3 Ways to Shop for your Wedding Dress on a Budget
Updated: May 14
Wedding planning can be very expensive, and one of the most expensive items in your wedding planning checklist is certainly your fabulous wedding dress. Depending on the designer, the season, the material and the bridal boutique where you purchase it, the price of a wedding dress is $1,000 on average, with a price range of anywhere between $300 - $15,000 and above. Some big designer labels will be more expensive than others, and their pricing depends on many factors such as manufacturing, the design itself, craftsmanship and the quality of the materials among others. The attire for both the bride and groom roughly represents 10% of the budget for your entire wedding. We don’t mean to create any more unwanted stress. A wedding is the beginning of a lifetime of happiness, and that should be the main focus throughout every step of the planning process. In order to put your mind -and your pockets- at ease during the earlier stages, there are three options for purchasing your dream wedding dress that won’t break the bank and will allow you to allocate a couple hundred dollars to other elements, such as that wonderful honeymoon the two of you have always dreamed of.
A trunk show takes place when a wedding dress designer wants to feature an entire collection in a bridal store. Usually, bridal boutiques only carry a few select styles from a designer’s collection at a time, and trunk shows are a great opportunity for them to showcase a brand-new collection before it becomes available in stores. Some bridal stores even offer a 10% discount or other incentives like one-time only alterations on wedding dresses purchased during a trunk show, and you also have the benefit of knowing you will be wearing a gown straight off the runway that nobody else has purchased before. These exclusive events are by appointment only and last only a few days, so make sure you book a spot because they are very limited!
Another way to get a great deal on your perfect wedding dress is by purchasing it during a sample sale. A lot of stores give a special discount for dresses “off the rack”, meaning they have been tried on previously by other brides-to-be, but it has never been purchased nor altered in any way. Don’t let the term “sample size” scare you, just ask your trusted bridal consultant if they carry your size. Many stores have sizes other than 2 and 6 for beautiful brides like yourself to try on. In terms of any damage, bridal stores take very good care of their gowns, and they won’t sell you anything that’s been ruined.
Some brides decide to part ways with their gorgeous wedding gowns after “I do” and sell them to bridal consignment stores that will resell them at a reasonable price. If you have a particular style, or designer, in mind that you know will look fabulous on you, and you don’t mind wearing a previously owned wedding dress on your special day because who’s going to notice?, you can find some wonderful deals at consignment stores and save a few hundred bucks while getting your money’s worth.
The best way to approach any of these options is by visiting a couple of bridal stores beforehand so you can figure out exactly what style of wedding dress looks best on you, which materials you prefer the most, and whether there are any designers in particular that have caught your eye. This way, you will know exactly what you’re looking for when hunting for a bargain on that perfect wedding dress you have previously tried on or be open to the notion of finding something similar you can purchase right away. Not every bride has the same budget for their wedding, let alone for their wedding dress, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for wearing your mom’s old wedding gown for reasons other than sentimental. There are ways to adjust your budget to your needs and those of your partner, it’s all about being a savvy shopper even for the most wonderful day of your life. No matter where you end up buying your perfect wedding dress, one thing is for certain: you will look stunning walking down the aisle.
If you haven’t found your perfect wedding dress yet, find out everything you need to know on The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Dress.