Get your bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses.
Bridesmaid dresses don’t have to be all glam and glitter, it is the bride who is should be the focus of attention, and having a more simple design and cheaper fabric can save on the cost of the dress.
The more bridesmaids the more outfits required. How many do you really need? Cutting down on the numbers in the bridal party will not only save money but it will also save you time and stress in organising them.
Get a dress from a formal shop (wedding dress outlets will at least double the prices of their bridesmaid dresses).
Having different styles for each bridesmaid in similar or the same colour will mean your options are greater, and you won’t be tied in to paying a particular price with a particular store.
Have your bridesmaid dresses made. As they will not be as involved or detailed as the bride’s dress friends and family members can pitch in here. My sister made her own dress as part of a school sewing project which meant she got expert help from her teacher, and it was more special on the day because she did it herself.
Pick a formal dress that is in season and that can be worn again to other formal events.
Brides and bridesmaids often sell their bridesmaid dresses online or in papers etc. The positive is that you can get multiple dresses in the same size and style. They only draw back is you may not be able to get all the sizes you want.
Consider the above option, and having the dresses altered.
Larger sized dresses bought off the rack can sometimes be cheaper than the more popular sizes, especially around sale season. Consider getting a larger size and having it altered.
Department stores can be cheaper than speciality formal wear stores, and you don’t even have to go into the “formal wear” section to find gorgeous outfits.
Speciality formal wear stores often rent out dresses, and the bridal party is going to be less likely to be worried about wearing a rental than the bride is.
Formal wear stores will eventually off load their old stock to get new stock in. These sales can be great for picking up second hand outfits (for both women and men!)
Go shopping at designer clearance outlets. Many top designers and brands have outlet centres across Australia where you can pick up great dresses at a fraction of the price. I once picked up a gorgeous REVIEW formal dress reduced from $350 down to $25. Persistence is the key because these outfits will most likely be at the back of a rack somewhere and need some looking to be found!Liz’s Story
Liz found some satin material on sale and then asked a friend of her bridesmaid’s mother to make the dresses for her. This lady made 3 dresses for $40 each, and because she was such a good sewer she made them without a pattern and just used some rough sketches that Liz had drawn based on the basic style of her wedding dress. Liz swore black and blue she didn’t know any good sewers, but this story proves that if you spread the word they’ll come out of the woodwork!
Get the guys to wear their own suits. If they are in the same colour no one will notice of the styles are slightly different. Draw them together with the same shirt, tie and button hole. Basic black business suits can be worn again many times to other formal occasions or to work.
Stick with basic colours and you can get the guys to wear their own shirts as well. I have yet to meet a male who does not have a plain white shirt.
If you want to buy new shirts in the same colour stick to shirts that are plain and not patterned, they will often be cheaper.
Give your groomsmen their shirts and / or ties as gifts.
Are cufflinks necessary? Most people will never look for cufflinks on the groomsmen and they can be an unnecessary expense.
The more you hire, the more you pay. Do you really need to hire a suit, vest, shirt, cravat, pocket hanky and shoes? All of this will cost you approximately $250 per person. Just getting a suit and tie will be approximately $100 (depending upon where you go of course).
Why spend $200 on suit hire when you can buy one for almost the same? AND you get to keep it!
Some formal wear stores will give you a discount if you pay in full up-front. They don’t often advertise this so ask.
While you’re at it, ask your formal wear provider if there are any other ways you can save on the bridal party’s attire. They are not going to automatically give you the cheapest suits and options, but if you ask they may be able to suggest some things that you haven’t thought of or aren’t done as standard practice.
The Wedding Dress
The Bridesmaid Dresses, The Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire
Hair, Makeup & Jewellery, Shoes
The Ceremony & Music
The Reception Venue, Catering & Drinks
The Flowers, Cake & Bonbonniere (Favors)
Invitations, The Bridal Shower, Hen’s Night & Buck’s Night
The Gifts & The Honeymoon