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Bridesmaid on a Budget

Mar 30, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

When a close friend announces she’s getting married, you’re thrilled. Soon you’ll be cooing over bridal magazines, talking wistfully of the future, while the bride-to-be enters the early stages of wedding planning.

But then she asks you to be a bridesmaid, and everything changes.

Gab sessions about her big day are no longer giddy and carefree; you start to see dollar signs. You want your friend’s wedding to be perfect, but for the budget-conscious among us, becoming a bridesmaid can be hazardous to our fiscal health.

In a blog post titled The High Cost of Being a Bridesmaid, thift-minded blogger Anna Newell Jones shares advice based on her own experience. “I (wrongly) assumed that I was the only one feeling the pressures to spend the sometimes astronomical amounts of money during my tour of duty as a bridesmaid,” says Jones. “I was really surprised when I learned that other women were feeling the same financial stress around being in weddings that I had.” What follows are Anna’s best tips for budget-conscious bridesmaids who want to save money and keep the bride happy.

Carefully consider each aspect of the wedding.
To get psychologically prepared for the road ahead, Jones encourages considering eight different aspects before agreeing to be a bridesmaid. Some of these points include:

  • Can I pay for the bridesmaid dress?
  • Will any of the wedding events take place out of state or country?
  • Do I have enough paid time off to participate?
  • If I’m asked to be the Maid of Honor, can I afford to throw a bachelorette party?

“It feels like a bummer to think about these things during such exciting times,” notes Jones. “If you can’t afford to be a part of the wedding and all that it entails, it’s best to tell her at the time she asks you to be in the wedding.”

If your friend is going to ask you to be a bridesmaid, be prepared with your answer.
“Once you say you’ll be in the wedding, you have to follow through,” says Jones. If you agree to be a bridesmaid and change your mind later, it will only hurt and frustrate the bride. To avoid this, Jones recommends considering the wedding costs the moment you find out your friend is engaged. “If you’ve decided that you can’t afford to be in the wedding, be honest and forthright from the very start. Have a heart-to-heart and tell her that you love her and want to support her through the entire wedding planning process. Keep the conversation positive and focus on all of the many things that you can and will do to support her,” Jones offers.

If you are a bridesmaid who can’t afford to participate in the pre-wedding events, consider ways you can contribute without breaking the bank.
Do you have a secret obsession with making fascinators? Perhaps you spend your weekends crafting beautiful silver jewelry. Offer your abilities to create custom work, whether it’s accessories for the bridesmaids or centerpieces for the table. These small handmade touches can relieve the bride of the pressure to consider every last detail. Additionally, for brides who are conscious of their bridesmaids’ wallets, Jones encourages them to seek their talents. “Tap into your friends’ skills to see if they might be willing to help with the things they are good at,” suggests Jones. “By doing this, you not only save money for other priorities, but you get to have an even more unique wedding because each friend will infuse a bit of their own personality and spirit into their part.”

Make simple, easy decisions when it comes to dresses.
“Select a color — or a range of colors — and then let the bridesmaids select their own dresses from non-bridal specific stores,” says Jones. She says that paint chip samples found at the hardware store are a great tool for this. They’re readily available and they’re free. “That way, the girls can take the paint chip sample to the store with them so they buy just the right color dress.” Also, let the bridesmaids wear nude or black heels in the wedding. “This way, the shoes have a longer life, which means more bang for the buck,” adds Jones.

For bridesmaids who focus on contributing their DIY craft in lieu of other costly efforts, the result can be a truly original wedding. Jones, whose wedding photography business has taken her to dozens of original weddings, points out that frugal weddings can be every bit as beautiful as a fancy, high-cost affair. “We see everything from magazine-esque wedding-planner styled weddings to budget-friendly, DIY weddings,” says Jones. “Both styles are fun and special.” Ultimately, weddings should be about contributing however you can to ensure that the day is perfect. For brides and their bridesmaids, communication is key; be open and honest, and the friendship and love that you share will emanate throughout the wedding.

Weddings on Etsy

4 Featured Comments

  • Embergrass

    Claire Smith from Embergrass said 5 years ago Featured

    In the UK it is standard practice for the bride to pay for bridesmaids' dresses and also shoes and accessories if she wants them to wear specific things. I think that makes for a much better system all around - it means the bride can ask her bridesmaids to wear exactly what she wants without feeling guilty if the dress is expensive and it means the bride's closest friends aren't being financially punished for the closeness of their relationship or made to feel like they can't be involved because they can't afford it.

