This summer my sisters and I are the only bridesmaids for my cousin’s wedding. While it can be hard to save as a wedding guest, it seems nearly impossible as a bridesmaid! Since I’m on a budget (and really who isn’t?) I’ve been looking for ways to save while still being a helpful and supportive bridesmaid. Here are my tips for how to save when you’re part of the bridal party.
10 tips to save as a bridesmaid
1. Split the Wedding Gift – Usually, the most expensive gifts on the registry are the bride’s “wish list” gifts. That means that these are the gifts she’s really hoping for. Instead of all of the bridesmaids buying one small gift, chip in on one or two (depending on how many bridesmaids) of the most expensive gifts. Not only will you ultimately spend less money, but the bride will end up with an amazing gift.
2. Save on Your Dress – The website Little Borrowed Dresses is an easy way to score a super cheap bridesmaid dress. You can rent a bridesmaid dress for as little as $50. That’s a great deal since bridesmaids dresses can cost over $300! If you have to buy the dress be sure to look for coupons and sales at local retailers.
3. Alter Your Dress Elsewhere – Instead of paying high prices to have your dress altered at the dress shop, bring it to your local tailor instead. The prices will be much less and your dress will still look beautiful. Remember, you’ll only be wearing this dress for one day, so you don’t want to invest too much money into it. Even better, if you have a friend or family member with sewing skills they might be willing to do it for free. Don’t forget, getting the best discount means using whatever resources you have available.
4. Go Paperless – Instead of buying pricey invitations for the shower and bachelorette, go paperless and use email invitations. Don’t worry, electronic invitations can be just as beautiful as paper invitations but for a much better price….free! The website paperlesspost.com allows you to create custom electronic invitations complete with photos for free.
5. Limit Travel – One easy way to save as a bridesmaid is to double up on events. By holding the shower and the bachelorette party during the same weekend you can cut your travel costs in half. Sweet deal!
6. Skip the Hair & Makeup – Instead of paying for professionally styled hair and makeup, do it yourself! There are tons of tutorials online that can teach you these skills. Just pick a style and get to watching! Make sure to practice beforehand, so you aren’t panicking on the big day.
7. Book Early – As soon as you know the dates of the wedding, bachelorette party, and shower book your travel! The earlier you book, the cheaper the price will be. Also, check and see if any of the other bridesmaids would be interested in staying together or carpooling. These are simple ways to drastically cut down travel costs.
8. Set a Budget and Stick to It – Creating a solid plan for wedding spending will keep you on track…and (hopefully) prevent overspending. Make a list of how much you can afford to spend on gifts, the shower, bachelorette party, dress etc. so you know exactly how much you need to save.
9. Donate the Dress – Even though you’re only wearing that dress for one day that doesn’t have to be its only use. Donate the dress to charity and save on your taxes. The Princess Project and Donate My Dress are two examples of charities that are always looking for dress donations.
10. Be Honest About Finances- Between planning the bachelorette and shower, buying a dress, shoes, accessories, and gifts being in a bridal party can get pretty expensive. Being upfront with the bride about your finances and having this conversation early will make it clear what can and can’t be done on your budget. Even though you care about the bride you shouldn’t let her talk you into spending money you don’t have.