Wedding Guide: How to Finance and Budget For Your Dream Day Chapter 8: The Groom And Bridesmaids

Your bridesmaids are excited to dress up for your big day too! Save on bridesmaids but make sure everyone looks their best? In this chapter, Personal Loans Now shows you how to economise so all your close friends feel included in your special day.

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Learning Highlights
  • Formal tuxedos for the groom and his best man can be hired for as little as £40.
  • 35% of grooms hire their suit for their wedding day.
  • Nearly half of brides choose to have 2 or 3 and save on bridesmaids.
  • Floral wrist corsages are becoming increasingly popular for bridesmaids, and their prices start at £15.

Save on Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and Bridal Party Clothes

Personal Loans Now,, a guarantor UK loan lender devotes this chapter to the other members of the bridal party: the groom, best man and bridesmaids. As well as giving options to save money on the groom’s wedding attire and buttonholes, we will also examine ways to find affordable bridesmaids’ dresses and bouquets. Later in the chapter, we will examine the issue of buying gifts for bridesmaids and the best man and solutions if you are on a budget.

The Groom’s Attire

Although marriage is about a couple choosing to spend the rest of their lives together, there is no doubt that the bride always receives more attention. She also probably spends more money on dressing herself than her groom. Wedding loans are available to help the couple finance their wedding.

The advantage of grooms is that they can quite easily wear clothes that they already own on their wedding day. This no doubt will save them a great deal of money. Depending on the formality of your wedding, this could be a suit or trousers, shirt and a jacket.

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The Groom & Best Man – Buying New

When shopping for wedding clothes, the best source of clothes for grooms and their best man can be department stores or buy the outfit during the sales. You can find bargains for as little as £40-£50 for a suit. The main advantage of this is, unlike a white bridal gown, you can wear the suit again after the wedding. You can, therefore, see it as an investment. Many suits, shirts and ties are in a classical style, so they rarely date as much as women’s fashions. The same is true of the shoes that grooms wear to their wedding. Sometimes grooms and their best men save money by wearing, for example, a pair of black slip-on shoes which they already own.

The tradition of a best man and/or ‘groomsmen’ comes from the time when marriages were not necessarily sanctioned by the bride’s family. Rather like a second in a duel, the role of the best man was to fight off anyone trying to make off with the bride. The bride’s own family often did this!

The Groom & Best Man – Hiring An Outfit

Maybe you would like a more formal wedding. The groom and best man wear formal wear such as a tuxedo complete with a cummerbund or top hat and tails. If you do not think the purchase is justifiable because you it will never be worn again there is other options. In this case, the solution is to hire the clothes from a man’s outfitters. Hiring men’s clothes is a highly competitive business. Prices start from as little as £40-£60. If there is no shop near you, many businesses can be found online.

The clothes will be sent a week before the wedding. Some also offer special offers such as a free suit if you order for more than 4 or even 3 suits at the same time. The order form can be completed online, and the only thing you have to do is choose the style you would like and provide the measurements.

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You could, of course, also hire a simple 2- or 3-piece suit but comparing the prices with the bargains found in the sales, it is not an economical measure to hire something for the same price as you could buy and then re-wear it.

  • Grooms and their best men could wear clothes they already own on the wedding day.
  • New suits, at competitive prices, can be found in High Street shops or in the sales.
  • Hiring more formal wear is possible from men’s outfitters; most even have a site online for you to order easily.

The Bride’s Attendants At The Wedding

Whether you choose to have a maid of honour, bridesmaids, a page boy and/or flower girls is entirely up to you. But make sure to make save on bridesmaids. Even the number of bridesmaids is something to think over; you might decide not to have any attendants at all. Although etiquette states that the female attendants undertake certain ‘duties’ for the bride, these could easily be done by relatives and friends on an informal basis.

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The other question you should consider is whether you will be paying for the bridesmaids’ dresses. This is another ways to make a savings on bridesmaids. It is perfectly acceptable to expect them (or their parents for flower girls and page boys) to pay for them. Although you might not be paying for the dresses, the bridesmaids expect the couple to pay for their flowers and often offers them a gift as a ‘Thank You’. This means that the more bridesmaids you have, the more expensive it will be. There are personal loans UK available from Personal Loans Now to help finance their dresses.

Bridesmaids; Buying New

There are many ways to make savings on the bridesmaids’ dresses, whether you are paying for them or not. One way is to shop in the sales to find bargains. Prices can reduce by as much as 70% (taking into account the season you will be marrying.) This solution is not ideal for brides who have many bridesmaids and want them all to wear matching dresses. There will definitely be less choice on offer.

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Alternatively, many department stores and High Street shops now sell a range of bridesmaids’ dresses or formal clothes which would not look out of place at a wedding. If evening gowns are too pricey, people can also wear knee-length cocktail-style dresses for the ceremony. The benefit is that your female attendants would be able to wear these outfits again after the wedding.

