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Archive for the ‘Attendants’ Category

Finally, the ammo you've been waiting for....

Anti-Brides, when I saw our Destination I Do superstar, Courtney Cox, take this one on for the team, I was overjoyed. Bridesmaids are many times, fiscally brutalized (they don’t call em ‘maids’ for nothing!). Part of the reason I didn’t have bridesmaids was because walked the aisle one too many times (and have the sea foam green chiffon confections in my closet to prove it). Plus, I eloped to SF City Hall and had 3 rocking parties in DC, Paris and SF! I actually took this topic on in all 3 Anti-Bride books: respect the bridesmaid, her budget, and her style. The life of the maid is never ending scenario (similar to Bill Murray’s character in the film “Groundhog Day”): your good friend states “I’m getting married!” and then as if abducted by aliens, you’re in a dress shop plunking down your credit card for a $300 dress that you loathe (not including shoes, accessories, and more). Again. Or, the wedding pre-event circus from shower, to weekend in Vegas or Napa blows through your savings account like a cyclone. Because there are only so many drag queens you can give your used bridesmaids dresses to, and there is still some resistance to ordering online (J. Crew rules the bridesmaids dress market, ladies, and Anthropologie is heading into bridal as well!), this book is looking mighty fine. One small request: might we one day remove the word “maid” from “bridesmaid” – it might change things up a little….Enjoy!

When you or your girlfriend get engaged, there are endless books for brides which range in topic from the dress to the day of. But what about the bridesmaids? While being a bridesmaid is obviously not as stressful as being a bride, it does come with its own unique set of challenges and responsibilities. Bridesmaids are responsible for showers, parties and above all being at the bride’s beck-and-call. Unfortunately, all these things cost money and very often, BIG money.

But, have no fear dedicated bridesmaids out there. Bridal expert Sharon Naylor is here. She’s the author to more than 35 wedding books and her most recent, Bridesmaid on a Budget is in stores now. The book provides tips and tricks for being a wonderful bridesmaid, without putting yourself out of house and home. Below are some of my favorite tips.

-Be Honest: In order to avoid your bride thinking she isn’t worth all the effort or that you’re just plain cheap, explain from the beginning that times are tight and you’re keeping cash in mind. This one is especially helpful for all you destination brides. makes group travel a breeze. You can create your own site for free (it doesn’t get any cheaper than that) and it’s a convenient place for you to build an itinerary, share travel plans and communicate with your guests.

Where to Shop: When purchasing your bridesmaid’s dress, do your research. For example, try to avoid buying your dress in April when proms are right around the corner and dress prices sky-rocket. Also, look at multiple stores for a similar style dress. The difference in price for pretty much the same dress will shock you.

The Basics for a Bridal Shower: In order to save some serious cash, borrow what you can for the bridal shower. This is where a large bridal party comes in handy! Also, don’t be afraid to ask the bride’s female family members if you can borrow certain essentials. Things to borrow not buy: coffee maker, blenders, candleholders, serving utensils, coolers and seasonal décor items – to name a few.

Drinks, Cake and Food: Naylor also provides handy guides to ensuring you have the right amount of food for all the party guests. This makes it a cinch to make sure no one goes home hungry and allows you to not overspend by buying too much.

Top Ten Bridesmaid Budget Mistakes:

1. Letting the louder bridesmaids rule.
2. Not offering non-money alternatives. (DIY projects)
3. Trying too hard to be nice and fit in.
4. Not acting early enough.
5. Not admitting you’re on a budget.
6. Not establishing your own emergency fund.
7. Counting on “maybe money.”
8. Not being organized.
9. Not being a smart consumer.
10. Buying a dress you hope to fit into.

So, even if times are tight, rearrange the budget so you can run out and buy Bridesmaid on a Budget. You’re sure to find plenty that will help you be a fabulous bridesmaid without breaking the bank!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bridesmaid on a Budget
Author: Courtney Cox


Welcome Elizabeth Yin, CEO of Shiny Orb, a time saving, savvy, social shopping network for you and the ladies in your life…

For my wedding, I knew I wanted my best friends to be my bridesmaids.  Unfortunately, everyone was scattered across the globe, but I was determined not to let distance get in the way of shopping for bridesmaid dresses together.  A plan was quickly established over email: we’d each surf the web for potential dresses for the group.  Then, we’d discuss all the dresses and pick the best one to order.

Simple enough, right?  However, we soon found ourselves buried in our email inboxes.  Everyone in my bridal party spent hours writing countless emails about cute dresses they found and wasted even more time piecing the mish-mash of communications together.  As a busy professional, I was very quickly getting overwhelmed and simply could not afford to spend so much time deciding on dresses!  So, in the midst of all the confusion, I scrapped the plan. I quickly went to a bridesmaid dress retailer website and bought everyone the first nice dress I found.  (It was an Alfred Angelo bridesmaid dress, because the website was sorted alphabetically by designer).  Luckily, it was a cute dress, and my bridesmaids looked fabulous.

After my wedding, I kept thinking there had to be a better way for bridal parties to browse and shop together for wedding apparel.  Furthermore, I knew I was not the only bride out there with a scattered bridal party.  So, last year, one of my bridesmaids and I left our jobs to build a website called Shiny Orb, a comparison shopping website for bridesmaid dresses and other wedding apparel.  With over ten thousand dresses from more than three hundred designers, Shiny Orb has a huge selection that covers all styles, including many non-traditional and trendy wear-again bridesmaid dresses.

I’m excited to announce that today we’re opening up Shiny Orb Dressing Rooms, a social shopping platform to make it easy and enjoyable for brides and bridesmaids to browse and shop together.  With a Shiny Orb Dressing Room, a bridal party can add any of the thousands of dresses on the site to the room, and everyone in the party can comment and chat about these dresses at their convenience. We’ve already heard some great things about this feature from our group of beta testers, so we really think it’s going to be something brides will love!


Elizabeth Yin is a co-founder of Shiny Orb, a comparison social shopping site for bridesmaid dresses and wedding apparel.  She previously worked at Google as a product marketing manager and has been building websites since high school.  Elizabeth hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, where her friend and bestselling 3-book Anti-Bride co-author Carolyn started this all.

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