5 ways to avoid going broke during wedding planning

Being called upon by your friend to be her maid-of-honour is a great feeling and usually a fun experience.

But being the bride's main wing man comes with a lot of financial responsibilities that may leave your bank account bleeding after all is said and done.

Here are five tips to help you perform your maid-of-honour duties without going broke in the process:

    Organize as much as possible: Organization is key when it comes to saving money (and maintaining your sanity). You should know when all the events are, to whom the duties have been delegated, and what you'll spend for each. That way you can keep track of the money you've spent and avoid going overboard. You also should organize a budget for yourself, because you have to account for the dress, shoes, hair, makeup, a bridal shower, the bachelorette party, travel and last-minute expenses. Fortunately, the events and purchases that lead up to a wedding typically are spread out over about a year, so you have time to plan out a budget and save enough to cover the expenses.

    Spend less on gifts: Buying a gift for the bride and groom can be a big expense on its own, but as the maid of honour, you shouldn't spend too much on gifts for the newlyweds. Spending money on the shower and bachelorette party is part of your gift. You can also consider purchasing the couple the lower-end items on their registry. They need those things too, or they wouldn't have put them on the list in the first place.

    Find inspiration on the Internet: Pinterest is a good resource for making cheap look chic. Find fun ways to decorate the bridal shower that don't involve spending a ton of money on store-bought wedding decorations. DIY projects are a fun way to connect with the other bridesmaids. And don't forget about bridal shower games. You can find several fun games and activities that only require items found around your house or at a thrift store. Try to find activities that are unique. You'll get more participation if the guests have never played the game before.

    Communicate with the bridesmaids: This is a very important tip. In the time leading up to the wedding, you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet and get to know your fellow bridesmaids. Don't let the responsibility fall on the shoulders of one or two bridesmaids, especially if you're part of a big bridal party. Taking on every responsibility will make this maid-of-honour business way more stressful and expensive than it has to be. The first thing you should do is create a forum where the wedding party can freely communicate via email, social media or even group texts for the smaller details. A private Facebook group is also a great idea, and it works phenomenally. It's easy to have conversations, send updates and even upload pictures for everyone in the group to see. The more you involve the bridal party in the planning, the more they'll get excited about events, and offer to pitch in with the planning and responsibilities. Remember, expenses are a lot cheaper when they're divided up evenly.

    Get to know the family: If you've been involved in a wedding before, then you'll know the planning process can be stressful on the entire family. Not only are the bride and groom planning the wedding, but so are the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and cousins. Many times people who want to help feel left out because they weren't given a specific task. This is where you come in. Get a list of things you'll need for the bridal shower and get to know the family members of your bride and groom. That way, if anyone approaches you or the bride about wanting to help, you have a list ready to go and you have an item for which you won't have to pay.

Whichever way you decide to save, remember the wedding is a joyous occasion. Once the events are planned, kick off your heels and enjoy the moment.

Happy planning!

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