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4 Tips for bridesmaids on a budget

Hi there, my name is Onada - I’m a personal finance junkie and money coach! I created CleverGirlFinance.com out of a passion to educate after several experiences with women who were afraid to talk about money, didn’t know what to do with...

How to be an awesome bridesmaid without breaking the bank

Weddings are fabulous and exciting, but they also happen to be very expensive. The couple foots the largest bill, but the bridal party and the expenses for a bridesmaid can rack up pretty quickly.

From the bridesmaid dress, shoes and accessories, to hair and makeup for the wedding day, to throwing the bridal shower and bachelorette party, (and whatever else the bride would like you to contribute to as part of celebrating this big occasion in her life) you end up with a big expense.

While supporting your soon-to-be-married friend is a great thing to do, you also need to make sure it makes financial sense for you. You shouldn't be racking up debt for your friend.

Before you commit to being a bridesmaid — and the costs associated 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 decision you should make sure it's worth it.

If you are not close to the bride, you might want to pass on being in the wedding and instead just buy a really nice gift from her registry

If however this is a really good friend, below are a few tips on how not to go broke supporting your friend as she plans her big day:

  1. Chat with the bride about the costs: You should chat about expectations for the dress, accessories, hair, make up, the bridal shower, bachelorette party, transportation and accommodations for the wedding. Add them up to get an idea of how much you will be spending, and then determine if you can afford. If the numbers don't line up, you might want to have a conversation with your friend letting her know some of the costs are out of your budget and see where you can cut back. As an example, you can do your own hair and make up.
  2. Be part of 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 gorgeous dresses she'll love — and that are reasonably priced. You should also show her a variety of options. The bridesmaid dress can be a large expense, and it's a huge plus if you can find a gorgeous dress and still save money.

    Help out in other ways:For instance, if the costs of the shower are too high for you after splitting it with the other bridesmaids, you can 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 can definitely cut some costs this way.

  3. Politely say no: As a last resort, if your friend won't budge from what she wants and you just can't afford it, then you can politely say no. Offer to help out at the wedding: help with the day-of coordinating, ushering guests, setting up the decor or just come as a guest and purchase a lovely gift.

Remember, being a bridesmaid can be a lot of fun; you just don't want to be broke at the end of it all!
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