Broke-Ass Tag: bridal party


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Although I’m not having a formal bridal party, or a formal wedding, I still have some great friends that are helping me celebrate. Some of my closest friends have come together to throw a shower for me. Sometimes it seems weddings become an exchange of gifts: Your bridesmaids do something for you, you buy them gifts. You feed your guests dinner, they buy you gifts. Your man gives you a ring, you buy him a watch. It’s a fine line between gifts for the sake of doing something nice and gifts because you feel like you owe them something — but I really wanted to give my crew a little token of appreciation.

A simple search of “bridesmaid gifts” will give you a good list to start with. Many of the gifts pertain to getting ready for the wedding ceremony like matching robes to wear that morning, or bedazzled “bridesmaid” tank tops. Jewelry that matches their dress to wear in the wedding is also a popular gift. Personalized items are also very popular, particularly tumblers and wine glasses. Some of these things can get pretty pricey, especially with personalization, and it adds up when you have to buy multiples of everything.

I really wanted to find something they would use again, that was for them and not just for my wedding. I’m a sucker for a theme! Being a makeup artist, I decide to go with what I know and put together a little gift package with some of my favorite beauty items. I bought canvas makeup pouches from Amazon, and personalized each one with their name using a fabric marker. I also got sheet masks and foot treatments, also courtesy of Amazon. I picked up little manicure kits, lip glosses and nail polishes for each of them.  To round it out, I ordered these pretty personalized compact mirrors with their initials from Etsy.

compact mirror

Available from AllAboutYouCreations on Etsy

All together, each gift with cost about $40, and they will all have something that is personal and also useful!



  • 6/13

    Food and money. Man, oh, man. Isn’t that the broke-ass life? You always try to have enough of both, but what about when you’re trying to throw a big ol’ party? That’s where the stakes get raised, and some good, timeless advice from erstwhile BAB team member Liz, of Silver Charm Events, swoops in to soothe the nerves.

    Dear Liz,

    My fiance and I LOVE a good party. We have budgeted for 150 guests at our wedding, but there are more than 150 people that we want to celebrate with us. The long and short of it is: we cannot afford to feed everyone. We are having a great local cover band, and we would like to send out secondary invitations for those acquaintances to join us, after dinner has been served at the reception. Is is tacky to ask an additional chunk to come at 8:00 for dancing and drinks but not the ceremony and dinner? How should we word those invitations so as not to offend anyone?


    Down to the Count

    Make ’em fit, or leave ’em out. Anything else is asking for trouble.
    (Courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs)

    Dear  Down,

    Not to be harsh, but I don’t really see that going over very well. Basically, you’re saying that you don’t like them enough to invite them to your wedding and pay for their meal, but just enough to hang out with them when it’s going to cost you less money. It’s not what you mean, but it’s definitely what you’re saying. And I don’t know if you sent Save the Date cards to them, too, but if you did, eyebrows are definitely going to rise, just like their expectations did.

    So, what to do, what to do? A couple of things, I think. Figure out how much each additional person would cost you, and look at the various pieces of your budget to see where you can make some cuts to accommodate. One step down for your meal, or one less appetizer? Stick to beer and wine and a specialty drink? Don’t go top shelf on the liquor? I don’t know what you’re doing now, but there are almost always places where you can cut and still be comfortable with what you’re getting.

    And, realistically? Not everyone is going to be able to attend, anyway. I’m not the biggest fan of B-listing potential guests, mostly because it’s a lot of work, but try and make it work for you. Send your invitations out early enough to the 150, and then for every “No” you get, send one out to the B list.

    But, I would definitely do a budget check, first.

    The only other option is to not invite them, period. And, yes, this means that you won’t have everyone you want at your wedding, but most couples face that reality, sooner or later. You’re really not doing them, or yourself, any favors by sending out a half invite. Invite or do not invite. There is no “try.”

    “That’s so funny! Together, we spent over $3,000 to be in our friend’s wedding!”

