Weddings are expensive events and they are not getting cheaper any time soon for the couple and the wedding party.
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 ie: the wedding dress, suit, flowers, venue, food, accommodations just to mention a few 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 we got married.
Wedding Party 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.
Wedding Party 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!
Wedding Party 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.
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.
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.
Happy wedding season! What is the best cost saving tip you’ve encountered either a bride or groom or as a wedding party member?
This was a guest contribution by a PF blogger.
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