As someone who has become recently engaged, I know there can be a lot of things to think about when it comes to planning a wedding. This will be my second marriage, so we’re going much more low key than either my fiancé and I did for our first marriages. However, even for my first wedding, I was pretty frugal when it came to finding a dream wedding dress. And this time has been no different. In fact, I’ve been able to find 2 wedding dresses for much less than I even spent on the first one! So, here are some of my tips to find a great wedding dress on a budget.
wedding dress outlet stores
For my first wedding, many moons ago, I had no idea what kind of wedding dress I wanted. So, I did what most brides do (at that time, at least) and looked around the wedding stores near me for design choices. I have to say that I definitely had sticker shock when I first saw the prices they were charging for wedding dresses. Especially since you only wear them once for a few hours. Most of the wedding dresses I saw were priced between $1500 – $5000. These prices are crazy!
So, my mom told me that we should check one of the wedding dress outlet stores not too far away from us. And I’m so happy we did! With these types of stores, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. So, your choices may be more limited based on size and style, but you’re bound to find something.
It took me a few hours to find some choices that would potentially work. I was able to find a fantastic wedding dress for my big day though. With the shoes and a veil I was able to leave the store spending just shy of $600 for all of it. I did have to get a few minor alterations done on my dress closer to the wedding day, but those only cost me another $40. This was still a bit more than I wanted to spend to only wear a dress, shoes and a veil for a few hours. However, it was much more budget friendly than the mainstream wedding dress stores.
Online WEdding dress shopping
For this second wedding, I began looking online for wedding dresses. The fact that there are so many choices online now make any kind of shopping so much easier. For our second marriage, we’ve decided to have a destination wedding in the Maldives on the beach. So, I wanted something much lower key, which also translates to more cost efficient. However, since destination weddings in the Maldives aren’t considered legal in the United States, we have to have a courthouse ceremony before we depart to make it legal also. Therefore, I need two dresses. One for our legal ceremony (which I wanted to be more of a dress that I would wear again to parties and special events) and one for our actual ceremony in the Maldives.
Hebeos and JJ’s House
I began searching and found two great websites that had a ton of wedding dress options for very frugal prices. Hebeos was the first website that I ran across. And I loved quite a few styles on this site, along with the prices. However, their return policy if I didn’t like the dress was a bit more stringent than the second website I found, JJ’s House. JJ’s House had a lot of similar options and also had a Try Before You Buy program. This program let me pick up to 3 different dresses and pay only $10 each to have them sent to my house for me to try on. I had 14 days to try them on once they arrived and return them if I didn’t like them. I loved this idea!
So, I picked one dress for the Maldives and two dresses for our legal ceremony here. I was really excited about them, but they didn’t fit me right when I tried them on. So, I returned them and picked a different style that I knew would work for me. This dress was only $109 and is for my legal ceremony here in the States. Plus, I love it so much that I will definitely be wearing it to other events.
boutique store shopping
My wedding dress proved to be a little more difficult to find. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted, other than I wanted it to not drag on the sand and fit my body well, but give me some breathing room. Plus, it had to pack well in my carry on bag with everything else and not get damaged. My mom and I went to the mall (which I detest doing) to see what we could find at the bigger department stores.
The department stores did definitely have some decent options, but none that were my style, or in my budget. We stumbled upon one of the smaller boutique stores that had a clearance section from last years styles. And we got really lucky. My mom found a dress that she thought looked like my style and was only $33 after tax! I I did need to take it to get hemmed a little bit and taken in on the back. But the total for those alterations was only $30. So I only spent a total of $63 on my actual wedding dress, which is awesome!
Wedding Dress on a budget summary
Overall, there are a lot of great ways you can find a wedding dress on a budget. A lot of it will depend upon your style, time of year and location where your wedding will take place. Wedding dress outlet stores are a good place to check for in person styles and so you can try some things on. Boutique stores and some department stores may also be good places to check. You never know what they can be hiding in their clearance sections. And if all else fails, searching online is probably going to be a win-win because of the plethora of options available.
I’m pretty darn happy with the fact that I was able to get two wedding dresses for a total of under $200. Especially since my first one cost a little over $600. Now, that gives me something else to smile about besides just getting married.
Where are some places that you’ve found a fantastic wedding dress on a budget?