Many brides experience sticker shock when they go dress shopping for the first time. How can a dress you’ll only wear once cost so much? Fortunately, you can look fabulous and fashionable without going over your budget.
- Find deals online. Look for overstock or consignment web sites. Ebay and Craigslist both have wedding sections and there are other sites dedicated to reselling wedding dresses. Caution: Before you buy, check the return policy in case the dress doesn’t meet your expectations.
- Think inside the big box. Many retailers carry inexpensive formal dresses in white or ivory. You may be lucky enough to find one on sale. No one has to know that your beautiful dress isn’t a “wedding” dress.
- Look for resell shops. Thrift stores, consignment stores and local classified ads are excellent places to shop for a wedding dress. Check carefully for stains, rips and other damage before buying.
- Bridal store bargains. Check out the clearance rack or opt for a white or ivory bridesmaid dress, which can be much less expensive. Research bridal outlet stores in your area.
- Borrow a dress. A friend or family member may know of a “heirloom” dress available for you to use.
- Make your dress. If you sew, make your dress for little more than the price of the material.
In all cases, a tailor can alter or customize your gown or add an accessory. A bow or sash around the waist, a new veil or a jacket can create an entirely new look. Use your creativity! With a little ingenuity, that sensibly priced gown can become your heirloom dress for the ages.