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 5 years ago Featured

    I wish this column had been around in my lean but bridesmaid-heavy 20s. It would have helped! On the flip side, my experiences shaped my own wedding. I had one attendant -- my sister -- and she picked whatever dress she wanted. I still wish I had done some other stuff differently (cheaper), but that part worked out perfectly. When she got married, she returned the favor: She only requested we wear navy blue, but otherwise we could get what we wanted. It was my best bridesmaid-shopping experience!

  • jelenamirkov

    Jelena from CeruleanBird said 5 years ago Featured

    Very interesting article for me, because in my culture nonexistent bridesmaids, only one major bridesmaid. And she does not participate in the preparation of weddings. Her only dutyis to be with bride on that day, and party :). And of course to bring somewhat larger wedding gift and a medium size cake to the wedding. She can wear whatever she wants.

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 5 years ago Featured

    It is true that weddings are extremely expensive, not just for the soon to be married couple, but for major wedding guests. It would be nice if the groomsmen and bridemaids could all match exactly, or all be able to afford the same dress, but it isn't always possible. I think I good option for a bridesmaid is to rent a dress or shoes. A lot of bridesmaids end up donating the dress and shoes they wore to their friend's wedding, or never wearing them again anyway. It is definitely a big decision, and worth noting. Good article.

134 comments

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 5 years ago

    What fabulous ideas have been shared here! Wedding can be so much fun and so special when you're asked to be part of that special day.

  • vintagejane

    Stacey from vintagejane said 5 years ago

    LOVE!!! Especially love any event where the thinking, decor, etc. is "outside the box!"

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper said 5 years ago

    What a great article about a difficult subject. Money issues can often cause problems in a variety of relationships. It's so hard to say no to a friend and her special day. In the long run honesty is always the best answer. No one wants underlying resentment ruining a friendship.

  • littlejarofhearts

    Kyri from littlejarofhearts said 5 years ago

    Cute ideas! I'll be running into this situation very soon! Thanks!

  • CherryHills

    CherryHills from CherryHills said 5 years ago

    THIS is exactly why Etsy is so fantastic - it gives brides and bridesmaids TONS of inexpensive options at a fraction of the prices being offered in bridal boutiques and salons. :)

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    Such great ideas!!!

  • TheDedicationCompany

    Rebecca Tollefsen from TheDedicationCompany said 5 years ago

    I so wish that Etsy was available when I got married. It started just after. I would have vended so many things on this site for my wedding particularly for gifts. You can find unique things from small business - a win win.

  • sweetKM

    Kristi Morrow from sweetKM said 5 years ago

    So many great options for saving your friends money. Nice to hear some realistic advice.

  • guziks

    Stephanie from Phylogeny said 5 years ago

    My bridesmaids were asked to wear a long black dress. I didn't need to specify anything really because even though every fabric has its own alteration of a certain color, black was basically immune from that issue. And I know what you might be thinking: black is for a funeral... but I beg to differ... my ladies all looked stunning in black and they matched the guys' tuxes too. The long dresses also allowed me to tell them all to wear any shoes they wanted that they already owned... pink, leopard print... who cares? I only wish I had taken a photo of all of their shoe choices together for an eclectic pic of their fashion choices!

  • loveleeflowers

    Lonnalee from loveleeflowers said 5 years ago

    So many great options for bridesmaids gifts! Much more unique than the ones I gave:)

  • janinedowning1

    Janine Downing said 5 years ago

    Great Blog very useful!

  • HandiworkinGirls

    HandiworkinGirls from HandiworkinGirls said 5 years ago

    Such sweet ideas...I'm sure the personal touches will make for even more spectacular photos!

  • HandiworkinGirls

    HandiworkinGirls from HandiworkinGirls said 5 years ago

    Very pretty ideas!! Thanks for the budget-friendly tips!

  • Nikifashion

    Natalia from Nikifashion said 5 years ago

    Great blog! Awesome post!

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace from VintageMarketPlace said 5 years ago

    Great ideas, my wedding was handmade and done for almost nothing. it really helps to plan ahead and think out things. Who wants to be in debt to start a relationship or take on a huge expense just as a friend?????

  • LittleWeeShop

    Jennifer from LittleWeeShop said 5 years ago

    For my best friends wedding we all made our dresses and made it into a party, we all learned to sew from the brides mother and had plenty of laughs making them together... Made for great memories...

  • HansHolzkopf

    Natalie from HansHolzkopf said 5 years ago

    Interesting ideas! Love the blog!

  • MelissaKojima

    Melissa Kojima from ArtistInLALALand said 5 years ago

    Ah, I'm so glad these tips are here to think about. I also love the non-traditional bridal dress photos. I think all of these ideas would make a wonderful, special wedding and less pressure for the bridesmaids.

