Bridesmaid on a Budget: Save Money on Wedding Costs

Bridesmaid on a budget? Try these cost-cutting tips

It’s an honor to be an attendant at a wedding — but sometimes it can become overwhelming financially, too. Here are some ways to cut your costs so the honor doesn’t turn you into a pauper.

Dear Wedding Guru: “One of my good friends is getting married and wants me to be a bridesmaid. As much as I love the idea, I’m worried I can’t afford it. What should I do?”

(See answer on next page)

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Dear Hudson Valley bridesmaid: I feel for you! The four largest expenses for bridesmaids are clothing, hair and makeup, accommodations, and the parties (shower and bachelorette). Here are a few tips that may help:

  • Most bridesmaids’ dresses cost about $300. If you’re on a budget, ask the bride privately if it’s okay to wear the color she picks, but find and buy your own dress. If she has her heart set on one already, do some online/local research to see if you can find it for less. (Don’t forget to factor in the prices of alterations and any special undergarments like a strapless bra. Some of these you might be able to borrow from a friend.)
  • For shoes, consider re-dying a pair you already own.
  • Keep your jewelry simple. It’s not only appropriate, but also cost-effective.
  • Having your hair and makeup done professionally is certainly a treat. On a budget? Ask the bride if you can do your own instead (or have a talented friend help out for a fraction of the price).
  • The maid of honor and bridesmaids traditionally pick up the tab for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. If it’s becoming costly, make it clear that you can only afford your fair share. Try to schedule the two events for the same weekend, so you don’t need to travel twice.
  • Accommodations for the night typically run about $200 and up. If the bride is blocking out rooms for her party guests, the rates are cheaper. Check in with her to see if she’s arranged any special deals with the hotel. If it’s still too expensive for your budget, consider staying with a friend or relative if any live nearby. Research other hotels to find one that’s more affordable. You can even ask another bridesmaid or wedding guest if they’d like to share the cost of the room with you.

Got any more money-saving ideas? Add them to the comments box below!

» Read more about wedding costs
» Read more from The Wedding Guru blog
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2011
» View our Wedding Guide

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