The Rising Cost of Being a Bridesmaid
How much will it really cost you to be part of her special day?
Planning a wedding can be a stressful time for the bride, but having her friends become a part of it should make it fun. The dresses, shoes, hair styles, shower, and bachelorette party all seem enjoyable until you start adding up the costs. How much exactly will it cost you if one of your friends presents you with this “special honor”?
Cost of Wardrobe
Mint.com, a personal finance management service, says the average cost of a bridesmaid dress BEFORE alterations is $150, and the dress always needs alterations. Have you seen the movie 27 Dresses? Alterations aren’t the only thing you need to worry about. The bride may or may not allow you to have some input in the dress, but the funds don’t stop there.
If you’re lucky, the bride may help with some of the costs or in a few instances at least allow for a DIY hair and make-up option. Doing your hair and make-up yourself will save a lot of money, maybe $100 or more. Don’t be afraid to recommend this option. The other bridesmaids may thank you!
Paying for the Shower
The bridal shower is another part of being a bridesmaid that adds up. There are ways to cut the price if you are in charge of the planning. Get creative and think of alternative methods to give her a special shower without going to the extreme.
- Host it at a friend’s home
- Use eVites instead of printed invites
- Cater it yourself
- Create your own games & decorations. I suggest checking out Pinterest for ideas to get you started!
Affording the Bachelorette Party
The third responsibility of a bridesmaid is planning the bachelorette party. Use these tips to cut the cost of the event:
- Stay local and plan a party at a venue in town.
- Book travel in advance. The longer you wait the more it will cost. (See this list from USA Today for the cheapest days to travel in 2014.)
- Organize the party at the same location as the wedding. This way you will only deal with flights once.
- Research group discounts.
Buying a Wedding Gift
US News recommends setting a budget for the wedding gift first, as a separate item. Consider buying a group gift from all the bridesmaids. If you’re crafty, DIY projects are another recommendation for a personalized, budget-friendly gift. Ideas for this can also be found on Pinterest.
Being a bridesmaid is possible without completely breaking your savings account. Just remember, it’s the thought that counts, unless your bride turns into a Bridezilla. Then your best bet is to accept that you’ll both look back on this and laugh later.
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