Budgeting for wedding season can be difficult. Anyone who has stood beside their bestie on their big day knows that being a bridesmaid or groomsman is not only a time commitment but also a financial commitment. There are the dresses, the tuxes, clothing alterations, the showers, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, Stag and Doe fundraisers, hair and makeup, and the list can go on. How is one to cope with the pressures of staying on a budget while not letting down those we care about most on their wedding day?
Talk to the bride and groom about your budget
I suggest having a frank chat with the bride or groom to-be and let them know what you are able to afford. It may not be an easy subject to broach but trust me, it’s better they know about your wedding budget than to suffer in silence or even argue about prices later on. When I was a bridesmaid for my good friend Christine a few years back, I did exactly that and was blessed with whatever the opposite of a Bridezilla is. (A Bridezenna, perhaps?) She took into account the needs and preferences of her bridal party so we had some choice when it came to the bridesmaid dresses— as long as they were aubergine, of course. This alone relieved so much stress for me. Not only could we choose something that was reasonably priced but we chose a dress that all the bridesmaids could easily wear to another event later on. (And yes, I have worn that aubergine dress again!)
How to save money on the wedding gift
When it comes to the wedding gift, a great tip is to select your gift from the registry early on since the most affordable choices often go first. If all that’s left is beyond your price range, don’t be afraid to split a gift with another bridal party member. (After all, they too are harbouring the same financial load you are.) This way, the happy couple gets what they need and you stay on budget.
Give yourself enough time throughout the year to save for the big day
I‘m sure that turning down someone’s request for you to be in their wedding party is not an easy thing to do. (I don’t know if I could refuse such an offer.) However, I’m convinced that if this is an experience you sincerely want to share with your friend, then as they say, "Where there is a will, there is a way." Weddings generally take a year or so to plan, which luckily gives everyone a bit of time to save up for the expenses. Try to incorporate a “dress fund” into your weekly or monthly budget. Even $10 a week will add up to $160 in 4 months time. That $160 dollars will definitely come in handy come bridal boutique time.
Talk to a credit counsellor to see how much you can afford
Don’t let the wedding party woes get you down. Be honest about what you can (and can't) afford, stick to your budget and then focus on finding the perfect Chip ‘n Dale performer for your best friend’s big send off! If you don't know how much you can safely afford for the big day, or if putting together a budget freaks you out, give us a call at 1.800.267.2272 and we can set you up with a free appointment with one of our credit counsellors. They can review your monthly income and expenses, then build out a budget for you to stick to. All of our counselling is 100% free and confidential.