Ive had so many friends ask recently if its normal to have to buy your own dress. No it isnt. If the bride wants a harem of girlfriends to look pretty in her pictures she must pay for the privilege, just like she paid for everything else to set the scene. This includes their shoes too, especially if your maids are having to purchase a certain swatch of footwear they dont already own.
Keira Knightley as a bridesmaid
Next up, hair and make-up. If the bride wants them to have their hair or make-up professionally done, guess what? She needs to pay for that too. As lovely as it is to have your hair done before a wedding, few find the time, money or salon close to the venue to make it happen. So its not as if theyd be doing it anyway. Its also a safe bet that youre prescribing a style they wouldnt go for themselves so again, pay up.
Accommodation this is a contentious one but if the bride requires her maids with her the night before the wedding and this involves an extra nights hotel charge, this cost should be covered too. If youve chosen a costly hotel as your base, it would be very thoughtful to cover or contribute to the cost of the wedding nights accommodation as well. Just remember, theyd be spending £60 staying in the pub B&B otherwise and theyd probably like a holiday this year.
Sound expensive? Thats weddings for you Im afraid but friendships may not recover if taken advantage of. After all, they will have paid out for your hen, a gift, celebratory engagement champagne, dress visitations and endless advice already. If you cant afford the harem then like the fireworks at midnight and after-dinner champagne youll have to bid them farewell. Have less or children instead.
Note to brides:
Be mindful of their body hang-ups when choosing a dress
Respect their input
Consider differently shaped dresses for the maids. One style does not fit all
Pay for their dress and fittings
Pay for their shoes if new ones required
Pay for their accommodation before the wedding, on the night if possible too
Pay for their hair and make-up
Note to maids:
Be positive to the brides ideas about what you should wear
Be accommodating to her vision
Contribute your own research and suggestions
Make yourself available for shopping trips
Throw her the mother of all hens to suit her personality, not yours
Learn how to fit and position the dress, veil and train