The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

It is always an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor in a wedding.  Being by the side of your good friend or family member when they stand at the altar on their big day and sharing in the journey to get there is pretty special!  All of that aside, it does come with some expenses.  We found an infographic on the web aimed to breakdown some of those costs:cost-of-wedding-high

Image courtesy of

Couples should try to keep these figures in mind when planning the involvement of their wedding party and make sure to communicate with everyone in their party to ensure that the expenses are not a hardship for anyone.  Being open to cost alternatives makes the experience better for everyone, a $200 bridesmaid dress may not be doable for some so its good to consider choosing a color and material and allowing the bridal party to find a dress that fits their style and their budget.

Are you a bridesmaid in a wedding?  Take our poll on the expenses of being in a wedding: [yop_poll id="4"]

Wedding Party Thank You Gift Ideas

Some couples choose to give their wedding party members gifts or tokens of appreciation for being a part of their special day, though it is not required it is usually customary to do so.  These gifts can range from the inexpensive, to the ultra luxe it just depends on your particular tastes and budget.  Popular items for the bridal party are jewelry, photo frames/keepsakes, personalized robes or tote bags etc.  For the groomsmen, cuff links, flasks, pocket knifes or mugs are among the most popular gifts. Can you venture outside of these parameters? Absolutely!

Here are some fun ideas to get you inspired:

1. Welcome Boxes bachelorette-welcome-boxes1 Fill with small items that are personalized for each member of the wedding party. For instance their favorite candy, a perfume scent or nail polish color you know they would like,  mini bottle of their favorite adult beverage, or a new cd by their favorite artist? The options are endless. Photo Credit:

2. Sports Tickets/apparel giants If the best man is a hard core fan of the local team, take advantage by seeing if you can snag some good tickets or official apparel/memorabilia that will be sure to be appreciated.

3. Handmade Goods totes


If you are gifted with craftiness, put your skills to good use and make things like scarfs, jewelry, coin purses, throw pillows or artwork.  Not only will they be original gifts, but will feel more personalized for your wedding party.  Not so crafty? Not to worry, Etsy to the rescue!  Photo Credit:

4. Individual Gifts gift card Who says everyone in the party has to get something similar? If a groomsmen is big into gaming, and a bridesmaid has been wanting to try a new lunch spot who says gift cards or individualized gifts aren't the perfect solution.  If you have a wedding party that is difficult to shop for or is very involved in the community, you could also consider making donations in each bridal party members name to a special cause, like the local animal shelter etc.

5. Gift your talent/services If you are in the service industry or have a side passion such as gardening or painting you could offer your services such as a haircut/color, massage or day in the garden.  Not only is the service appreciated but it is a great excuse to get together and do something non-wedding related!

Keep in mind that thank you gifts do not have to be expensive and are often best when they come from the heart, so don't be afraid to do something different if you would like to.  Of course a personalized flask or shot glass can always come in handy down the line so if thinking outside the box isn't on the agenda you will be fine either way!

Happy Planning!

The Big Question

The big question isn't "To be, or not to be" it is "Will you be my Maid of Honor?." This question shouldn't be taken lightly and you can't just ask anyone now can you.. it's sort of a big deal. Sure, you know who you want to have as your maid of honor, but have you considered how you want to ask or maybe you feel that it is a unspoken understanding that if and when you walk down that aisle, your bestie will be right beside you along the way. Either way we think we have found some pretty cute ways to ask:

1. Come right out and ask with a card The Big Question : Wild Strawberry Designed by Eleanor Grosch from: Shutterfly, Inc.

Stylish Request : Bay Designed by Tallu-lah from: Shutterfly, Inc.

2. Put a frame on it Maybe you don't have to ask, it is just a given.. place your fav photo here

Personalized Maid of Honor Frame from: Koyal Wholesale

3.  Pop the question Will you be my

Pop up Message from Etsy


See other articles on Will You be My Maid? 17 Fun Ways to Ask...

More products on Etsy

Propose to your bridesmaids

I'm the MOH!

Here at The 530 Bride our focus is on Northern California Weddings...but I am going to make an exception, just this one time... My Best Friend is getting hitched and I'm the Maid of Honor (MOH)!  

The wedding will take place next summer at a beautiful lakeside resort and  although it is still early in the planning process we've already decided on a Rustic/Romantic Country theme (like how I say We? I'm also the wedding planner!).

The Bride (and bridesmaids) will be wearing cowboy boots and carrying bouquets of  Sunflowers and Daisies. The ceremony will be in the evening and the reception will be casual and intimate.

Stay tuned for more MOH posts from me, The 530 Bridesmaid!


