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How to be a Savvy Bridesmaid

Feb 20, 2020

What an honor it is to be asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor for a friend or family member! You get to be a part of your loved one's special day and stand beside them as they get married. But it's also a massive responsibility and can come with a number of financial expenses. Everything adds up quickly and when the word wedding is involved the price just seems to automatically be bumped up am I right!

As you prepare to celebrate your loved one’s relationship milestone, there is one thing to keep in mind: your bridesmaid budget. First things first it is important to have a discussion with the bride on who pays for what. What are you going to pay for and what do they want to pay for? 

The list of items needed as a bridesmaid includes everything from purchasing a dress to hair and makeup, a tan, nails, shoes, jewelry, possibly even travel and accommodation. 

 Let’s not forget about all the pre-wedding events and activities from the engagement party to bridal showers or kitchen teas and hens nights! 

And wait there's more...we haven't even talked about gifts for all these events. 

It’s fair to say that being a bridesmaid can very quickly add up and sometimes even cause financial stress and anxiety. 

I have created a list of savvy tips that you use, so you can still be a bridesmaid and not break the bank. 

Savvy Tips - for saving money on bridesmaid duties:

  • Talk to the bride

    It is important to find out what the bride has planned for their big day. Start by chatting with them to find out their plans, whether it be a small intimate wedding, a destination wedding, a local wedding, a big fancy affair or a simple backyard celebration. This will allow you to understand or estimate how much money you may need to save for the day. 
  • Budget Concerns

    After talking to the bride about their plans for the big day it is also important to voice any concerns you may have in regards to the cost of any particular areas and your budget before they choose bridesmaids dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry. If you have a tight budget discuss this earlier rather than later so it doesn't become a problem down the track.
  • Create a budget

    Make yourself a spreadsheet, list all of the items involved in being a bridesmaid, set yourself a limit for each and stick to it.
  • Be Savvy

    To help reduce the costs on the big day and save where you can opt to do your own hair, nails, tan, makeup or even ask a friend or family member to help you. Don’t forget to discuss this with the bride first to see if they are ok with you going DIY. 
  • Split the cost

    A savvy idea is to split the cost of particular items amongst all the bridesmaids. This will allow you to save money for other areas of the big day. You could split the cost of the hens night, kitchen tea, hotel room or the cost of getting gifts for the bride for example. 
  • Re-use

    If the bride allows you to, re-use or re-wear items such as shoes, jewelry possibly even a dress that you already own or borrow items from a friend. 
  • Share Accommodation

    If the wedding is a destination wedding or you are staying overnight in a hotel room, why not share with friends or family. Save money on an individual room and share or rent a house with a large group to reduce the cost. 
  • A gift from the heart

    When it comes to purchasing a gift for the couple it can be hard, they may already own a lot of platters, glasses or even a toaster. Why not consider giving a gift a little more meaningful and from the heart. You could make a photo album, or hand-make a gift, whatever it is make it personal and special. If you want to splurge a little on a gift you could also consider going in with friends and splitting the cost.


Above all, even though you may be honored to have been asked, if it is going to affect your wellbeing and cause you financial stress, it's okay to say no. Your friend should understand that this is her special day and I'm sure there are plenty of other ways you can still be involved. 

Remember to put yourself first and your wellbeing is more important than you trying to fit in or impress just to keep up with the Joneses.


Fairien x


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