How To Be There For The Bride On Her Big Day Without Getting Into Big Debt
“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” You may have heard that old saying, considered a sort of lament for women who had not yet married. But in today’s world, not every woman is on a seemingly endless search for a soul mate on the way to getting hitched.
Weddings, however, still go on, and brides still choose bridesmaids to help them navigate all the details of the ‘big day.’ It’s a job that comes with more than a few costs: the dress, bridal shower, bachelorette party, travel, and gifts all add up. Wedding Wire estimates that being a bridesmaid can cost up to $1,200 per wedding.
Here are five tips that can help you keep costs down — and save your sanity when it comes to bridesmaid expenses.
1. Bachelorette Party? Be Travel Savvy
Finding a great travel deal is all about flexibility. Try to pick dates that allow for taking advantage of off-season pricing. Consider setting an alert on Google Flights for help with finding cheap tickets; Google will also let you know when a ticket price is likely to increase. And there’s more room for savings when it comes to where you’ll stay — skip the pricey, pretentious hotel and plan on getting an Airbnb to share with your fellow bridesmaids and the bride.
2. DIY Party Decor
Forget pricey party accessories that end up cluttering your bachelorette party space and eventually just take up space in the landfill. Think economically and ecologically: Create your own bachelorette party decor and ask the other bridesmaids to help out by tapping into their own creative muse; that way, everyone has an opportunity to contribute their personal design aesthetic to the event.
3. Use Tech To Tame The Tab
The bride and bridesmaids have enjoyed a fabulous meal, now comes the bill and along with it that dreaded moment of awkwardness: how to split the cost fairly without fretting over who ordered what and how to split the tip. A simple solution: Skip the haggling and let one person volunteer to charge the meal on their card, knowing that everyone else will pay them back at the end of the bachelorette party or excursion. You can also consider estimating meal costs ahead of time, collecting money before the event, and then reimbursing guests if they’ve overpaid.
4. Dress For Less (but be no less stylish!)
It’s long been the bridesmaid’s burden: buying a dress you’ll likely wear only once. But today’s brides often opt for allowing their bridesmaids to pick their own preferable (and wearable) dress styles within a certain color scheme. Consider borrowing a dress from Rent the Runway or buying a preowned, gently used dress on Poshmark. If the bride has chosen a specific dress for everyone, check out Honey for internet coupon codes available at the retailer or use the Shopstyle app to receive alerts when the dress goes on sale.
5. Keep An Eye On Hair And Makeup Savings
Forget hiring a professional makeup artist to bring out your best bridesmaid beauty: Look into mobile beauty services like Glam Squad, which can do your hair and makeup for a reasonable flat fee. Or slip into Sephora – the cosmetics store provides a complimentary custom makeover with a minimum purchase of $50.