Being named a bridesmaid for the wedding of a close friend or family member is always an honor. However, it also comes at a price — around $1,000 on average — that can be a considerable strain on your finances. Even if you are strapped for cash, you can still be a great bridesmaid on a budget. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish that.
Skip Paying for Extras and DIY
One of the best ways to budget your money as a bridesmaid is to skip many of the extras. This includes a trip to the beauty salon for the bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and wedding itself. Instead, you can consider doing your own hair, nails and makeup or ask a close friend or family member to do all of it for you. If you happen to know someone who does hair and makeup professionally, you could ask for a friends and family discount. In some cases, you may be able to get everything done for free.
Additionally, if you are responsible for ordering wedding favors, you can simply make them yourself with some help, which can save you plenty of cash. Hosting a bridal shower instead of making reservations at a swanky establishment and having each person bring over a yummy dish can also help you save money.
When you are asked to be a bridesmaid, you should speak with the bride and be honest from the start. Explain to her that you are in a tight financial situation but will honor your commitment to be her bridesmaid. A good friend will understand that you are carefully budgeting your money and will be finding ways to cut costs when things are too pricey for you.
Set a Budget and Plan Ahead of Time
Set a budget that you can realistically afford and make sure you stay within it. You can also set aside some money each week that can be used for expenses related to the wedding. Even if you stash aside $10 to $20, that can make a big difference. It ensures that you will have money available for the essentials.
Be Smart About Buying Your Dress
Some brides are absolute sticklers when it comes to the bridesmaid dresses. However, others are lax by contrast. If you are lucky enough to have a bride who isn’t overly fussy about your dress, you should easily be able to find something appropriate for a wedding that is inexpensive at the same time. Regardless, many bridesmaid dresses can run into the hundreds of dollars, and that isn’t even taking alterations into consideration. If the bride chooses a specific dress for you to wear, you may be able to shop around and snag it for the lowest price if the shop has it in your size.
Get Alterations Done at the Right Place
If you have to buy your bridesmaid dress from a bridal boutique instead of on the rack at a retail store, you may have to get alterations done to ensure it fits properly. Avoid going to the bridal shop as that will cost you more money. Instead, you can go to a professional tailor to have any alternations made. This should be much cheaper and make far less of a dent on your finances.
Snagging the Right Accessories
Accessories are a must when you are a bridesmaid. Even if you don’t do anything special with your jewelry, you still need the right shoes and possibly, a cover-up if the wedding is outdoors when it’s cool or indoors with air conditioning if it’s taking place in the summer. As a bridesmaid, you are responsible for paying for these items, which can run into the tens to hundreds of dollars depending on what you choose. Look for sales or borrow accessories from a friend or family member. You can also opt to shop at vintage or secondhand stores and get great finds for very cheap.
Take Out a Loan for Emergencies
This may seem like an occasion to be a little more careless and splurge, however, it is always better to save money whenever you can. Even in the best circumstances, you might run into an unexpected emergency. If you have a serious unexpected health issue or another unexpected emergency that requires short-term immediate financial attention, a payday loan could be an option for you. It is recommended to always use your savings as a first option and strive to get your loans paid off in a short amount of time if you do take the alternative route.
Being a bridesmaid is a wonderful opportunity and your finances should not inhibit you from taking part in a joyous occasion.