The bridesmaids are all young and broke.
If your bridal party is made up of broke college students, the odds are that you're in the same position. Because you might not have the funds to spare for helping your maids in their purchases, try to decide on extremely affordable dress options. Better yet, allow them to wear a dress that they already own!
The verdict: Bridesmaids pay, but the dresses must be extremely inexpensive. Otherwise, the bride should cover their cost.