I love the show four weddings (especially the trashy UK version). Four different brides compete for a dream honeymoon by rating each other’s weddings. Usually there are massive differences between people’s budgets for the wedding including differences in budgets for the wedding gown.
For the more sensible brides they would prefer to spend more money on making it an enjoyable day for their guests. It got me thinking about why we put so much emphasis on the dress and also why they are so damn expensive.
So if you are on a tight budget here are some ways to not fork out thousands of dollars on a wedding dress you will wear for one day only.
Rent your dress
One of my ex co-workers actually rented her dress. She is Korean and apparently this is a common trend in the Asian community. If you do a google search you can actually find a number of places that provide this service (some have beautiful couture gowns). Alterations are included as are cleaning costs. This can be as low as $100 although the more extravagant couture gowns will be more expensive (still cheaper than buying them).
Buy it off eBay
Many brides sell their wedding dresses on eBay after their day as they have no use for them. There are also many people who bought a dress and then changed their minds. You can pick up a variety of styles for $100-$200. The only disadvantage here is you may be limited by sizes and also the fact that you cannot try the dress on. Some sellers may allow you to come to their home to try it on if the locale is the same as yours.
Off the rack options
Most wedding shops will order your dress after measurements and deposits are taken. Dress companies are often made to measure to avoid over stock. Because of this, the dresses that are in the shops often go on sale at different points when new season styles are coming in. Keep an eye out for sales-this is especially useful if you have found a dress you like. Some may have been tried on a few times but usually this is nothing that a dry clean cannot fix.
Pass me downs
Have you ever thought about wearing your mum’s or a friend’s wedding dress? There are many ways you could make alterations to a dress if you were not happy with the style or wanted to change it up to look different (think about the movie 27 dresses). Altering a dress can be much cheaper than buying a new one.
Get it made
As long as you are not going for some ridiculously expensive couture designer you can go for the option of getting your dress made. The key is to find a good dressmaker who can make your dress look as good (if not better) than if you bought the dress in a store.
No doubt the wedding dress is important for many brides, but if you do not have a lot of money to spend but still want to look beautiful some of those options may be worth considering. Also check out our article about what to do with your dress after the big day!