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Part of being a Budget Savvy Bride is keeping bridesmaids expenses in check.  In 2011 estimated the total cost of being a bridesmaid was $1,695.  Ouch! While that seems like an insanely high number, I can believe it! When I was maid of honor in a wedding a few years ago, I came close to spending that after purchasing the dress, buying gifts, and hosting parties. Unfortunately that friendship had a falling out (Which makes the price I spent sting even more!).  I can’t in good faith ask any of my girls to fork over that kind of cash for my big day.

To keep dress costs down, I told each of my maids to pick out a little black dress they liked. I didn’t give the girls any restrictions to follow other than the color. I don’t care if the dresses are long or short, puffy or slim fitting. I wanted my friends to choose a dress they would wear again, and feel beautiful wearing.  I fully appreciate everyone is shaped differently, so whatever I choose may look good on one girl, but may not fit or feel quite as comfortable to another.  I chose my bridesmaids to be part of my wedding day because each one is a unique part of my life, and I admire each in her own separate way. I’d like all the girl’s varying styles to come though and be a reflection on my wedding day.

little black dress
My LBD inspiration – it doesn't matter if the dresses all match, I think the girls in this photo look amazing!

I also wanted each girl to choose a dress that was in her budget, whatever that may be. I’ll be having four bridesmaids total and two will be traveling from out of state (Already an added expense for both).  The other two are mother / daughter so that’s twice the dress expense from the same budget.  One advantage to having everyone choose their own dress is logistics.  It would be quite a feat to organize everyone coming together for fittings here in Michigan, not to mention the obvious travel expenses for my out of state girls!

So far I’ve been completely in awe of what they’ve picked out.  I can’t get over how adorable my Junior Bridesmaid’s dress is and it’s something I would have not thought to choose myself! Another girl is considering re-using a black dress she already owned from a previous wedding she was an attendant in.  An absolute win if you ask me!

little black dress
This is a photo of the dress my Junior Bridesmaid choose. I LOVE it!

To further keep costs down for my bridesmaids, I will be paying for hair, nails & makeup on my big day. Since I’ll be getting married on a Sunday, the salon I normally frequent will be closed. I’ve arranged with my hairdresser to come to my house instead (And for a fraction of the salon costs!). I’m really looking forward to this since it’ll mean some downtime at the house on the big day!

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About Dana

I'm a 30 year old engineer from Michigan. My fiance and I are in the process of planning our wedding for May of 2014. We love to travel and are incorporating many finds from places we've visited into our wedding. I'm also a self proclaimed, "Boarder-line Extreme Couponer" and love snagging a great deal on wedding stuff!

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  • Liz Cleek

    I like different dresses significantly more than the same, or even the same color. I just told my three bridesmaids to find something they like (or even already have) in the light teal/blue/green range. I think it shows much more personality!

    • I totally agree! It’s easier, less stressful, and each girl can spend what she wants on a dress she WILL actually wear again!! 🙂

  • Michelle at Making Sense of Cents

    I am doing something similar. I’m having each bridesmaid pick a cream lace dress (it’s all up to them. It can have a lot of lace, or just a tiny bit – I don’t care). And then I’m paying for their hair and makeup as well. It will be such a cheap wedding for them!

    • Oh that sounds lovely!!! I can’t wait to see the result!! I’m obsessed with all things lace right now.

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