Your dream is to walk down the aisle looking gorgeous wearing the perfect wedding dress. Whether it’s a long or short, formal or informal, it must be special. It must be YOU. And it must be CHEAP because you are on a tight budget.
Shopping for the perfect inexpensive dress is a time-consuming process. So start early, at least eight to 12 months ahead of time. Your dress will be on display during the ceremony and reception, set the tone for your wedding, and be immortalized by the photographer. It has to be cheap, but it has to look stunning. How do you buy the dress of your dreams when you’re on a budget? You will be amazed at the possibilities. Here are some suggestions:
1. Be prepared to compromise. You will no doubt fall in love with a gown far more expensive than you can afford. Take the opportunity to discover what features you love. What is it about the dress that makes you look wonderful in it? The high collar? Plunging back? The bell skirt? Note those features and look at cheaper dresses in similar designs.
2. Try on dresses with someone who knows you and your style and has a good eye for fashion. Her mission is to help you choose a style that showcases your best features while steering you away from the expensive gowns.
3. There are often outstanding bargains in regular bridal shops. Some stores in our city carry a selection for $100 or less. Always ask about discounted gowns when you are in a dress shop.
4. As popularity of destination weddings increases, so has the selection of cheap ivory and white dresses in department stores. Look in the dress sections of department stores like Dillards, Macy’s, or Nordstrom for clearance or sale-priced dresses. Even full-price formals are cheaper than many wedding dresses.
5. Look in upscale consignment stores. The better shops carefully screen incoming dresses for tears, stains, and other signs of wear and have like new inventory. They also tend to carry more brand name dresses and gowns than less discriminating stores. Some cities even have bridal consignments. Check the online yellow pages for options near you (www.yellowpages.com).
6. Cheap wedding dresses in like-new condition are plentiful on eBay. There were over 5,000 bridal gowns listed as of this writing.
7. Free is wonderful relief on a budget. Make your wedding dress the “something borrowed” in your wedding and ask a friend or relative if you can wear hers. (There can be a lot of emotions attached to a dress, so consider carefully before asking to wear someone’s dress. They may be flattered, or offended.)
8. There are several outlet chains that carry designer dresses at cheap prices. Find Bridal Mart, Cinderella Bridal, JC Penny Outlets and other bridal outlet locations through.
9. Samples are another source of cheap designer wedding dresses. With a bit of online research you can find original designer gowns 50% or more off retail. Search Google for “designer wedding gown samples” (without quotes), or something similar, and you will find many deeply discounted wedding dresses.
By researching and carefully choosing a cheap wedding dress, you can walk down the aisle in style without breaking the bank!