(NEW YORK) — For brides-to-be, finding the right wedding dress is a magical moment. For many bridesmaids, the experience is not as joyous. Nowadays, being a bridesmaid can be very costly, including spending for the wedding gift, the bachelorette party, and the dress.
“A lot of mall brands have dresses that fall between $175 and $300,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of TheKnot.com.
A bridesmaid spends about $1,700, on average, in connection with a wedding, according to a 2011 estimate from Mint.com.
Aware of the difficulties, some brides are getting creative in order to save their bridesmaids some cash.
Amanda Walsh, of Philadelphia, will be a bridesmaid for Nicole Morello, of Westchester, New York. Walsh told ABC’s Good Morning America that Morello’s wedding, scheduled for 2016, will be her fifth time as a bridesmaid.
Morello and Walsh, both 27, are checking out Gather & Gown, a new online service that allows brides and their bridesmaids to shop together on the site and choose from 33 different dress styles in more than a dozen colors. The dresses, which range in size from zero to 20, cost under $200 each.
“We’ve eliminated the 45-minute appointment,” Michael Shettell, Gather & Gown’s design director, told ABC News. “You can order them online, try on the dresses, take several days and return them if they don’t work.”
Shipping is free, and the dresses arrive in three to five days.
In Manhattan, Little Borrowed Dress has another cost-saving approach. The store rents bridal dresses for an average of $75. The only downside is that those dresses cannot be altered.
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Ralph Ellis, CNN
Jose Pagliery, CNN
Heather Hourigan, CNN
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com