How Much Does It Cost To Be A Bridesmaid?

It is an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but how much will it actually cost you? When you factor in every possible cost, from the dress to the bachelorette party to the wedding itself, it can be surprisingly expensive. Here’s our bridesmaid’s budget breakdown to keep your stress levels low and keep your friendship with the bride intact.

Bridesmaid Budget Breakdown

It’s tempting to feel so flattered you jump at the opportunity but if cash flow is a problem and the bride is not a very sharing person you may want to consider the costs to you before you accept. Here is what can be involved in being a bridesmaid:

  • Bridesmaid dress
  • Dress alterations if needed (these could work out even more if you’re pregnant too!)
  • Shoes, jewelry and any other accessories the bride requires you to wear
  • Professional hairdressing and
  • Professional make up on the morning of the wedding
  • Bachelorette Party spending money
  • Wedding rehearsal dinner spend if required
  • Travel to dress fittings, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and/or travel abroad if required
  • Wedding present for the bride and groom

Hundreds and Thousands

This list is not exhaustive but it gives a pretty good idea of what’s involved and could come in at anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars and several thousand. A wedding abroad could cost even more due to overseas travel and accommodation, so it is worth taking all the potential costs into account. If the bride does want you to pay, it could work out to be more expensive than you think.

Who Pays and How To Compromise

Traditionally the bride’s parents would cover the costs of the bridesmaids dresses but these days most couples pay a large proportion of their wedding costs themselves and it has become more acceptable to ask for financial contributions from the bridal party. Unless the bride and groom are offering to pay for everything, it’s worth discussing costs and coming to a compromise where you are all happy.

If your little girl is asked to be a flower girl you may be expected to pay for her outfit. Luckily she won’t need cash for the bachelorette party so it’s a lot less expensive than being a bridesmaid, but you may still be asked to pay for her shoes and accessories.

How To Cut Bridesmaid Costs

Assuming the bride is in agreement, you can cut costs substantially by wearing a second hand bridesmaid gown, an informal low cost summer dress you can wear again, or even a dress you already own. For fashionably non-matching bridesmaids you can save cash by choosing low-cost gowns that co-ordinate in similar colors or styles.

It often falls to the maid of honor to arrange the bride’s proverbial ‘last night of freedom’, and another way to cut costs is to organize a low-key bachelorette party in a venue that is local to you or a casual bridal shower at home which can be just as much fun as an expensive night out in the city or a weekend abroad.

And finally, don’t ever let it cost you your friendship. There will always be a compromise and the key is to discuss it all and be mindful of everyone involved. The bottom line is the bride is special to you and she wants you to be a part of her special day. Together you should be able to find a way for that to happen.

Credits:

Originally written by Kate Thompson-Confetti

DIY: Chalkboard Signs Part 2

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A few weeks ago we shared a DIY Chalkboard post by our Ambassador Lorrie Everitt from Creative Bag. Today we are continuing on the chalkboard topic with these large, decorative chalkboard chair signs. DIY projects like these chair signs are a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding decor. Use this step-by-step guide and template to create your very own chalkboard chair signs.

In addition we will also show you how to create paper flowers used to embellish the chair signs, to create your own DIY boho styled decor.

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The Supplies:

Large Decorative Chalkboard With White Frame
• Liquid Chalk Markers
• White transfer paper
• Pencil
• Painter’s Tape
• Scissors
• Print out with design/ text
Ribbon
• Tools to Punch Holes Into Chalkboard
• Water Mister
• Glue
Optional – Gold Craft Paint or Gold Paint Pen to decorate your flowers

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The Step by Step

Step 1:

Print and cut out the lettering for the signs. Position the lettering on the chalkboard so there will be space to add the paper flowers later. Use painter’s tape to hold the paper in place.

Step 2:

Place the white transfer paper with the chalky side down towards the chalkboard, as shown above, under the paper template. Use a pencil to trace the lettering onto the chalkboard.

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Step 3:

Your traced lettering will be very faint but you should be able to see the complete design before you remove the paper template.

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Step 4:

Using your traced image as a guide, fill in the lettering with a chalk marker. Once the chalk ink has dried you can easily remove any remaining tracing lines with a soft dry cloth.

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Step 5:

At this point you will want to add a couple of holes to the top of your chalkboard for hanging later. I used a craft punch that is suitable for wood and metal products.

Option: If you would like to add a gold touch to your chalkboard, like I did on the chair signs for the boho wedding, you can do that using gold craft paint or gold paint pens.

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Step 6:

Print the paper flowers template on the paper of your choice. Cut the flowers shapes out as shown above.

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Step 7:

To make the paper easier to work with, lightly mist each flower.

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Step 8:

The swirly flower shape will make a 3D floral shape. Start with the small outer end and begin to roll the paper as shown above. Continue to roll it until you almost reach the end. The wide inner edge will become the base of the flower. Allow the paper flower to dry.

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Step 9:

Once dry, glue the bottom of the rolled flower to the wide base so it will stay in place and lay flat. You don’t want the other floral shapes to be flat so while they are still a little wet, scrunch them up with you hand.

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Step 10:

After the floral pieces have dried completely you can glue them together however you would like. This will allow you to form larger, fuller flowers.

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Step 11:

I painted gold glitter paint on the edges of the petals of these white paper flowers for a different look.

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Step 12:

Glue the paper flowers to the top of the chalkboard just above your beautiful hand lettering.

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Step 13:

And finally, add a ribbon for hanging.

 

Download the flower & Lettering template here.

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Chalkboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Visit weddingstar.com for more chalkboard options and let your creativity run.
We’d love to see your completed chalkboard projects. Post your pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #weddingstar or tag us @weddingstar so we can find them.
Credits:

Styled boho wedding vendors:
Photography by Attakat
Wedding cake & Baked goods by Cakelaine
Chalkboard Hand Lettering Love Lettering
Floral arrangements by Periwinkle Flowers
Vintage tableware from The Perfect Table
Shot on location at The Warehouse Event Venue in Toronto

DIY Photography & Styling credit- Lorrie Everitt

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DIY: Chalkboard Signs Part 1

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credits:
Flowers- Periwinkle Flowers, Photography- Attakat, Hand Lettering- Love Lettering, Creative Styling- Lorrie Everitt, Location-The Warehouse Event Venue, Wedding Cake and Baked Goods-Cakelaine, Vintage Tableware- The Perfect Table

 

Beautiful hand-written chalkboard signs are trending this season, and there are lots of opportunities to be creative when it comes to designing a chalkboard sign to fit your wedding décor. With that being said, you don’t have to be a pro calligrapher to create a chalkboard sign for your big day. Our Ambassador Lorrie Everitt from Creative Bag has provided you with a step-by-step guide and template to create your own chalkboards signs.

The Supplies

 

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Decorative Chalkboards With White Frame
• Liquid Chalk Markers
• White transfer paper
• Pencil
• Masking Tape
• Scissors
• Print out with design/ text

The Step by Step

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Step 1:

Cut out the lettering or template you are using as shown above. Position the lettering design on the chalkboard and use masking tape to keep the paper from shifting.

Step 2:

Insert a piece of white transfer paper between the paper and chalkboard with the chalky white side facing down towards the chalkboard. Now you are ready to trace the design onto the chalkboard.

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Step 3:

Test a small area of your design to make sure that your tracing paper is placed properly between the paper and chalkboard. If you don’t see a faint white traced image on the chalkboard as shown above, take the tracing paper out, turn it over and place it back into position. Continue tracing your design until it has been completely copied.

Tracing Tip: Check that your traced image is not missing lines before you remove the tape.

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Step 4:

This is what the traced image will look like. If you are not happy with your tracing, you can remove it with an eraser and start again.

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Step 5:

Now draw over the design using a chalk marker using the traced image as a guide. Don’t worry if some of the faint lines from your tracing are showing as you trace, keep your lines fluid.

Tip: Keep in mind that once the chalk is completely dry you can use a soft cloth to remove any white marks that are remaining from the traced image.

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Tip: If you mess up your first time round don’t worry, as it can be removed with water while the chalk is still wet.

Here are some free downloadable templates to get you started doing your very own chalkboards.

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Download these six reception sign templates here (Once Open Right Click to Save Image)

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Download this Best Day Ever template here (Once Open Right Click to Save Image)

Chalkboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Visit weddingstar.com for more chalkboard options and let your creativity run.

We’d love to see your completed chalkboard projects. Post your pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #weddingstar or tag us @weddingstar so we can find them.

Credits:
DIY Photography and Styling: Lorrie Everitt

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Top 10 Mistakes Brides Make When Planning Their Wedding

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We are surrounded by the most beautiful couples and weddings all year long, and after more than 30 years in the business we’ve learned a few things along the way! This top 10 list is a must read and a must share for brides who are beginning to plan their wedding.

1. Announcing the engagement too soon

Technology and social media make it very tempting to spill the beans early on, but it might be a good idea to resist the urge. Telling your close friends and family in person and seeing each of their reactions can be the most exciting part. Not only is it more fun for you and your husband-to-be, but your inner circle will really appreciate that you took the time to tell them personally.

2. Choosing bridesmaids out of obligation

There are many reasons why as a bride you may choose certain people to be a part of your big day. Make sure that you pick yours for the right reasons. Logic like, “She asked me to be a part of her wedding first” or “I just don’t want to hurt her feelings by not asking her” might cause you some regret down the road. Do what makes you happy first and foremost.

3. Choosing the venue before considering your guest list

In the excitement of the initial wedding planning, it is easy to forget some of the finer details. Remember that your venue has to fit your circle of friends and family that will be celebrating with you. Jot down a rough list of names you are considering inviting. That will give you a rough idea of the size of venue you will require.

4. Not confirming your wedding plans with your vendors

Make sure you touch base with all your vendors before the big day. Confirm addresses, times and package details with them to make sure everyone is on the same page. This could help prevent mishaps and mix-ups on the big day!

5. Having a closed mind when dress shopping

It is always great to go into your dress appointment with a few ideas, but don’t count anything out just yet. Ask your bridal consultant for some suggestions and try on as many styles as you can. You just might be surprised about what style fits your body type best.

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6. Forgetting to leave wiggle room in your budget

Try as you might, it can be hard to stay true to your budget. Hidden costs and last minute things are very likely to sneak up on you. Leave a miscellaneous costs column in your budget for some of these details. This way you can make sure all your vendors are paid on time and you won’t be filled with that dreadful feeling in your stomach wondering how you will ever pay for it all.

7. Forgetting to schedule time to visit with guests

Your wedding day is going to be a busy one, but it is important to set some time aside for a receiving line or to visit each table. Even a short visit will mean a lot to your guests. After all, they did come to celebrate with you!

8. Ruling out the idea of a wedding planner of day of coordinator

It is easy to tell yourself, “I can do it all myself” or “I would never be able to afford one”, but don’t rule it out too quickly. Do you find that you get stressed easily? Are you organized enough to handle all the details? Are there a lot of elements that will need to come together? Does my venue have an on-site coordinator? Answering these questions will help you decide if you need a little extra help. These professionals will often help keep things running smooth and create an enjoyable, stress-free experience.

9. Failing to loop everyone in

Your bridal party and parents are going to play a big part in how smoothly or how chaotic your wedding weekend goes. If you fill them in on any important changes, locations and information, you will save yourself the headache. Jot down a few of the important details and send a document to everyone a few weeks before the wedding. Include addresses, phone numbers and important point people. This will ensure everyone gets to where they need to be, when they need to be there and that any important jobs you have assigned are clear.

10. Forgetting to eat

With all the butterflies and excitement, food and water are likely to be the last thing on your mind. But make sure your force yourself to have a few light snacks throughout the morning. Also consider having a few snack platters prepared for your bridal party after the ceremony. It is easy to get caught up in the fun and photos, but the afternoon will be much more enjoyable if everyone is well fed and happy.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: The Candy Bar

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Looking for something sweet to treat your guests with? Candy bars are a great way to help celebrate your big day. The pop of color, design and of course the tasty treats make it a fun addition to any wedding. They are also a great way to add a personal touch to your reception. Use these tips to help create your own Candy Bar that your guests are sure to enjoy!

Stage Your Candy Bar!

It is all about presentation! Stage your table with containers of various heights, tallest at the back for easy access to all items on the table. By using large, clear jars to display your candy, it makes it effortless for your guests to scoop the sweet treats. Trays for smaller candy can be put in front to vary your Candy Bar décor and give it that extra little touch.

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featured here:
Apothecary Jars

Pick Your Treats!

Choose a variety of candy types such as bulk and individually packaged candy. Have grab n’ go items available. Some of our favorite options are filled mini gumball machines and chocolate bars. Want to make it your own? Pick candy colors and types to match your theme or personality.

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Takeaways

Having favor boxes or containers available is a must! This allows your guests to take as much or as little candy as they want. Your guests can also take a treat home for later to remember the occasion. Make it even more special by customizing the container with a personalized label or tag.

It’s All In The Details!

Incorporating signage on your table can help your guests pick and choose with ease. Don’t forget the scoops and napkins to avoid those sticky fingers. Personalize the napkins with a unique message to your guests.

Use these sweet tips and you’re sure to create a personalized Candy Bar that your guests will love!

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How To: Unique & Creative Guest Book Options

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Today’s blog is all about picking the right guest book to match your style.  There are so many options for unique guest books and wishing wells, all of which can be customized to match your wedding theme and design.

Modern Guest Book Ideas

If you are wanting to stick with the traditional guest book concept but with a modern flair, we have some great ideas! Guest Books that use modern materials such as acrylic and wood take the traditional concept to the next level. Here are a few that we love!

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Featured above: Clear Acrylic Guest Book:Modern Fairytale Etching 

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Featured above: Wooden Guest Book: Personalized Woodland Pretty

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Featured above:  White Acrylic Guestbook: Monogram Simplicity Personalized

Guest Book Alternatives

There are so many guest book alternative options to choose from. Guest book alternates allow for creative and customized options to match your wedding theme.  Here are some of our favorites!

Personalized Shadow Box

A Shadow Box is a unique alternative that you can cherish for years to come after your wedding day. Guests can leave personalized notes on wishing well cards, which can be collected in the bottom portion of the box. This new take on a shadow box allows you to capture the memories made on and before your wedding day.

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Featured above: Personalized Shadow Box: Bistro Bliss  / Clips: Miniature Hinged / Wish Scrolls: Bistro Bliss

Decorative Birdcages

Decorative Birdcages make for fun and unique wishing wells that will be sure to impress your guests. You can dress them up by painting them to match your wedding colors and adding decorative elements such as ribbon and flowers.

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Featured above: Decorative Birdcage: Classic Round / Ribbon: White

Metal Decorative Urn

This Metal Decorative Urn is another unique way to collect wishing well cards from your guests and is a perfect match to most wedding themes.

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Featured above: Urn: Metal Decorative / Well Wishing Cards: Modern Fairytale 

Mini Suitcase Wishing Well

A mini decorative suitcase is a perfect wishing well idea for the travel inspired or vintage themed wedding. It is a perfect container for notes and well wishes from your guests.

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Featured above: Wishing Well: Mini Suitcase / Wishing Well Stationery Set: Paper Airplane

Natural Wood Keepsake Box

This unique wishing well is intricately designed and can be personalized with your initials and a custom message. The custom wishing well cards designed to complement this box and will fit perfectly in the interior compartments. This makes for a great decorative keepsake for your home after your wedding day.

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Featured above: Keepsake Box: Cubist Laser Cut Natural Wood / Embossed Stationery: Cubist Laser / Decorative Tray: Rustic Wood

Decorative Glass Box

A decorative glass box is another fun and unique idea for a wishing well.  Use it as a recipe box by providing your guests with recipe cards and have them write their well wishes or “Recipes of The Heart”.

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Featured above: Decorative Box: Glass With Mirror Base / Recipe Cards: Garden Party

Whether you are looking for a modern guest book or an alternative wishing well, there are so many unique options that we know you will love!

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How To Create The Look: Industrial Chic

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Exposed beams and bricks along with textured finishes make a great starting space. By applying a modern aesthetic to an industrial setting you can reinvent any space for the ultimate industrial chic look. Just let your creativity flow; play with … Continue reading 

DIY Wedding Photo Booths

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Photo booths are a great way to entertain your guests, and especially fun for the kids at your wedding. Most likely your guests are going to have some downtime during the cocktail hour while you are doing portraits. A photo … Continue reading 

How-To Personalize Your Wedding

You’re in full wedding planning mode and of course you want to make your big day as unique and special as possible.  What better way to achieve this than by adding personalized details throughout your wedding?  Today we are excited to share with you Part 1 of 2 on how-to personalize your wedding, where we will look at adding those personal touches to your ceremony, reception and favors. There are so many options that we couldn’t fit them all into one post! Be sure to check back for Part 2, coming soon.

Personalizing Your Ceremony

Aisle Runner

Walking down the aisle is a major moment. Rolling out a monogrammed aisle runner and backdrop will up the ‘wow’ factor without blowing your budget out of the water.

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Featured above: Aisle Runner: Monogram Simplicity Personalized / Backdrop: Floral Dreams Personalized

Unity Sand Ceremony

The sand ceremony is a timeless tradition that makes for your own personalized unity ceremony. Customize the colors to match your wedding design and add a monogram to the vase to take it to the next level. The vase set can become a keepsake in your home as a reminder of your union.

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Featured above: Sand Ceremony Set: Free Spirit Personalized

 

Personalizing Your Reception

Personalized Napkins

Personalized paper napkins are a great way to add that extra touch to your wedding reception.  The options are endless with the ability to choose a custom logo, color, and personalized message.  It’s these dazzling little details that will make for a completely coordinated experience for your guests.

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Featured above: Printed Napkins: Best Day Ever Personalized

Personalized Glassware

Glassware is everything! The perfect combination of function and favor. This year’s trend is personalized wedding day glassware that can double as a unique favor for your guests!

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Featured above: Flutes: Twisted Stem-Printed

Personalizing Your Favors

Personalized Matches

Matches have been a favorite for decades, but we’ve made them cool again. Put your personal spin on this popular favor with just the right logo and message to complement your big day.

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Featured above: Matchboxes:Personalized / Matchbooks:Personalized

Personalized Mason Jars

The oh-so-popular mason jar is a favorite! With a personalized printed design you are taking a favor and adding so much more meaning. Some top trends for goodies to fill the jar with include jam, candies, bath salts and hot cocoa and….

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Featured Above: Mason Jar: Gold Solid Lid / Twine: Metallic Gold / Place Card: Lace Medley

For finishing touches think about adding those extra details to your favors.  Stickers,tags and personalized ribbon will take your look and really make it personal.

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Featured above: Bottle Stopper: Dainty Gold Bow / Ribbon: White / Tag: Celebration Small Rectangular

So, You’re A Bridesmaid! Check Out Our Top 5 Cost Sharing Tips

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Your friend just got engaged and in turn has popped the question, Will you be my bridesmaid?”, wanting you to be part of her wedding day. You’re flattered (of course) and excited to be a part of her special day, but you start to stress out a bit when you begin adding up the costs. Being a bridesmaid can definitely be pricey, but there are some things you can do to help save some cash.

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Featured above: Gold Toggle Charm Bracelet with Gemstone Charm

We’ve got some great tips to relieve you and the other bridesmaids!

1. Group Gift

On top of all the other wedding expenses, including the dress and shoes and throwing parties typically a bridesmaid is still expected to give the new couple a gift.  Wedding gifts can definitely be a hit to your bank account, but why not lessen the cost a bit? Go in on a gift for the couple as a group with the other bridesmaids. This way you can chip in together on a higher priced item from the registry rather than trying to figure out something less expensive or spending more than you can afford on a gift.

2. Share a Suite

Hotel rooms can be expensive, especially if you need to stay for more than one night. Split the cost with the other bridesmaids by booking a suite that sleeps four people.

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Featured above: Floral Silky Kimono Robe

3. Car Pool

If it’s not quite a destination wedding, but you and the other girls live outside of the location that the wedding is being held at, arrange to share a ride! Road trips are fun and is a great way to bond, especially if you are just getting to know a couple of the gals. You’ll save money on gas and have a great time!

4. Share Travel Costs

If you’re attending an upcoming destination wedding, consider group travel. Most airlines offer group discounts that could save you hundreds of dollars. Coordinating group travel might take some extra effort, but if it saves you some cash in the end, it’s definitely worth it!

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Featured above: Bathrobes: Mr & Mrs / Towels: Mr & Mrs / Sandals: Just Married

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Featured above: Wooden Deck Chair Candle Holders

5. Group DIY Projects

DIY projects are a fun way to help give every shower you throw the look of a high budget, meanwhile it’s a great excuse to get all the bridesmaids together and save a little cash! Enjoy some wine and snacks and whip up some amazing favors and décor. We’ve included some DIY projects that we think you’ll love! For décor we have tons of DIY ideas for adding gold and glitter to to glam things up. We also have some great favor ideas like Ombre Dip Dyed Favor Bags and Mini Mason Jar Favors.

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Featured above: Votive Holder: Classic Glass

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Featured above: Favor Bag: White Linen

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Featured above: Mini Mason Jars

Can being a bridesmaid be pricey? Yes. But we hope these tips will help you out a bit and save you some cash.