It's wedding season! You've probably already got a few weddings lined up to either attend or be in. And when someone asks you to be in their wedding or even just to come, it's truly such an honor. They've asked you to be a part of their special day and to be included in the celebration of their love. A wedding is really a very intimate thing. So you feel so special that they thought enough of you to even ask. But you also feel obligated to say yes. But if you're trying to stay on a budget, being in and even going to a wedding can become more of a burden than an honor. But it does not have to be. You can find a way to be there for your friend and still stick to your budget.
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So what do you think? What are some good ways to be there for your friend on their big day without breaking your budget or going into debt?
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Learn how to say no
When you are asked to be in a wedding, you feel obligated to say yes. But the truth is, you can say no. If it's just not a good time for you and your finances, be an adult and be honest with your friend. If they are a friend worth having, they will understand. If this is someone you are really close to (like your best friend or sister) and you really can't imagine not standing up with them on this special day, say yes. Say yes to being in the wedding, but it's okay to say no to certain wedding events and expenses if you really can't afford it. They will either understand or get over it, but either way, not wanting to hurt someone's feelings is not enough reason to go into debt and ruin your personal finances.
Set a budget
While your BFF is working on her wedding budget - pricing cakes and venues and the dress - you should be working on your budget for the wedding as well. Don't just wait and see how much everything will cost and try to scrape your pennies together then. Think about what you would be willing to pay for the dress, shoes, jewelry, bachelorette party, etc. If you know how much you can spend, you won't be surprised when you realize how much you spent (on a wedding that is not even yours) after the big day. Plus, if you have your own budget, you can have more of a say in the choices. Speak up and let her know if something is too expensive for you or not in your budget.
Don't try to do it all
If you're the MOH or BFF or if you've made up your own title, you can tend to get this ego that tells you you have to do everything to make sure that your friend's "big day" is "special" and "perfect". But doing everything often means paying for everything. But don't take on more than you can honestly handle. Even if you're MOH, you can utilize the other bridesmaids as well. They will probably be more than happy to chip in and help in any way they can.
Find DIY stuff
There is nothing like some good old-fashioned sweat equity! If you want to help, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Be that person to do her mom's makeup or do everyone's hair the day of. Help make the bouquets. Send out text reminders to everyone about where to be and when. Contributing to the wedding does not have to mean spending a bunch of money. A lot of things you can do to help won't cost you a dime. Also, don't feel obligated to buy the expensive china on their registry. Let the wealthy, more established family members take care of that stuff. If you're a 20-something, just getting started, still eating Ramen noodles, paying student loans kind of person, you should probably check Pinterest for some cute DIY gifts. And that might actually be something she'll appreciate and use more than that fancy place setting!
It's okay to say no to being in the wedding and simply come as a guest or send a gift or card with your regrets. But if you do say yes to the bridesmaid's dress, don't forget to have fun. Don't let the financial burden stress you out. If you set a budget and say no to things you can't afford, you can focus on enjoying the wedding weekend and all of its festivities. Remember how much you love your friend and how meaningful it is to be a part of her big day.