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How to Spend Less as a Bridesmaid

Varty Yahjian headshot

Varty Yahjian

Rockstar marketing intern

It’s engagement season! It’s always fun to get invited to the wedding--even more memorable when you’re actually in the wedding as a bridesmaid. Weekends start getting filled with dress fittings, cake tastings and bridal showers. Not to mention the infamous bachelorette party...there are so many reasons to love being a part of someone’s marital celebrations. Getting asked to be someone’s bridesmaid is an honor, but paying for the honor can be stressful. Luckily, we’ve collected these tips to help get you to the wedding without breaking the bank. A bit of planning goes a long way and we can help you save for your #bridesmaidgoals!

Buy your tickets FAST

Many weddings require travel, whether that comes in the form of a bachelorette party somewhere in Cancun or the traditional Las Vegas adventure, bridesmaids across the country often scramble to find flights last minute. Instead of trying to find a red-eye to Vegas from JFK the week before, block out your weekends in advance and plan for a trip before anything. It’ll be easier to save for it in advance instead of scrambling to pay it back after other expenses. Cheapflightsfinder.com is a great resource to find flights on the low.

Don’t ignore the registry

Truly nothing seems more intimidating than finding out two days before the wedding that the only available gifts are a $4,000 Swedish smart toaster oven and a $2 mug. Skip the stress and get the gift as soon as you can. Perhaps even help the bride in making the registry and plug your suggestion.

Save on dresses and buy a sample

There is nothing more draining than spending a ton of money on a dress that you probably won’t wear again. Moreover, getting a custom made dress is foolish and time consuming. Many stores will sell a “floor sample” version of the dress you’re eyeing--this means it's the dress shoppers try on or it’s sitting on a mannequin. There are some real deals and you can spend the extra money getting it tailored, something that will cost way less than an entire new dress. Just ask the associate if they have your size!

BYOS (Bring Your Own Shoes)

Traditionally, bridesmaid gowns are long. If this is the case with you, try asking your bride if it’s okay to bring a pair you already have--a nude heel matches literally anything! Most of us have one of those in our shoe collections and don’t wear it nearly as often as we should, given their versatility.

Save on dresses (part 2) and rent

Sometimes we get invited to be a bridesmaid more than once and if this sounds like you, perhaps renting is the best option. Similar to the logic behind the above tip, renting a dress will save you a lot of money instead of purchasing something unnecessary for your closet. There is a wealth of options available for renting, websites like renttherunway and union station have an endless array of pieces to choose from.

Do your own hair and makeup

Remember dances in middle school and parties in college? What was the main similarity here? No, not the clashing hormones of youth; the getting-ready-together part! Few things allow friends to bond like getting makeup and hair done together do. Recreate those beautiful moments and opt for curling your hair and eyelashes yourself--it’ll save hundreds of dollars, trust us. Plus, who doesn’t wanna sing in a mirror with a hairbrush? Can’t do that at the salon…

Don’t spread yourself too thin

This should be the cardinal rule of all wedding party members. There are tons of parts to a wedding, but you don’t need to involve yourself in all of them! Don’t lose track of your own life in the process, that’s when spending can get out of control. Bride already started talking about a bridal shower? It probably isn’t your responsibility to plan the whole thing! It’s more likely that someone in her immediate and in-law’s family will handle that. You don’t need to feel obligated, unless you REALLY want to go through with it.