Being a bridesmaid is a huge time and financial commitment, so before you make that decision you should make sure it's worth it. Get the advice you need when asked to stand up in a wedding you can't afford!
1. The Dress
Every bridesmaid understands the rules of money when it comes to wedding planning. And shockingly, the price of friendship isn't as expensive as a decent fitted ensemble. Face it, the price of a stunning gown is about $400 - so make sure you voice any concerns to the bride about your budget before she chooses between a Ralph & Russo or Vera Wang dress. Another easy way to save is to get necessary alterations done by a tailor instead of a bridal salon.
2. The Bridal Shower
The test of friendship begins at the bridal shower. If you’re asked to host, set a budget before you start planning. Consider the cost of the location, food, drinks, and any game prizes when determining the maximum amount you want to spend. And don’t be afraid to ask the other ‘maids to chip in. Most bridesmaids can expect to spend $50 to $100. If you’ll be expected to contribute, get involved with the shower planning process so you can have a say in the overall budget.
3. Hair and Make-up
The easy money-saver? Do your own beautifying: Go with a simple, pulled-back 'do and have all the bridesmaids help with one another's makeup.
4. Wedding Gifts
Wedding gifts are available at every price point, with most guests spending $100-$500 on the wedding present. But your gift budget may decrease if you’re already purchasing something for the engagement party, bridal shower and bachelorette party. If you're a bridesmaid hanging in the shadows, think how close you are with the couple. In 2016, people spent an average of $120 on a gift for a close family member.
5. The Bachelorette Party
Who pays for a fun night out? The bridesmaids. Though the bride might cover some of her own costs (flight or hotel room). And how much? Well, it depends on the sort of affair you’re putting on. Costs can include everything from your own food and drinks to staying in a rental home or hotel for a weekend. Our advice? Keep it local or just stay in. Everybody likes a hilarious game, and brides are no exception. Create a scavenger hunt that takes you around your neighbourhood, have an old-school board game tournament, quiz her on how well she knows her sweetie, or pour some martinis and play Cards against Humanity. Thoughts?
6. Accessories, Accessories!
If you have some freedom with accessories or shoes, try to use things that you already have! Otherwise, shop sales or stores like BridesmaidsOnly that offer great deals!
7. Resources and Connections
Do you have a friend who’s really great at cooking? Ask them to cater the bridal shower or bachelorette. If you have a family friend who’s good at sewing, have her inspect your dress to see if the alterations are something she could manage. If you have the ability to pick your own shoes or jewellery for the big day, shop your own closet or borrow something from a friend with good style! Are you good at makeup? Do your own!