For the Bridal Party
I'M BRIDESMAID! HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?
Written by Heather A. Muckle Minneapolis, MN
Being a bridesmaid is not only a time commitment, you also have to commit to the wedding financially. And, the costs do not end with buying a dress you'll never wear again. Depending on the bride's wishes, you could be spending a bundle!
Typically, you'll have to pay for:
Gifts. If they have an engagement party, you may need to bring a gift. You will need to bring gifts for the bride to her shower(s), and, of course, there is the wedding gift.
Travel. Most likely the bride and groom won't be able to pick up your cost for a hotel or plane ticket, so you may have to pay your own way.
Attire. This includes the bridesmaid dress, alterations (which can be expensive!), accessories, and shoes (and having them dyed to match if necessary). Don't forget undergarments - stockings, bras, underwear, etc. Typically, the bride will give you jewelry as a gift, so you may not have to worry about paying for that!
Pampering. You will probably have to pay for your own hair stylist and nail appointment unless the bride pays for you as a gift.
Save money without appearing cheap:
It's not easy, but there are some things you can do to try to minimize your expenses:
Showers. Many showers are planned at restaurants, which can get expensive, especially if you are footing the bill for all of the guests. Try planning the shower at someone's home. To save further, see if the guests will each bring a dish to share.
Gifts. Make a creative gift instead of buying one. Make a scrapbook, give a painting, or write them a song. If you are not that creative, try putting together a honeymoon kit with sunscreen, etc. Or, fill a picnic basket with a blanket and a bottle of wine.
Travel. Driving is cheaper than flying. Try renting a car and carpooling with other bridesmaids. When you arrive, chip in together for a hotel room, or try to stay locally with friends or relatives.
Attire. Many times fabric and a seamstress are cheaper than ordering a dress. If the bride is open to it, suggest helping her shop for fabric. If you are lucky, maybe she'll let each of the bridesmaids choose the dress design of their choice so you can have something custom made that you will wear again!
Forfeit the manicure or hair stylist. Have a manicure party with the other bridesmaids the night before, do each other's hair in the morning and save some dough!