Being a Bridesmaid on a Budget

July 28, 2017

Weddings are such a special time for those who are getting married. The happy couple is starting a whole new chapter and they want to share that time with you. If you are lucky enough to be chosen to be part of the bridal party but you are trying to pay off debts it can be hard a hard decision to make.

I had the amazing opportunity to be in both my sibling’s wedding in the same year! It was so much fun to be a part of this amazing time in their lives. I learned so much about planning a wedding but also got a lot of experience in being in weddings.

Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Mueller Photography

Here are some tips to successfully be an awesome bridesmaid while keeping your budget on track.

1.Set Expectations Early

It is always an awesome experience to be involved in someone’s wedding but setting the expectation early on your financial situation can definitely help. If you ever have to say no to doing something for the wedding (bachelorette weekends, dinners, etc), the bride will understand. 

One thing to consider is the bride and who she is as a person and what kind of wedding she will have. If you think she will have an unlimited budget with a grand wedding, you may want to consider your participation in the wedding to avoid what could be the huge expense. If you bring it up to her in the right manner, it should be a relatively easy conversation. You wouldn’t want the amount of money and time needed to participate in the wedding hurt your friendship.

2. Buy Your Dress Used

There are a lot of options to getting the dress at a discount price. I have used Poshmark, LetGo, OfferUp, Craigslist, and others to buy and sell dresses. I would strongly recommend trying on the dress in store first to ensure you know the correct size for that designer and gown. You could even save more if the gown has already been fitted to heel length so you won’t need to have it altered.

After the wedding, you can then sell the dress online. I have sold bridesmaid dresses on Poshmark previously and it is an easy process. Then the dress isn’t sitting in your closet for years!

3.Work Together!

If there is another bridesmaid in the party that you are friends with, it is good to work together. For gifts, if you both put in a certain amount, you can get the bride a nicer gift off her registry.

Another way is to take turns on rides, sharing a hotel room, and even be your informal date to the wedding. Dates are fun to take but if you are single it is less expensive to go solo.

Also, the bride wants everyone to get along. So even becoming friends with someone in the bridal party can make a great experience even better!

4.Pay With Your Time

Another way to give a gift to the bride is to offer her your time instead of a gift. This could be from helping with wedding preparation like stuffing envelopes and helping create decor to using some of your skills like graphic design, event planning, etc. Your time will be more valuable to the bride to make her special day amazing.

If you are not available during the wedding process, being helpful on the actual wedding day can be priceless. From putting on the boutonniere’s, making sure decor is all set up, delivering notes from the bride and groom, all are a huge help. I would highly recommend talking with the Mother of the Bride the day of, she will usually have something that she needs help with.

5.Start Saving Early

Start saving as soon as you are asked and you accept to be in the bridal party. A little from each paycheck $100 or so, should help you cover all of the costs. Most brides ask about a year or more in advance which gives you enough time to save up. All of the extra money you don’t use can then be put back onto your debts.

Do you have any tips you learned from being in a wedding?

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