How to Be a Budget-Conscious Bridesmaid Without Costing You a Good Time
When your best friend gets engaged, it’s tempting to want to throw yourself into the wedding, whether you’re in the bridal party or not.
After all, it’s an exciting time in her life, and you want to be supportive and involved; you feel like you need to be part of everything so that you don’t miss out on the fun!
Being a bridesmaid can be costly, but you don’t have to break the bank to help your best friend marry. Here are some great ways to be a budget-conscious bridesmaid without sacrificing your good time on the wedding day and beyond.
Weddings can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend more than you want. For starters, shop sales: Look for bridesmaid dress sales, shoes, accessory sales, affordable dressmakers for alterations, etc.
These kinds of deals will cut down on how much you have to spend upfront. Oh, and happy shopping! Even if you don’t score a deal at first glance—it never hurts to ask about discounts or other perks if you’re considering making a purchase anyway. If your budget is limited, consider renting your dress. The same goes for shoes and accessories.
Book Trips Early
Most hotels, flights, and activities get booked up quickly, so if you wait too long, you’ll miss out on your favorites. Book in advance—about three months early is a good rule of thumb. If you find something you love already booked up for a particular date, keep searching because something similar will pop up nearby.
And even if there isn’t, it won’t hurt to send an inquiry to see if they have anything else available on another day or weekend. You might end up getting lucky!
While you’re on your flight search, remember to look into accommodations. You don’t want to end up paying for an Airbnb when you could have just reserved a hotel room. Remember that those often offer more amenities—especially if you’re planning a bachelorette party with one or two other people, so it might be worth it.
Give Creative Gifts
Being a bridesmaid can be fun, but it can also be expensive. Thankfully, with some thoughtful planning and creativity, you don’t have to break your bank account to help out your good friend in need. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to stay involved without breaking your piggy bank or forcing yourself into bankruptcy.
One option is to make gifts for each bridal party member instead of buying traditional gifts from a store. And with everything from dress-making kits to personalized happy wedding day cards (that you decorate), there are plenty of DIY options.
You can also offer to help plan and organize, especially since you’ll have a better understanding of what’s needed than people who just purchased gifts. If there’s a task you feel particularly passionate about, such as photography or live music, consider volunteering to handle it on your own.
You can split a hotel room with friends, stay with them during your visit, or crash at their place. It’s cheaper than staying at a hotel, and you might get more out of it through activities, conversations, and friendship.
It’s not just about cutting costs: it’s about having a great time for less money and more memory-making experiences. And if you’re going on a trip as part of your bridesmaid duties, look into splitting expenses to save some cash—and negotiate how many other people will pay for what before you set foot on that plane or in that car.
If you’re planning to go out to dinner, opt for a BYOB restaurant or one with an inexpensive corkage fee. If you’re planning on renting a limo, try getting together with friends and splitting it with them instead of hiring one yourself.
Unless you’re a professional hair and makeup artist, wedding-related expenses are often one of the bridesmaids’ biggest complaints.
Help relieve some stress by inviting your friends to team up with you! Some like getting ready together; others enjoy helping each other out by buying gifts or sharing travel arrangements. These steps can cut costs and save money for you and your bride-to-be!
If you’re part of a group that includes more than how to be a bridesmaid, try organizing your friends into teams for planning sessions and easing wedding-related stress. Pick one of you to help with all of the official responsibilities (such as booking venues and contacting vendors), but have each friend handle specific tasks independently.
This can be particularly helpful if you feel uncomfortable talking about financial details with other bridesmaids or if some girls are less interested in those parts of wedding planning. Plus, it makes everyone feel more involved in their friend’s big day!
How To Be a Bridesmaid Without Breaking Your Bank
It may seem counterintuitive to be a bridesmaid and attend a wedding while still on a budget, but, in truth, it is possible to enjoy every aspect of being in a wedding party without breaking your budget. While having a large sum of money on hand for gifts and travel expenses is nice, you don’t need as much as you might think.
You can be an attentive bridesmaid without spending money on every gift idea or going into debt trying to pay for everything. In other words, there are ways to be thoughtful without breaking your bank. The key is to think about what you want out of being a part of a wedding party and then plan accordingly.
In short, you don’t need a big budget to make sure your friend has a great day and that you’re having fun. By being smart with how you spend your money and keeping an eye on what’s most important in being involved in someone else’s special day, it’s possible to enjoy yourself while remaining budget-conscious.
Lastly, tell your bride early in her planning process how much money you can contribute and when she can expect it from you. This may feel uncomfortable, but it sets limits on how much is expected from you financially. This will set you up for success and a good time as you plan on how to be a bridesmaid without breaking the bank.