How To Help Your Wedding Party Save Money!

Weddings are expensive events and they are not getting cheaper any time soon.  Some couples want a beautiful wedding with all the bells and whistles, and some want to wed as frugally as possible. When we got married, we tried to aim for something in between – and yes, we saved for the entire wedding up front.

While the bride and groom certainly should consider their own costs, they should also be mindful of the costs of those very important folks – the wedding party. Accepting the role to take part in a wedding party can really add up these days, but there are ways to keep costs down.  Below are some ways that may help the wedding party and which we used when Mr. Canuck Buck and I got married.

  1. Clothes- Don’t ask your wedding party to buy Italian lace dresses that cost $500  or strange coloured suits that happen to match your tablecloths unless you plan to pay for them.  I let my bridesmaids select their own dresses (I went with black since it was the easiest thing to match), and bought them all gloves to tie them together.  The ushers went with the cheapest tuxedo option.  If you only have one attendant each, they can simply wear something they already own.
  2. Gifts- We requested that our wedding party not buy us any gifts for our special day.  They didn’t listen, but at least we tried.  I actually ended up having 3 (yes, I’m spoiled –I know) wedding showers, but I made it clear that my bridesmaids only needed to attend one.  There was no way I was asking them to shell out for 3 gifts!
  3. Travel-This one is tough. If your bridesmaid or usher lives out-of-town, it’s fairly hard to avoid travel costs. By giving them plenty of notice, you can at least help them book an advance fare or save up for the extra gas in the budget. You may also be able to have them stay with a kind friend or relative, or find someone to share a hotel room to cut down on costs. If you contact your local hotel in advance you might also get a wedding party room rate.
  4. Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties- We had dinner out at a lovely restaurant and then enjoyed the rest of our evening at a bar/club. I insisted on paying for my dinner, and well – I tried to pay for my drinks but didn’t succeed. Mind you, with the amount I had perhaps I wouldn’t have done a very good job keeping track of cash.  If you’ve always dreamed of a spa weekend with the ladies, or a last-minute girls getaway in Vegas, it’s going to cost you.  Keep in mind that’s it’s not fair to expect everyone to pay for this. If the ladies can’t budget the money they might not all be able to attend unless you put the money on the table.  You can always plan something small and low-key with those who are unable to pay for big-ticket affairs.
  5. Hair and Make-up- Okay, this isn’t a big issue for most guys.  I think it’s nice to leave it up to your wedding party what they want to do with their hair and make-up. Some of your party may want to pay for the entire package, and some may only want to get their hair done and do their own make up. One friend of mine who married young simply had everyone’s makeup done at a makeup counter. It’s free, but it’s generally encouraged that you at least buy the lipstick they put on you.
So although Weddings can cost you big bucks out-of-pocket planning and giving advance notice to your wedding party can help ease their budget and yours.

Happy wedding season! What is the best cost saving tip you’ve encountered either a bride or groom or as a wedding party member?

Guest Post By: I’m My Canuck Buck.  I’m a hard-working Canadian (Canuck) who’s decided she wants to get more from her hard-earned dollars (bucks).  I’ve recently joined the world of financial bloggers, and my goal is to learn everything I can, and share what I know, so we can all save more bucks!

Photo Credit:Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Great post! I liked your ideas! It’s too bad not all brides are so easy going lol. My first wedding I had 5 brides maids. I bought them each a gift, they paid $175 for their dresses plus their wedding and shower gifts (only 1 shower). They all elected to get their hair done and I actually did everyone’s make up. For my 2nd wedding lol (this one I did WAY cheaper) I did my own hair and make up, my sisters were my brides maids and they did their own make up, one went to the salon for their hair and I did my other sisters hair. They bought dresses from RW Co (around $90 each). We bought the groomsmen their Hawaiian shirts, bottoms were whatever they wanted to wear. We bought no one gifts and our email invitations asked for “best wishes only” as I did not feel it right to get gifts the 2nd time around (at least not from my family…it was my hubby’s 1st time so gifts were ok from his side). Our wedding was about 1 1/2 drive for most but near some family cottages so a lot of people stayed with them, some left early and drove home and a few got hotel rooms. We had no bachelor or bachelorette parties and no stag and doe. We did very well paying under $3000 for our wedding and honeymoon and many said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to :-)

    • Sometimes Jen we get all caught up in the ritz and think we “need” to have this and that but it’s not true. Our wedding was under 1k and it was the best day of my life… sometimes small means big.. Cheers and thanks for sharing your story… Mr.CBB

  2. Awesome post! I’m currently planning my wedding so I pay attention to these kind of posts. What I’m doing to try to help them save money is this: I bought my dress based off of the chapel which is quaint, in the woods and small. My dress (which by the way cost me a whopping $45) is simple and my plan is to tell my bridesmaids to go to Target/Wal-Mart and pick out a pretty sundress using one of my colors. This way it’s something cheap and that they can wear multiple times. I’m on a budget so I try to keep that in mind when it comes to things like this. The groomsmen can wear a nice suit which most of them have already.

