Wedding dresses are notoriously expensive. They are generally the most expensive garment that any woman buys in her lifetime, and the prices are highly affected by the emotional nature of the purchase. Pair the emotions with the group activity and peer pressure that is wedding dress shopping, and you’ve got one expensive garment.
I’m wedding dress shopping at the end of the month, and I’m hoping to be able to save money in a few ways.
Because we are paying for our wedding almost exclusively, I don’t want to go overboard and end up having a $20,000 wedding. So far our wedding costs are around $1000, with deposits and decor, and I hope to keep the entire ordeal under $6K.
What I Want
I have a vision in my mind as to what type of dress I want, but because I’ve never been married, I have never tried on wedding dresses. I don’t know what will look good on me, but I do have a couple of standards:
1. No Satin
I’m not a huge fan of satin as a fabric to begin with. It can make many otherwise beautiful pieces look gaudy, and the shininess of the material just isn’t that flattering on many people.
Aside from this, I’m getting married in what is essentially the desert in the dead of summer. It will be upward of 30 degrees (86 in fahrenheit) and satin is a fabric that just doesn’t breath. I prefer organza or tulle.
2. A Flowy Skirt
I’m really not a mermaid type of girl, and while I do think fit-n-flare is pretty (and would likely flatter my somewhat hourglass shape), my venue is a-typical and will require something that is easy to move in.
Also, I’m wearing flowers in my hair and am probably going to look a bit like a hippie so a flowy skirt will go best.
3. Not Strapless
It seems as though every single wedding dress on the face of the earth is strapless these days, and I just don’t want to be tugging at my dress all evening. Plus, I don’t like arm cleavage and want something different for my wedding.
Here is a montage of my favorites (but please, ignore the see-through bodice on the one and the straplessness of the other)
These dresses range from $400-$6,000 (guess which one I like the best?)
How I Plan on Saving
I do plan on saving on my wedding dress, one way or another. I don’t want to spend more than $1000 on it. I know everyone says that the wedding dress is the most important dress you’ll ever buy, but the very last thing I ever want is to spend thousands of dollars on something I’ll wear once.
Give the Bridal Consultant a Low Budget
I have booked appointments at several stores and have given them a budget of less than $1200.
I don’t even want to LOOK at more expensive dresses, because I know I’ll fall in love with an insanely expensive one and I won’t be able to afford it. Like with houses, you don’t want to give a higher budget than you can afford.
Shop Over the Border
In Canada, we tend to have much higher prices on.. well, everything. Many people shop for groceries and gas over the border, but I only shop for big ticket items in the big US of A.
There’s a town just across the border from us (about 30 minutes away) that has a David’s bridal and other bridal stores that I know I could save a ton of money at, compared to buying my dress here.
Basic Dress, Embellished?
I haven’t thought this one through enough to actually assess whether it’s feasible, but I’ve heard of some brides buying a basic dress that they like for much cheaper, and then having it altered and changed. An example of this is if I bought a basic, empire waisted dress and got tulle added and straps and maybe some bling.
This can save a lot because the expensive designer isn’t altering your dress, you are.
These are just the options that I’ve been able to brainstorm. My father has told me that he’d pitch in (a couple hundred dollars) for the dress if I fall in love with one over my $1000 budget, but I think I’d rather stick to my budget and have my dad pay for the beer.
I’m curious to know how much you spent on your wedding dress and whether I’ve missed any saving methods. Thoughts?