How to Find a Wedding dress on a Budget

Writen: Kaitlyn McCoy, 

We all know it. The feeling you get when you think about your future wedding day. Most women have been thinking about it since we were little girls. But those little girls are now strong, independent women who don't live in fairy-tales even though we wish we did (I know I do). So just like when we were playing dress up as Cinderella, we want that dream dress to ride off in our pumpkin carriage with Prince Charming. Unfortunately, finding that dream dress to go with your fairytale wedding can be challenging, especially on a tight budget. Your world turns into different shades of cream and white, piles of chiffon, lace, taffeta, and of course price. This could turn anyone into a bridezilla! So how do you do it? How do you find the dress that gives you butterflies without giving you a financial heart attack? Here are some easy, budget friendly ideas to get that dress that makes your heart swoon and to marry your prince charming in.


 Buying “the wedding dress”

Romantic  A-line Ball Gown Wedding Dress

A great way to find beautiful wedding dresses that are cheaper, is to go to a discount retail store. Places like Simply FAB Dress sell wedding dresses at an affordable price. At 50% retail discount, this is an awesome place to go to get your dream dress. You get the gorgeous couture just like an upscale bridal boutique- without the upscale price tag. Anything your heart desires is yours! Just like this gorgeous mermaid style dress with a sweetheart neckline. This dazzling gown has everything you could ever ask for. A tight lace-bodice for body definition as well as bling, and lace accents to make you feel like a queen on your big day. 

 Be unconventional

Lace Bridesmaid Dress

You can find a mind-blowing dress for a substantial amount cheaper, if you skip the wedding dress section and go straight to bridesmaids! There are thousands of bridesmaid dress out there just waiting to be snatched up. Most can also come in an array of colors including white. So you can have you pick from simple and demure, all the way to bling-ed out in any color if you're thinking about going in another direction than white. You can find beautiful dresses just like the ones above at Simply Fab Dress. Buying a bridesmaid dress has a multitude of pros, the main one being the price, but also time. It can take anywhere between 3-6 months to get bridesmaid dresses ordered and a month or so to get them altered. This would take a lot more time with a wedding dress. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to go if you're on a budget. You wont have to give up on having an extravagant dress made with quality, and is usually in the price range of $100- $300. 


Occasionally, there is a dress so special that it transcends time itself. There are times when a family member (usually mother) asks you to wear her wedding dress. A lot of people may cringe at the thought of an out of time dress. Some may be seeing shoulder pad dresses with unnecessary beading. Even though this may be true in some cases, you can still tailor the dress to your specifications and keep the integrity of the dress intact. The best way to do this would be to get it tailored so it fits you like a glove. Perhaps talk with a seamstress and your family member and see what can be done to change the things that are not what you want. Next, I would highly suggest getting some modern accessories that are your taste to balance out the vintage feel. Amy does all of this beautifully in this blog post about her vintage wedding with her mothers wedding dress, seen in the picture above. Wedding Chicks does a wonderful job of explaining the feeling of wearing your mothers dress, its a great read with beautiful photography along with it.

Bling it up!

No wedding dress is complete without that perfect sparkle and bling! In my opinion, it is something you should not go without. Just because you're on a budget, does not mean you have to skip out on bling. Start by asking yourself, what do I want the overall look to be? What will go with my dress? After you ask yourself those questions, that's when you delve into the world of online shopping. Finding items online like we discussed previously, is so much cheaper than buying in store bridal items. At those shops, they are not just charging for the items themselves, but the experience you're getting when you walk through the fancy glass doors. By purchasing online, you're excluding the experience and gaining a better price and full control. Buying accessories online will give you that option. Simply Fab Dress , will give you items like the dainty lace veil shown above. Or elegant jeweled earrings to show off on your big day. Or even more bling, with a beautiful, ornate jeweled belt to add sophistication to your gown.

As said above, accessories are important to any bridal look, hand-me-down or retail. If you're wanting to keep costs low but have a beautiful put together look, do a mixture of purchasing your accessories, and doing a couple of them DIY style. Alexa Katherine has several DIY wedding hair accessories that are beautiful, as well as simple to put together. Just like the lace applique above. Its a piece of lace with white hair clips attached to it. She has a step-by-step guide on how to complete this look in the link above. DIY items are such a lovely personal touch to any wedding. It can make you feel connected to your wedding in a way you wouldn't have been before. You can be proud and say “Hey, I did that!” to your guests, and feel great about keeping the costs lower. I suggest that any items you feel comfortable making a DIY project, do it! You can even get friends and family together to help out. A fun gathering plus budget friendly creativity that will make your big day perfect (sounds like a great time to me).

Hopefully, some of these things have helped to get you started in the right direction. Remember to do DIY's as much as possible, and go for affordable retailers instead of the upscale boutiques for your dresses. Think of the unconventional, its fun that way as well as cheaper since you wont be following major trends. Try not to worry what others think about what you love and your choices. For an extra boost of confidence, Ill let you in on a secret. You've done the hard part! You fit into the glass slipper and found your personal prince charming! You two may not be perfect (no one is) but you're perfect for each other. So relax and take a sip of your favorite cocktail (mines a margarita by the way). Guest list, bridesmaid issues, venues not working out are not that big of a deal. They are stressful, but its important to remember to take a step back and enjoy your wedding planning process!

Share this post