On Monday I wrote about the bridesmaid budget I set for my best friend’s wedding. To stay within that budget and maximize my final wedding gift amount, I used a few frugal tricks.
David’s Bridal is pretty popular for a reason and if your bride picks a dress from one of their lines, you’re in luck. Personally, I used a $20 coupon this time to knock the dress cost down to just under $100. However, I’ve used even better tricks in the past – eBay and dress reselling sites. David’s Bridal is super specific about their dresses (ie “Sleeveless Illusion Neckline Dress with Satin Belt in Marine”). You can toss that term into an eBay search engine or on sites like PreOwnedWeddingDresses, BridesmaidTrade and Tradesy.
Hair & Makeup
If your bride leaves your style up to you, you can pick a really simple look, practice it with YouTube videos and embellish it with a cheap, shiny hair clip from somewhere like Claire’s. You can do the same thing with your makeup. The key to these tricks though is practice. If you haven’t managed to get it right by a few days before the wedding, you should bite the bullet and pay the hairstylist and makeup artist, rather than destroying your friend’s pictures and looking like a circus clown. Another easy way to sparkle in those pictures is to brighten up your smile, whitening your teeth, especially with at home kits, can make a big difference in pictures.
Do everything you can to just reuse the shoes you’ve got. If your bride is adamant you all have the same shoe, beg her to go the Payless route. They constantly have coupons. If she just requires you to get a shoe you don’t actually have, but not the exact type, see if you have gift cards to any store that might sell shoes. I lucked out with the last wedding – I need a pair of tan flats and had nearly forgotten I had a Macy’s gift card. I was able to use that to get them.
If you’re hitting up a bachelorette party, you can use Victoria’s Secret free panty coupons if you’re an Angels reward member. It’s free to join, though it is signing up for a credit card, so consider that carefully if you’re not always responsible about paying yours off. For the bridal shower, pitch in with the other girls – this way you can buy one of the bride’s bigger budget items but spend way less than you would’ve purchasing a gift alone. For the wedding, if your budget has already been stretched too thin for you to make out another check, look into sites like Etsy where you can pick up an adorable personalized item like stationary or a first Christmas ornament for around $30.