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You’re in the midst of planning your wedding and it’s about time to pick out your wedding dress! For some brides, this is a moment that they’ve dreamt of since they were little girls. For others, they’re daunted by the price tags they’ve seen on TV and just hope they find something they love in their budget. Good news for both groups! We’ve put together a guide for you to find the absolute perfect dress at an affordable price.
Photo Credit: Love & Light Photographs
Renting Wedding Dresses
Renting your wedding dress will open up a large vacancy in your wedding budget for you to use on something else. Nowadays, weddings are getting more and more expensive as sites like Pinterest overwhelm brides with awesome (yet pricey) ideas. With the average cost of wedding dresses somewhere between $1100 and $1400 and a rental wedding dress starting as low as $30, it’s hard to ignore the savings! Here are some of our favorite sites for renting your wedding dress:
- Rent the Runway – This site is an awesome rental company. One key tip is to order the dress before your big day so you can make sure it fits! That way, going into your wedding day you won’t have to stress if it doesn’t fit just right.
- Borrowing Magnolia – Designed for brides and past brides to share wedding dresses or sell amongst themselves. The site is very easy to use and offers an option to try on the dress before your event without any obligation!
Photo Credit: Micah Bragenzer Photography
Buy Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses
Undeniably, wedding dresses are considered a keepsake. Some daughters dream of having a piece of their parent’s wedding day for their special moment. Some mothers dream of their daughters wearing their wedding dress. That’s where owning becomes the only option. Just because you are looking to own, doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck for huge savings. Here are some awesome options for you (outside of eBay or Craigslist)!:
- Once Wed – Designer wedding dresses up to 90% off! Once Wed is easily searched and filtered to find the dress of your dreams for a ridiculously affordable price!
- PreOwned Wedding Dresses – They connect buyers and sellers of new, sample and used wedding dresses and bridal party gowns worldwide.
- Nearly Newlywed – They help brides to buy and sell back new, sample and used wedding dresses at a fraction of the price. Try on any dress at home and enjoy full refunds less a small return fee per dress. What makes them unique? Their staff goes through each individual dress to make sure it’s up to their standard of quality!
Photo Credit: Sandra Aberg Photography
- Still White – Wedding dresses on Still White are sold by girls just like you! The site links brides with past brides to purchase dresses. The best part about this site is that you can talk with the seller one-on-one to gain more pictures, confirm measurements, and negotiate the price!
- Borrowing Magnolia – Yes, we did mention them above in the rental category. We love that they offer both options of renting and buying preloved wedding dresses! They truly provide a technologically savvy, affordable, and convenient approach to finding your perfect wedding dress.
- Tradesy – This site is a little different than the rest. They offer accessories, decorations, groom and groomsmen gear, bride and bridesmaid apparel, and basically any other pre-owned wedding related item at extremely low prices. While it’s great for looking at preowned wedding dresses, it also offers so much more for you to save money on!
Photo Credit: Jillian Rose Photography
Find a Tradeshow or Sample Sale
If you are dead set on buying something new and perfect for you, looking into a tradeshow and sample sale will be the key to saving money! Here are some key tips before you jump into a tradeshow and sample sale:
- Try on dresses before you go! You want to make sure that you know exactly what you’re looking for (style and fit) when you head into the craziness that is a tradeshow or sample sale.
- Manage your expectations with regards to service. With so many brides and families searching the aisles for their perfect wedding dress, the attendants will be pulled in multiple directions, and sometimes dressing rooms will have to be shared.
- Schedule an appointment if available! Many sample sales offer appointment times to ease and manage the amount of brides shopping at one time. Do you research and schedule an appointment before hand. The last thing you want to do it show up without an appointment and then potentially lose out on the dress of your dreams!
- Do your research. Many vendors will post pictures of the dresses they have at the sample sale on their website. Look at every single dress and choose your favorites before you even book an appointment. That way you know exactly which ones you’re pulling off the rack before you even enter the store.
- Be realistic about sizing! Don’t buy a dress in hopes of you fitting into it by your wedding day. You want to make sure the dress you choose will be alterable, otherwise, you might end up swimming in it or unable to zip the zipper up all the way when your big day comes around. Yikes!!
- Have your checkbook handy! If you find the dress that is perfect for you, you have to be ready to buy it on the spot. Make sure that you know your price limit and keep that in mind when you’re looking at dress options.
Photo Credit: Sean Cook Weddings
What better way to complete your “something borrowed” than borrowing a wedding dress from one of your friends or family members? Ask around to see if any of them have something that you like. Beware that you may get some no’s and you have to be okay with that. If you do luck out and get to borrow a wedding dress, make sure that you get it pressed and cleaned for them after you use it. Keep in mind that this is their wedding keepsake as well as yours!
Photo Credit: Greg Finck
Every bride deserves to feel and look her best on her wedding day. With the options above, you can find your dream dress and have it fit nicely into your wedding budget! We can’t wait to see how stunning you’ll look on your big day!