Always a Bridesmaid!!!
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Meet Jennifer Hills; a communications advisor, recent condominium owner and single. She's been a bridesmaid four times in the last four years and will be again in 2012. Although participating in the wedding party is an honour, it is also expensive. Brides need to be aware of how much of a financial commitment it is and be reasonable in their expectations of what their attendants can afford.
You don't have to go broke being in a wedding party. "It is important to keep expenses in control and maintain a budget especially if you have a huge financial commitment like a mortgage," says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. "This is truly a double-edged sword; on one hand you are all excited about being in the wedding party and on the other costs can quickly add up and dampen the enthusiasm."
Jennifer estimates each wedding has cost her $1500. When she was living at home it was easier for her financially. Now, with a mortgage to pay, she will begin saving for the wedding as soon as she is asked. "It is such an honour to stand up for my friends," says Jennifer. "To prepare for next year's wedding I will be more diligent with my money, budget and cut back on some of my non-essentials."
No matter what your financial circumstances are, or what choices you decide to make it is an honour to be asked to participate. Ultimately, this isn't only about money but it sure is nice not to worry about it.
There are ways to control the expenses if you are an attendant in a wedding, like:
• Being honest and letting the bride know how much you can afford to spend on the wedding.
• Weighing your relationship with the bride before you accept; family or close friends are an obvious 'yes', a co-worker may not be.
• Starting to save as soon as you say 'yes'
• Knowing how to politely decline if you just can't afford to participate
• Wearing shoes you already own
• Buying neutral accessories
• Splitting the cost of showers and bachelorette parties with the other attendants
• Buying one shower gift and bringing it to every shower rather than buying a new one each time – it's your presence the bride wants not your presents.
• Taking advantage of group discounts on hair and make-up artists arranged by the bride
• Selling the dress to a second hand store after the wedding
• Doing your own manicure and pedicure
• Carpooling to dress fittings and events
• Visiting consignment stores if you get to pick your own dress; sometimes they carry brand new dresses at a fraction of the cost.
• Renting a dress for the occasion will afford you vintage or designer duds at just a small percentage of the cost and you'll have it for a few days.
About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
Consolidated Credit's unbiased debt-counselling service offers alternatives to help people get their debts under control. Alongside assisting with consolidating payments, Consolidated Credit experts focus on education and understanding. Strategies include teaching basic but vital concepts such as how to budget, understanding credit and how to manage money.
Consolidated Credit also offers a free web-based budget and debt analysis tool and a plethora of website resources for people interested in learning more about debt and credit on their own, including tips on smart spending, buying a car, taking out a student loan and a survival guide for holiday spending. Its online learning centre offers free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Also offered is a free iPhone and iPod application, "Budget Tool", which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.
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Manager of Community and Public Relations
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-656-4120 x 1057