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How to Find an Amazing Wedding Dress on a Small Budget: Step-By-Step Guide

How to Find an Amazing Wedding Dress on a Small Budget: Step-By-Step Guide

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. After all, the wedding dress is the focal point of your bridal look. When you get the dress selection right, you will look gorgeous on your wedding day.

Although nothing beats the thrill of discovering “the dress” from numerous available options, it isn’t always possible for every bride to buy a brand new dress. A new designer wedding dress is always expensive. Fortunately, it is possible to get married in a beautiful dress even if you must work with a small budget. All that you require is early preparation and flexibility with the best options available.

A budget wedding dress will trim your overall wedding expenses. According to this article on Project Wedding, couples should allocate no more than 10% of their total wedding budget to their outfits. This amount doesn’t include just the bridal dress. It should include the groom’s tux too. Unfortunately, not all brides can find their dream wedding dress as well as fit all related extras like accessories and alterations within this limit. 

Nonetheless, it is no big deal if you are ready to go the extra mile and find a budget-friendly dress. When you do, the good thing is that you can allocate the remaining funds to bigger priorities like the menu, entertainment or venue. So, the benefits are many.

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A guide to choosing a wedding dress for an informal wedding

Aren’t you too excited with the idea of dressing up in a classic ball gown, with immaculate makeup and a hairstyle with every strand held in place, on your wedding day?

If you answered yes, it is likely that a formal wedding is not for you. Brides with an, easy-going personality cannot always relate to a formal wedding. This is because everything is bound by rules and expectations at formal weddings. A casual wedding theme at an exciting venue would perhaps appeal better. In this case, you have the flexibility of making and bending the rules. Not only is this more fun, it will be more memorable when planned properly.

Brides who have their heart set on an informal wedding do not usually want traditional gowns. If this doesn’t reflect the fun and bubbly element of your personality, there is no rule that requires you to wear it. Instead, there are plenty of dresses that are better suited for an informal wedding. This is what you should look at.

Destination wedding dress collections usually feature bold and at times, even daring wedding dress styles. These are good choices for an informal wedding. If not these, you may even find an attractive dress in an evening dress collection. So, look there instead of the traditional wedding dress aisles.

So, how do you go about shopping for your dress when your wedding is different from the rest? Here are some tips from our bridal consultants to help you with this.

1.Identify the venue first

The dress styles that are suitable for an informal backyard wedding will not be good for a wedding on the beach. So, the venue is an important factor to consider when planning your bridal look. Informal wedding venues include beaches and resorts, gardens, backyards and restaurants. Your wedding dress should be appropriate for the venue as well as comfortable for the weather. Always start your shopping only after you finalize the location of your wedding.

2.Do your research in advance

Just because you won’t pick a traditional wedding dress, you shouldn’t skip your dress research. Informal dresses come in different styles. From bridal pant suits to tea-length dresses and loose sheaths, you have a variety of options. Unless you know what to wear, dress shopping can drag on and leave you confused and overwhelmed. So, plan your look first. Have an idea of the dress styles that you want to try on. Then find a shop that caters to your needs.

3.Fix your budget

An informal wedding gown can also be expensive. Nonetheless, you should be able to find dresses  in different price ranges. Calculate the maximum amount that you can spend on your dress. This will give you a reference point to base your search on. Also include the cost for alterations and accessories when calculating the price. These are additional expenses that you will incur when shopping for your wedding dress.

4.Be flexible

You may have to think out of the box and be open to looking at more than just bridal dresses to find a dress of your choice. Since your search is for something unusual, it may not be as easy as shopping for a regular wedding gown. So, be prepared to search in other departments to find what you want.

5.Don’t settle for what is available

Like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t always easy to find a dress that satisfies your preferences for an informal theme. Fortunately, you can always customize an available dress if it isn’t exactly your taste. Explore the possibility of having a dress dyed if everything but the color isn’t right. Or you can even have the dress tailored. This gives you the opportunity to plan your look to even the smallest detail. If you can find a talented seamstress, this is a practical and easy solution to your need.

6.Get alterations done

A dress doesn’t look right unless it drapes correctly and fits perfectly. So, you should alter your dress to your measurements once you purchase it. If the boutique where you shop doesn’t provide this service, look for a seamstress who has the experience to work with dress styles like yours. It can take anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months to complete alterations, depending on the complexity of the dress. Make sure you do your shopping early so you have enough time for it and don’t incur rush charges.

7.Choose the right accessories

You can dress up or down with the right choice of accessories. Accessories can help you create the look you want. So, choose jewelry, shoes and other accessories that enhance your look. You can mix and match dress styles and accessories to look modern, vintage, classic or boho-chic. Also, think out of the box and try on accessories like birdcage veils, flower crowns and vintage jewelry to find your unique style statement. Also experiment with color to add a pop of personality to your outfit.

Now, let us look at some of the dresses suitable for informal-style weddings. All these dresses belong to our dress collection at Best for Bride. Enjoy your tour!

