As part of your wedding, it’s important to give special honor to those you ask to serve as bridesmaids. However, if you’re planning your wedding on a budget, you might be concerned about the cost of the dresses those bridesmaids will wear during the occasion. Based on tradition, brides and their families have borne most of the costs of a wedding, including the gowns worn by the bridesmaids. If you’re concerned about that expense, here’s a guide for deciding who pays for bridesmaid dresses. 

What Are the Responsibilities of a Bridesmaid?

Experts in wedding etiquette tend to agree that the tradition of having the bride cover the total cost of a wedding is a thing of the past. Gabriella Risatti, the owner of the Gabriella New York Bridal Salon, notes that brides could at least partially pay for the gowns of others as a thoughtful gesture. This would, of course, depend on the financial resources of the bride and the cost of the dresses. 

In some instances, bridesmaids will be the ones to pay for their gowns, their makeup and even the costs of transportation to and from the wedding. According to national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, bridesmaids who accept an offer to participate in a wedding should in fact expect to pay these costs. Keep in mind that it’s the responsibility of the bride to let everyone know the arrangements beforehand. 

How Much Does a Bridal Dress Cost?

If your bridesmaids are purchasing their own gowns, they may need some help determining the types of outfits they plan to wear. Bridesmaid dresses can range in cost from $100 to as high as $1,000. The gowns themselves should be both comfortable and flattering, although they should also satisfy your available budget. They should also be practical since it would be frustrating to buy something that’s expensive but only gets worn once. Covering 86 acres, Windows on the Water is the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding and will help your bridesmaids stand out in their gowns. 

Helping Your Bridesmaids

If one or more of your bridesmaids is unable to pay for their gowns, Risatti recommends that you work these costs into your wedding budget. You should keep this a private matter between you and the bridesmaids you’re helping so this situation doesn’t generate controversy among the other members of the wedding party. 

The early purchase of a gown or a payment plan arranged with the bridal shop can also help reduce costs. It may be necessary to do some “thrift shopping” in order to find a dress that’s less expensive. The selection of gowns that use the same color scheme can add some flexibility in getting your bridesmaids to look their best. 

Seeking Other Options

In the event that some of your bridesmaids are simply unable to find affordable gowns, you may consider using them in different ways. They won’t need expensive dresses to participate in every aspect of your wedding. However, you will need a spectacular place to have your wedding. Consider having it at Windows on the Water, the private resort in Millstone Township, N.J. 

Elegant Central Jersey Venue for the Ideal Wedding

Creating the perfect wedding can be challenging to plan for, which is why the experts at Windows on the Water at Frogbridge can help you do just that. Our recognized wedding planning service comes with some of the most gorgeous lakeside views in Central New Jersey. Our spacious wedding tent, stunning backdrops, and spectacular reception hall will create the most beautiful ceremony you could ever imagine. Call (609) 208-9475 or complete our contact form and let us help you create the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.