It’s that time of year again to celebrate the birthday of our beloved Marine Corps. You should have already received the invitation from your Marines’ unit and now its time to start planning. Sometimes it can get daunting with how expensive this event can get, especially if you have to travel or buy a new dress.
Don’t worry I am here to offer some suggestions on ways to save a little bit of cash for this year’s celebration!
Rent Your Dress for the Weekend!
If you’re looking for a designer gown or don’t want something used, check out this awesome website: Rent the Runway!
It’s an online dress boutique which offers more than 160 top designers for 10% of the price. You can rent your dress one week before the event, but I would suggest checking earlier so you get exactly the dress and size you want.
Once you’ve reserved the dress desired, they send a couple sizes a few days before your event so you can get the right fit. You get to keep them for three or four days after the event, depending on your rental, and you simply send the dresses back in a prepaid UPS bag. It’s so simple!
Another great perk of Rent the Runway is reading though their customer testimonials… you can get some great ideas with how the dress fits on different body types.
Check for Sales at Large Departments Stores.
If you’re a planner like me, you may be scoping out the dress section at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s months before the Birthday Ball. You can typically find a pretty good deal when they hold their major sales around the holidays or before a new season. The Junior’s Department will always have dresses on sale after prom or homecoming, but just make sure that it’s still appropriate to wear. Check out my past article on “How to Look Your Best at the Marine Corps Ball”.
Host a Gown and Accessories Swap Party with Friends.
The Birthday Ball takes place each year and if you’re a seasoned spouse, this could be your 10th celebration. It can get very pricey if you buy a new dress, shoes and accessories to match every year! Since you usually wear them once and then hang them in the back of your closet, why not share with your friends? Host a fun girl’s night in! Ask everyone bring an appetizer or bottle of wine, and spend the evening trying on each other’s old gowns. Your dress from three years ago might be the perfect fit for your friend this year!
Get Inspired by Pinterest for your Hair and Makeup.
I decided last year before the ball that instead of paying over $100 to get my hair and make up done (and probably hate it anyways), I’d look up some tutorials on how to do it all myself.
I found the hairstyle I liked and practiced it a few times before the night of the Ball. Of course you can always get a group of ladies together the day of the ball and help each other get ready. You can be each other’s stylists! Check out our Pinterest page to get some great ideas for evening gowns and looks.
Swap Babysitting with a Friend!
Most balls take place between the end of October and through the entire month of November. Find another couple who has their event on a different evening and swap babysitting with them. You’ll get a free and carefree evening away to spend with your Marine and your friends will appreciate the free help as well.
Share a Room with another Marine or Couple.
OK, so I know for most of you want a kid-free weekend or a romantic getaway, so sharing a room is NOT an option. But if your hotel room is just a place to crash at the end of the night, then ask around if other friends or Marines want to split the cost. Most hotels will offer military rates, so you could end up getting a very inexpensive hotel room for the night!
Plan a Group ‘After Party’.
Instead of going out and racking up a huge bar tab, plan an event after the ball. One year, a group of our friends rented a suite in the hotel and split the costs. After the ball was over, we continued the party upstairs. We didn’t have to pay for cabs or covers. It was more low-key, but still a great time!
I hope you have an awesome time celebrating with your Marine. Enjoy the traditions of what this evening is all about. If this is one of your first Birthday Celebrations, check out last’s year article with ‘How to make the most of the Marine Corps Ball’.
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