How to Be a Bridesmaid without Breaking the BankZoey
These days, being a bridesmaid involves way more than just standing by the bride’s side at the alter as she says her vows. From throwing engagement parties and showers to planning extravagant bachelorette trips (with the perfect mani/pedi required for all events, of course!), being a bridesmaid can and will take a toll on your wallet. Try these tips to save a few pennies where you can, while still making the time leading up to your bestie’s Big Day unforgettable.
Throw the Bridal Shower at Home
Hosting a bridal shower at a restaurant can easily run a few thousand dollars. Instead, see if someone involved in the wedding would be kind enough to play hostess and lend their home for the shower. Now, we know not everyone has a Great Aunt Ruth with a gorgeous McMansion out in the country – but all you need is a decent sized living room or even a large backyard (fingers crossed for good weather!). The shower will feel more intimate and special by keeping the guest list small anyway – not to mention the food and champagne budget will be much more manageable with fewer mouths to feed.
For the things that you do have to buy, try to find items that are dual purpose. For example, look for shower favors that can be used for decor too – like these Rose Gold Tea Light Holders! Light them throughout each room for a bit of romantic candlelight ambiance, and then tell each shower guest to grab one on their way out!
When done right, rentals can be your best friend. Being in wedding involves attending ton of events in addition to the Big Day – but that doesn’t mean you need a brand-new outfit for each event. If you’re already shelling out a ton of cash to attend a bachelorette weekend in Vegas, don’t add the cost of the trip by purchasing six new outfits and three pairs of shoes on top of that. Instead, swap closets with all of your girlfriends ahead of the trip – you’ll be surprised at the stylish-yet-secondhand looks you can pull together with just a little bit of planning.
And these days, companies like Rent the Runway and Vow to Be Chic even offer a large selection of bridesmaid dress rentals. Now, this might take some convincing on the bride’s part, but if she’s open to at least looking at rental dress options, she just might fall in love with one. These dress options are often way more trendy and current than your standard cookie cutter bridesmaid dresses anyway!
Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead
Often, a major chunk of your bridesmaid budget is spent on hotels and airfare – especially for college friends who might live halfway across the country or for couples having a destination wedding. If you already know you’ll be spending your annual vacation budget on a few trips to engagement parties, showers, bachelorettes and the wedding day itself, try to plan as far in advance as possible. Most hotels allow you to make a reservation for absolutely no upfront cost, so there’s no harm in booking a room months in advance. The cost will likely only get more expensive as the date approaches anyway! Also, some airlines, such as Southwest Airlines, will allow you to rebook your flight for a lower price if the airfare does happen to drop – a no brainer for planning ahead!