Your wedding dress is one of the most important aspects of your wedding, but you don’t want it to be one of the most costly. A savvy bride can save a lot of money on a dress and still look like a princess.
The first thing you will want to do is start looking for a dress as soon as you can, like right after you get engaged. It might take awhile to find the perfect dress at a reasonable price. The next thing is to do a lot of research and compare prices.
Do not buy the first dress at the first place you found it. Comparison shop and you can probably find the same dress or one very similar cheaper somewhere else.
You can even use a discount bridal service if you know the designer and style number of the gown you want. A discount bridal service will search for the cheapest price on the gown you want. You can usually save between 10 and 30% off the retail price of the gown. You can also find out when bridal shops are having trunk shows, a specific designer will have dresses available at discount prices. Be sure to check your area for bridal outlets too.
The best time to shop at bridal stores is between January and March. Last year's dresses are in clearance. The stores are trying to get rid of them to make room for the new season’s dresses. Another option is buying a display dress or buying off the rack. These dresses can save you hundreds of dollars off regular retail prices. You can also check to see if a store has any discontinued dresses at low prices.
If you are not concerned about wearing a used dress you could borrow a dress from a friend or family member. Wearing an heirloom dress from your mother or grandmother can add a sentimental touch to your wedding.
Check your area for consignment stores and resale shops. Many carry wedding dresses. Some have never been worn, they were purchased and then the wedding might have been called off. Some resale stores get brand new dresses that were discontinued or have slight defects, like a small rip or tear or maybe a small stain somewhere. Some thrift stores also receive new clothing. I have found many wedding dresses at Goodwill with the price tags still attached.
Many online retailers offer great deals on wedding dresses. Amazon and eBay both have wedding dresses. I found the dress of my dreams on eBay for $99.00 brand new. A similar dress I had been pining for was over $1000 in the bridal stores.
Shopping online is a great way to compare prices and styles. I still recommend going to stores and trying on dresses though. A style that looks great on a model might not look great on you, or you might not like how it feels. I saw a dress in a bridal magazine that I just adored. When I tried it on, it looked horrible on me and it was very uncomfortable and itchy.
Trying on dresses will also give you a feel for what size you will wear. Just because you wear a size 8 in normal clothes does not mean a size 8 wedding dress will fit. Plus all designers’ sizes vary.
Other options for cheap wedding dresses include shopping for a dress not labeled as a wedding dress. At homecoming and prom times (usually September and October for homecoming and April and May for prom) you can find semi formal to formal dresses in white or ivory that would work great as a wedding dress at half the cost.
Hit the clearance racks right after homecoming and prom season and you can find them even cheaper.
If you are having a casual wedding any nice dress will do. You can find semi formal dresses at many department stores for under $100. Some are very nice. It all depends on your taste and what you are looking for. If you are having a beach wedding or outdoor summer wedding a thin, filmy white or ivory sundress would be perfect and a very low cost option.
Having a dress made for you is another option if you know someone that can do it or if you have a great seamstress in the family. Just make sure they have experience sewing wedding dresses. Fabric for a wedding dress can be a lot different and harder to sew than regular fabric, especially if you are adding beads or other fancy accessories. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a seamstress or fabric. I have seen a few women try that route and ending up spending more than if they had just bought a dress from a store.
Just remember to start shopping early, do your homework and always comparison shop.
Don’t be afraid to ask for deals or discounts either. Try to be flexible and open minded and you can find the dress of your dreams at a price you can afford.