  • janicewd

    janicewd from janicewd said 5 years ago

    Great ideas. Weddings should be fun and memorable and not stressful on anyone. Etsy does seem to have some great wedding event ideas and products that are reasonable.

  • epsee

    epsee said 5 years ago

    I think, overall, the article is great. I love the tips. But this particular bit doesn't sit well with me: "“Once you say you’ll be in the wedding, you have to follow through,” says Jones. If you agree to be a bridesmaid and change your mind later, it will only hurt and frustrate the bride." For many of us lately, things change quickly and I think it causes undue stress for the author to suggest that once you agree, you're in for the long haul and that the possibility that you may have to decline at a later date isn't really an option. Things happen, situations change and it is okay to tell the bride that you are no longer in a financial or emotional situation to be a bridesmaid. For all the sane advice, this particular part of this post is insensitive and liable to cause a great deal of anxiety. You don't "have to do" anything; do what feels right for you while keeping your friend in mind. If things have changed and you need to back down, do it gracefully and don't be discouraged by the advice in this piece.

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 5 years ago

    Wonderful piece. There are lots and lots of great items on Etsy for weddings!

  • Josie6351

    Josie6351 said 5 years ago

    This is an inspiring piece as that was one of my main concerns about my wedding. To ensure a "stress free" event my fiancee and I are throwing an Engagement Party with a twist....it will actually be our wedding! Upon announcing we will be getting married we will also be asking our bridesmaids and groomsmen to participate at that moment. No dresses, no tuxedos, no formalities....just a wonderful stress free celebration!

  • TresChicNmodern

    TresChicNmodern from TresChicNmodern said 5 years ago

    AWWWWWW SUCH BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLLL BRIDES!!!! LOVES YOUR DRESSES AND FLOWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOoOoO GORGEOUS!

  • Miliora

    Naté D from Miliora said 5 years ago

    Really amazing !!

  • chiquiita

    Tania from chiquiita said 5 years ago

    Love that second picture...the bridemaids dresses and boots...very coloful and fun!

  • Embergrass

    Claire Smith from Embergrass said 5 years ago Featured

    In the UK it is standard practice for the bride to pay for bridesmaids' dresses and also shoes and accessories if she wants them to wear specific things. I think that makes for a much better system all around - it means the bride can ask her bridesmaids to wear exactly what she wants without feeling guilty if the dress is expensive and it means the bride's closest friends aren't being financially punished for the closeness of their relationship or made to feel like they can't be involved because they can't afford it.

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 5 years ago

    When I was a bridesmaid for my best friends wedding, she provided nearly all the expenses for it. Granted, that was mainly dress and such, no out of town things. The thing I had to pay for was the bridal shower for her, which was just in my house with non expensive food. It worked out great for me, and her. She had the prettiest wedding I have been to for a while.

  • twistguild

    barbara munic from twistguild said 5 years ago

    I agree with the British custom! I purchased my bridesmaids dresses and shoes, (navy shoes that had a really long life an after the wedding). easier for everyone no stresses from the cost. Incidentally, one of the sweetest weddings I have ever been to was completely homemade.

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    Love those flowered bridesmaid dresses!

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 5 years ago

    I love every single one of those bridesmaid dresses! Awesome!

  • redlinecs

    redlinecs from redlinecs said 5 years ago

    Great blog, really interesting!

  • MeadowlandDesigns

    Catherine Sorensen from MeadowlandDesigns said 5 years ago

    This is a good although short article, I just wish that it was more timely for me! My dear friend is getting married this summer and I'm her Maid of Honor. She's going with a more formal wedding but paying for the all dresses. Thanks so much for the tips!

  • lunaCielo

    Erin from lunaCielo said 5 years ago

    If you are on a wedding budget, you're already in the right place by shopping on Etsy. Jewelry designers (like me) and other sellers make beautiful, handmade items that can be customized AND at a great price. I buy on Etsy too and have always had great experiences. LOVE this place:)

  • whatemilymakes

    Emily E. from ZiggyAndZoop said 5 years ago

    I love the last picture! The bridesmaids look completely cohesive without all looking like twins. And I too agree with the custom in the UK. I wouldn't want to be the bride making it difficult for my friends to feel included in my wedding just because of their financial situation. I'd rather not even bother having bridesmaids if that were to be the case.

  • lapetitegecko

    lapetitegecko said 5 years ago

    Wow. How did weddings get so scarily expensive and elaborate and demanding? I'm calling the shots right now as a bride to be, so as far as I can see it's my responsibility to pay for what I want. It is something of a relief to find a bunch of people who like low-cost and personal instead of Princess For The Day And The World Must Bow attitudes. The four purple matching but not matching dresses at the top are a great idea, by the way!

