photo by Shannon Lee Miller
The day you ask your bridesmaids to stand beside you at your wedding is filled with butterflies and emotions. They are the group you’ll count on throughout the entire wedding planning process. They will help in any way needed and spend whatever is necessary to make your big day perfect. Before you get too far into the details, take a moment to remember one important thing: your bridesmaids are people with their own jobs, responsibilities, and budgets. Many of them may not be able to spend hundreds of dollars for your wedding without making sacrifices in other parts of their lives—they also might not admit it. Rather than put anyone in an uncomfortable budget situation, consider these tips for saving your bridesmaids money.
photo by Jonnie & Garrett
1. Let Them Choose Their Own Dresses
The mismatched bridesmaids trend is stronger than ever and doesn’t look like it’ll be fizzling out anytime soon. Not only does this option add a fresh and modern look to your wedding, but it’s more budget-friendly than choosing one dress from one store. Plus, it removes the stress of trying to pick one style that fits different body types.
By letting them choose their own dresses, you’re empowering them to shop within their own budget, wear a designer or brand they feel confident in, and—hopefully—find a dress they can wear beyond the wedding. If you’re still nervous about trying this trend, take a peek at these gorgeous fall bridesmaids dresses, these show-stopping neutral dresses, or even these bold dresses for more inspiration on how to create that perfect mismatched look.
photo by Marisa Vasquez Photography
2. Be Flexible with Shoe Options
The mismatched trend doesn’t just apply to dresses—it includes shoes! Some of your bridal party might love to rock heels while some might feel their best wearing flats. Keep your bridesmaids comfortable for the entire day with shoes that fit their style, personality, and budget.
To create some uniformity, you can choose one color or tone in a specific finish—satin, matte, etc—and let them choose the style. That way they can find shoes in their price range, wear a pair they already own, or borrow from a friend. Not sure where to start? Nude is always a safe color option and will look great with just about any dress your girls choose.
If they need a store to start looking for inspiration, we love Nordstrom. They offer many styles in various price ranges.
photo by Madeline Druce
3. Give Them Practical Gifts
The sweetest way to show your bridal party some extra love is with a thoughtful bridesmaid gift. While something purely sentimental or novel might be your first thought, consider giving your bridesmaids an item that they can wear on the wedding day and beyond. This could include a cute and comfy getting ready look or accessories that complete their wedding day look, such as a necklace, bracelet, or wrap. This takes at least one important item off their must-buy list and will be something they cherish for years to come. Whatever gift you choose, don’t forget to include personalized thank you cards to let them know how much you appreciate their love and support!
photo by Andrew Sun Photography
4. Don’t Require Professional Hair and Makeup
Professional hair and makeup can cost each bridesmaid anywhere from $75 -$200, which can be a total budget buster. Most folks are capable of doing their own makeup and could totally pull off one of these romantic half-up hairstyles or even a pretty braid. Perhaps you even have a beauty guru friend who could help out.
If you decide you want everyone to get their hair and makeup professionally done, you should offer to pay for it. If you can afford to pay for hair/makeup and a bridesmaid gift, more power to you! But if you have to choose one or the other, consider opting to take the burden off your bridesmaids’ budgets.
photo by Noelle Johnson
5. Encourage Them to Forego Wedding Gifts
Your bridesmaids have to buy dresses and shoes, plan and pay for a bachelorette party and shower, pay for travel and accommodations, and volunteer a significant amount of their time for pre-wedding events. Yikes, that’s a long list of pretty substantial and fantastic gifts! Rather than expecting them to buy something off your wedding registry, assure them that their presence is the only present you need. Besides, your guests will have the registry covered.
Some of your bridesmaids might feel guilty showing up to events empty-handed, so let them know early on in the planning stages that you don’t expect a gift. Not only will they appreciate the sentiment, but it’ll open up their budget for other things—like an epic bachelorette party!
photo by Golden Days Photography
6. Consolidate Events to Limit Travel Expenses
Between the wedding shower, the bachelorette party, the rehearsal, and the actual wedding day, travel expenses can add up quickly. Consolidate some of those events to the same weekend to cut down on the number of plane tickets, hotel rooms, or tanks of gas your bridesmaids need to buy. Ask your Maid of Honor to pick one city for both the wedding shower and the bachelorette party so they can take place on the same weekend—or even the same day.
If the events can’t line up, suggest that the bachelorette party be the night before the wedding rehearsal so your bridesmaids can simply come in a day early for the wedding weekend. Whether you’re able to consolidate events or not, it’s important to be supportive and flexible if a bridesmaid cannot attend every event. She’ll be there for the most important day, which is what really matters.
photo by Ben and Colleen
7. Find Creative Accommodations
As you look for accommodations for your out-of-town bridesmaids, keep budget-friendly options at the top of your list. If you’re going the hotel route, thoroughly research options around the city and choose the most reasonable ones. Then reach out to the hotel to negotiate a room block discount or keep an eye out for discounted rates that pop up.
If you want an even less expensive option for your guests—or just your bridal party—check out listings on Airbnb or VRBO. You and your bridesmaids can split a large rental house the night before the wedding, which would be cost-effective for everyone and give you much more space to get ready in the morning. If you want to be super generous—and have space—you could even offer your place while they’re in town for the best slumber party ever.
Now that you have ideas for how to save your bridesmaids money, let’s focus on your wedding budget.
Have more budget-friendly wedding ideas? Leave them in the comments below!