Well, the flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer…and now that you’re in your twenties, you know what that means. It’s wedding season. I can’t seem to go a day anymore without logging onto Facebook or Instagram and seeing someone showing off their engagement ring.
My best friend is getting married next summer and was gracious enough to ask me to be her maid of honor. I was elated, so excited to be asked to be such a special part of her special day. Then, I started thinking, “Dress, shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup, gifts, bridal shower..I better start saving money.” Then, I was like, “Well, I can find a way to save money and follow a budget for all of this, too, just like I do for everything else in my life.”
If you are lucky enough to be asked to be part of someone’s special day, there’s a lot you can do to save a few dollars here and there – be smart with your money and still enjoy a beautiful day to celebrate the bride and groom.
I went to a beautiful wedding this past December for my cousin Michael and his wife Leigha. Everything was classy and beautiful, and I found out later that they did everything budget consciously .
I talked to an inside source, to see how to be budget conscious for a wedding – the Groom’s sister and one of the bridesmaids in the wedding, Kelly Moore. She worked hard to help plan a beautiful bridal shower, fun bachelorette party, and helped make favors and decor for the wedding day festivities.
Q: How much did you spend, collectively, for your dress, shoes, and accessories for the wedding?
A: I probably spent around $150 on everything altogether.
According to Mint.Com, the average cost of being a bridesmaid is $1, 695 – wow! Kelly and I are both lucky enough to be in weddings with budget conscious brides, because so far, my best friend has picked out our bridesmaids’ dresses, and they’re $150, and our shoes were only about $15! So good, so far.
Q: What all was handmade for the wedding?
A: Many things were borrowed and handmade for the wedding. The cookie bar at the wedding had cookies that were all baked by friends and family. The centerpieces were made by Leigha with help. The wood center blocks were all cut by Harry, Leigha’s step-father. All of the rest of the decorations were borrowed from others or slowly collected by the wedding party and family. We had a woman from church,Terry, who was a great help in everything! She hand made all the silk flowers for the girls bouquets and the boys boutonnieres, bought all of the decorations for the tree and around the fireplace, free of charge – she said it was a wedding present.
It’s okay to ask for help and accept help when offered when planning a wedding or taking part in planning a wedding. How great was it that Terry helped so much with decorations for the wedding as a wedding present? I don’t think the centerpieces could have been more beautiful if a professional made them. My best friend plans on making a lot of decorations for her wedding, as well, and the bridesmaids and I are planning on making the decor for the wedding shower by ourselves or borrowing from friends who have already had weddings and still have their supplies stashed away.
In 2012, according to an article by MSN Money, the average cost of floral centerpieces was around $2,000. By making centerpieces yourself, according to WeddingWire.com, you should be able to decorate each table for under $20, cutting your decor costs in half.
Q: Do you think a lot of money was saved by having so many handmade elements?
A: Leigha definitely saved a lot of money by doing so many things handmade. I also forgot that all of the invitations were handmade, too, by Kevin and Erica (brother-in-law and sister of the groom), for the bridal shower and the wedding.
On CostOfWedding.net, it says that invitations usually cost a total of $659 for a wedding. If you’re lucky enough to be a crafty person or have a crafty person in your family and know how to work a computer, you can make elegant invitations for your wedding at a fraction of the cost.
Q: What sites or stores do you recommend for a DIY bride or bridesmaid?
A: As for what stores, that’s tricky. You kind of have to be smart and shop around at a bunch of different places!
If you watch for sales, like you would when you’re shopping for groceries or clothing, then you will make out much better in the end. Watch for sales at the end of seasons to collect different pieces for your wedding. Sign up for email alerts to receive coupons from stores like Michael’s and A.C. Moore.
Q: When you get married someday, will you follow suit to save money?
A: For my wedding I will do many things as Leigha and Mike had. The biggest thing that I support doing yourself is invitations! It’s fun to do and makes everything more personal.
Rather than having all of your decor look run of the mill, give it your own touch and personality. It will make for better memories in the long run when you pull out pictures to show your kids someday and can say, “your grandmother helped me make that beautiful flower arrangement.” It will also be better for your wallet.
Q: Any other tips when trying to save a few dollars as a member of a wedding part?
A: Although planning for a wedding is very crazy and hectic, take all the help that people offer. It may be annoying and hard to organize with different people from everywhere giving their two cents, but in the end it’s very true that many hands make a light load. So go ahead and let old Aunt Marg bake a dozen chocolate crazies and knit your guarder! (Okay maybe don’t get a knitted guarder hehe).
So there you have it. If you’re going to be part of a wedding or planning your own wedding and want to be budget conscious, follow a few simple rules.
1: Accept all of the help that is offered. In the end, you’ll appreciate it, even if it’s a little crazy initially.
2: You can do it yourself. Believe in yourself and your inner-crafter. If you think you can make it yourself, you probably can.
3: Borrow. If you have friends or family members who have recently gotten married, and they made a lot of their decorations themselves, chances are they have some vases and silk flowers to lend you for your special day.
And as far as being a bridesmaid or another member of the wedding party, be supportive, but don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, lets look for a dress that’s a little more affordable for everyone,” or, “We don’t need the $100 chocolate fountain at the bridal shower, we will be just fine with a fruit tray and some chocolates.”