  • annanewell

    Anna Newell Jones from annanewelljones said 5 years ago

    Thank you so much for having me as a part of the Etsy blog!

  • Rebcasd

    Rebecca Sarah from PaperHeartGreetings said 5 years ago

    LOVE the paint chip idea! That way you can have a range of colors/shades that all go together nicely. I sometimes use paint chips as inspiration for a color palette for a card - they are so useful! And free :)

  • themefragrance

    Theme Fragrance from themefragrance said 5 years ago

    There are so many options on Etsy for brides, bridesmaids, wedding gifts, accessories-it's mind boggling! The wonderful thing is that you can get so many items customized, therefore making your wedding unique for everyone. I love the purple/lilac/grey bridesmaid dress done 4 ways! Not everyone can fit or wants to wear the same dress!

  • nutraj

    Nutan Gupta from nutraj said 5 years ago

    Fantastic! Very Interesting!

  • ginpins

    Ginny from ginpins said 5 years ago

    I've never understood the custom of asking someone to be a bridesmaid and then expecting them to pay all the associated expenses. When I got married I covered all the bridesmaid's expenses because, to me anyway, it's the right thing to do.

  • 2007musarra

    Lisa Marie Musarra from 2007musarra said 5 years ago

    I have been in 10 weddings! YES 10. I am happy to say they are all still married and have lovely families. My favorite was where my friend found our dresses at Higbees for $20.00 each. Let me tell you that was great. Other dress from $499.00 (that one hurt) to last which was $349.00. I think I've done my bridesmaids duties for the rest of my life. If I was asked again I would most certainly express my concerns and offer to make any accessories. Great article! I work with brides and bridesmaids a lot and I try and have different priced items for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

  • kokopelligirl

    Cheryl from kokopelligirl said 5 years ago

    Great article! One thing not mentioned here is the option available to rent your dresses.I wish I could have done it when I married as I never used my lovely wedding gown again,and gave it to charity( to resell) My bridesmaid was able to borrow her dress. I love the picture with the girls in their pretty dresses wearing cowboy boots!

  • dolcesweetjewels

    Melissa from lolaandcompany said 5 years ago

    There are so many bridal and wedding blogs now and so many other creative resources to get the BEST ideas from...when you try to cut costs and are on a budget, (who isn't ?)the things that matter to you and that are closest to your heart seem to take priority and seem to shine through, making your wedding and ceremony even more special. Homemade or handmade is the best because it comes from the heart and is made by hand with love, just like the wedding and everyone involved who work hard to make the day special...great article

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop said 5 years ago

    Interesting article!!

  • LilyThings

    Elizabeth Lagasse from LillyThings said 5 years ago

    It make me wonder... How many weddings were Inspired by Etsy!

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky said 5 years ago

    so many cute ideas!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from Crackerjackarma said 5 years ago

    so pretty and fun ~ the individuality rocks!!

  • uswatsons

    Sylvie Liv from SylvieLiv said 5 years ago

    Thank you for the ideas! The more wedding posts I read here on etsy, the worse my itch gets to go back in time and plan my wedding all over again! :)

  • uniquefabricgifts

    Unique Fabric Gifts from uniquefabricgifts said 5 years ago

    All very good ideas and suggestions!

  • Vitrine

    Vitrine from Vitrine said 5 years ago

    Great ideas for the bride to consider... It should be up to the bride to keep things simple and affordable if she'd like her bridesmaid(s)/maid of honor to be there on her day!

  • loralyn1

    Laura King from LoralynDesigns said 5 years ago

    I just got engaged in February (yes V-day) and decided together with my fiance we decided to pick up the costs. All costs for the wedding not only the one that would typically be ours, also pre-post parties, bridesmaid dresses, etc... The decision has been great, no stressing over decisions, either we would like to do it and can afford it or not. No worries about feeling like we burdened anyone. Plus, we have learned very creative ways to save money. In part from the wonderful Etsy Blogs...thanks!

  • SomsStudio

    Som from SomsStudio said 5 years ago

    I have made jewelry for all budgets and agree with you 100% that frugal weddings can be every bit as beautiful as a fancy, high-cost affair.

  • minipotterybyanita

    minipotterybyanita from potterybyAnita said 5 years ago

    Congrats to all who are taking the plunge! Take a deep breath and may your day be everything you've dreamed it would be! ♥

  • PomLove

    Kirsten Hadley from PomLove said 5 years ago

    cowgirl boots and umbrellas = adorable. love.

