The Broke Bridesmaid's Way to Budget


Weddings are a joyous -- and expensive -- occasion and it's an honor when the bride asks you to be in her wedding. However, instead of hearing wedding bells, many bridesmaids hear the sound of their money being flushed down the toilet. Depending on the cost of the impending nuptials, you could end up shelling out some serious dough to be in the bridal party. In fact, costs to be a bridesmaid can reach up to $1,400, according to the Knot -- a wedding planning website. 

So if you're trying to tighten the purse strings this year, don't be afraid to create a bridesmaid's budget. This may entail saying no to certain perfunctory wedding-related events, and asking the bride to give you a break when it comes to some of your expenses, such as spending on accessories, or hair and make-up the day of the ceremony.

In order to help bridesmaids budget and enjoy their loved one's special day, the Illinois CPA Society offers the following tips during the wedding season:

Know your limits. If your finances are a bit strained, don't be afraid to say no to a request to be in the bridal party -- especially if you're already committed to be in another wedding. Tell the bride that you're honored to be included in the wedding ceremony, but you can't afford it at this time.

Realistically budget. Don't underestimate how much you're going to spend for your part in the wedding -- the dress, parties, wedding showers, etc. Determine how much you're willing to spend and stick with it. Additionally, you can ask other bridesmaids to split the cost of gifts, showers, or the bachelorette party.

Negotiate.  If you're going to a wedding that requires that wedding party stays at a designated hotel that's a bit pricey, don't be afraid to stay at a nearby, cheaper hotel.  If you live in a nearby city, offer to have some of the wedding activities at your home, such as the bachelorette party or bridesmaids' breakfast.

Stay positive. This is a special day for the bride and groom, and to be included in their wedding ceremony is a reflection of how much you mean to them. Don't openly complain about how much money the wedding will cost you, and don't criticize the bride's choice of bridesmaids' dresses or other frills. It's possible to be positive, supportive and frugal.

What's the most you've ever spent to be a bridesmaid? Would you turn down a bride if she asked you to be in her wedding? Leave a comment on our discussion boards.


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