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Curious May 2019 British Columbia

Paying for bridesmaid beauty/rehersal dinner

Michelle, on April 15, 2019 at 18:19 Posted in Before the wedding 0 13

Hi, everyone!

I have a few different friends' groups, but it seems that if the bride wants a specific bridesmaid dress, she pays for it, and if she picked just the colour, the bridesmaids paid for it. As I wanted all the women to match, I paid for their dresses. My bridesmaid told me I needed to have a professional hair and make up people available for the women, so they can choose to have their beauty done professionally, which I then organized and put down deposits. My groomswoman then told me that if I hire the beauty people, I have to pay for them. So now I've paid for their dresses, shoes, hair and make up (on top of the bridesmaid proposal gift, and thank you gift they will receive the day of the wedding). I have also made a nail appointment, and told the women (including the moms) that they are more than welcome to join me, but they are paying for themselves. My groomswoman also found out she was pregnant after I bought all the dresses, so then I had to buy another dress for her (it was too late to return the first dress, and the second dress was at twice the cost, as I got the dresses on a Black Friday Sale).

For the rehearsal, it's the bridal party and parents. We have extended the dinner invite to spouses and siblings (my sister is my MOH, so my family will be at these events, and thought it would be nice to also have FH's family there). I was thinking of going dutch for this dinner (there are 25 people), but my Future Father In Law told my FH months ago (when I wasn't there) that he would pay for the dinner. Last night, my FFIL told me that 'now' that I've added more people, he doesn't think it's fair that he's paying for the dinner. I reminded him I haven't changed the number, and it's always been 25 people. He no longer wants to pay (I think his wife has control of his wallet), but we weren't expecting this cost.

My question is, can I ask for the women to pay for their beauty (hair, make up), AND everyone to pay for themselves for dinner? I don't want to come across as rude, but we also don't have a limited amount of funds either. I was only clear on me paying for the dresses and shoes, but I haven't really mentioned the cost about the other items (I avoid confrontations as much as possible). I'm not sure how to approach this now, especially as it has gone on for so long.


Latest activity by Deziray, on April 20, 2019 at 13:19
  • Deziray
    Curious August 2019 Ontario
    Deziray ·
    • Dispute
    That is outrageous! Everything I know about being a bridesmaid is that you buy your dress, shoes, nails, make-up and hair. It would be one thing if you were simply offering to pay for things but another that they expect you to.
    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Frequent user July 2019 Ontario
    Rachel ·
    • Dispute
    The people in your wedding party seem to be asking an awful lot of you. When you agree to be in a wedding you agree to deal with the cost as well. Weddings I've been in, we paid for our own dresses and shoes, as well as hair and makeup. For all of my sister-in-law's weddings, we went together for Mani/pedis and WE paid for the bride as well as ourselves.
    For our wedding, the bridesmaids paid for their own dresses. I am buying their shoes as their gift (as I decided we should all wear Birkenstocks!), and we will be going for mani/pedis 2 days before. They will all be paying for their own services. As for hair and makeup, I hired a professional and left it up to them if they wanted to use her or do their own, at their cost. I will be paying the tip for the hair and makeup artist.
    Put your foot down and tell them they need to pay for some things. That's not fair to expect you to foot the bill. You and your FH have enough expenses to deal with.
    Also, traditionally the groom's parents are responsible for paying for the rehearsal dinner. I'm shocked your FFIL backed out of his commitment to pay after all of that!
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Expert September 2019 Manitoba
    Kelly ·
    • Dispute

    Michelle this is shocking. You have paid for WAY more than what is expected/necessary.

    The dress and shoes are generally the bridesmaid's responsibility to pay for. That's part of the wedding party gig; they're agreeing to bear some of the costs like attire. I've heard mixed feelings on who is responsible to pay for hair and makeup, so if you have offered to pay for them all, that's amazing of you.

    It's perfectly acceptable to let them know that they have to pay for their own food and drinks for the rehearsal dinner, especially considering how much you've paid for already. If they ask why, just let them know that you anticipated your father in-law paying, but he recently changed his mind, and its not within your financial means. lol, maybe I'm petty, but I'd be perfectly fine tossing FIL under the bus. Its crappy of him to change his mind.

    If anybody in your wedding party doesn't like that they have to pay for themselves, they they don't have to come, and I think that would be pretty telling about how selfish and unreasonable they are considering they haven't had to really pay for anything.

    • Reply
  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
    • Dispute

    I feel like most bridesmaids pay for their dresses/shoes regardless if the bride wants them to match - it's part of being a bridesmaid - there are certain expenses that should be expected. I feel like you've done more than enough in terms of paying their way.

    You mentioned that the pros are hired, but your girls have the OPTION of getting professional hair and makeup. Since it's not mandatory, it's totally okay and expected for them to pay for it themselves. Some may opt-out if that's the case, but if you're fine with them DIYing/getting someone else to do it, let the ones who want to pay, pay.