    • HI!
      Thanks for your comment. Weddings as you know can break the bank if people are not careful about what they really want and need. I don’t think there is anything wrong with how you are going about it. I think it’s great that you put the options out there for your wedding party. When will you be getting married? Did you budget all of your expenses or will you be paying after? Thanks for reading! Cheers Mr.CBB

      • We will be getting married next June 30th! We plan to pay for them as they are occuring–no more debt for us please!

        • Congratulations! As a couple that is the best thing you can do for your finances. Weddings put most couples in debt before they purchase their first home. Top that with any student loans and that can spell disaster. Will you be having a DJ or a Band? I know there are now extra costs involved with getting a DJ although I’m not sure what they will be.

          • Actually my ‘reception’ will be a backyard bbq in my own backyard. It’s not too fussy or expensive and for music we will be having our laptop play our songs :)

          • That’s awesome. We did very similar to you and it was amazing. You don’t need to have a huge expensive wedding to make it meaningful. Happy Planning!!! Cheers Mr.CBB

  3. mycanuckbuck says:

    Oh – I’m so embarrassed! Canadian Budget Binder got around to responding to comments before I did. Disadvantages of not being able to comment while at work.
    Jen – thanks so much for your comment and your compliment! I think how you handled both your weddings sounds great. I am so impressed -I am lousy with makeup, so there’s no way I could have done my own, let alone anyone else’s!
    Bogofdebt – sounds awesome. You certainly did a great job picking a nice, inexpensive dress. And your bridesmaid sundress idea is awesome! Sounds like your plans are coming along nicely, and I hope you have a wonderful wedding!

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Great post for the wedding season! Save money with the wedding so that you can enjoy your marriage.

  5. We were married 20 years ago (this July!). We didn’t have a lot of money, nor did we want to go into debt. We were married in my parents backyard (it’s just like a park!). We actually bought hubby’s suit at Value Village. My Mom, a whiz with sewing, altered it. Fit him perfectly. My bridesmaid (my sister), had been in a few wedding parties in the past year. I told her to pick the dress she liked the best. Done! My parents really wanted to buy my dress. I’m a cook/ caterer by trade, so guess who did the catering? lol. Our wedding was very small, only 56 guests. Our family/friends were told to wear “whatever”, we didn’t care. Some wore shorts, some suits/dresses. Our wedding, everything included cost us under $2000. If I were to do it all over again today, I’d have it the same.

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your comment. Some people tend to get caught up in the moment when it comes to weddings. If you have someone who is passionate about what they want in a wedding there is no stopping them. Sometimes even a budget means nothing. The important part to remember is whether you spend $200 or $100,000 the day is a special day and the memory is what will cost the most. You don’t need bling to make a memory all you need is to be in the moment. Cheers and thanks for sharing your story Lisa. Mr.CBB

  6. Great post! I wish all brides were mindful of their wedding parties’ spending. I spent a TON to get to my BFF’s wedding. Dress, wedding shower gift, wedding gift, plane tickets…then she went and had a baby. Let’s just say it was an expensive year. The dress was $100 and I didn’t bother to get it altered. I’m glad she didn’t make us buy more expensive ones, but I still thought it was expensive.

    • From a male perspective I don’t see all the fuss about weddings although most men don’t. Weddings can gauge a budget but it can also gauge a wedding party participants budget. What would you do differently the next time if you are invited to be in a wedding party? Is it wrong to speak up and say, I can’t afford it? Mr.CBB

    • mycanuckbuck says:

      Hey StoS – I’m afraid 100 is pretty cheap for a bridesmaid’s dress. You’re a good friend for shelling all that out – tell her that’s she not allowed to do anything else in the future! :P

      • Haha! I know right??? She owes me big time! I was really pissed off at my friend for her 18th birthday though. She made us buy dresses (2!) for $100 each. They were handmade and really, really horrendous looking.

  7. Christine Weadick says:

    It’s been a lot of years since I walked down the aisle!!! Back then I made my dress, my maid of honour made hers,and the boys wore their own suits. Our daughter has been in a couple of weddings, one was as MofH for her best friend. I did most of the alterations for the dresses for that wedding and a few more since that were in the same family…. Not something I’d want to do on a daily basis, I think I’d rather start from the beginning and just make the dress, start to finish…. Less fussing around. I’ve done a couple of prom dresses as well and they were made, not altered. So much less hassle… Fit the dress as you go, no altering after the fact.

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