Style: Tea length dress with lace appliques

With dainty lace appliques in the bodice this dress is very attractive. Lace appliques are also present in the lower half of the satin and net skirt. The waistline is defined by a pleated waistband, which clearly emphasizes the smallest part of the bride’s waist. The dress also has a gentle sweetheart bodice and layered skirt, which exude a youthful charm. The exquisite lace details in the dress make it just right for a garden wedding.

Style: Casual style with High-low hemline skirt

Very simple with delightful, uncluttered details. The simplicity of this dress adds to its appeal, giving it a casual vibe. The bodice features an empire waistline. It is embellished with intricate lace details till here. Soft layers of net flow from the waist to floor length. There are pretty lace appliques in the lower half of the skirt. The tonal strapless bodice features spaghetti straps that support and act as an interesting detail in this area. The high-low hemline makes this dress just right for an informal wedding style.

Style: Fun and flirty A-line dress with hi-low  hemline

 

This dress is bound to take years off age off the bride who wears it. With a lace-bordered hi-low hemline, the dress is casual but fun. Soft scintillating straps support the lace-embellished sweetheart bodice. A crystal-studded waistband defines the natural waistline. This little detail adds a touch of pizzazz to the beautiful dress in white. Exquisite details like the hemline, waistband and pretty lace appliques will ensure the bride in it stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Style:Colored wedding dress with simple details

Here is another dress with all the essential elements for a casual wedding. The ruched bodice and pleated skirt have no fussy embellishments, but is very charming. The simple floral detail on the slim waistband complements the simplicity of the dress. This gown is easy to manage in the outdoors, and the pale pink color creates a vintage effect.

 

Style: Floor-length gown with illusion back details

This is a stunning beauty from the Mori Lee bridal collection. The 6836 dress is of floor-length, where the details are concentrated in the embellished bodice. With a V-neckline and beaded satin belt, the dress has bridal charm. However, it doesn’t overwhelm with details. The gathered A-line skirt is universally flattering, which makes it suitable for brides of most body types. It also features an amazing illusion back. This dress would be beautiful for a non-traditional wedding in the warmer months.

 

Style:Spaghetti straps on sheath style wedding dress

If your dream dress is one that drapes closely and shows off your natural curves effectively, here is a dress that satisfies your taste. The 6815 Mori Lee dress has an asymmetrically draped bodice in lush crepe. The criss-cross detail in the sweetheart bodice is complimented by thin spaghetti straps. The sheath silhouette courses to full length, gently defining the natural curves and creating a sexy effect. The dress is perfect for a destination wedding. It can be chosen for both indoor and outdoor venues.

Style: Pink beauty for the bride who loves color

Let your love for color reflect in your wedding dress choice. This Sans Pareil gown in soft pink is a picture of magnificence, and yet entirely non-traditional. From the fit-and-flare silhouette to the color, there are many unusual elements in this beautiful dress. The scintillating threads of crystal along the length of the gown create a spectacular effect. Equally bewitching is the low-cut open back detail and the deep-dip illusion V-neckline. This is a bold choice for a bride, but one that will stay in your guests memories for long.

 

Style:Sexy illusion neckline on non-traditional dress silhouette

You will be remembered as a glamorous bride, when you choose this amazing Sophia Tolli gown as your bridal dress. The plunging illusion V-neckline has embellishments that add an air of intrigue. The ruched bodice extends into shoulder straps and is gathered at the natural waistline. The skirt has wispy layers that flutter in the breeze, so it resembles drifting clouds. The artistic touch of crystal details in the neckline and decolletage are what makes this dress unique. It is a dress that is just right for a beach wedding.

Style: Black and white wedding dress

Be a bride with a difference when you add a touch of black to your wedding day outfit. This dress from the Jasmine designer bridal collection has a trumpet silhouette. From the strapless neckline, the dress follows the natural curves all the way up to the thighs. From here, it opens out into a layered misty skirt. The entire bodice has a ruched criss-cross effect for textural finesse. However, the signature element has to be the black lace appliques that adorn the length of the bodice along the sides. It extends from the bust all the way to the dropped waist, and has a pronounced effect. Classic and sophisticated, yet unusual, this is a dress for the bride who wants to stand out from the rest.

Now you’ve seen our favorite informal bridal dress picks from our wedding dress collection. One of the other places you should look at, is our bridesmaids collection. There are some real beauties in there that will easily pass off as wedding dresses.

One of our customers, Julie Santos is an example of how bridesmaids dresses can work as a wedding dress. Her pick was a bridesmaid dress from our Jasmine collection. Julie, who was married on the beach, says this was the perfect dress for her big day, and many of her guests couldn’t even believe that the dress she wore wasn’t from a wedding dress collection. Pictures of Julie on her wedding day are available here. 

So, you now know that there are plenty of options in informal wedding dresses. Plus, designers are now on a spree to bring out more and more unexpected dress styles that fit into the wedding dress category.