  • grandpacharlieswkshp

    Chuck Harpham from grandpacharlieswkshp said 5 years ago

    My step-daughter has been asked to be a bridesmaid at a friends wedding tnis summer. She (my step-daughter) is a teacher on a tight budget. I'm going to refer this to her. Thanks for the tips!

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 5 years ago Featured

    I wish this column had been around in my lean but bridesmaid-heavy 20s. It would have helped! On the flip side, my experiences shaped my own wedding. I had one attendant -- my sister -- and she picked whatever dress she wanted. I still wish I had done some other stuff differently (cheaper), but that part worked out perfectly. When she got married, she returned the favor: She only requested we wear navy blue, but otherwise we could get what we wanted. It was my best bridesmaid-shopping experience!

  • gracietreasures

    Sara from gracietreasures said 5 years ago

    We have one foot in the UK, one in the US and we've always found the US custom of having bridesmaids pay for the honor of being in the wedding to be very strange. As a bride, it's much better to set a budget you can work with and get what you want - that way, everyone is happy. :) By the way, I love the picture with the floral bridesmaids in cowboy boots. So fun and unique!

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Bowles from ArtsyFlair said 5 years ago

    Fun!

  • beforethelandfill

    Karen from InspiredByBeth said 5 years ago

    I have been in 11 weddings....ELEVEN. One wedding I wasn't originally asked to be in, but then one of the girls became pregnant, so I went from no commitment to maid-of-honor. Weddings can be so expensive, so I like that you have touched on this subject. I've loved the fun of each one of them, but it's definitely a chunk o' change to participate!

  • vcreations

    vcreations from vcreations said 5 years ago

    i think this is very useful advice but if we search through etsy we can have many choices for bridesmaids great advice

  • littlebrownbantam

    littlebrownbantam said 5 years ago

    Sara - I am in Australia and most bridesmaids pay for their own dresses here, too. It would only be the very wealthy bride (or her parents!) who would pay for the bridesmaids' outfits. Some fabulous, fun ideas in this article, especially encouraging getting away from matchy-matchy chocolate box weddings :o)

  • styleforlife

    Emily from styleforlife said 5 years ago

    So cute.....love this post. XXXXXX EL Vintage

  • goldenyearsvintage

    Libby Sanders from goldenyearsvintage said 5 years ago

    I wish I could have forwarded this to the bride that I'm bridesmaid for before we hit the stage we are at now! Like the ladies above me, I'm in Aus and we pay for everything to be part of the wedding as a bridesmaid. I knew that being BM meant I would have to face some expenses, however our bride wants bright yellow shoes, which feel hard to pull off again after the day. We tried to be positive about this request as it really is a 'her' thing for bright yellow shoes, and she chose beautiful dresses that are fairly formal but good to keep stocked away to wear at the next wedding that is a formal affair. However, I suggested a pair that were very nice and re-wearable, and she vetoed them off as she didn't like them (though others in the large bridal party did like them too). She's just chosen an ugly pair that I'll never feel comfortable to wear again - they are really so 'bridesmaid'-y. I think she should pay for this part seeing as she's vetoed this decision entirely and not given us a choice in what we have to fork out for. What do others think here?

  • GrowingUpWild

    Kelly Engel from GrowingUpWild said 5 years ago

    Currently navigating these waters myself. I'm off the hook for the big bachelorette weekend as I am due with my little one the weekend before. I am contributing my time to make the programs instead. Thank you for sharing the other wonderful ideas!

  • sarahkaydesign

    Sarah Lucero from sarahkaydesign said 5 years ago

    Why is it that when you tack on the word wedding or bridal to a product, the price seems to increase to four times what it is normally sold for? Just because you are getting married doesn't mean you have to break the bank. I love that Etsy gives brides alternatives that will leave some money in their pocketbook!

  • BridalJewelryByJudy

    BridalJewelryByJudy from BridalJewelryByJudy said 5 years ago

    I love the idea of DIY weddings. They are a more fun and affordable! Great post for bridesmaids!

  • ChatOmbre

    ChatOmbre said 5 years ago

    Just a warning -- some stores are starting to charge for paint samples. They don't always mark this clearly, so unless you ask you might not realize it until you get to the cash register with your other items.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 5 years ago

    Clever!

