Bridesmaid expenses | Wedding budget and etiquette


How much of the bridesmaid expenses am I supposed to cover?

Bridesmaid expenses a very interesting but sometimes sensitive question: According to European tradition the bride (or then the bridal couple) pays for the bridesmaid’s and flower girl’s dresses. However, the tradition is different in the US, where the bridesmaids carry the expense of their overall attire. This would include shoes, but not jewellery. Should the bride or bridal couple be in the financial position to pay for the bridesmaids hair and make-up and additional beauty treatments, it can be offered.

South Africa – with its British, French and Dutch (European) heritage, would then usually abide by European traditions.As leading wedding coordinators in the South African wedding industry, our statistics show that 50% of our clients would cover the attire of the retinue and also their hair and make-up. However, that said, we find that most bridesmaids prefer to pay for their own dresses as they can then have more influence on the style of the dress and can choose something that complement and enhance their physique. They can then also carefully select something that they would wish to wear after the wedding. If this is the case, most brides then offer to carry half the expense and would prescribe the colour scheme and specific fabric that would complete the overall look and feel of the wedding.In the olden days the allocation of wedding expenses to the bride’s family was quite specific. As most couples nowadays are career orientated, they pay for the bulk of the wedding expense. The financial involvement from the parents is much less. This means that historic rules and traditions are flexible and each couple can decide was works best for them according to their unique style, personalities, budget and preferences.

It is your day, and you are the queen, so you may dictate politely, as long as communication is always open, transparent and honest.

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