid shouldn’t be hard work, nor should it be stressful. I have read so many stories of brides expecting their bridesmaids to fork out for designer dresses, pay for spa weekends and empty their wallets out for a million other costs for the wedding and personally, I just don’t think it’s right.

Imagine you wanted your best childhood friend to be your bridesmaid, but she couldn’t afford to pay for all the bits and pieces to go along with it? Would that strike her out of the running? It’s no surprise that weddings can get pricey, but I think some brides can overdo it in the expectation stakes. If you really want your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses and shoes, I think it’s important to consider how it’s going to impact their bank accounts too. Go shopping together, choose a dress that isn’t going to require them to spend three month’s wage and one they might be able to wear again.

We all want our weddings to be beautiful and it IS a big day; one that will hopefully be spent filled with laughter and remembered forever, but should bridesmaids have to pay to be involved? Their only job, in my opinion, is to hang out with you, laugh, hold your dress up when you need to wee and have a freakin’ awesome time celebrating one of the happiest days of your life.

Where do you stand on making bridesmaids pay? 

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