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It's no secret that becoming a bridesmaid can become quite pricey after all is said and done. After all, she is responsible for all of the purchases that will help her to be the best maid for the bride.
There is the bridesmaid dress and all the accessories that come with that (shoes, jewelry, etc.), as well as the expenses for her hair and makeup on the day of the wedding.
Then there are the outings spent planning and shopping as a group.
Additionally, there is the wedding shower (and lingerie/bridal shower if you choose to have one of those).
Lastly (last but not least), there is the most expensive part of it all: the bachelorette trip!
It is understandable, then, why it might get overwhelming for her very quickly. Sure, she is honored to be a part of one of the best and most cherished experiences of your life, but paying high prices for this seat of honor? It may make your bridesmaid think twice.
Thankfully, there are ways to drastically minimize the costs for your bridesmaids, ultimately lowering the pressure as much as possible.
Even though each of your bridesmaids will have their own budget caps (some who can afford to spend more than others), rest assured that they will all be very pleased about saving money on their wedding expenses.
That being said, here are some quick tips that will help your bridesmaids avoid money stress so that they can thoroughly enjoy having the honor of being one of your best ladies!
Let your ladies choose their own dress.
One huge way you can minimize the costs of your bridesmaids is by having each of them choose their own bridesmaid dress. This is such a stress saver, not only because they can choose how much they want to spend on their dress, but also because they can pick out a dress that best fits their personality (which is more fun for most women!)
Sure, you will want them to adhere to a certain fabric, length, or color so that all of your bridesmaids look somewhat uniform, but the bottom line is that they will have the freedom to spend money within their price range and the time to help you choose the perfect wedding dress. This is a win-win for both you and them!
Find discounts and coupons.
Women love sales and discounts when shopping! If there are particular stores you know your ladies would most likely shop at for their dress or accessories, see if there are discounts or coupons available that will help to make their purchase more affordable.
Let your ladies choose their own shoes.
Another way you can minimize the costs for your bridesmaids is by having them pick their own shoe brand.
Just as designer bridesmaid dresses can be steep in price, so can designer shoes.
These days, it is much easier to find a nice looking pair of heels that mimic the look of big names brands, thus making it easier to dress with class without the hefty price tag.
Having your ladies look for shoes that fit your color scheme and your design preference without having to buy a certain name brand is a great way to help them reduce their costs. This way, your bridesmaid can choose whether she wants to put a good bulk of her budgeted money towards the shoes or towards another bridesmaid expense.
Make hair and makeup optional.
This added expense can easily be crossed from your bridesmaids' obligatory cost list. The reason for this is simply because many times there is a woman that you or your bridesmaids know who can do this job well for little to no cost. This might be a family member, a friend, or one of the bridesmaids themselves.
That way, even if this person does charge for the service, there can be a joint cost that is much lower than if each bridesmaid pays separately at a professional salon.
An even better scenario is if you luck out and get a group of women that are all great with hair and makeup. If this is the case, they can do their hair and makeup individually, thus eliminating costs completely. (Or, if you have a bridesmaid who is willing to help out the other bridesmaids free of cost, this works great as an eliminated cost as well!)
Make your wedding gift to your ladies a wedding accessory.
Yet another way to help minimize the costs for your bridesmaids is to make your bridal gift an accessory they need for the wedding day.
This is another perfect win-win for both you and your ladies! If you make your gift to each of them an accessory (piece of jewelry or hairpiece) they need for their outfit ensemble, they will be thanking you because it is one less thing they have to feel obligated to purchase, and, you get the pleasure and satisfaction of having them wear your heartfelt gift to them on your big day (and it will be all that more meaningful for them as well!).
Useful tip: Make sure to give them this gift way before the wedding day (even before they pick out their dresses) so that they know not to go out and buy it elsewhere.
Be reasonable on pre-wedding events.
If you do decide to travel out-of-town for any pre-wedding event, especially for the bachelorette party, make sure that you talk with your bridesmaids first.
Although it is ultimately your decision about how you want your pre-wedding events to go down (where you will go, what you will do, etc.), it is important to give your bridesmaids options because they might not be able to afford an out-of-town experience (or at least a super expensive one).
The best way to do this is to choose a couple (or three) options that appeal to you, but that are fairly priced (as you are also no doubt planning this wedding on a budget), and have them all discuss it and agree on which option they prefer. This way, you are still getting to choose what you desire and they are happy with the choice as well.
Combine your parties!
Combining any pre-wedding events that involve your ladies is a great way to help minimize the costs for your bridesmaids.
Because of expenses such as travel, separate gift items, and/or party responsibilities, having separate events can up the pre-wedding costs considerably, not just for the bridesmaids, but also for the bridal party and other family members as well.
Therefore, a great idea to lower costs for your bridesmaids would be to combine the lingerie party with the bachelorette party. These two events are so easy to combine because they both focus on the bride alone. It also adds considerably to the level of fun at the party (or trip).
Make the hotel stay affordable.
If you are traveling for either your bachelorette party or for the wedding itself (or both), a great way to reduce this cost for your bridesmaids is to make sure you get a really fair price on the hotel. (We all know that hotels are generally not cheap to begin with, especially if you want a relatively nice stay for your bridal party; therefore, you want to make sure that you can get the best possible deal!)
In shopping for a good hotel price, the first thing you want to do is make sure that the hotel itself is not a super expensive stay in the first place (in other words, no Ritz-Carlton).
Next, determine the market price of two to three hotels and negotiate prices with each of them. Whichever hotel negotiates for the lowest price, pick that one for your bridal party.
Have your ladies either skip the wedding gift or pitch in together for one!
Another thing you can do to help minimize the costs for your bridesmaids is to either remove their obligation to buy a wedding gift or have them pitch in on one big gift together.
Considering that your bridesmaids already have so much to buy for your wedding (and for your parties) and also that many wedding gifts are pricey (even if you buy some of the least expensive items off the gift registry), this gesture is a nice way to say thank you and help reduce their overall wedding costs.
If this first option seems an undesirable decision for everyone, then have your ladies pitch in together and buy a gift. That way, they only spend a fraction of what they would have originally spent on a solo wedding gift. In this way, they feel good at having gotten you a wedding gift, and you feel good that you were able to further reduce their overall wedding costs while also ensuring that they've gotten you a thoughtful wedding gift that you will actually use.
Make the wedding local.
This one is big if you and your bridesmaids are already traveling out of town for the bachelorette party. This will not only be a reduced cost for your bridesmaids, but also for everyone attending the wedding. It is much cheaper to travel an hour or two by car than it is to buy a round-trip plane ticket.
Although you might have had dreams of having your wedding in some exotic location, it might be too big of a financial stretch for many (if not all) of the people involved in your wedding, especially your bridesmaids.
Find a way to minimize bridesmaids costs that work for you and your wedding.
The bottom line is that you can have the wedding of your dreams without stressing yourself and your bridesmaids out financially. You can find a way to make your bridesmaids' experience of your wedding a great one. Simply find ways to cut costs that work for you and for them mutually.
If there is minimized financial worry on their end, you can rest assured that they will enjoy the ride just as much as you, making memories that you can talk about for the rest of your lives.