Planning a Small Wedding

It is easy to get lost in all of the wedding buzz and excitement after you announce you are getting married.  It is even easier to get persuaded by other people's ideas of how your wedding should be.  You know who you are, and what you like! Focus on what is going to make the two of you happy in the long run instead of trying to impress or please everyone else.  Having been in your shoes, I know that isn't easy. So let me help you clear your mind of everything wedding, and start from a clean slate. Read a few of the following statements and answer honestly, either in your head or say it out loud!

1. I love to be the center of attention, the bigger the crowd the better. (yes or no) 2. My wedding is going to be the event that people rave about for years (yes or no) 3. Having my close friends and family members present as we say our vows, is the most important part. (yes or no) 4. You only get married once so why not splurge and go big! (yes or no) 5. Napkins, centerpieces, and table numbers need to correspond with the linens perfectly, or my day would be ruined! (yes or no) 6. We need a DJ to get people dancing because our wedding is going to be a party! (yes or no) 7. Our wedding party will be over 10 people (yes or no) 8. I will need a wedding coordinator to help me with the planning details (yes or no) 9.  I want to have a "Platinum Wedding." (yes or no) 10. I am comfortable spending at least $10,000.00 on our wedding. (yes or no)

If you answered no to more than half of these questions, you may be leaning towards having a small and intimate wedding rather than a large event.  We are here to tell you to go for it, and have fun with it while you are planning.  Small and more personal weddings are becoming very popular not only due to finances, but it helps you connect with your guests. There is a misconception that you only get to have an informal out of the box wedding if it is your second or third marriage..that is so not the case!

Find a location that speaks to you, whether it is a cabin in the forest, a beach-house, bed & breakfast, a friends backyard or Paris, at the end of the day you will have the rest of your lives to think back to this wonderful time in your life so make it special. Checkout some of these photos of real weddings on

Some of the challenges you may face are: - Deciding if you should elope, or have a very small intimate event with friends and family - Finding a venue or location that is appropriate for just the two of you, or for a smaller group - Choosing your wedding party members, or not to have them at all! - Paring down the guest list

Some unique touches & benefits for small weddings - Having a friend or family member be the officiant for your ceremony - Maid of Honor & Best Man instead of a large wedding party - Guests bring a dessert or favorite dish for the reception - Including your pets in the ceremony - Displaying old photos at each of the tables - Make your own wedding cake - The bride and groom serving the guests their cake or champagne - Personalized notes to your guests in the ceremony programs - If you have children, having them walk you down the aisle - With less guests you can afford higher quality items such as better wine or champagne, or possibly plated dinner instead of buffet.

Advice from Real Brides:

".... To make the final decision we created our golden rule: If we haven’t seen or spoken to them on a regular basis in the past year, they’re not invited." (Melody, Real Bride/Intimate

"You know, weddings with hundreds of guests are merely big productions, and distractions. All big weddings have at the core, moms and sisters, grooms and dads, kids, (yours or your relatives) and a couple friends. Everything else is background noise, even the other bridesmaids.  So with a small wedding, you have most everything a big wedding has, only more time to spend with the ones that matter most."(

Look for restaurants in your area with a banquet room or private patio, wineries, bed & breakfasts, hotel banquet rooms, community centers & memorial halls, parks & other city owned locations that allow events.




Bridemaids Movie Review

The hype about the Bridesmaids movie is well deserved because its a movie that will make you laugh out loud!  We can't go as far as saying that it is "the Hangover movie for girls" because it has slightly less shock value than the Hangover.  Bridesmaids is first of its kind, as the main character is the Maid of Honor (or shall we say Maid of Dishonor!) who feels rivalry with another bridesmaid (Little Miss Perfect), for the brides attention.

Lets meet the characters!

We will try not to spoil the movie if you haven't seen it yet, but you can learn some important lessons from the film.


  • You can choose your bridesmaids and maid of honor without having to worry if they will get along, because they will find a way to work things out because they love you!
  • Give each bridesmaid a task or a way to help you so that they all can have a moment to shine, and feel like they are helping.  Plus, You don't want to try to do all of that work on your own so let them help you.
  • Try to keep the events budget friendly, so that you don't put anyone in a hard spot.
  • Stay true to yourself and your vision for the wedding, your wedding party may have their own ideas but you shouldn't have to compromise what you want.
  • Your wedding may consume a lot of your free time, but don't forget to be involved in your friend's lives so that they do not feel neglected.  Make sure to be there for them, listen to them and support them in their lives too!


