Being a bridesmaid is infamous for one major thing – dreading the dress and spending way more than you’d like. Whether it’s a couple hundred dollars for that bridesmaid frock or a thousand dollars for all your travel expenses, taking on this role of a lifetime could put you in debt for what feels like a lifetime. But it doesn’t have to. Here are tips to save money as a bridesmaid that will save you serious cash along the way!

STOCK TRAVEL SALES

One of the main expenses of being a bridesmaid isn’t the dress, the shoes, or the glam squad that’ll give you a makeover on the day of the wedding. It’s actually your travel expenses, unless you live next door to the wedding venue and the bachelorette party locale. Make sure you set travel alerts as soon as you know dates for pre-wedding events and start searching for hotel and rental car deals as early as you can. The sooner you book your travel and accommodations, the less of a headache you’ll have when prices surge the week or month before.

BUY USED

If you’re footing the bill for decorations for the bridal shower or the bachelorette party, you may notice your Amazon or Etsy shopping cart will be filled with expensive things you’ll use for one day or night and then stick in the trash. Instead, put feelers out there to see if other maid of honors or bridesmaids have decorations you can borrow or go halves on to share. If not, buy used. Or if you’re the crafty type, DIY. Nobody will know, except for you and your bank account of course.

SPEAK UP

When the other members of the bridal party are making plans and decisions, speak up right away about financial constraints you may have. Chances are other women have the same but are too shy to say something. Offer to take charge as the discount queen and find what you can for the group for less.

SAY NO

If you can’t afford to do something or go somewhere before the wedding, it’s okay to say no. Just say no early on and before, or right after, the bachelorette party or bridal shower, send over a gift. Sure, this will cost you money, but far less than what it would cost to fly or drive there.