Posts tagged ‘wedding dress’

How to get a designer wedding dress without going broke

Most brides have dreamed about their perfect dress since they were four years old.  Yards of flowing silk, taffeta, and lace completely surround the blushing bride, making her feel like a complete princess.   Almost as soon as an engagement ring is slipped onto her ring finger, the bride-to-be begins her hunt for the perfect dress.  Catalogues are combed over and appointments are made to begin trying on dresses.  At the boutique the young bride tries on several dresses, finally falling in love with “THE” dress.  Its beautiful, elegant, fits her like a glove.  As she turns around to look at the back of the gown in the mirror, she spots a tag hanging  from the dress and reaches to peek at it.  She just about faints when she sees the price – $5,000!

The average wedding dress in the US costs $1,505 according to the Bridal Association of America.  Prices range from $50 clearance dresses at local department stores, all the way up to several thousands for a designer gown.  Once a dress is purchased it usually has to be altered in some way.  The alterations can add a few hundred dollars more onto the price of the gown.  Accessories on average cost a bride an additional $333.   Adding all the pieces together, a bride’s ensemble averages closer to $2,000. For some, this is well within reach.  For others, like me, the average dress cost about half of the entire wedding budget all together!  So how can you bring that cost down, and still get the designer look that you have fallen in love with?

  • Rent your dress.  If you are not planning on keeping your gown forever, this is probably the cheapest way to go.
  • Find a seamstress to custom make a gown for you.  If you know an accomplished seamstress, you can often get a dress made for a fraction of the price of a designer gown.
  • Wait for a sample sale, or a trunk sale.  Often times the dresses that stores have used as samples for others to try on can be had at a deep discount.  A good cleaning and some small repairs could save you hundreds of dollars overall.
  • Get a bridesmaid or prom dress in white or cream.  Several popular bridal styles are also available as prom or bridesmaid dresses.  My sister actually got her dress this way.  She paid $180 for a white prom dress to wear as a wedding dress.  A similar dress was available at David’s Bridal at the time for almost $1,000!
  • Order a pre-owned wedding dress from eBay, or  This is the route I chose to take.  The designer gown I wanted was over $1,600 to purchase new.  I found the same dress in my size, and paid $926 including the shipping.  Another bonus?  I had my dress in one week, instead of having to wait 12 weeks from the designer.  With the short timeline that we are on, this was the best option for me.  I also intend to sell the dress back when I am finished with it and hopefully recoup most of the cost of the gown.

The key to saving money on your wedding gown is to be flexible and creative.  If you are willing to think outside the box just a bit, you could end up with your dream gown at a cost you can afford.


July 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

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