Cost of Being a Bridesmaid: How to Save on Dresses

Several online services and rental shops have cropped up to help bridesmaids save on a dress for the big day.
5:58 | 03/14/15

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Transcript for Cost of Being a Bridesmaid: How to Save on Dresses
It doesn't take much to turn a blushing bride into a bridezilla. The stresses of making your dream day into a reality range from financial to emotional for just about everybody involved. But if you've got a bunch of summer celebrations coming up, don't worry. We've got just the solution to your wedding woes. Here's ABC's Lindsay Janis. Reporter: Most women will do anything for their best friend, including spending a fortune being a bridesmaid. It can be expensive. It can be expensive, yes. It is a commitment. Sow need to think about it before you say yes. Reporter: Amanda Walsh, who's practically made a second career out of being a bridesmaid, is about to do it again. This time for her best friend Nicole morello. I actually have two next year. That will be my sixth. Reporter: And Nicole is determined Amanda's next dress will not only be reasonably priced but one she might even wear again. For someone like her that's been in like so many weddings I'm really trying to be conscious of that. Reporter: With the market for bridesmaid dresses worth $2 billion a year, brands from J. Crew to anthropologie's beholden to target are all clamoring for a piece of the cake. And at the same time revolutionizing the industry by offering accessible and affordable dresses. The newest retailer on the scene, gather & gown, a strictly online store specializing in bridesmaid dresses under $200. We wanted to make a fast, easy interactive way of shopping for brides, bridesmaids and guests. Reporter: Co-founder and design director Michael schettle has created 33 different styles in more than a dozen colors. It's fast delivery. It's great style. And it's affordable. Try it on. If it works, it's your size, it's great. If not return it. Reporter: But you can't return it once you've worn it. In fact, 80% of bridesmaids never wear their dresses again. Our bridesmaid pro Amanda has a collection of dresses in her closet collecting dust. They're not bad. I wouldn't wear them again, but they're not bad. Reporter: We took Nicole and Amanda to gather & gown's showroom outside Philadelphia. Nicole's our bride. Reporter: To check out the dresses. Pretty. Yeah. It does fit you perfect. How do you feel in it? I feel good in it. I feel like it's easy to move around and it's comfortable. So I like it. You don't seem madly in love with it. I'm okay. I like it. I don't know if I love it. Reporter: After a few more tries Amanda did find one she liked. Whoo! I love that color. I like the neckline, too. What a difference this pop of color when you walked out. So cute. I know. Reporter: But Nicole has four other bridesmaids and it's hard to get a bunch of women together to try on dresses. Remember that disastrous scene in the movie "Bridesmaids"? Everybody go outside. I'm serious! There's a bathroom across the street! To avoid all that gather & gown came one a creative way for the wedding party to gathering only with a live chat room called the loop. You can go in and sign on as a bride. You enter your event date. You can ask your bridesmaids or friends to join in. You can interactively share dresses that you like. Reporter: The site even shows bridesmaids how to wear the dresses again. Honestly, really. The site has a great interactive tool that shows how to repurpose. And we wear the dresses again, put them on a motorcycle jacket, you can rock it out and have a nice time. Reporter: Getting to rewear your dress can really make a difference. The average bridesmaid spends a total of $1,700. From the dress to the bachelorette party to the wedding gift. And there's another fresh idea coming to the rescue. Rentals. My motto is if you know you're not going to wear it again why not just rent? Reporter: Corey hardy started little borrowed dress, a website where bridesmaids can rent dresses for as little as $50. Men can rent tuxedos. Why can't women rent bridesmaid dresses? That looks great on you. I like the color a lot. Reporter: The shipping's free, and they even pick up the dry cleaning bill. The only down side -- you can't alter the dresses. This is a pretty color on you. It kind of has a little bit more wow than the blue. Reporter: Stylist to the stars and editor in chief of Yahoo! Style Joe zee says some of the best solutions can involve the bride giving up some control. Right now the biggest trend is to give someone a -- say it's about long and Navy or short and violet or about red or whatever it is you that allow them to go find a dress that's flattering for their particular body type and also find a dress within their price range. Oh, wow! Reporter: I'm also getting ready to walk down the aisle, and I happen to be doing just that. I gave him a few choices for inspiration and this one I bought just to check out. And I liked it so much I actually wore it out to a gala. I love it. I think it's beautiful. Fits you beautifully. And I think that's actually the biggest trend for bridesmaids is giving someone a directional theme but not imposing a specific dress on somebody. Reporter: He says it's the best way tone sure you wear it again. A dress like this you can literally just hem it to the knee and have a cocktail dress and I think you'll have a lot more occasions to wear a cocktail dress. You can throw a jacket over that and go to work. Reporter: Nicole hasn't settled on a dress for her bridesmaids yet but says she's confident she'll rise to the challenge. For "Nightline" I'm Lindsay Janis in ambler, Pennsylvania. Have you ever had to cough up way more than want you wanted on a friend's heading? Head to our "Nightline" Facebook

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