Weddings

I’m a bridesmaid in two weddings this year.  While I’m far from living out 27 Dresses in real life, being a bridesmaid is having a big impact on my budgetFrom selecting a gift for the engagement party to buying the dress you’ll walk down the aisle in, wedding-related expenses can really add up.

Sharon Naylor’s Bridesmaid on a Budget: How to Be a Brilliant Bridesmaid without Breaking the Bank is my new handbook for wedding season.  Naylor is a wedding expert who offers practical advice to the bridesmaid who wants to cut costs without coming off like a cheapskate.  She starts Bridesmaid on a Budget by listing some sobering stats about the cost of being a in a wedding party.  Ladies, did you know that the average cost of being in a wedding is from $1,069 to $1,269?!

The book provides an overview of a bridesmaid’s many costs and responsibilities, so it would be the perfect read for someone who has never been in a wedding.  As a frugally-minded, experienced bridesmaid I was aware of many of the suggestions for cutting costs, but I still found Naylor’s tips to be very helpful.  I also love that the book provides advice about communicating with the bride and other bridesmaids about wedding related expenses.  Talking about money can be awkward, but Bridesmaid on a Budget makes preparing for and having those conversations less awkward.

Along with a great list of resources, the appendices have helpful tools for tracking contact information, deadlines and expenses.  Naylor understands that being a bridesmaid isn’t always easy and Bridesmaid on a Budget helps to ease the financial concerns that make being in a wedding stressful.  With so many helpful tips, this book will have a place on my bookshelf for a long time to come.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.

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Let’s say you have a friend who got engaged.  You’re excited for them and their wedding planning and then you see that they posted this on Facebook (wording slightly changed to protect the identity of the poster):

It’s been a year since we got engaged and we have finally chosen a date for the wedding!  We have already selected and paid for the venue, but we are using all of the money we make for the wedding and honeymoon.  It costs a lot to have a nice wedding.  It doesn’t matter what you give, every penny helps!

Then there’s a link for you to donate to the wedding.  If you’re anything like me, you have an “Oh no, they didn’t!” moment. 

Something about this concept really rubs me the wrong way (and not because I’m single and not getting married anytime soon).  It’s great to have a nice event to celebrate your marriage with family and friends, but it’s also possible to have a small, simple and inexpensive wedding.  One of my bride friends once said that “guests have it soooo easy, all they have to do is show up,” but after going to years of engagement parties, bridal showers, lingerie showers, bachelorette parties and weddings, I don’t feel  inclined to make a cash contribution for someone’s big day.

I’ve spent more at Crate and Barrel and Victoria’s Secret for people getting married than I ever would for myself (says the girl who has IKEA dishes and often buys panties in a pack at Target).  I’ve also cut lots of pieces of wedding cake and passed out hundreds of programs because I love my friends and I want to support them…but I don’t think I’ll help pay for any weddings until I’m walking down the aisle.

The couple has raised over $100, so some people must think it’s a good idea.  Would you help a friend pay for their wedding?

Thanks to LR to pointing out the Facebook post.

Photo: sxc.hu

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