When I was asked to be my sister’s maid of honor I said yes immediately. I couldn’t believe she was getting married and that she wanted me next to her the whole time it was happening. However once the initial excitement wore of reality started to set in. I had just finished college and was still living at home working part time not making that much money. I had no idea how I was going to be able to pay for all of the expenses: my dress, the bridal shower, a bridal shower gift, and the wedding gift. Weddings can be a very lavish and expensive experience but there are other ways to go about it. I came up with a few ways to be the best maid of honor I could without having to break the bank.
The Wedding Gift
In addition to getting them something off of their registry, which had a focus on personalization, I still felt I needed to do a little more, so I looked through the gifts they chose to get more ideas that I could maybe make a fun project out of. I got two mugs in my price range and used a marker meant for ceramics/porcelain to decorate them, putting a personalized touch on it. (As long as you put them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees – put the mug in so it starts cool and gets warmer with the oven – and hand wash it’ll stay on). Voilà! An easy (and budget friendly) set of Mr. and Ms. mugs! I also threw in some of their favorite teas and delicious hazelnut coffee.
This can actually be a minor issue for any wedding. My sister was open to all of us picking out our own dress as long as it was near lavender, one of the wedding colors. It was actually the same for the groomsmen, and they just picked out their favorite lavender tie and wore black suits (I was jealous! Most men already own black suits and their ties were really cheap).
I understand that not all brides will be okay with this, but let’s be honest – doing it this way makes sure everyone looks good in their dress (and feels comfortable), can spend within their own budget, and will still stay in theme with the wedding. Plus then you are more likely to wear the dress again, whereas most bridesmaids dresses will never again come out of a closet.
The Bridal Shower
I only have one thing to say to you: DIY. By doing the food, decorations, and party favors yourself, it really isn’t that expensive. I sent out anevite to all of the friends and family – but I did make sure to call some people (like grandma!) who don’t really use the internet. We decided on a garden party theme, so it was at my parents house in their backyard. The food was finger sandwiches (making tuna, cucumber, and PB&J sandwiches was both easy and cute). The other bridesmaids decided who would bring some drinks, veggie/fruit trays, and dessert. Decorations were easy too! I hung old Christmas lights everywhere, put my mom’s plants/herbs/flowers that she had around the house in the outside area, found cheap vases and filled them with flowers as centerpieces, and bought some cute paper tablecloths. Renting the tables and chairs was the most expensive part, and it was still under $100. For the favors I bought mason jars and filled them with homemade blueberry lavender jam.
A Bridal Shower Gift
I was trying to stay with the theme, and I found this super cute herb growing kit. It was perfect on so many levels! I got a lavender one because not only does my sister love to bake, but like I said her wedding colors are lavender and yellow. If something that perfect doesn’t come your way, think of the bride and groom’s interests. Do they like cooking? Buy some note cards, dust off an old macaron Laduree box, and make them a recipe box! Entertaining? A bottle of wine! What are their wedding colors? Get something (anything) in one of those colors. It’s that simple!
At the end of the day it will all work out. Know how much money you’re working with and get creative. Money and budgets can be a scary thing, but you don’t have to pay a fortune to be the best maid of honor your wonderful sister and bride to be could have ever asked for.