Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, especially if the person walking down the aisle is one of your best friends. Of course, the duty comes with a big responsibility—and a hefty price tag. According to WeddingWire, the average cost of being a bridesmaid is about $1,200 but can reach up to $1,800.
From the dress and makeup to the bachelorette party and gift to the newlyweds, it’s no wonder being a bridesmaid is expensive. And you may have to be a bridesmaid multiple times, if you have many friends who are inclined to marry.
If you’ve recently been asked to be a bridesmaid but you’re not exactly “maid” of money, don’t fret. You can still have a blast and be a great friend while sticking to a smaller budget. Here are the secrets to saving money even as a part of the wedding party. Attending your friend’s wedding as a bridesmaid? The role can be pricey. Below, we have a few tips on how to be a bridesmaid without breaking the bank.
1. Book travel and accommodations early
Some bridesmaid expenses are unavoidable, including where you’ll stay and how you’ll get there. If you live in the city where the wedding will take place, that’s great. But if you have to take a plane ride, you’ll save considerable bucks when you book early. The same holds true for your accommodations.
2. Rent or buy a pre-owned bridesmaid dress
Want to wear a gorgeous designer dress for way less than its original retail price? Wield the power of the internet and look for pre-owned ones online. You can find heavily discounted designer items that have gently used from online shops like e-Bay and Tradesy. If you want to make sure of the dress’ quality, hit up consignment shops. With minor alterations, you can have the bridesmaid dress of your dreams for half the price.
3. Choose your gift wisely
If you’re looking for gift ideas for newlyweds, remember that the cost doesn’t necessarily reflect its value. It’s always best to go with either a thoughtful gift that will be meaningful for your soon-to-be-married friends or a useful gift that will help them in some way.
If you want, you can even split a gift with your fellow bridesmaids. If you want to pay for the wedding photos and videos, for example, you and the other bridesmaids can split the cost of hiring professionals like Spark Weddings Wedding Videography. You and the girls can also opt to give the newlyweds an experiential gift, like booking them a tour in their honeymoon destination.
4. Skip the professional hair and makeup
If the bride won’t shoulder the hair and makeup for bridesmaids, you don’t have to shell out hundreds of bucks for professional styling. You can do your own beauty prep with your own makeup and hairstyling tools. You know your face best anyway, so you’ll be able to style your hair and paint your face in a way that’s most flattering.
5. Know when to say “no”
When the wedding festivities start, there might be certain events you simply cannot attend due to budget limitations. Maybe the bride is having the bachelorette party in another city that requires additional traveling for you. If it doesn’t fit your budget, tell the bride right away. Great friends will understand.
As you celebrate the monumental milestone in your friend’s life, keep in mind that the wedding only lasts a day. Your relationship with the bride is more important and being a great bridesmaid extends way past one party to being a great friend for a lifetime.