Home > Uncategorized > How to Be a Bridesmaid on a Budget

Comments 0 Comments

Being asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor for a friend or family member’s wedding is generally a great honor — but that honor can end up costing you a bundle. From bridal showers to bachelorette parties and gowns to hair and makeup, you can wind up spending a fortune. So before you say yes, make sure it’s the right fit for your wallet. And if you have decided to take on the task, here are few ways to save while doing so.

1. Dress & Shoes

The bride may say yes to the dress, but your wallet may not. In most weddings, the bridal party outfit is chosen by the couple, and they may neglect to consider affordability. Consider having an honest chat with the bride to see if she is okay with setting a reasonable limit on dress costs and offer to help her do some comparison shopping. Sometimes you can find the same or a similar style for a cheaper price at a different store or online. It is also becoming more and more common for the bride to pick a color scheme and allow the bridal party to choose their own dress. Consider suggesting this to the bride, as this allows you to directly control how much you’ll spend on your outfit.

2. Bridal Shower

The bridal shower is often paid for by the bridesmaids. Even if there are a bunch of you splitting the bill, it can still wind up costing a pretty penny. If you’re asked to host, sit down with the other bridesmaids to set out a budget before you start planning and have a chat about who will be taking care of what and ways in which you can cut costs. Consider making it a more intimate affair, making your own favors and each making a dish instead of having the event catered.

3. Bachelorette Party

This where you have a little bit of flexibility. If you live out-of-state or can’t afford something extravagant like a weekend in Las Vegas, feel free to put your foot down. The bachelorette party is meant to be a carefree night out, but it won’t be so carefree if you are worrying the whole time about how much it will cost you. You can discuss bachelorette party options with the rest of the bridal party; inform them that you are strapped for cash and offer up some other exciting alternatives. If the majority ends up deciding on something more extravagant that is out of your budget, it’s more than reasonable for you to opt out of this event.

4. Hair & Makeup

Depending on the couple’s own financial situation and the budget for their wedding, they often offer to cover the costs of hair and makeup for the bridesmaids. However, this is not always the case, so be sure to double check with the bride so you can either budget ahead of time or have a discussion with the bride about whether she’s okay with letting you do your own hair and makeup.

5. Travel & Accommodations

This is where sometimes things can get quite expensive, especially if the couple chooses to have a destination wedding. Consider all the costs associated with getting to and from the wedding and where you’ll be staying. To save money, book your flights and hotels as early as possible and consider sharing a hotel room with a couple of friends. If you know there’s simply no way you can afford to attend your friend’s wedding in the Tuscan countryside or a Jamaican beach, let her know sooner rather than later that money is just too tight and you’ll have to miss out.

6. Gift

After all that … you still have to get a gift! It is generally customary to cover the cost of your plate with your wedding gift, but if you are strapped for cash, the bride will (likely) understand. Rather than a monetary gift, get creative and think of something sentimental you can get the bride instead, or consider splitting the cost of a larger registry item with a few people to make it more affordable.

No matter what, keep calm and enjoy the wedding! Weddings are meant to be a fun and joyous special occasion, but if something is way out of your budget, it’s okay to speak your mind. To avoid any possible tension or awkwardness, consider having a frank discussion about funds soon after you are asked to be a part of the bridal party so that you can make a decision accordingly.

If you do decide to join the party, adjust your budget to allow for these expenses and avoid charging big expenses to your credit card unless you can pay it off in full at the end of the month. (High amounts of debt can hurt your credit. You can see where your credit currently stands by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing two of your scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.) At the end of the day, the bride is your friend and/or family and will thank you for being honest instead of putting yourself through unnecessary financial stress.

Image: Agnieszka Kirinicjanow

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team