When a friend or family member asks you to stand next to them at the front of the church on one of the most important days of their life, it’s hard to say no. Being a member of the bride and groom’s wedding bridal party is an honor. But it comes at a cost that some wedding planners estimate to be around $1,000. Before you say yes to buying a dress you hate, flying to Vegas for the Bachelor party or forking over more cash for a wedding gift, set a budget for being in the bridal party.
Make Travel Plans Early If the wedding is out of town, make your travel plans early. You’ll save on airfare this way, plus you may be able to nail down cheaper accommodations by sharing a hotel room with someone or nabbing a free place to crash at a family member’s house. By taking care of this expense early on you won’t feel like you’re spending quite as much once the wedding day arrives.
Offer to Help Dress Shop
The bride may be willing to share some of the wedding planning responsibilities, which could help budget-conscious bridesmaids be part of the dress selection process. Without being too pushy, suggest moderately priced dresses off the rack from stores like White House Black Market, Express or Asos. Steering the bride towards these options could save you hundreds of dollars.
Try Renting Your Outfit
For men, renting a tux is obviously the most affordable option. But it’s an alternative that hasn’t always been available for women, until now. With resources like MyLittleBorrowedDress.com, you can cut your wedding party clothing budget down to a more manageable size. And besides saving money, you won’t end up with a dress you’ll never wear again taking up space in your closet.
Beauty School Up-Dos
If the bride insists on professionally done up-dos for the wedding, save money by going to a beauty school. It will still look lovely and formal, but it won’t cost you nearly as much as a style from a trendy salon.
Pool Money for a Gift
Rather than get the happy couple something inexpensive off their registry, why not rally other members of the wedding party to chip in their cash for a flashier gift? The bride and groom will likely prefer receiving something more substantial, and your money will go further when you combine it with others.
By Alison Storm
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