    Dear Liz, 

     I am a bridesmaid in my childhood best friend’s wedding. I knew I’d have to shell out some bucks, but I had no clue how much I was expected to spend… until now. She’s had an engagement party, a bridal shower, a honeymoon shower, and now her two-day destination bachelorette party is coming up. I told the Maid of Honor that I wasn’t sure I could go if it’s going to cost me more than $300. She has already booked the hotel, but every time I ask her for the total amount I am expected to shell out, she dodges my questions. This has happened three times, so far. It’s getting to be frustrating. I’d hate to cancel last minute on it, but she really won’t communicate with me. Plus, it’s a surprise for the bride, so I can’t talk to her about it. I also have to have a minor surgery a week before this shindig. I don’t want to jeopardize my recovery process by going on this weekend trip, either. My question is, do I stay or do I go? I feel that I will risk the friendship of not only the bride, but also the Maid of Honor (who is another childhood friend) if I didn’t show up. I wasn’t at her bridal shower (same day as my grandma’s 90th birthday party) so I feel obligated to go to this bachelorette party. Yet at the same time I don’t know how I will be physically after this surgery, and I do not want to go broke because of this bachelorette weekend. If I do not go, how do I break the news to the maid of honor? This is really stressing me out!


    Bridesmaid Bummer

    Dear Bummer,

    Bottom line? You can’t go. I’m really sorry, I know you want to celebrate with your friend, I know you’re worried about your relationship with her and your other friends. But you will be a week out from SURGERY, and if you’re talking about a “recovery process”, then it isn’t that minor. Not only is it a really good excuse, it’s a really good reason. Plus, it’s not going to help your stress level, before or after surgery, if you’re worried about how you’re going to cope, financially.

    Being a bridesmaid is expensive. The last time I was one, about 4 years ago, it cost me over $1,000, and I see girls in my weddings spending that and more. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of my friend’s day, as are all the other bridesmaids I’ve met and known. I’m not saying that it wasn’t worth it. But, that’s not a small amount of money — it just isn’t — and that should be taken into consideration.

    So, how to tell the MOB? Tell her that you’re having surgery the week before, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel after it, or what you’ll be physically able to do. So, you can’t go. If you think you can pull it, give her $50 – $100 to buy a round of drinks at the party, or figure out how to get it to the bride, with your name on it.

    What are the tricks you used to afford all the guests you want? And, what do you think about Bummed’s predicament? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little part of wedding world, visit my website at

    See you at the end of the aisle,

  • 6/11

    Y'all, let's talk bras, shapewear and all those other underpinnings that are a total asspain but are soooo wildly necessary if you've got anything more than a Kate Moss physique. I bought a corset-y strapless bra for my first wedding, begrudgingly. It was expensive, but once the chick at the lingerie shop had me fastened in, I knew it was a good buy. I thought…

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    In my MOH 101 post I talked about all the prep work you need to expect as a Maid of Honor, but I knew the real doozy would be the actual wedding weekend. And man, I was right! In no particular order, here goes. 1. Be careful with the booze! Because it's everywhere on wedding weekend. And as MOH, you have to be ready to jump into…

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    .... one of the many questions I have about Bridesmaids! Credit: Nina Carman Photography, Ltd. This looks like a nightmare. Both, the amount of bridesmaids and staging this picture in the middle of your wedding day. Growing up, I was one of those girls who didn’t have a lot of girlfriends because "girls were so much drama.” (I know. Gross, right? Don’t worry. I’m over…

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  • 3/10

    How do you choose your maid of honor? Until recently the question was easy: my high school best friend & mother of my two goddaughters. As I grew closer to one of my college roommates, however, I started to wonder. Once I got engaged it was a dilemma: I love my high school best friend, but I knew that my college roommate had more time…

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    Weddings aren’t just about your own budget. Being in a wedding can be costly for everyone involved. It totally makes sense to want to keep costs down for those supporting you on the big day. This week’s request is for for sexy, full length bridesmaid dresses... Hello, This is a submission for can't afford it, get over it. I'm looking for my bridesmaids dresses and…

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  • 7/2

    Searching for original budget-friendly gifts for your hard-working bridesmaids and groomsmen? Never fear. My fiance and I spent last weekend culling through the Brooklyn edition of the Renegade Craft Fair, a collection of hand-crafted wares by independent designers and crafters, to bring you the latest and greatest bridal part gift ideas. All the mind-blowing gifts featured below are under $50 and handmade by independent artists, who…

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