I imagine meeting Sharon Naylor would be akin to reading a wedding encyclopedia- I’ve been reading Sharon’s books for as long as I can remember (she’s written over 30!) so it was a nice surprise to have her latest offering ‘Bridesmaid On A Budget How To Be A Brilliant Bridesmaid Without Breaking The Bank’ arriving on my desk.
Being a bridesmaid in today’s world can be a sticky subject – The latest Bride To Be Cost of Love Survey notes that couples spend on average $4023 on bridal party fashion (and that doesn’t include what bridesmaid’s spend themselves). Do you pay for the dress? Is it expected that you organise the pre-wedding parties? What about the shoes? The makeup? Then there’s the presents, the accommodation. It’s a mad juggle to work out finances and obligations while dealing with the emotional roller-coaster that often surrounds weddings. ‘Bridesmaid on A Budget’ tackles all of the issues involved in being a bridesmaid – from speaking up tactfully, right down to tasty but cost effective sweets and treats for the bridal shower.
I think what I liked best about this book is Sharon is quick to point out that you need to take some control of the situation if you don’t want your expenses as a bridesmaid to spin out of control – she doesn’t blame the bride and turn her into a demon. Instead she suggests ways of handling the sticky budget talks, ways of being honest and upfront without treading on toes and gives a little perspective from the brides’ point of view. In the end, I found the value in the book not through the budgeting tips (As an Australian a lot of the resources Sharon mentioned aren’t available, though the general premise of the resources is) but through the advice of navigating the sometimes tricky and painful role of bridesmaid in general.
‘Bridesmaid On a Budget’ by Sharon Naylor is available at all good book stores now.