Money on your mind?

It’s time to get your financial life together - fill out the form
Email subscribers get free access to my #GYFLT Worksheet, which includes my 5 step plan to get you feeling more in control of your finances.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


How to Tell a Bride 'No'

   Posted On: June 26, 2014  |    Posted In: Debt  |     Posted by: Broke Millennial®

You’ll find that I’m on a bit of a the bridesmaid kick. Here is my story for US News’ My Money Blog on how to tell a bride no!

A beautiful and incredibly reasonable bride!

The wedding industry is a multibillion dollar market, and most bridesmaids can understand why. The average cost of being a bridesmaid hovers around $1,700, according to Perhaps some bridesmaids can handle paying two months worth of rent to be in a wedding, but what happens when the invitations to be a bridesmaid starts to tip the scale toward paying $6,000 or $10,000 a season? You have to learn when to tell a bride the abhorrent word – no. Here are some ways to soften the blow.

Expensive Bridesmaid Dresses and Shoes

The typical cost of a bridesmaid’s dress – before alterations – is about $150, Mint reports. Every bride promises it’s a forever piece that her bridesmaids will wear to future cocktail parties and other weddings. In reality, most of these dresses are unflattering, uncomfortable and going to the consignment shop the day after the wedding.

Before complaining about the cost of the dress, consider the other factors. Do you have to travel? How much will the hotel cost? Are there other areas you can be saving money so the cost of the dress seems reasonable?


Find out my tips on handling a bride at US News’ My Money Blog

Like this post?

Fill out the form below to never miss another. You'll also get a free money worksheet.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

12 responses to “How to Tell a Bride 'No'

  1. If I ever get married, I will look to build these costs into my own wedding budget.

    So I will spring for the groomsmen’s apparel (hopefully more casual than tuxes, but that, of course, is tbd), etc.

    Also, the idea of having an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the actual wedding is absurd.

    1. No need to tell me that! After being a bridesmaid a few times, I just want to elope. The whole wedding things seems like way too much of a hassle.

      I’m in a wedding next week and as the MoH I organized the bachelorette party, but put my foot down on handling the cost of the bridal shower too. We did the bachelorette party and bridal shower in the same weekend because no one in the bridal party lives near each other.

  2. I told one of my high-maintenance friends that I simply could not be in her wedding. She was looking at expensive bridesmaid dresses already and brainstorming all this other expensive stuff. We were in the midst of saving for our own wedding, so I just bowed out.

    1. I’m so fortunate not to have any high-maintenance friends ask me. I’d probably bow out too.

  3. In my twenties I was asked to be in a bunch of weddings and I did participate in most. Some of the brides were considerate and gave options in order to lessen the costs for us. Others however wanted to marry like a queen and the bridal party were her royal subjects that had to do everything her way…even the groom fell in line. Funny how those weddings were not among my favourites lol.

    1. Woof, I can’t imagine putting up with a bridezilla like that. Props to you for actually participating. Hope you didn’t have to spend too much.

  4. Great advice! I used to do the makeup for the whole bridal party for all of my friends’ weddings (and for my own wedding). Often, because I saved them money, my friends’ moms would turn around and help us out on things like hair. Finding wiggle room and ways to help out on labor to cut costs makes a huge difference.

    PS I LOVE your hair and dress in this photo 🙂 Definitely lucked out on the bridesmaid dress for that one!

    1. That’s so nice that you have that skill! I’m doing my own for the one next week and a tad worried that I won’t have on enough to photograph well in pictures. We’ll see!

      I also lucked out because the bride factored in hair and makeup into her budget so we didn’t have to take care of the cost!

  5. I’ve been lucky (I guess, unless everyone hates me) that I haven’t had to say no to anyone. The couple that I was in was easy enough to make happen. If it was a very good friend I would probably have a hard time saying no unless it was uber extravagant, but if it was at all doable I’d try to make it happen. If it was a not super close friend I could probably easily say no.

    1. Friendship-level certainly factors in. I think I’ll have a nice gap before another wave of friends start getting married, so maybe I should start a wedding fund!

  6. I was astonished to do the final calculation after participating in my good friends wedding last year. It cost me about $1200! I ended up paying nearly $250 for the dress after alterations, only to give it away to a prom dress drive weeks later. After that I vowed not to place those expectations on my future bridesmaids. That experience definitely taught me that it’s not as much of the honor I once thought it was.Im glad you wrote a post highlighting it. I hope a future bride stumbles upon it and saves her girls from the hassle.

  7. Wow, I cannot imagine having to dish out a grand and up for a wedding, it just seems like so much money that could be placed better elsewhere!I’m planning on eloping so for me, I won’t have to worry about what implications I’ll place on a bridal party, it is just easier to keep things simple! Thanks for sharing this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *