1. Skip the engagement gift
Your friend is engaged? Amazing! It's tempting to celebrate by surprising her with an engagement present, but it's not necessary (especially if she isn't having an engagement party). Pick out a beautiful card and write a heartfelt note. She has plenty of time to receive gifts and this will mean just as much to her as a silver-plated frame would.
2. Set a budget
Make a spreadsheet of all the costs you anticipate - plane ticket, hotel room, dress, etc. Estimate how much you'll spend on each and figure out a cap for each item. Prioritise the musts - like travel and attire - and leave the fun stuff, like gifts, for last.
3. Check out second hand options
Tradesy.com allows users to buy tip top condition second-hand bridesmaid dresses at a premium. Let's face facts: no matter how good your bestie is at styling you up for the day, you're probably never going to wear it again. So why not get a recycled version for a bit less? Other sites to check are weddingbee.com and sellmywedding.co.uk.
4. Book travel ASAP
Explain to the bride that you're on a budget, and kindly ask if she'll let you in on the dates before releasing them to the guest list. Planning ahead gives you the most options. It's best to buy those plane tickets as early as possible.
5. Don't go OTT
If the wedding events are all out of town, plane tickets can add up quickly. If you're invited to the engagement party and the hen do - and they're all on different weekends - you'll have to put your foot down. Explain that you can only afford to travel for one event and ask your friend which is most important to her. As much as you'd love to be extravagant not everyone's on a bride's budget.
6. Get a roomie
Traveling to a wedding or pre-wedding event without a date? Ask one of the other single bridesmaids or guests if she wants to split a hotel room with you. It's a win-win. You'll have someone to get ready and head to the party with, and you'll save money. Even if it's someone you don't know well, it's always worth asking.
7. Call first dibs on the gift list
Let the choice be yours by checking out the gift list as soon as it's live and before all the adorable, affordable gift options are long gone. Whether it's a donation towards the honeymoon or the finest bottle of champers you'll get first dibs on the most wanted pressie.
8. Ask for a group discount
Big bridal party? Many retailers will give a discount to a large group so don't be afraid to ask. 15% off goes a long way when there's ten dresses to buy.
9. Shop around for alterations
Need to have your dress altered? The shop you got it from will likely up-charge you for that service. Shop around to several local tailors instead to make sure you get the best bargain.
10. Do your own hair
Some brides take care of the hair and makeup application costs for their entire wedding party on the big day, but not always. These individual services can be pricey. If the bride offers the services but doesn't offer to foot the bill, opt in for the makeup application and skip the hair styling. Remember, the photos last forever and it's far more important that your face looks flawless. Hair can always be fixed!
Nervous about doing your own hair? Read our guide for getting salon-worthy blowouts at home, or check out these five minute party hairstyles for inspiration.
11. Suggest the bridal party chips in for one bridal shower gift
Instead of each buying her piecemeal gifts, suggest chipping in for a larger present. If a bridal party of eight contributes at least £20 each, that's a pretty nice gift or voucher you've got there!
12. Help plan the hen party
Chances are, whoever is planning it would love your help. This usually falls on the Maid of Honour, and if that isn't you, get in touch with her and ask if she'd like some assistance in planning. You can help make sure that the event is fun - and clear costs with everyone ahead of time so that there are no awkward "But I can't afford that" pleas on the day.
13. Don't spill!
Keep that bridesmaid dress in tip top shape so you can sell it to a post-wedding site and get some of that money you spent back in your pocket.
14. Hold off on buying a wedding gift for now
Your friend understands that you just spent a lot of money on her big day. Instead of stressing out about yet another expense - a wedding gift - put it off for now. Instead, give yourself a few months to save up for either something left on their gift list, or a cheque. It'll be a welcome surprise in the post for them.
15. "I know everyone is on a budget"
Whether or not you're the Maid of Honour or in charge, don't be afraid to remind your fellow bridesmaids that everything has a price tag. Work together to find creative solutions, and never hesitate to speak up (politely!) when you think something is too expensive or unnecessary.
Are you a bridesmaid this year? What's your favourite way to save a pretty penny when a friend's getting married? Tweet us @sofeminineUK