How To Save Money As a Bridesmaid

July 10, 2013

how to save money as a bridesmaid


Bridesmaids is one of my favorite movies of all time- and if you’ve ever felt like Kristen Wiig as you prepare for a bestie’s big day, hopefully this article will help!  Everyone wants to learn how to save money as a bridesmaid without being a total stick in the mud, and it can be done- you just need a plan, book early and get creative in order to cut costs.

Many brides do not mean to put their friends and loved ones in a stressful financial position when they wed, so be prepared to talk it out, negotiate and get creative on ways to make being a bridesmaid more budget friendly!


1.  First, Be Realistic About Your Relationship to the Bride

Many times, bridal partys are formed out of obligation, not relationships.  Seeing that the average cost of a wedding is around $25,000 and it can cost you over $700 to be a bridesmaid, your bride might be more used to the price tag than you are!  Being completely honest about the situation, if you feel your relationship can’t weather a $700+ price tag, be honest, be kind and do so as quickly as possible so she can move on in the planning phase.

If you are certain you want to be her bridesmaid but you aren’t prepared for the cost, be honest with her with that as well and see if she can cut costs for the group so you aren’t singled out (since you most likely aren’t the only one with budget concerns!) Easy cutbacks include skipping on a fancy makeup artist, finding budget friendly bridesmaid dresses and not going overboard on the bachelorette party in a pricey location.  Making group decisions under the guidance of the bride to be is the best way to make sure everyone’s a happy camper!


2. Cut Costs On The Bridesmaid Dress

If the bride is open to it- suggest having unique dresses that reflect your own personal sense of style (and budget) but still fit in the color family of her wedding palette.  She can still have the final say in what you wear, but give her several choices that fit in your price range and still fit the look and feel of the evening.  Especially if you have women in the bridal party that are of varying ages and sizes, this is the best way to make sure everyone can wear a style that makes them look and feel gorgeous but also, not break the bank for any one person.



{favorite. movie. ever.}

3. Pool Together For Party Costs

Often, the responsibility to throw the bridal shower and bachelorette party falls upon the Maid of Honor- but being well organized and pooling resources could be the best option.  Thinking outside the traditional party ideas for a girl’s night out also can be a great way to cut costs- instead of having both a wild bachelorette party and a spa day to get hair, makeup and spa treatments done- why not get have a spa bachelorette party to get facials, manis, pedis and make sure tan lines are even?

If travel costs are an issue, consider combining events so guests of the shower, bachelorette party or wedding day aren’t flying out twice.  A combined bachelorette party with a shower or having the bachelorette party be dual purpose as wedding prep is a great way to save on travel, lodging and food.

If you get good at DIY, you can put on a bridal shower that uses everyone’s money saving strengths so all can contribute on the baking, crafting, flower arrangements, invitations and location.


4.  Ask How You Can Help The Bride Pay For Her Day

The cost of being a bridesmaid adds up really fast- with an average bridesmaid spending $200 or more on gifts.  One way that I’ve saved money while creating a win-win gift is to offer to pay for something for the bride-  the bouquet, wedding day makeup, garter belt, champagne flutes or to have the bridal party all chip in for the centerpieces can be a great way to create a gift with big impact that everyone can contribute to- especially if your girlfriend is on a tight budget and wouldn’t be able to splurge on fresh flowers or a fancy pants spa treatment for herself outside what she’s already paying for.

If you’re talented with a camera, are great at paper crafts or took a flower arranging costs, your labor and skills could save the bride a ton of money, and you’ll be the hero of the bridal party!  Ask the bride if there’s something she really wants for her special day that she may  not  be able to have and offer to help cover those cost in lieu of traditional gifts or pool with the bridal party to make it happen.  Working together at a team can save everyone money!


5.  Don’t Stay On Site & Book Early

The wedding industry knows how to get our money!  If you can help it, get together with other attendees and see if you can find alternatives for lodging other than on site to save money.  While many hotels offer wedding specials on block housing, if your bride’s wedding budget is far more extravagant than yours, try alternatives such as AirBnB or stay somewhere offsite.

The easiest way to save money is to get your travel and lodging plans nailed down as soon as possible to save time, headache and ensure everyone gets the best rates possible!  It’s not always easy to plan amidst the chaos of weddings, but do your best to communicate with the bridal party and get the plans from the bride.


Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, so if you decide to take on being a part of the bridal party, know that it’s going to be expensive and even with creativity and negotiation to cut costs, it might still break your ideal budget.  Do your best to stay positive, be supportive and articulate your needs best you can in the social situation you’re in.  No matter what, have fun and stay frugal!


How do you save money on being in a wedding?

Feel free to share your bridesmaid horror or success stories too!



6 comments so far.

6 responses to “How To Save Money As a Bridesmaid”

  1. Janine says:

    First of all I also LOVE the movie Bridesmaid’s… it’s HILARIOUS!

    These are really great tips and I’m starting to get to the age where some of my friends are getting married. I think another great thing is to offer your time if you don’thave money to help with decorations or making invitations!

  2. Simone says:

    Love all these tips! Another one is, if the bride is open to it, do your own hair, makeup and nails (instead of paying the designated pro for the wedding.) The last wedding I was in, I spent over $150 on hair and makeup alone. Now that I’m more savvy with DIY beauty stuff, I’m so grateful that the wedding I’m in is allowing us to do it all ourselves.

  3. Simone says:

    Love all these tips! Another one is, if the bride is open to it, do your own hair, makeup and nails (instead of paying the designated pro for the wedding.) The last wedding I was in, I spent over $150 on hair and makeup alone. Now that I’m more savvy with DIY beauty stuff, I’m so grateful that the wedding I’m in is allowing us to do it all ourselves.

  4. Jimmy says:

    our wedding was on a shoestring. My wife did her own hair and make up and bought her dress from a large department store who are now selling wedding dresses. She also did all the flowers and invitations herself

  5. Thanks for the tips in this article. One more thing you could add is to start saving for being a “bridesmaid” as soon as you find out you will be one. Its easier to skim on going out prior to the wedding than on the big day! Well that’s the way my wife felt!


  6. Great post! Thanks for sharing an informative post. Your tips are definitely very helpful. I really like your post and found very informative. Thanks for sharing.


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