20-40-60 Eiquette---Who pays?
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By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: My son is getting married next year. We are buying suits for the five groomsmen, of which the bride’s brother is one. But the five bridesmaids, of which my daughter is one, are expected to purchase their own dresses. Dress cost is not a prohibitive factor for the bride’s family. Is there a proper procedure for this?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: While this would make sense to have to bride pay for the bridesmaid’s dresses, there is no proper procedure to do so. Both the bride and groom are supposed to give individual gifts to their groomsmen or bridesmaids. Buying the suits or dresses is common, but not expected.
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: According to “Emily Post’s Etiquette (18th edition): Manners for a New World,” which published last year, one of the responsibilities of wedding attendants is to pay for their own attire, excluding flowers.
While buying the suits for the groomsmen (or the bridesmaids’ dresses) is a generous gesture on your part, it’s not traditionally an expectation the attendants have when agreeing to be in the wedding. You could consider the suits as the groom’s gifts to his attendants, another wedding tradition of thanking them for being a part of the special event.
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