So you’re planning a wedding. You’re looking for a wedding dress. You realize they’re not cheap. And you want to save money. Welcome to the club!
Whether you’re affected by the hard economic times or not, it’s always nice to save money. And, as a seasoned bargain shopper who’s not afraid to say “No!” to even really good deals (hey, there’s got to be a better one out there!) and someone who’s currently planning a wedding, I’m here to save you a hefty chunk of change when it comes to your bridal wedding gown.
The following are great ways to cut costs on your wedding dress. Some you may have heard of before, and if that’s the case, I’ll give you a little more insight into them. Others you probably haven’t thought of, or heard of, so listen carefully!
1. Hello Bridesmaid dress
I am really shocked that not more people do this as it’s a genius idea. What makes a wedding dress a wedding dress? The only major difference I’ve ever noticed between a dress and a wedding dress is a lack of a formal train, but I’ve seen many wedding dresses without one and they are divine!
Here’s what you need to do: Peruse the dresses at a store that sells bridesmaid’s dresses (For example, David’s Bridal or J. Crew) and find a style that you love. You’ll find every style: from very simple, to informal, to extremely formal. Now, because Bridesmaids are known for showing up at weddings in every color under the sun, you’ll be pleased to find out that you’re Bridesmaid dress probably comes in white and is hundreds of dollars cheaper.
2. Rent your dress
If your lucky husband-to-be can rent a tux, you sure as heck can rent a bridal gown. This idea is growing in popularity and sites like www.rentabridalgown.com are sprouting up all over the place. You can even find shoppes in your area that offer that option. This is great for those who aren’t as concerned with keeping the dress as an heirloom and also for someone who has a lot of time to plan their wedding. The selection isn’t as great as it would be if you were purchasing, but there are plenty of options. *Note: Try to get a package that includes all the undergarments/veil.
3. Buy it used
I alluded to this in a past article (and it’s exactly what I opted to do for my own wedding dress). It’s okay to wear a wedding dress that has already been worn, because most likely it’s only been worn one other time for less than 10 hours! You could even find the exact dress you wanted, for half the price like I did. Search on eBay, visit bridal gown selling sites like www.weddingdressmarket.com or even visit a resale shop. Keep in mind you can alter the dress as needed (more on alterations below).
4. Plan early and Get your butt to a sale
Ever heard of the “Annual $100 Bridal Gown Sale” at David’s Bridal? Well, it’s very real and a great way to save money. Also look for sales at recently opened Bridal Dress stores or those going out of business. If you’re buying online, do a search for “The Store’s Name + coupons.” Perhaps you’ll get luck and find a coupon code for 10% off. Or better!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.
It’s not uncommon for those selling wedding dresses to hear, “Can you give me a better price?” If you are hurting financially, explain that to them. Chances are you’ll get a break of some sort, and if not, the worst you’ll hear is a stern, “No.” If they’re rude about it, you shouldn’t give them your business anyway.
6. Hire a budding designer
Call up colleges/universities near you that offer design school and ask if they offer discounts to people using the up-and-coming designers for their dress. You could also post and ad on www.craigslist.com. You’ll be surprised at the desire the students have to please you and your wallet will thank you, too.
7. Don’t get your dress altered by the big guns
I’ve heard horror stories of people getting items altered at the places they bought them (which costs an arm and a leg to begin with) and needed several more rounds of alterations at the buyer’s expense. Don’t get yourself into a bind and offer some business to a privately owned alterations specialist. The prices will probably be negotiable (and if not, much reduced) and you’ll deal 1:1 with the person making the changes to your beloved dress.
Good luck, and happy bridal bargain hunting!