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5 Ways to Find a Wedding Dress on a Budget

planning-a-cheap-weddingBrides, one of the hardest times to keep your wedding on budget is while you are shopping for a wedding dress. Most women have an image in their minds of their perfect dress, and it is all too easy to forget about the price tag when you find the one. Maybe you have a little wiggle room in your budget as you are planning a cheap wedding because you found a beautiful discount wedding ring set online for less than you expected. Or perhaps you have found an inexpensive honeymoon package that will allow you to splurge a bit on your wedding dress. Or maybe you are completely strapped for cash. No matter how much money you have to spend on a wedding dress, here are five are easy ways to save on your perfect gown.

1. Go vintage.

Ask your mother, grandmother, aunt, older sister, or other female relatives or friends if you could alter and wear their dress. Many moms save their wedding dress in hopes that their daughter will want to wear it for her wedding. Wear the dress as-is if it is the right size and you like the vintage style, or find a tailor who specializes in wedding dresses to update the style or the fit. Some antique stores also sell beautiful wedding dresses at reasonable prices.

2. Buy used.

Most wedding dresses only get worn once, and then they get put in a box in the attic. Some women decide to sell their gown after the wedding to make some of the money back. If you like a specific designer gown, look on Craigslist or eBay to see if anyone is selling your ideal gown secondhand for a better price, then pay to have it steam cleaned by your local wedding store.

3. Shop sales.

When you are planning a cheap wedding, the last thing you need to do is walk into an expensive bridal boutique. Search inexpensive national bridal chains. Some stores such as David’s Bridal have regular $99 gown sales on select styles. Another possibility is to look for department store sales if you’re willing to look at nice white dresses in the prom or formalwear sections that might not be specifically designed as wedding gowns.

4. Make your own.

If you have strong sewing skills, look at your local fabric store for wedding dress patterns and fabrics to see if they carry anything you like. Sign up to receive store coupons via mail or email so that you can save even more money. Even if you are intimidated by the idea of sewing a dress, you can easily save money by sewing your own sash, veil, or other accessories. Or perhaps a sewing-savvy friend or relative will make your wedding dress as her gift to you.

5. Crowd-source.

Discover the best places to buy wedding dresses by polling social networks. Post a status update on Facebook asking, “Where do I buy an inexpensive wedding dress?” or search “cheap wedding dress” on Yelp.com. The results will show retailers whose descriptions and reviews include your search terms. That means you’ll find the stores that carry cheap wedding dresses and know to avoid the stores that are decidedly not cheap!

What tips do you have for buying a wedding dress on a budget?

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