  • TheScarletSageTree

    Suzanne Furtado from TheScarletSageTree said 5 years ago

    This is a great article, much-needed and fabulous advice for bridesmaids-to-be. I am, of course, a big advocate of DIY weddings - you definitely don't have to spend a ton to show you've got style. And while I think I'm well past my bridesmaid days (and thank God for that as I notched up a total of 8, lol), I remember how awfully hurtful it felt at my own wedding time, when one of my closest friends who was ecstatic when I asked her to be my bridesmaid, chose to suddenly ditch just a month before the wedding. I couldn't even think of asking anyone else at that point as it would be so embarrassingly clear that I was looking for a fill-in at the nth hour. Luckily enough it worked out fine, as one of our best men got a job abroad and had to back out as well, so the numbers evened out. But it was a lot of undue stress not to mention an emotional bummer. I definitely agree with the sage advice here - think it through and give an answer, because once you've said yes, you must follow through - the same rule applies for any commitment - whether it involves a bridal entourage, marriage, life or work, doesn't it!

  • AdornmentsbyDebbie

    AdornmentsbyDebbie from AdornmentsbyDebbie said 5 years ago

    Excellent read for bridesmaids and tips for the bride to keep in mind--right down to the color of shoes to select. I wish I had thought about these things in the past--expensive shoes and dresses never to be worn again.

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele from StudioCybele said 5 years ago

    Interesting article!!

  • shuqi

    Emily Lim from shuqi said 5 years ago

    great article.:)

  • jelenamirkov

    Jelena from CeruleanBird said 5 years ago Featured

    Very interesting article for me, because in my culture nonexistent bridesmaids, only one major bridesmaid. And she does not participate in the preparation of weddings. Her only dutyis to be with bride on that day, and party :). And of course to bring somewhat larger wedding gift and a medium size cake to the wedding. She can wear whatever she wants.

  • Attractive1

    Elena Fom from Attractive1 said 5 years ago

    Charming! And interesting!

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    Carolyn S. Miller from AutumnLeavesJewelry said 5 years ago

    fantastic! it's always a "cringe" moment at the thought of being a bridesmaid because of the logistics you laid out.

  • GemPassionJewelry

    Barbara from GemPassionJewelry said 5 years ago

    This is why I love Etsy so much - great information and ideas for everyone. Thank you!

  • BizzieLizzie

    Bizzie from BizzieLizzieHandmade said 5 years ago

    I, agree, great article!!

  • misponko

    Liudmila Rosario Ponko from PonkoWorld said 5 years ago

    great blog!!!

  • DGEnterprises

    Therese Magnani from DGEnterprises said 5 years ago

    I love the idea of tapping into talents of the bridesmaids and friends. Every little bit helps and the participation makes the event even more memorable.

  • KIMMSMITH

    Kim Smith Jewelry Designs Ltd from KIMMSMITH said 5 years ago

    Fab article and really great ideas!

  • QueenofCuffs

    mary from QueenofCuffs said 5 years ago

    Wise words indeed !! Etsy rocks for finding the perfect items for a wedding - invest time - enjoy the search - find unique handmade items - what's not to like !!!!

  • TheEverlastingPosy

    TheEverlastingPosy from TheEverlastingPosy said 5 years ago

    The photo with the cowboy boots and umbrellas is very sweet!

  • SunnyDayVintage

    Sunny Day from SunnyDayVintage said 5 years ago

    Can't help but think how selfish it is for brides to demand a certain dress/shoes and expect friends to pay for them. Many young working women do not have an extra $300 (minimum!) for that, and add the "expected" gifts, parties, bachelorette duties.... and those same women may not be able - for whatever reason - to express those doubts when faced with the Princess Bride. Especially if they are the lone person who is in financial straits and outnumbered by the others.

  • lovelygifts

    Linda from lovelygifts said 5 years ago

    Great post!

  • WeddingAmbience

    Mel from WeddingAmbience said 5 years ago

    ♥´¨) ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Excellent information!

  • MullaneInk

    Molly Shannon from MullaneInk said 5 years ago

    Having been a bridesmaid 7 times already... and last week was asked for the 8th time I really love this post! There is great useful information and most of all focuses on the friendship and true reason you were asked to be in the wedding! Thank you! DIY touches to a wedding- love that the most!

  • jbeaudet

    Jennifer Beaudet from JBeaudetStudios said 5 years ago

    Awesome article!

  • CraftsbyCarolAnn

    Carol Ann from CraftsbyCarolAnn said 5 years ago

    When I got married I didn't want my girls to have to spend a fortune, so I found a gorgeous little black dress on the rack at GAP and I had the girls get it when it went on sale. It only cost them $30 for their dress and they could pick their own shoes. I think they all paid $20 or less for their shoes at Target. I had their jewelry handmade by an Etsy artisan as part of their gift and I bought them a pashmina and some other handmade items that fit each of their personalities from Etsy. They wore peacock feather hair clips in their hair that my SIL helped make at a very minimal cost. No one could tell that my girls didn't spend a lot of money, they looked like a million bucks!

