It is an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid and you want to be there for your sister, friend, etc., but that includes a hefty financial commitment. Bridesmaids have to buy a dress, shoes, host the bridal shower and bachelorette party and pay for travel to get to the wedding. This can place a burden on anyone’s budget. We are here to help with some money saving tips that you can use to keep from going in debt.
Be Up Front With the Bride About What You Can Afford
Although you may dread it, you need to do this. Any financially pressure you may fall under to be a bridesmaid may ultimately affect your relationship with bride. So be candid about what you can afford, what time off you can take and if there are certain parties you cannot attend. You can offer your support in other areas in the wedding that will still support the bride, but will not cause you to need a second job to pay off your part of the wedding. Most brides are understanding and will work it out with you.
Savings Tips for the Bachelorette Party
Bachelorette parties have come to be expected, but a trip to Vegas or even a night on the town can get expensive. Here are our tips to save money.
1. Save on Travel
Flexibility is the key to saving money on travel. Look for off-season pricing to save money. You can also get group rates at hotels or even get a vacation rental instead. If you are going the hotel route, share a room with a friend and split the cost.
2. Choose Fun But Affordable Activities
Bachelorette parties can be more than a destination weekend with travel costs and a high bar tab. Instead, try a local event to save travel costs. Plan a hike or a spa day. Maybe do a cooking with wine night or paint and wine party. This way other bridesmaids can pick and choose what they can afford to participate in.
3. Use Apps to Keep the Money Straight
Instead of splitting the tabs at the restaurant, get a volunteer to pay for the bill and have everyone else use a cash transfer app to repay their share at the end of the night. Or, if you think you will have to chase people down to pay, estimate the costs and collect up front.
4. DYI Savings
You definitely can save money making your own bachelorette party decorations and photo props. Cricut has some fun templates for photo props. You can also make your own t-shirts and bags using fabric paints or create your own iron-ons.
You can also save by making your own spa day at your home, hotel room or vacation rental with homemade face masks and cocktails.
Wedding Day Savings
1. Dress for Less
It can be painful to have to buy a dress that you will only wear once. A current trend is for brides to allow her bridesmaids to pick out their own dresses so long as they stick to a color scheme. If you are lucky enough to be in that situation, you may be able to rent your dress or purchase a pre-owned dress from a consignment store or Poshmark.
If the bride wants everyone to buy a specific dress, look for coupon codes and other online savings. After the wedding, you can resell your dress online to another Bridesmaid and recoup some of your expense.
2. Hair and Makeup
If you’re looking for a less expensive makeup option, Sephora provides a complimentary custom makeover with a minimum purchase of $50. Or you can always enlist the help of your friends. I’m sure you have that one friend you can apply makeup as good as any beauty blogger.
Speaking of beauty bloggers, there are any number of how-to videos online that will teach you how to do that special updo. This applies to makeup too. Just buy the appropriate hair styling tools, eyeshadows, and mascara, and set aside a few hours of practice time to get your look down to a T.
3. Wedding Present
A modest present within your means is perfectly acceptable. If you’d like to splurge for something bigger, team up with other bridesmaids to up your purchasing power. Also, don’t forget that it’s OK to give a wedding present up to three months after the wedding!