I couldn’t believe this stat from weddingchannel.com: A bridesmaid can now expect to spend almost $1,700 to fulfill her duties! Wowie! That kind of investment can take its toll on many of today’s bridesmaids who are in school, paying a mortgage, between jobs, etc. There are many ways to save on these expenses.
First, if you’ve been invited to stand up at more than one wedding, the financial strain may be too much. It’s tough to say no, as it is certainly an honor to be asked, but you may have to prioritize.
I researched several etiquette experts’ opinions. Most say you’ll be best served by having an honest conversation with the bride-to-be and being frank about your financial situation. A true friend will understand, and either help you find other ways to help with the wedding, or perhaps even offer to offset the cost. She may even be so open-minded as to ask you for suggestions on how to limit the cost. Not every bride is a bridezilla!
One way to save is to host the shower and bachelorette party over the same weekend, if travel is involved. Or, you can cut back on hair, makeup, spa treatments, etc. and do them yourself or enlist a friend or relative with a beauty bent to help.
I’m thrilled to learn more brides are opting to let bridesmaids choose their own dresses in matching or complimentary colors. Eighty percent of bridesmaids never wear their dress again! Asking them to choose from their own closet or favorite store not only saves money, but lets bridesmaids pick the style they find most flattering and comfortable.
When I got married (albeit, 14 years ago) I asked my bridesmaids to pick their own simple, black cocktail dress. They all looked gorgeous; just enough alike to be uniform, but with a personal touch. You can also bunk with other bridesmaids to save on lodging, or carpool if you’re within driving distance.
The key word in navigating emotion-filled wedding waters is “sensitivity.” Brides and grooms are under a lot of stress to create the “perfect” wedding.
No matter what your financial situation, you can help keep things sane by being up front from the start, so the bride and groom can make their wedding party plans as early as possible. If you have trepidations, don’t wait to speak up. That’s the best way to be a good friend or relative.
About The Blogger
- In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now. Tweet Brooke your ideas at @BrookeCBS4.