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Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

in Attire and Beauty
Bride shops for shoes to match her white satin and lace wedding gown.

One of the most frequent questions we hear from brides is “How can I find a cheap wedding gown?” “I’m only going to wear this dress for one day, and I don’t want to break the bank on it.”

For brides on a budget (and who isn’t these days!), you may want to explore alternative options for purchasing your wedding gown, including dress sample sales offered by larger bridal shops including David’s Bridal (nationwide), Kleinfeld’s (of “Say Yes to the Dress” fame; NYC area) and others. If there is a Filene’s Basement in your area, you can check to see if they have any of their famous discount bridal gown sales scheduled.

Here are some other creative options to finding a good deal on the dress:

  • Consider renting your wedding gown. While the options might be slightly more limited in terms of style and size, you may just luck out and find something that you fall in love with. If do you, this option could save you 50% or more off the cost of buying a new dress (and, no need to worry about deals with preserving the gown after the wedding!)
  • Purchase a cheap wedding dress from a bride who didn’t go through with her wedding. Websites such as The Knot and The Wedding Channel (local chat boards) are a good place to start. With all of the online resources available to us today, you may just find your size! :)
  • In your local area, find out if any bridal stores will be having sales on wedding dresses, or check the clearance section from time to time.
  • Is there a bridal gown in the family that could be restored and tailored to your size? Wearing a dress that has a family history can actually add quite a special touch to the wedding day.
  • Check out prom dresses at your local department store; you never know what you might stumble across! The formal gown section at Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and other upscale department stores is also a great place to look for mother of the bride dresses, both in stores and online.
  • For the more adventurous, you might find truly cheap wedding dresses at such outlets as thrift stores, consignment boutiques or advertised online on Craigslist, eBay, etc.
TIP: Some pricey names might come to mind when you simply mention the word wedding dress – Vera Wang wedding dresses are arguably the most well-known – but there are many other top designers including Alfred Angelo, Maggie Sottero, Jessica McClintock and Monique Lhuillier. An important note to keep in mind, however, is there are hundreds of smaller designers as well, and you may just fall in love with a designer you hadn’t considered before. Keeping an open mind throughout the process may even help you snatch a great deal on a bridal gown by a lesser-known maker.