Sure, you want to look amazing at your wedding, but a Savvy Bride like you knows you don’t have to spend a fortune to do so. Here are a few tips on finding the perfect white wedding dress
without spending too much green.
1. Set a budget before you start looking.
Yeah, we say it over and over. But that’s because it will really help you out. Decide early on how much you’re willing to spend, striking a good balance between the fact that it’s for a dress that you’ll only wear once and the fact that it’s your wedding day
, for crying out loud. Just because you’re savvy doesn’t mean you can’t do a little well-thought-out splurging. But set your limit and stick to it – that budget will help you keep your feet on the ground when a smooth salesman is trying to upsell you.
2. Do the footwork.
One true love applies to your husband – not your dress! Don’t assume that your perfect dress is just in this one store on this one day. Carry a pocket-sized notepad with you and write down the style and manufacturer of dresses you love, whether in a store or a magazine. Then see what you can find on eBay, Craigslist, at bridal shows, and in sample sales.
3. Skip the beading.
Hand-beading is lovely, but it can really drive up your cost. If you have the cut you want, do you really need a bodice covered in glitz? If you’ve got to have the beading, try a subtle design in just one spot.
4. Take a piece of another bride’s magic.
Wearing your mother’s, grandmother’s, or new mother-in-law’s dress is a great way to give a nod to sentiment and family tradition… And save a ton of cash. If the generous past owner is OK with you altering your new-to-you wedding dress to suit your personal style, so much the better. Vintage stores also have some amazing finds – and with those you can feel free to cut away. You can also try bridal resale websites, or a charitable organization like Brides Against Breast Cancer
. You’ll do some real good, and sometimes you can find designer, once-worn dresses for an absolute steal.
If you can’t bring yourself to borrow a dress, you can still save a little by borrowing your veil.
5. Copy your groom
Is your fiancé planning to rent his tux? Then why can’t you rent your dress? There are more bridal rental stores popping up every day – it’s a great way to look beautiful and save hundreds of dollars.
Tip: NEVER take your own measurements with a piece of string. If you’re renting, you need your precise measurements. Get a good friend and a real tape measure.
6. Get a designer original
If you find a good dressmaker, he or she can probably make you a bridal gown for hundreds less than you’d pay a store. If you live in a large city, you may even be able to find a fashion design student who’s dying to show his or her stuff. Make sure you look at photos of your potential designer’s past creations, and sit down together for at least a cup of coffee to make sure your personalities mesh.
What’s the saving trick that’s served you best in your dress hunt? Let us know in the comments!