Here’s the scenario: your phone rings…it’s your best friend. She’s got big news and a big rock to go with it. She’s ENGAGED! She screams, you scream…we all scream. Meanwhile, in your head you cut to the scene from Bridesmaids where Kristen Wiig downs a bottle of wine.
We have all been there. It’s not that we’re not happy for our friend it’s just…we know she’s about to pop a question of her own, “will you be my bridesmaid?” Emptying my bank account for your last fling before the ring? Of course, because we love that bride and as a maid you’ll do anything to make her day special. But I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be the best bridesmaid. All you need is a little creativity. I should know. Over the past five years I’ve been a bridesmaid in five weddings and attended dozens more. Plus, I’ve thrown my fair share of bachelorette parties along the way.
First things first. Get a Pinterest and an Etsy account. If you can’t make it, you can buy something that looks like you made it. Next, create a budget. How much can you realistically spend on this without going broke? Here are the major spending factors: engagement gift, bachelorette party (does this include travel expenses?), bachelorette party gift, shower gift, bridesmaid dress (sometimes this includes accessories…I’m very sorry if it does), hair and/or makeup for wedding day, wedding day gift for the bride and hotel reservations for wedding night…unless this is close to home, then Uber, girlfriend.
The third step is determining what kind of maid you’re going to be. My best friend got married last year. She chose her brother to be her man of honor but I did all the maid of honor work without the title (not bitter, Becky). I knew this would be my role and I was excited so I took charge…and by charge I mean my charge card. I spent a little more than the average bridesmaid but I was lucky to have fellow maids that were willing to pitch in for everything. As soon as Becky got engaged I made a Pinterest board for inspiration. That’s where I got all my ideas for the engagement and bachelorette party. Most of the supplies I got from the dollar store! But make sure to rein yourself in once in a while.
If the project has too many moving parts just go to Etsy and buy the bridal sash. You can’t do it all!
Number four on the list, ALWAYS STICK TO THE BUDGET. As the maid in charge, I laid out an events plan that I emailed to the other bridesmaids and we all decided on everything together, including how we should spend our budget. With that being said, there’s always one bridesmaid or friend (Helen) who wants to fly to Vegas on a private jet for the bachelorette party. She’s also the one that will always try to one-up you on a gift. I suggest you take her aside and let her know that not everyone has a limitless budget. That will play out much better than an argument over bridal mugs…not that I know anything about that.
My fifth and final tip: Not everything is about money. My favorite gift I gave Becky was a photo book of her and her hubby-to-be. If you can’t afford anything, buy her a nice card and write how much she means to you, brides love that.…And when the other maids start to get on your nerves…remind yourself of that engagement phone call. Remember how excited she was, and how excited you are to be on that altar with her.