  • nadinartdesign

    Nadin Sandler from NadinArtDesign said 5 years ago

    amazing!!!! loved !!! I'm also have few Bridesmaids photos with my earrings, But can't share them... ;( Sincerely, Nadin

  • BayMoonDesign

    Kathy Lindemer from BayMoonDesign said 5 years ago

    Great suggestions!

  • SweetBRevival

    Bridget McKay from SweetBRevival said 5 years ago

    loved this article! there are so many things to consider. thank you!

  • jess2712

    Jessica Harrington from WeddingSavetheDates said 5 years ago

    Great article :)

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 5 years ago Featured

    It is true that weddings are extremely expensive, not just for the soon to be married couple, but for major wedding guests. It would be nice if the groomsmen and bridemaids could all match exactly, or all be able to afford the same dress, but it isn't always possible. I think I good option for a bridesmaid is to rent a dress or shoes. A lot of bridesmaids end up donating the dress and shoes they wore to their friend's wedding, or never wearing them again anyway. It is definitely a big decision, and worth noting. Good article.

  • salimaya

    Salima Appiah-Kubi said 5 years ago

    I tried to do right by my bridesmaids by choosing one color, an inexpensive bridal store ( dresses max out at $150) and asking them a year out, so people could save up if need be. I explored the department store option but, sadly because the majority of my ladies are plus size, it was really hard to coordinate colors in normal stores that also have flattering cuts. I think the most important thing is to be honest about what's involved upfront, then saying and meaning, that it's okay if your friend can't make that commitment.

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 5 years ago

    thanks for the post!!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 5 years ago

    ♥♥♥♥

  • GBSCreations

    Sandra Bruce from GBSCreations said 5 years ago

    Some great, practical advice for a very common issue.... I love some of these ideas!

  • KKSimpleRegalJewelry

    Krista from TheBeadtriss said 5 years ago

    Good tips!! ~KK~

  • dottywalker

    Dotty Walker from SewThoughtfulBlanket said 5 years ago

    Love it all!

  • messinabella

    messinabella from BandBEstate said 5 years ago

    great post!

  • lostangeljewelry

    Libby Pondo from lostangeljewelry said 5 years ago

    Great Ideas!

  • JunkStoreAddict

    Joy from JunkStoreAddict said 5 years ago

    great tips! Thanks for posting

  • TwistedSilverDesign

    Yuen Wong from TwistedSilverDesign said 5 years ago

    Good tips! Very interesting blog. I'd many years of experience in wedding specialized bridal gown and bridesmaid attire. I agree most bridesmaids feel financial stress to being in a wedding. If so, they should be honest with the bride. I think it's part of the bride's responsibility to share the expensive if she knows her bridesmaid can't afford to pay for everything.

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 5 years ago

    Interesting post and lovely photos!

  • EternoJewelry

    Diane Bushby from EternoJewelry said 5 years ago

    My niece was recently married and as a wedding present I made all the bridesmaids jewellery. My niece was really happy about this because she couldnt afford to buy good jewellery for all her bridesmaids. They were all colour co-ordinated and each was slightly different. So in the end they all had a piece of jewellery that was not only unique and handmade but a great reminder of the day. I think etsy is the perfect place for handmade bridal ideas...I mean who wants to pay 1000's and 1000's of dollars when you could use that money for a down payment on a house..it seems ridiculous to me...so ask anyone in the family or friends if they want to donate their talents..draw up a wedding present list to include things you might need on the day rather than down the road when you move into that beautiful house that you could afford cause you saved all that money from your handmade wedding.

  • RoseoftheMire

    RoseoftheMire from RoseoftheMire said 5 years ago

    cute!

  • LibertineVintage

    LibertineVintage from LibertineVintage said 5 years ago

    very nice

  • CecilandCo

    Lisa from CecilandCo said 5 years ago

    Great post!

  • kathyjohnson3

    Kathy Johnson from kathyjohnson3 said 5 years ago

    Love the Etay wedding blogs, so many great ideas!

  • mescouture

    Meghan from mescouture said 5 years ago

    What beautiful ideas! Can't wait to use them a few years from now ;)

  • becca1642

    Becca Bowie from DizzyDisasterDesigns said 5 years ago

    The paint chip idea is clever

  • handandheritage

    DueAmici from handandheritage said 5 years ago

    so many awesome ideas!

  • sarahculleton

    Sarah Culleton from sarahculleton said 5 years ago

    Really? In the US bridesmaids are expected to pay for there own dresses and accessories? Well you learn something new every day! I do find that very starnge, although as I'm in England, about to get married and having to pay for all of my 4 bridesmaids outfits, it would be a very handy custom for me right now.