Having The Bridesmaids Dresses Made

Savings can be made on your bridesmaids’ dresses if they a dressmaker makes them. Another advantage of this is that you can choose the same or similar material for a coordinated wedding theme. From the bridesmaids’ point of view, this is also beneficial since they could choose styles which suit and flatter them rather than having them all wear exactly the same dress. However, it can also work out expensive if you get a very experienced dressmaker and you want your bridesmaids to have exquisite dresses. Consider applying for a best rate personal loans to finance this decision. Do not forget to allow the dressmaker enough time to sew the dresses and allow even longer if they make the bridal gown.

  • Nearly half of brides have 2 or 3 bridesmaids, but you should decide how many you would like (if any).
  • The more bridesmaids you have, the more expensive it is.
  • Cheaper bridesmaids’ dresses can be found in department stores, High Street shops and in the sales.
  • Your bridesmaids could have their dresses made by a dressmaker giving them more freedom of choice in the style that suits them.

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Second-Hand Bridesmaids’ Dresses

There are plenty of bargains to be found if your bridesmaids wear second-hand outfits. You should check with them about how they feel about wearing ‘nearly new’ clothes. Some people do not like the idea even if the clothes will have been dry-cleaned after use.

Second-hand dresses for bridesmaids can be found online at some auction sites or in the small ads columns of local newspapers. Some charity shops even have branches which have whole sections devoted to bridal wear.

Second-hand bridesmaids’ dresses can be found for as little as £20.

One advantage of buying second-hand is that your bridesmaids could even get their money back by reselling them after the wedding. However, the major drawback of buying something second-hand is that there is a limited range of sizes, styles and colours and the chances of buying matching dresses are slim to none if you have more than one bridesmaid.

FAQs on Groom, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Do I have to have ushers at my wedding?
Ushers are more common in church weddings, but you might decide to have none. The key figure is the best man, who usually acts as a witness to the marriage.

Should I pay for my bridesmaids’ dresses?
No. Often bridesmaids pay for their own dresses. However, if they are, it is only polite to let them have a say in what they will be wearing instead of dictating a style and/or colour If they but their own dresses you will save on bridesmaids expenses.

How much would my bridesmaids cost me?
They will probably pay for their own dresses, but the couple usually pays for their bouquet. If you expect your bridesmaids to have their hair and make-up done professionally, then it is common courtesy to foot the bill for it.

Where can I find second-hand bridesmaids’ dresses?
You could look in charity shops, sites online, the small ads of local newspapers. Also ask around friends and acquaintances who might have had a wedding before you.

What should I do about a wedding outfit for my page boy?
It is worth asking his parents if he already possesses a suit. Otherwise, department stores sell formal suits which are suitable for page boys. The prices for their formal wear for boys (up to the age of 10) start at £20-£25. Some firms online sell boys’ suits from £15. If you would like something like a tuxedo or sailor suit, you can hire these from a men’s outfitters.

Hiring Bridesmaids’ Dresses

It is also possible to hire dresses for your bridesmaids. There is an increasing number of bridal wear hire stores throughout the country and dresses can be found for a fraction of their retail price. Some rental outlets will also offer discounts if you are also hiring the bridal gown and/or you are hiring more than a certain number of bridesmaids’ dresses.

The prices for renting bridesmaids’ dresses start at £35-£40.

This option is particularly attractive if you wish to have bridesmaids’ dresses which are of a style that might never be worn again. As these stores rely on dresses from previous weddings, once again you may not find the sizes, styles and colours which you want. Therefore, if you are planning to buy second-hand or rent, you should try to keep an open mind about design and colour rather than go with a definite idea of what you want.

Accessories & Floral Bouquets For Bridesmaids

The main accessory for bridesmaids is their footwear. To save money, they could wear shoes which they already possess, or they could pick up shoes or sandals in the sales for £10-£20.

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Another way to save on bridesmaids is deciding on the accessories. Which bouquets the bridesmaids carry, if any, would usually depend on the bride’s bouquet. If you have fresh flowers, you could expect to pay around £40 for a bouquet for the bridesmaids and around £10-£20 for smaller posies. There are a number of ways of saving money, however.

Wrist corsages are becoming increasingly popular, and they cost about £15. Save on bridesmaids and pay much lessby buying flowers cheaply from a supermarket and made them yourself or together with your bridesmaids. Alternatively, instead of having a flower arrangement, your bridesmaids could carry a single flower. This works better with larger flowers such as sunflowers or Gerber daisies.


