A bride's first thought when it comes to bridesmaids is curating a group of close friends who will be there for her on such a momentous day. Her second thought should be making sure the honor doesn't come with too high a cost. With bridesmaid dresses regularly ringing in at over $200, never mind paying for flights, hotels, hair and makeup, and gifts, the costs can add up quickly. What if it's more than some can afford? Here's what our experts have to say about having a bridesmaid who's on a budget.
One of the best ways to help out a bridesmaid with a smaller budget is to do your best to keep costs low from the get-go. Can you have the bachelorette party locally, then have everyone over to your place for a massive sleepover that night? Or choose the less expensive dress when you're figuring out what your ladies will wear? (Mix-and-match bridesmaid looks are a great way to let each person pick an outfit that flatters their figure and their wallet.) If you can keep some of the expenses in check, every one of your bridesmaids will thank you!
If cost is still an issue, see if there are things that you can pay for personally, like springing for hair and makeup (or one or the other) for the entire bridal party. Ask your bridesmaids to show up with their hair done and their foundation and concealer on, then have a makeup artist do their eyes and lips. You might also talk to other bridesmaids about splitting hotel rooms instead of each booking their own, helping halve the costs and also encouraging extra bonding time.
If your personal finances are limited and your friend is still struggling to keep up with the costs, the two of you might need to talk about whether she wants to step down from being an actual bridesmaid. Keep her on the guest list for any and all pre-wedding events, and maybe give her a special role (like a greeter or reader) during your ceremony, but put her in a position where she has more control over how much she spends. After all, a wedding is a chance to have your friends together to celebrate, not a reason for them to go into debt.