    For the rehearsal, I'm sorry to hear your FFIL is no longer willing to pay for dinner, especially when he said he would. I would go back to your original plan of going dutch at dinner. However, I would let people know that is the case so they can plan ahead.

    • Reply
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute

    Bad vibes can come off this time by asking your wedding party and FFIL to reconsider their decisions based on the fact that they will feel your going back on your word on them.

    As a bride/groom, you have all the final decisions made and not told by anyone in the wedding party in the first place. This can create a conflict and anger by some of your wedding party. Since you have offered and done it all, leave it as it is.

    The rehearsal dinner that was originally offered to be paid by the FFIL, whom has now decided to back out from paying for it all due to the number increase. You can compromise with him on basis he is comfortable with just family and not the wedding party, it can be a win win case for you and FFIL. The wedding party should be responsible for themselves at this point knowing you have taken care of them for the most part of the purchases.

    I hope all goes well and they understand where you are stand with your decision.

    • Reply
  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
    • Dispute
    I think everyone has made some good points and provided you with some solid advice, however, asking for money is going to come off rude. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask your bridal party to pitch in for the hair/makeup, but it might seem rude as opposed to giving them the option to get those services done (like you are with the nail appointment).

    At the end of the day you need to be able to sleep well and if talking to your bridal party about the cost will help, totally do it. I probably would since I’m very “budget-oriented” and don’t really have room for anything more than what was planned.

    Best of luck!
    • Reply
  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
    • Dispute

    I know this is just going to sound like a broken record - but I agree with all of the previous comments on this post... You have gone above and beyond and if I were in your shoes I would tell them that with how much you've paid for - even paying for an extra dress that really should have been paid for by the Groomswoman.... they will have to pay for not only their supper (most people if not everybody should be fine with this), but their hair & makeup as well. It's part of accepting to be a BM! Sure, it's nice to keeps costs low - but at the end of the day they are suppose to be contributing.

    • Reply
  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
    • Dispute

    I agree with Candace and Erin. This isn't okay and they have asked you to pay for everything. When your in wedding party you should be paying for it all yourself not the bride.

    • Reply
  • Erin
    Super May 2022 Ontario
    Erin ·
    • Dispute
    Yes, you need to get this under control now before it gets more crazy expensive for you. It's totally ok for you to say that since you paid for the dresses and shoes, that any beauty treatments will be at the expense of the bridesmaid/ groomswomen. It would be extremely rude of them to give you a hard time over this. As for the rehearsal dinner, you could send out like a facebook thing saying the dinner is at _______ restaurant and there is no set menu so each guest is responsible for their meal.
    • Reply
  • Maegan
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Maegan ·
    • Dispute
    What Candace said!!
    When asked to be in somebodys wedding party you have to anticipate costs.
    I think it is beyond resonable for you to ask your bridesmaids to pay for at least their hair and makeup. It was lovely of you to pay for everything thus far but also completely unnecessary. I honestly don't fully understand why they would let you incure so much cost on their behalf.
    • Reply
  • Amelia
    Super September 2020 Ontario
    Amelia ·
    • Dispute

    Yikes. I'm not sure if things are done differently out west, but sounds a bit like you're being taken for a ride... I've never heard of the bride paying for all the bridesmaid dresses before unless she wants one that's way out of their price range! And as far as hair and makeup goes, you would be responsible for the cost only if you decide that your bridesmaids are REQUIRED to have them done professionally. If it's their choice to have them done, you can choose to cover one or the other or both in lieu of gifts but it's not your responsibility if they decide they want them done, even if you are the one to book the vendors. Whatever you decide, it's not worth putting yourselves in the hole to please everyone. Good luck!

    • Reply
  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
    • Dispute
    I agree with Candace! You have paid for a lot. I am giving my girls the option to pick their own dress, just a specific colour. So I will pay for their hair and makeup.
    As for the rehearsal dinner it is usually the grooms family that pays for it since the brides family helps out with the wedding. But if your FFIL is not paying, letting everyone know they have to pay for their own dinner should be no problem at all!
    • Reply
  • Candace
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Candace ·
    • Dispute

    Wow, you have paid for way more than I ever would for them. Usually it is expected that the bridesmaids pay for their own dress, this is something they agree to when they agree to be in the bridal party. I offered to pay for my girls' hair because I wanted this done but if they wanted their makeup done I asked that they pay for that. Most of them had anticipated paying for their own hair and makeup so they are paying for both of these. Part of agreeing to be in the wedding party is accepting the cost of it as well.

    If you are you are paying for everything else then I would say it is more than fair that they pay for their own dinner. I think you can just honestly tell them that you have already paid for so much for them that you can't pay for anything else. They should understand.

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