  • Second-hand bridesmaids’ dresses can be found online, in local newspapers as well as in some branches of charity shops.
  • Instead of carrying posies, bridesmaids could wear a wrist corsage or carry a single large flower like a sunflower so you save on bridesmiads.
  • You can save money buying second-hand bridesmaids’ dresses or hiring them for the day but you will have limited choices and might find it difficult to colour-coordinate the outfits.
  • Save on bridesmaids by asking the them to wear footwear they already possess or find bargains in the sales.

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Cheaper Alternatives To Floral Bouquets

If you are having an artificial flower bouquet made, then you could also order matching or complementary bouquets for your female attendants so you save on bridesmaids. Smaller posies for child bridesmaids can be found as cheap as £5 while for adult bridesmaids, the prices begin at £15. The same is true of dried flower arrangements. Bouquets for bridesmaids are cheaper than fresh flowers and generally cost £19-£35, depending on their size and style. Like the bridal bouquet, they should be ordered at least 2-3 months before the religious or civil ceremony but allow longer if the wedding will take place in summer.

There is no reason why your female attendants should carry anything in their hands. However, if you would like them to hold something but wish to avoid flowers, there are plenty of alternatives. You should think about wicker baskets filled with petals, lanterns, candles, feathers or parasols. Just taking a look around a second-hand or charity shop could give you some inspiration.

Buttonholes For The Groom And Attendants

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Buttonholes are a remnant of the custom when knights would wear their lady’s colours.

As a couple you should decide if you wish to have buttonholes for the groom and any male attendants. You may also want to buy them for close male relatives as well. You do not need to order from a florist purchase them at supermarkets or market. Its much more economical. You can even use flowers grown in the garden. You may have to use a variety of blooms instead of having everyone wear the same flower/colour.

Like the flowers for the bride and her attendants, there are alternatives to fresh flowers. Below is a table to give you an idea of the comparative prices of buttonholes:

Type of Buttonhole Price
Fresh Flower Buttonhole £5 – £15
Artificial Flower Buttonhole From £1
Dried Flower Buttonhole From £5

At first sight, the prices might seem cheap compared to some of the other wedding expenses but do not forget to multiply by the number of male attendants and close male relatives, and you will soon see how the final cost quickly rises. For this reason, you might decide to provide buttonholes only for the groom and his best man.

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Gifts For The Bridesmaids

It is not compulsory to buy gifts for your bridesmaids, especially if you are planning a wedding on a budget. Not buying a gift will ensure you save on bridesmaids. If you do wish to make this gesture, then presents do not have to be expensive; a variety of thoughtful gifts can be found online or in High Street stores. It is also possible to give your bridesmaids home-made presents such as bake them some gingerbread or make them some jewellery. There are a wealth of ideas in craft shops of things you could make without any particular expertise and at the same time save on bridesmaids.

If any kind of gift is impossible on your wedding budget or if you have more bridesmaids, you might want to write them a personalised hand-written note. You can thank them for their support on your special day. It may cost nothing except your time but they will appreciate it all the more for that very reason and at the same time save on bridesmaids expenses.

FAQs on Bridesmaids and Gifts

What are the pros and cons of renting bridesmaids’ dresses so you save on bridesmaids?
They can work out a 1/10th of the cost of buying them retail, but you will not find the same variety regarding size, style and colour.

How much do bouquets for bridesmaids cost?
This depends on which type you choose. Floral bouquets start at £40, floral posies at £10, dried flower bouquets are £19-£35 whilst artificial flower arrangements are the cheapest and start at £15 for adult bridesmaids and £5 for floral ‘wands’ for children.

Do we have to buy buttonholes for the groom, best men and our male relatives?
No. although if money is tight, you could use garden flowers, purchase artificial flower arrangements or have buttonholes only for the groom and his best man.

Do I have to buy my bridesmaids a gift?

Buying a gift for your bridesmaids is not obligatory. But it might be a kind gesture after their support and help on your big day. Having said that, choosing family members and close friends as your attendants means they will not be offended if you cannot afford to buy them something.

A Gift For The Best Man

Tradition says that the groom usually buys a present for his best man. Like the presents for the bridesmaids, this does not have to be expensive. But is a token of your appreciation for his support on your big day.

If you are on a budget, gifts such as personalised tankards, mugs, hip-flasks or a whisky glass and coasters can be found in the £5-£10 range. If you have more to spend, cufflinks and pocket watches start at around £15 depending on their quality. Alternatively, you could choose to buy him something related to his hobbies and interests. This could be to do with sport, gardening or something completely different. Just think about what he likes.

  • Dried or artificial flower bouquets for bridesmaids are much cheaper than floral arrangements. Alternatively, they could carry single large flowers or something completely different such as lanterns.
  • You can save money on buttonholes by using artificial flowers, garden flowers or by only providing them for the groom and his best man.
  • There are plenty of cheaper gifts to save on bridesmaids, and they could even be home-made.
  • You can find personalised gifts for the best men for as little as £5, or you could choose him something related to his hobbies.

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