Being a bridesmaid is an amazing honour, but it can also be a pricey experience!
While bridal party costs (such as dresses, hair and makeup and pre-wedding parties) are usually considered part and parcel of the role, it’s still worth thinking about some ways you may be able to minimise these expenses where possible.
So, as the bride-to-be, how can you help your favourite ladies save some extra dollars on your wedding? From wedding day attire to gifts and accessories, keep reading for 6 thoughtful ways to cut down on bridesmaid costs below.
Let Them Choose Their Own Dress
The biggest expense involved in being a bridesmaid is usually the dress – and as the bride-to-be, the dress selection will ultimately come down to you.
Instead of asking your ladies to purchase a specific dress of your choice, consider nominating a colour (or colour palette) and allowing your bridesmaids to select their own. This means you’ll still be able to achieve the overall look you’re envisaging, but your bridesmaids have the flexibility to choose a dress that suits their personal style and budget. Bonus: the “mismatched” bridesmaid look can be incredibly chic, and will ensure all of your girls feel comfortable.
If you do have your heart set on a particular dress and aren’t willing to compromise on style, we’d suggest factoring this into your budget and covering the costs (or the majority of costs) yourself. Or, why not consider hiring your bridesmaid gowns instead? You can find several reputable rental companies who ship designer gowns directly to your door.
Be Flexible With Shoes
Speaking of wedding day attire, shoe selection is another easy way to help your bridesmaids save money. When it comes to bridesmaid shoes, these really don’t have to be purchased brand new – chances are, your girls will probably have a suitable pair already sitting in their wardrobe. Simply choose a neutral colour like nude or white, and leave the final selection up to your bridesmaids.
Look Out For Sales
Be strategic with your bridesmaid purchases by keeping an eye out for bargains along the way. When it comes to things like bridesmaid gowns and accessories, you (and your bridesmaids) can save some serious cash by taking advantage of sales and special offers.
Our tip? Sign up for the mailing lists of your favourite online boutiques to receive welcome discounts and exclusive deals, and mark popular online shopping dates in your calendar – for example, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, EOFY and Boxing Day.
You can also encourage your bridesmaids to explore pre-loved dresses via platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Many bridesmaids choose to sell their gowns after the day, meaning you can grab designer dresses in pristine condition for a fraction of the original price.
Give Accessories As Gifts
Instead of asking your bridesmaids to purchase their own earrings or jewellery for the day, why not choose these accessories as your bridesmaid gifts? Make the moment extra special by gifting them their accessories at your rehearsal dinner, bridal shower or on the morning of your wedding.
Combine Pre-Wedding Events
Organising pre-wedding events is usually another big cost for your bridal party, especially if they’re feeling the pressure to go all out! If you’re worried about your bridesmaids spending too much money on pre-wedding parties, suggest combining your bachelorette party and bridal shower into one event, rather than organising multiple celebrations.
It can also be worth having an upfront chat with your ladies about your expectations, too. Let them know you would be happy with a fun night out on the town or an intimate weekend getaway, rather than an extravagant overseas trip! Read our ultimate guide on planning the perfect bridal shower here.
Take Them Off The Hook For Presents
While it’s customary for your wedding guests to provide a gift or wishing well donation, this rule shouldn’t apply to your bridal party. Considering your bridesmaids have already contributed their time, money and energy, let them know they’re off the hook when it comes to a traditional wedding gift! At the end of the day, their ongoing help and support is the greatest gift you could ask for.
Looking Out For Your Ladies
As the bride-to-be, it’s easy to feel guilty about your bridesmaids spending money on your wedding. But, it’s also worth remembering they wouldn’t have accepted the role unless they were genuinely excited to be involved.
Chances are, your bridesmaids will be more than happy to contribute their time and money – just make sure you show them your love, gratitude and appreciation along the way!
Not sure who pays for what when it comes to bridal party expenses? Read our complete guide to bridal party costs and responsibilities right here.