Were you just asked to be a member of the bridal party? As big an honor as it is, taking on the mantle of a bridesmaid can involve quite a bit of your money – what with the bridal shower, gifts and not to speak of your bridesmaid dress. But just because you have said yes to being a bridesmaid does not mean you have to say yes to all of the expenses that come with it.
So from gift lists to dress shopping, here are seven tips for you to plan your course through the many potentially costly aspects and be a brilliant bridesmaid without breaking the bank.
1. Set a realistic budget
The first thing you need to do is to discuss the planning process with the bride-to-be and break down everything you would need to pay for during the wedding. Just be upfront about how much you can realistically bear the expense of and then work with your set budget.
2. Choose the right gift
It is only natural for bridesmaids to put too much pressure on themselves to give the couple a big, extravagant gift. You should try not to assume that the couple looks forward to the biggest gift you can find. Instead, you can break out your DIY skills and make a more affordable but no less brilliant and meaningful gift. Or you can work together with other members of the bridal party so that you can all contribute to buy a gift that would otherwise be too expensive for you to purchase on your own.
3. Travel as a group
Organizing group travel may take more time and effort, but in the long run, it will certainly be worth it. Make sure that you book your transport ahead of time so you can avail yourself of early-booking price cuts. Not to mention, traveling together with the girls is a fun way to bond with each other.
4. Share a suite
Staying in a suite can easily run in thousands of dollars – especially if you are going abroad and are expected to pay for your stay. To cut down on some costs, you should try to share your suite or hotel room with other bridesmaids and split the cost between everyone.
5. DIY favors and menu items
DIY-ing everything from favors to stationery, decor, and gifts for both the wedding and the bridal shower is an excellent way to personalize the big affair and save some money. Just gather all the girls together for a creative group session where you load up on your DIY supplies and split the costs.
6. DIY hair and makeup
Professional wedding hair and makeup can be pretty expensive so if you could open yourself up to the possibility of doing your hair and makeup yourself (only if you are an expert at it), you could save a whole lot of money.
7. Choose the right dress
Similar to how choosing a wedding gown is one of the most exciting aspects of the wedding planning process for a bride-to-be, every member of the bridal party also looks forward to their bridesmaid dress with eagerness. The first thing you can do to bag a bargain on your dress is to pick up a used one. Since bridesmaid dresses are ordinarily only worn once, they will most likely still be in an impeccable condition. You can also consider buying your dress from the same shop the bride got her wedding dress from in order to avail some discount. You can also opt for “wear again bridesmaid dresses” that can be worn for other events as well. Or, alternatively, you can choose to not buy a dress at all! Just rent or borrow one for the day, if you prefer.
Wait, have you taken the cost of dress alternations into consideration? Unless you are perfectly fine wearing a long bridesmaid dress too loose around your waist on what is possibly the biggest day of the bride’s life, it is best if you know your exact measurements to make sure you are buying the perfect dress size.
So, playing the role of a bridesmaid can cost you quite a bit of money. Be careful not to volunteer for more things than you can handle as it can be the fast lane to shelling out more money that you might be able to afford. Saying “yes” to being a bridesmaid is a big deal, so it is best if you know what you are getting into!