After the excitement and the happy tears pour out when you've been asked to be a bridesmaid, the next emotion you may find yourself overcome by is panic. How will you afford to be a bridesmaid? How much is this going to cost you? To help you feel at ease and to also get you started on the bridesmaid adventure thinking about dollar signs, here is a list of seven money saving tips for all 'maids.
1. Book Travel Ahead of Time
Once you get your wedding save the date or you get news about the bachelorette and bridal shower, start booking any and all travel. The further away you book it, the less expensive it will be. Start bookmarking travel deals and start cashing in any airline miles you may have — if the wedding falls on a popular travel holiday.
2. Find Your Bridesmaid Dress for Less
Don't say yes to the bridesmaid dress without searching around for it online first. See if you can rent it or buy it used. Another store in another state might even sell it for less.
3. Budget at the Start
After you agree to be a bridesmaid, make sure you set a tight budget for yourself. Include the dress, travel, and gifts amount in that budget.
4. Start Saving Now for a Gift
If you know you're going to shell out a couple of hundred dollars now for a wedding gift, start saving money. That way, when it comes time to write the check, you won't have to scramble for the extra money in your bank account.
5. Borrow What You Can
Whether it's shoes, the dress, or accessories, ask your friends to see what you can borrow.
6. DIY Gifts for the Bridal Shower
If you can't afford shelling out a gift for every wedding event, consider doing DIY gifts for the bridal shower or even the bachelorette party.
7. Say No
While this one may seem overbearing and blunt, it's important to accept that you can say no to things that you can't afford. There's no reason to feel bad when you know that you are doing what you can for the bride on the budget that works best for you.
*Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of *All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.