Many brides bemoan the cost of a wedding dress. And it’s true; many wedding dress can be pricey. But the good news is that the savvy bride can save money when buying a wedding dress. The key is to be patient and keep an eye out for a good deal. Here are some tips for saving money when you shop for a wedding dress:
Shop early for your wedding dress
Don’t leave the wedding dress for the last minute. Start shopping for the wedding dress as soon as you can. Some women even buy a dress — or at least start shopping for one — before they are engaged. This can cause problems if your weight fluctuates or styles change dramatically. But for most women, if they start looking as soon as they become engaged, they have the time to look for the right dress at the right price.
An especially good time to shop for wedding dresses is from January to March. This is when most bridal shops are clearing out the last season’s inventory and you can find great discounts. Also ask for discontinued dresses.
Attend trunk shows
Trunk shows are great ways to find a good deal on a wedding dress. You can look at the various designs created by a wide variety of the top wedding dress designers as well as see up and coming fashions. Bridal fairs are also good places to meet vendors and seamstresses. Buying a wedding dress off the rack at a bridal fair can also net you a good deal. But watch out! Some vendors and designers will try to increase their prices at a bridal fair. Make sure that trunk shows and bridal fairs are part of your shopping around.
Does it have to be a “wedding” dress?
Just as brand names add to the price of regular clothing, the word “wedding” adds to the cost of a dress. Instead of getting a “wedding” dress, consider buying some other type of dress. Formals and prom dresses can actually make good wedding dresses, and they are often priced much less expensively. It is more than possible to find beautiful white prom dresses at a fraction of the cost of a wedding dress. And besides, you don’t have to wear a white wedding dress. Consider wearing a dress with color, instead of the traditional white.
Get it used
A used wedding dress costs much less than a new one. Borrow from a friend. Or you can wear an heirloom wedding dress. Consider how happy your mother or grandmother would be to see you wearing her wedding dress on your big day. You can buy a used wedding dress online, find one in the Classifieds or buy from a consignment shop. Just be careful to inspect the quality. Most wedding dresses have only been once so they are good shape, but you never know when you find that odd dress that has been through a lot.
The Internet is a great place to look for an inexpensive wedding dress. Craig’s List and eBay are just a couple of places where you can find new and used wedding dresses for a small fraction of retail prices.
Make your own
If you can sew, make your own wedding dress. I can’t sew, but my mom made my wedding dress. I had a great time choosing a pattern, and then going with my mom to select the fabric. It only cost about $95 (and my mom’s time) to make my dress. Even if you pay someone else to make a wedding dress, you can usually have it done much cheaper than buying one. And it comes already better tailored to fit you!