The moment your family member or BFF asks you to be maid of honor in their wedding is an exciting one. They care so deeply about your relationship that they want you beside them every step of the way. But after you've accepted the honor, practicality starts to set in. Playing such a central role in the occasion can often mean spending a good deal of money, which can be intimidating. If you're wondering
how to budget for being a maid of honor, experts have some tips for making the costs a little gentler on your bank account.
"What I love about today’s couples is that many of the old rules are evolving," wedding planner
Edward Perotti, tells Bustle. Once you've been asked to be the maid of honor, take a moment to sit down with the person getting married and really talk about what their vision is for the big day, he says. Discuss everything from outfit options to a bachelorette party, so that you have a good idea of what you're going to need to budget for. "Once you know that, you can start planning and pulling resources together. In the end, there is no hard and fast rule on what you should spend and what is acceptable," Perotti says. "Use your heart while keeping it within your means. This is a special day for the couple, but not at the expense of your checkbook."
Here are some tips for budgeting for
your maid of honor role.
Be Open About Your Money Situation
When you're first approached about being the maid of honor, make sure that you start off by asking for clear answers about what you'll be expected to pay for. This might feel awkward, but if you're close enough to the person getting married to play such a pivotal role in their wedding, being open about the fact that you're on a budget shouldn't cause any problems.
"It can take the heat off everyone and prevent unnecessary dramas or conflicts," Aleisha McCormack, founder and host of wedding planning podcast
Bridechilla, tells Bustle, "(that mostly occur when people don't feel heard or informed about what the hell is actually going on and what is expected of them)."
Figure Out What's Included
Since you'll likely be
helping the person getting married plan, book, and budget for the wedding, you can not only suggest thriftier options for yourself, but also thriftier options for the rest of the wedding party. Speak to the person getting married about what kind of pre-wedding events they want to have, and then go from there, McCormack says. "It's easier to budget and then go back to the group when you have a plan."
Convey Costs To Other Party Members
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The maid of honor shouldn't have to be investing any more of their own money than the rest of the bridal party," McCormack says. "I suggest starting a WhatsApp or Facebook group to talk about planning and budgeting (if you can't meet up in person)." A number of the costs are split between between the wedding party, such as bachelorette parties or wedding showers. So make sure that you, as the unofficial leader, are letting every party member know what their share is as soon as possible so that you won't have to end up covering extra.
"Once you have an understanding of what is expected, plan out the costs," Jamie Chang, owner and destination wedding planner at
Mango Muse Events, tells Bustle. "Think about the timeframe between now and the wedding day and map out when those costs will likely occur so you can plan from a cash flow standpoint," she says. The more you can start putting away a little extra money early on, the less costs will hurt your bank account by the time you have to pay them.
Write Down Everything You Will Have To Pay For
Once you've nailed down
when you'll need to pay for things, make sure you're crystal clear about every single thing you might need to buy or rent. This might include accommodation for the evening prior to the wedding (if it's taking place out of town), transport to the location, an outfit and accessories, shoes (unless the couple has offered to pay), and any meals you'll be on your own for if the wedding is in another city, McCormack says. Instead of trying to keep track of this in your head, write a detailed list of every single cost you're expecting to incur and exactly how much you're able to spend on it. This way, nothing will slip in under the radar and set you back more than you've save for.
Thanks to platforms like Pinterest, you can learn to make just about anything yourself. Depending on what the person getting married wants, try your best to DIY whenever possible, wedding and event planner,
Brett Galley, tells Bustle. If you want to make decorations for the bachelorette party instead of buying them, for example, buy supplies in bulk and then invite other members of the wedding party over for a crafting night. It will save you money, and add a really personal touch to the decor, plus give you an excuse to get together with friends.
Take Advantage Of Discounts
"Get the other bridesmaids involved and split the costs for parties or favors or anything else you have planned," Chang says. "Just because you're the maid of honor, doesn't mean you need to foot the bill for everything." Groupon is really your friend here. If the person getting married has requested that people in the party get manicures on the big day, for example, look for two-for-one deals and discounts in your area. If the bachelorette party is going to be an event like bowling or rock climbing, look for Groupon discounts that save you (and anyone else who will have to pay) major money.
No matter where you decide to splurge and where you decide to make do with something thrifty, remember to focus on the memories you're making with the person getting married through this process. It's quite literally an honor to be the
maid of honor, so take the time to appreciate that.