  • The bride chose each of you for different reasons, and you are dear to heart.  Avoid bickering or feeling like you have to compete to be the best bridesmaid, because the last thing the bride wants is to have her favorite ladies fighting!
  • Each of you ladies may have your own idea of how the bridal shower and bachelorette party should go, but try to agree on a plan that will make your bride feel special, and focus on spending quality time with her during this exciting time in her life!
  • It isn't your job to plan her wedding, so you will have to try to step back and let her make her own choices.  Offer your assistance and support, but you don't want to influence her to stray from what she wants.
  • If you are the Maid of Honor try to gracefully run the show but remember that it is not a dictatorship, so be open-minded to the other bridesmaid's input.

Did you see the movie? Leave us a comment and tell us what you thought of the movie!

Bachelorette Party on a Budget! Bringing back the Slumber Party!

These days everyone is pinching pennies and watching their budgets carefully so when it comes to doing your duty as a Maid of Honor, we've got a great idea for how to throw a fun memorable party for your Bride-to-be without breaking the bank. Bringing back the Slumber Party!

Remember as a little girl when the most fun thing EVER was 10 of your friends a ton of junk food and staying up all night gossiping and playing silly games? Well slumber parties aren't just for 10 year olds anymore!

Here are a few suggestions for making your Slumber Party great!

If the Maid of Honor (or one of the other bridesmaids) doesn't have a house or apartment large enough or local enough to host the party...look into getting hotel room for the night! Why not have your party, and not the clean up!

Start the night off with a fun dinner, find out what the Bride's favorite meal is and order in or make the meal as a group(if you are the culinary type). Mix up a pitcher of Margaritas or a batch of yummy Champagne Punch, watch a couple of sappy wedding movies, decorate cupcakes and pamper yourselves with some at  home spa treatments.

Another fun idea is to have a Romance Specialist at your party. Nothing says Bachelorette Party like Adult Toys and party games. If you are looking for a local consultant check outAmanda's Party Gals.

If you and your gang like party games...check out these DIY Bachelorette Party Games.

Here are a few suggestions for recipes, spa treatments and party favors to make your Slumber Party great!

Easy Champagne Punch Recipe


  • 12 oz frozen fruit punch, partially thawed
  • 10 oz frozen strawberries
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 24 oz Ginger ale
  • 1 qt Champagne
  • 3 cups water


  1. Place a frozen ice ring in a punch bowl.
  2. Add the fruit punch, water, strawberries, and juices.
  3. Stir to dissolve the punch.
  4. Slowly pour in the ginger ale and Champagne.

Avocado Carrot Cream Masque

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 carrot, cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Spread gently over your face and neck, and leave in place 10-15 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and follow with your favorite toner.

DIY Photo Magnet Favors

Flat-bottomed glass gems (the kind for filling vases with; you can find them at any craft store) or Glass squares. Pictures Mod Podge Paintbrush Magnets (strong ones since the glass gems are heavy) Gorilla Glue Clamps

Cut out your picture to fit the bottom of the glass gem.  Trace if you need to.
Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the flat side of the glass gem and affix your paper.  Let it dry.
Apply Gorilla Glue to back of gem and add your magnet.  Then clamp it per Gorilla Glue instructions.
*For Bachelorette party supplies online check out Bachelorette Party Superstore


Bridal Party Fashion

As a bride you get to choose a few of your closest friends or family members to join your bridal party, and share a special part of your day with you. Part of the fun for both the bride and the bridesmaids, is choosing the bridesmaid dresses.  How can you not have a blast while trying on dresses 3 sizes to small for you in some very unflattering colors! Traditionally all of the bridesmaids will wear the same dress in the same color, and wear matching accessories.  More and More, we are seeing brides choose an alternate route.  Brides are opting for the bridesmaids to either wear varying styles of dresses in the same color, or have them wear any style of dress in a range of similar hues.  These options not only allow each bridesmaid to choose a style that best suits her body style, but it also shows a lot of personality and spunk.  Throw some flashy and colorful heels into the mix for some extra flare. It is never too early to start thinking details such as your bridal party's attire. In most cases it takes up to 3 months if not longer, to get your dresses after they have been ordered.  If your wedding falls in the prime wedding months such as April through June, or September through November, there may even be a bit of a delay because the manufacturers may get backed up. Think of colors, and styles that will compliment you and your dress, as well as your overall theme.

Chic One Shoulder dresses are in style right now, as well as gray, metallic, and purple tones.

Brides, if you are racking your brain on what to get your bridesmaids consider picking out matching necklaces or accessories for them to wear.  If you do decide to buy jewelry for your bridesmaids, consider buying jewelry that will stand out from far away and in pictures.

Here are some of the popular designers for Bridesmaid dresses that you should be able to find in your local Wedding Dress Shops.

Alfred Angelo Davids Bridal The Dessy Group (After Six, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose, & Cynthia Rowley) Jessica McClintock Mori Lee

For help finding local dress shops, check out our Directory!