A Bridesmaids Guide To Not Going Broke
Weddings are fabulous! They are a ton of fun and are very exciting but they are also very expensive and not just for the couple but also the bridal party.
The expenses for a bridesmaid can rack up pretty quickly. From the dress, shoes and accessories, to hair and make up for the day of, to throwing the bridal shower and bachelorette party and whatever other activities the bride would like you to contribute to as part of celebrating this big occasion in her life. While supporting your friend who is getting married is a lovely thing to do, you need to make sure it makes financial sense for you and that you are not going into debt for your friend.
First things first, before you commit to being a bridesmaid (and the expenses that come with it) you need to ask yourself if you should even be in the wedding. Being a bridesmaid is a huge time and financial commitment, so before you make that commitment you want to make sure it's worth it. If you aren't close friends with the bride, you might want to pass on being in the wedding and instead just buy a really nice gift. If however this is your best friend or very close friend below are a few tips on how not to go broke supporting your friend as she plans her wedding:
1. Be honest with the bride about the expenses
These expenses would include the dress, accessories, hair, make up, the bridal shower, bachelorette party, transportation and accommodation for the wedding etc. Tally them up to get an idea of how much you will be spending in total and compare it to what you can afford. If both numbers don't line up, you might want to have a conversation with your friend letting her know that some of the expenses are out of your budget and see where things can possibly be cut back. As an example, you can plan to do your own hair and make up.
2. Be involved in the bridesmaid dress selection process
Go shopping with your friend for bridesmaid dresses, better yet take the task off her plate and make it your job to search for stunning dresses that you know she will love that are reasonably priced and show her a variety of options to choose from. The bridesmaid dress can be a large expense and if you can find a gorgeous dress and still save money then that's a plus.
3. Help out in other ways at the shower or bachelorette party
If the costs of the shower are still way to high for you after splitting it with the other bridesmaids, you could offer to create the decor and find a cheaper way to do it or offer to cook the food or bake the treats for the event, you could definitely save a good amount of money this way.
4. Politely say no
If for whatever reason your friend won't budge and is stuck on what she wants or you just can't afford it period, then you can politely say no but still offer to help out at the wedding - perhaps offer to help with day of co-ordinating, ushering, setting up or just come as a guest and purchase a lovely gift.
Remember being a bridesmaid can be a lot of fun, you just need to make sure it works for you financially.
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of Clever Girl Finance and she's passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.