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The average cost of being a bridesmaid is (…are you sitting down?) $728. Bump that up to $1,070 if you live in the Northeast. [Insert audible gulp.] So if you want to avoid resenting your best friend on her wedding day and burning your savings, here are six ways to save real money without ruining your friendship.

RELATED: 5 Times It’s OK to Say ‘No’ to Being a Bridesmaid

bridal shower table
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Hit the Registry ASAP
Save: $50
…Like, as soon as your bestie gets engaged, because the early bird gets the worm desirable-yet-not-crazy-expensive registry items. Nab those adorable Anthropologie oven mitts and kitchen towels before everything else is taken and you’re left with a single $150 Michael Aram napkin ring.

Borrow Shoes
Save: $50
The bride requested “strappy lavender heels.” Ugh. You have literally every other color of strappy heels (#bridesmaidlyfe). And while, sure, you could find some steals at DSW or the clearance aisle, why add to the closet clutter? Ask a friend or relative with the same shoe size to borrow a pair. After all, we all know you’ll be changing into your flats as soon as the ceremony’s over.

bachelorette party
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Choose Between Hair and Makeup
Save: $85
You could opt out of both, but we know you still want to live your best glam life. If you’re better at doing your own face, nix the makeup artist and get your hair done or vice versa. You’ll still feel all dolled up and ready for pictures, but your wallet won’t hurt as much. 

Do Your Own Nails
Save: $15
Sure, getting a mani is one of your favorite pastimes. But let’s be honest: The overall effect can be recreated over your kitchen counter while eating a sleeve of Oreos. And honestly, that sounds just as fun.

bachelorette party getting wild
M_a_y_a/Getty Images

Work the Friday of a Multi-Day Bachelorette
Save: $75 + a vacation day
We’re not sure when the three-day girls’ trip became a right of passage, but it’s here, and we have to deal with it. So if you’re caught in a never-ending bachelorette, set your limit early on: cut one night from your personal itinerary. The best excuse? You can’t take off of work. The key is to let everyone know early (and often, lest one of the Ashleys forgets) so the rest of the group isn’t stuck with your hotel fees. Boom. That just saved you a night at a hotel, a PTO day and probably a really expensive dinner.

Find a Used Dress
Save: $100
Newsflash: There are only so many bridesmaid labels, which means the chance of finding a used dress in the exact shade of “muted barf” the bride requested isn’t as needle-in-the-haystack as it sounds. Check out sites like Tradesy or for great deals on the perfect dress you’ll never wear again.

RELATED: These Are the 7 Types of Bridesmaids in Every Wedding Party

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