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Being asked to be a bridesmaid is an honor, but it also brings a lot of obligation and responsibility. And the dollars can quickly rack up if you aren’t prepared. If you’re truly struggling financially, here are 7 tips to not go broke as a bridesmaid (and won’t ruin your relationship with the bride!)
1) Be honest
Before you say yes to the bride, be truthful about your concerns. Even just saying “I am honored and so happy for you and would love to do it. I do, however, have some financial constraints. Can we discuss what the financial commitment would look like?”
This creates a space for the bride to be honest about her expectations as well. Will you just need to show up for the wedding? Will you need to pay for a trip to Vegas for a bachelorette party? How much is hair and the dress? If she is asking you to be a bridesmaid, she should love you enough to be open with you.
2) Consider travel expenses
If you’re like me and live 1000 miles away from where most of your friends are, travel expenses can take up a huge portion of the bridesmaid cost. While there may not be a way to cut travel expenses entirely, you can work to lessen the blow.
Track flights to see when they are cheapest and share on transportation and lodging costs with friends.
3) Ask to do your own hair and makeup
Getting your hair and makeup done is a treat, but can be a very expensive cost. If the bride is okay with it, do your own hair and makeup, or ask a crafty friend to do it for you. You can save anywhere from $60-200 by doing it yourself.
4) See if it’s okay to wear your own shoes
Again….how many pairs of specific silver heels can you own? Thankfully, the matchy-matchy bridesmaid look is losing popularity, but if your bride is picky, maybe suggest to her gently that wearing your own shoes is not only cheaper, but more comfortable!
5) Go in together on a gift
See what the other bridesmaids are getting her. Have single girlfriends going to the wedding, too? Ask if they want to split a nice gift.
6) Stay with friends or family
If there is anyone in the area you can stay with during the wedding weekend, don’t be afraid to ask. It could save you upwards of $250 for two nights!
7) Remember the bridal shower.
Since you’re throwing this party for the bride traditionally, it’s hard to know upfront what her expectations are. Likely, you’re planning the bridal shower with the other bridesmaids. Be upfront with the other bridesmaids on what you can contribute financially. Offer your time or skills instead. Awesome at crafting? Make the decorations. Great baker? Bring the cupcakes.
Remember, more than anything, retaining a strong relationship with the bride is the point of being a bridesmaid. If you think your financial situation prohibits you from supporting the bride or will create too much tension, it’s okay to say no! A few hard feelings are not ideal, but a true friend will want you by her side, no matter what.