How to Save Money as a Bridesmaid
I was asked months ago to be a bridesmaid for my best friend’s wedding but I never knew what to expect. I mean I’ve never been a bridesmaid before so this was new to me. I figured I’d spend a little chunk of change for her big day but never wrote down what I though my responsibilities would include or the average amount I anticipated on spending. The infograph from Mint.com below shows the breakdown of what it costs to be a bridesmaid:
You read that right, $1,695 is an average cost of what it takes to be a bridesmaid. Um, what? I’m also getting married next year and I’m trying to save as much money as I can for my own wedding so there’s no way that I’m going to be able to shell out that kind of money. To keep my costs low I cut a few things out that are shown in the infograph as well as doing some things myself. Here’s a breakdown of my costs associated with being a bridesmaid:
- Hair, makeup, manicure – $0 (doing myself)
- Jewelry – $0 (using my own)
- Shoes – $0 (wearing my own)
- Lingerie – $0 (wearing my own)
- Alterations – None
- Dress – $80
- Wedding Gift – $30
- Bachelorette Party – $0 (no bachelorette party. womp womp.)
- Travel to Wedding – $150
- Hotel Accommodations (Airbnb) – $80/night for 3 nights
Total cost: $500
$500, and look at how much I already cut out! Read on to see my recommendations for ways to save money as a bridesmaid:
Use your own jewelry, shoes, etc. when possible
Some brides may want all of their bridesmaids to be matching exactly, down to the same nail polish. But if your friend is a little more laid-back about matching, wear what you already own. You can still talk with the bride and other bridesmaids to try to coordinate styles within what you all already own (gold bangle and nude pumps?). After all, shoes and jewelry are expensive, and who wants to spend that much money on something that’s not their own style?
Choose a budget-friendly option for a bridesmaid dress
Of course, as stated before, some brides will pick out a very specific dress that they want their bridesmaids to wear and you’ll have to hope that it is a reasonable price. If this is the case, you may still have affordable options. Ask the bride to consider dresses from a rental company like Vow to be Chic (it’s like the Rent the Runway of bridesmaid dresses!). This way, the bride can get the style and possibly designer that she wants and the bridesmaids can afford it, and not be stuck with another. bridesmaid. dress. You can also look for secondhand bridesmaid dresses by specific designers on websites like Bridesmaid Trade and Forever the Bridesmaid. Since most bridesmaid dresses are worn once, you can get one in great shape for a much lower price, then resell it again once you’ve used it!
Other brides will suggest that their bridesmaids choose a dress from a specific color palette. This is godsend for a lot of bridesmaids as you can wear a dress that you may already own or within a price range that you choose!
Do your own hair and makeup
Now the hair part of this would be a serious challenge for me, but if you can curl your hair and are capable of applying eyeliner, why not do your own hair and makeup? It could save you $75 or more! If you’re lucky, the bride may choose to pay for your hair and makeup as part of a bridesmaid thank you gift. If that’s the case, embrace it and enjoy!
Go in on a wedding gift with other bridesmaids
As a bridesmaid, your bound to be at several pre-wedding events and parties for the bride and groom. An engagement party, 2 bridal showers, a lingerie party? All of these parties are fun, but they can really add up gift wise. When purchasing gifts for bridal showers and the wedding, consider purchasing several smaller gifts, so that you still have a gift in hand at every event, but aren’t spending hundreds of dollars. Or, consider going in on a bigger gift with other bridesmaids so that you are still giving the bride and groom something thoughtful and that they’ll use, without breaking the bank.
Travelling to the wedding – the more the merrier!
To save money on travel expenses, try to get a group of the bridesmaids and their dates together to road trip to the wedding, splitting the cost of gas, or sharing the cost of an Uber. Instead of getting a bunch of individual hotel rooms, look on AirBnB for a loft or a house that can hold a lot of people and split the cost of the weekend. This will also help lower the expense of food and drinking over the weekend if you have a shared space and kitchen to hang out with everyone, instead of going out to eat and drink during wedding downtimes.
Have you been a bridesmaid on a budget before? Share your tips for not going broke as a bridesmaid in the comments!