  • lillyscharms

    Susan from lillyscharms said 5 years ago

    That's such a great idea. my sister is about to have a baby and i really have not the money i would love to to spoil my future niece or nephew, especially since i have to take a flight to europe to meet the baby in the first place. Since I love to crochet, I will be crocheting several outfits and booties for the baby so the baby has something he or she can wear that his or her aunt made and its also affordable to me and i can customize it to my sister's tastes. Luckily, i havent had to attend any wedding lately but i would offer to do the favors by making some jewelry. That really is an awesome idea

  • sandstormcreations

    sandstormcreations from sandstormcreations said 5 years ago

    Wonderful ideas

  • lauraprentice

    Laura Wennstrom from laurawennstrom said 5 years ago

    I love that you posted this story! When I got married I told the bridesmaids to choose "a light blue dress". It worked out fantastic as everyone was working with a different budget and body type (my maid of honor was pregnant). One girl got a $4 dress at the thrift store while my mother-in-law sewed a custom dress for another girl. I made jewelry that tied the look together.

  • farrellwoods

    Jason Smith from farrellwoods said 5 years ago

    Terrfic ideas! Wedding are to be fun and meaningful ;)

  • blmcdaniel

    Blake McDaniel from blmcdaniel said 5 years ago

    If anyone dont mind answer this question, how and where could i get canvas prints for a cheaper price?

  • FeltNatural

    Karen from FeltNatural said 5 years ago

    Great article, hadnt thought of some of thses options and they are really very useful!

  • tabelina

    Tabelina Tabelina from Tabelina said 5 years ago

    Great ideas! love the bridesmaid dresses! Great post!

  • Hapagirls

    Elan from HapaGirls said 5 years ago

    Love the article! Makes me want to renew my vows!

  • yqsl66

    Ada Ada from idajewelry66 said 5 years ago

    Great blog!Thank you for sharing the other wonderful ideas!

  • bazketmakr

    bazketmakr from bazketmakr said 5 years ago

    so true. there are so many very individual approaches to the wedding day. It is really wonderful when the happy couple bring their own individualism to the ceremony and party. thanks so much for encouraging people to see the wedding as a personal expression, not as something that they "must do a certain way!"

  • deLoop

    Theresa Joy from deLoop said 5 years ago

    #1 tip to brides .. enjoy 'your' day ... I was so worried at my wedding about everyone else being happy I forgot to really relax and enjoy the moment ... so enjoy it all ... picking out the dress, the accessories, the cake .. fun!

  • designer38

    designer38 said 5 years ago

    When I got married, I had 5 bridemaids, all with very different figures and sizes. I had them all pick any knee length black dress they wanted, and then got some beautiful silk in my wedding colors, orange and pink, and made long sashes for everyone. The sashes kept the look unified, but everyone got a dress that suited their style and they could wear again.

  • scorpioarchie

    Melissa Toops from MaterialMadame said 5 years ago

    This was a great read as a in progress bridesmaid myself! I've tried helping out by using my skills to create jewelry and accessories for the big day to help offset the high costs! I'm even planning on creating some unique gifts in the process for the couple! Ive taken this experience as a chance for creative inspiration and ETSY has just so many opportunities for creativity. Great Article and advice!

  • MidoriSecrets

    Jasmine Edward from MidoriSecrets said 5 years ago

    Great ideas!!!

  • kshoodesign

    kshoodesign from kshoodesign said 5 years ago

    loving the photos!

  • kadydesigns

    Denise Vining from kadydesigns said 5 years ago

    Great article about a touchy subject. I love the paint chip idea to help match bridesmaid dresses.

  • wendywitt

    Wendy Witt from AtYourWittsEnd said 5 years ago

    Wonderful!!! I'm all for anything to do with using what we already have instead of buying all new or expensive. Save a dime and have a great time!!! :)

  • EnchantingByDesign

    Katie Heitland from EnchantingByDesign said 5 years ago

    Awesome read. I personally could never imagine spending a large amount on my own wedding. I think DIY is the way to go not to mention there's SO many awesome ideas on Etsy!

  • studiolara316

    Lara Harris from studiolara316 said 4 years ago

    I didn't want my bridesmaids to feel they had to spend a lot of money on a dress & I wanted to be sure they bought a dress they could wear again, so I just gave them my pallatte of colors & they picked dresses that went together just beautifully! :)

  • judyli571

    Judy li from JUDYMADE1 said 3 years ago

    like simple and beautiful light color birdesmaid dress,

  • sandradress

    icelady from iceladybag said 3 years ago

    beautiful~!

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