Advice 9 Bridesmaids on a Tight Budget

Advice Bridesmaids Wedding

I recently received this plea from a Bride…

 “I am a bride to be with 9 bridesmaids and have a budget of $30 a girl. I am hoping to find a royal blue chiffon mid length dress. “

Since there are 9 bridesmaids, this bride will never find 9 dresses in the correct size for each girl at a regular clearance rack. She needs to be creative, and flexible.

This is where we need to understand our bride’s priorities. What is a deal breaker versus a nice-to-have? Our bride needs to rank each item in order of priority. Since this was submitted via email, we will take each in the priority she lists them:

  1. 9 Bridesmaids
  2. $30 per dress budget
  3. Royal Blue color
  4. Chiffon fabric
  5. Mid-length

After our bride has measurements for each bridesmaid, we start our search on bargain sites to obtain the $30 budget. Even if Dillard’s (or any upscale department store) had a clearance dress for $30, it is so unlikely to find all of the right sizes available for 9 dresses that we need to look at other big inventory lower costs stores.

My search on Target.com for blue dresses priced $49 or less returns 162 options! Target offers free shipping on orders over $50, so I would definitely order all 9 dresses in one transaction. This is where we need to review the priorities list. There are chiffon options starting at $69.99, which is more than double our bride’s per dress budget. Mossimo and Merona brands have several cute options in knit and sateen fabrics. Our bride wants chiffon, which has great movement and is not too clingy so knit and other lightweight fabrics are a good compromise.

Even our Bride admits that she has searched everywhere on-line without success. So let’s start asking questions. Where did the $30 per dress budget come from? Any flexibility? Is our Bride buying the bridesmaids dresses? Do we really have a $270 budget and she could have fewer bridesmaids? Is there a secondary color or different shade of blue? Is our Bride set on chiffon, or is there a less expensive fabric that works for the style of the wedding?

We all let the bridal industry sell us on the idea that everything has to be PERFECT. And, of course, it is the bridal industry that defines that perfection for us. The most important thing about a wedding is two people who love each other, nothing else really matters.

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