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When your friend asks you to be a bridesmaid, you have two initial thoughts. One: "Um, this friendship just got very serious." Two: "This is going to cost me so much money." But, you don't have to go broke just to be a member of the wedding party. While there may be very little you can do about destination bachelorette parties or elaborate bridal showers, if you're one of the lucky 'maids given the freedom to choose her own frock (or, an empathetic, budget-minded bride), there's definitely some wiggle room in the dress department. Ahead, 17 bridesmaid dresses that are cute and under $300, so you can have your (wedding) cake and eat it, too.