Ask Kate: Who Pays To Dress The Wedding Party?

August 6, 2013

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


Could you tell me what we should pay for when it comes to suits and accessories for the fathers, ushers and best man, and also for the bridesmaids’ dresses.


Traditionally speaking, the father of the bride would have paid for the bride’s dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses and his and his wife’s outfits. The groom is traditionally responsible for his outfit and the hire of suits for his best man and ushers. The groom’s parents pay for their own outfits.

These days it’s more common for the financial burden to be split and while the father of the bride might still cover a considerable amount of the cost, often adult bridesmaids will happily contribute to the cost of their outfits, even if that means that they buy the shoes and accessories and you buy the dress. The same goes for the men in the bridal party who may not mind hiring their own suits for the day.

Whether or not your bridal party should ontribute to the cost of their outfits is a tricky dilemma and it’s important that this is discussed and
everyone is aware of their financial responsibilities as soon as possible.

It’s far better to agree a compromise during the early stages than to risk a misunderstanding and possibly a serious upset because this hadn’t been
discussed at the very beginning.

If you do want your bridesmaids to buy their own dresses, don’t be offended if they then ask not to be a bridesmaid – it can be a big financial commitment to buy their own dress as well as to buy you a present, pay for any wedding accommodation etc.

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