Written by Annastasia Liu
Wednesday, January 17th, 2018
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "bridesmaid"?
Most people think about pretty dresses, fun celebrations and awkward speeches, but being a bridesmaid also comes with a whole set of responsibilities, duties and expenses.
When one of my best friends asked me to be in her bridal party last year, I was excited to celebrate with her and make her big day special, but I also wanted to make sure I didn't blow all my savings along the way. Here are some tips to help you save some cash if you're in a bridal party.
Find Out What the Costs Will Be Up Front or as Early as You Can
Do you know who's covering the cost of the bridesmaids' dresses? What about the bridal shower and bachelorette party?
“The cost of the bridal shower goes to whoever is hosting. Typically if the mother of the bride or the groom's mother is hosting they should pay for it," says event planner Lisa Khan, owner of Lisa K Events. "If the bridesmaids are hosting, then they would split the cost evenly among the other bridesmaids."
It's best to find out what costs you'll be expected to cover up front so you can properly budget and save ahead of time. And don't be afraid to be honest about your finances and what you can commit to financially — it'll save you a lot of stress in the long run. Khan also points out: “There's nothing wrong with saying no to being a bridesmaid, as long as you let the bride know why."
Get Creative and DIY
It's a well-known fact that Do-It-Yourself is a great way to save money. There are so many resources available to inspire you as you prepare for different bridal events. When I was preparing for my friend's bridal shower, Pinterest was my best friend. Get the bridal party together, order some food and have a DIY night to make things fun.
Planning ahead and gathering ideas is key. “If you're not a creative bunch I would suggest to do research and then shop around," suggests Khan. "You can always find things at different party stores or craft stores on sale. The longer you have to plan, the more time you have to research, shop around and get the right price."
Thanks to social media, FOMO may have you feeling like you need to throw your friend an extravagant multi-day bachelorette party in Vegas, Dubai or Mexico. If you've got the funds for a trip abroad, then go for it. But you don't have to get on a plane or even leave your town to have a good time.
Does your bride like fine dining? Skip the flight to Paris or Italy and sign up your group for Italian or French cooking lessons. Try some salsa dancing lessons for a Cuban feel without the hefty price tag.
Don't Forget to Budget for Gifts
With all the excitement and planning of different events, it's easy for some costs to slip your mind. Even though you're involved with the planning, bridesmaids are still expected to bring a gift to the shower and the wedding.
If you're totally tight on funds, thinking of a creative, more personal gift can help alleviate the costs. You could get the couple's favourite engagement photo printed on canvas so they can hang it up somewhere in their home. Or, maybe they have a favourite restaurant. Make them a special dinner reservation and cover the cost, so they can enjoy a date night after all the excitement of the wedding is over.