How to Save Money as a Bridesmaid
Are you always the bridesmaid? No doubt you are delighted for your BFF(s) and their impending nuptials, but the cost of participating in a wedding party can be enormous.
You’ll likely have to incur costs over which you won’t be able to unilaterally decide on (i.e. dress, wedding location, etc.), but you can try and mitigate the overall costs by addressing some other things in the meantime.
Consider Saying No
While it is in honour to be asked to stand alongside your friend, sister, cousin or neighbour as they tie the knot, there is no reason that you absolutely have to participate.
If costs are a concern, acknowledge the request, and suggest another role at the wedding. Offer to help any other way you can (read at the ceremony, assist with wedding preparations or décor), so that you can still participate and that you are still supportive to the bride.
If you are keen to participate, and saying no is not really an option, the key is communicating your concerns to the bride early on so that expectations (on both sides) are clear. It’s fair to voice your concerns tactfully and ask what sort of expenses/events might be expected of you.
Set a Budget
Once you know what you are in for, like everything else in the world of managing spending, set a budget- and stick to it. If possible, set some money aside on a regular basis if you can to defray costs (which is more easily done if it is a long engagement!)
Be sure to include things like parties, gifts, attire and travel.
Book Travel Sooner Rather than Later
If travel is involved for the wedding, you may have a better choice and/or cost saving opportunity if you book your travel plans early.
While last-minute travel is often done at a deep discount, that usually only works if you are flexible in your time and your destination. You’ve got specific dates, and likely even specific times attached to the big event. Book early so that you can decide when you travel and where you stay- and how much you will pay.
If possible, bunk in with friends or family, either by sharing a hotel room or as a guest in their homes.
Shop Early for Wedding Gifts
Don’t wait until the week before to comb through the registry for shower or wedding gifts. The couple has probably registered for a wide price range and the frugal early bird will get the less expensive options.
DIY Hair and Makeup
While it is nice to be glam, you can save an awful lot of cash by doing your own hair and makeup. You may even convince some other wedding party members to join you. If that is the case, make sure you are sensitive to the bride’s schedule, and organize your own glamour activities around her. DIY either before the group goes to the salon, or during your dressing time afterwards.
If you are responsible for hosting an engagement party or shower, see if you can enlist support from other members of the wedding party, or even from friends and family to help-either with cash, or by contributing food, drink or venue.