Ask the Experts: How to Budget as a Bridesmaid

Sharing in your loved one's big day can be a beautiful thing, until you get the bill. Here, a financial expert tells us the top six ways to save as a bridesmaid. 

How to Budget as a Bridesmaid


Northwestern Mutual Financial Advisor, Desiree Mustafa, dishes on money do's and don'ts of being in the bride tribe.

1. How do you recommend budgeting as a bridesmaid?

It’s so important to think about budget before accepting the request of being someone’s bridesmaid. Really think about what you’re truly able to spend as well as how much your involvement will likely cost you. If the math doesn’t add up, you’ll have to figure out where you want to cut costs. An honest talk with the bride could help you decide where to prioritize your money.

2. When should maids start saving up?

The sooner, the better is always true when it comes to savings, but it’s especially true if you’re tight on money or if you have multiple weddings coming up in the next few years.

3. How much per month should they set aside? 

Each bridesmaid’s budget will vary, so calculate against your ongoing monthly budget with an online calculator. Once you’ve laid out all anticipated costs by month, it will be clear how much you should (and can) set aside to stay on budget from beginning to end of the wedding festivities.

4. How do you recommend dealing with being in multiple weddings at once, financially?

Bridesmaids spend an average of $1,154 per wedding, and if you have multiple friends preparing to walk down the aisle, that number can easily double, if not triple. A good way to save is to cut costs wherever possible like renting your dress or doing your own hair and makeup. 

5. Are there any apps or websites that bridesmaids would find helpful to maintain a budget?

Budget apps like Track My Spend, Fudget: Budget Planner Tracker and Pocketbook can help you create your spending limit and stick to it. Travel tools like Hopper and HotelTonight can help you book your flight and accommodations at the best price by sending price drop alerts. 

6. Do you ever suggest taking out a loan or borrowing money in order to afford being a wedding? 

Leave the something borrowed to the bride. Taking out a personal loan in order to afford a friend or family member’s wedding can hinder your own financial goals. If you can’t afford the bridesmaid’s price tag, talk to the bride. It’s likely she’ll understand and offer ways you can still show your support for the happy couple.

 For more on bridal budgeting, visit 30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For.