To see all the dresses featured in this post up-close and also search for more options, check out our bridal dress gallery. And don’t forget to tell us which of these dresses you would choose to wear to your celebration. Or do you have another dress in mind? Do share your comments and ideas in our comments section below.

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10 things you should NOT do at your wedding

We have often spoken about wedding etiquette on our blog and discussed various lists of “Do’s” that you should follow at your wedding. However, we haven’t given much thought to all the things that you SHOULDN’T do!

Not doing certain things on your wedding day is just as important as doing other things. Only then will your wedding progress smoothly and things be fine as they should. Here is a list of things that you should avoid doing on your wedding day! Keep these in mind, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many responsibilities

From making sure that your bridesmaids are ready on time, to setting up wedding favours and following up with vendors, there are hundreds of tasks that you may have to handle on the wedding day. Pay close attention to this—Don’t do anything more than what you absolutely must, on your wedding day.

You should relax and enjoy your wedding, and even the smallest task that you handle yourself can affect you adversely. So, free yourself up during the day, and delegate most of the responsibilities to those who are capable of handling them. After all, this is why you have bridesmaids, family and friends. This is also why we think every bride should at least have a day-of planner, if not a wedding planner. Trust them to do the job well, and only supervise their activities. Don’t overwhelm yourself with last-minute responsibilities. Save your attention to what is happening at the moment, as this is the best way to enjoy your wedding to the fullest.

Don’t test anything out for the first time on your wedding day

Whether it is brand new make-up or your wedding shoes, don’t ever make the mistake of trying it on for the first time on your actual wedding day. When you experiment on your wedding day, you run the risk of things ending up disastrously. The worst part is that there may not be time for corrections if you do not like what you see. So, prepare for your wedding day in advance, so you know what you will get. Make sure you do the following ahead of time:

  • Have a trial makeup and hair session, so you can comfortably plan your wedding day look and make changes if you aren’t happy with your original idea.
  • Try on your wedding dress after your alterations are done, so you can attend to any last-minute changes if required
  • Break-in your wedding shoes by wearing them regularly for small amounts of time during the days leading up to the wedding. This will help you get used to the shoes and will make all activities on the day, including dancing, a lot more fun.
  • Use your rehearsal dinner to discuss, distribute and organize the entire wedding day activities in a planned fashion.

Don’t be too busy meeting and greeting your guests

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Wedding guests despise couples who are aloof and too busy to spend any time with them. Appreciate the effort of every one of your guests who come to attend your wedding. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in meeting guests you don’t know, (perhaps they are from your parents’ or in-laws’ guest list), be courteous and make an effort to chat with them.

All the people who are at your wedding have spent time and money to be there, and they deserve to be acknowledged. Only then will your guests remember your wedding fondly. So, set aside time and make sure you smile, wave and talk to every one of your guests. This article on the Wedding Wire gives more valuable advice on some of the other things that wedding guests hate at a wedding. It may be a good idea to check it out and plan your wedding accordingly.

Never go hungry or thirsty on your wedding day

There are many things to keep you busy from dawn to dusk on your wedding day, and this is precisely why you shouldn’t be thirsty or hungry while coping with all that strain. The last thing you want is to feel light-headed, parched or dizzy because you didn’t get the nutrition you needed for this hectic day.

Although your schedule is tight, factor in breaks to hydrate and munch on something. Choose no-fuss, easy to eat and digest foods that will neither create a mess nor be too difficult to eat, when you are pressed for time. Have a healthy breakfast to kick-start the day on the right note. Plan simple small meals and snacks for the rest of the day, so you aren’t hungry. Also, choose clear fluids to hydrate yourself, so you don’t have to worry about staining your dress.

Don’t forget to plan your important photo shoots well

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Some wedding photos, like those that have to be taken at sunset, have to be timed perfectly. Don’t just assume that it will happen as intended. If you miss the moment, you cannot claim it back, and that would be a huge disappointment.

So, if there are shots that you want to take when the lighting is just right, or before you change your outfit or accessories, plan them in advance. Discuss these with your photographer, so you both know when it is time. Also delegate the duty of reminding you about it, to one of your efficient and punctual bridesmaids, and you can worry less about it. With a little foresight and systematic planning, everything about a wedding will progress smoothly and with no hassles.

Don’t lose your cool

You may be worried, anxious and irritated by the way things progress or by how some people behave on your wedding day. This may be a jealous bridesmaid, an inefficient vendor or even a guest. Whatever be the case, never react in the heat of the moment and do something you may later regret. Even if you are fully justified in blowing your top in such a scenario, remember that it is a happy occasion and everybody becomes uncomfortable when things go berserk and an argument or fight ensues.

Although Bridezillas aren’t very uncommon, remember that nobody likes being around one. When you sort things out by getting angry, nobody including you feels good about it. So, control your temper, and mentally prepare yourself to be calm and happy, irrespective of what happens. If you are certain that something wrong is bound to happen, consider your options and think of a solution in advance. If you expect a wedding vendor to do a shabby job on the day, warn him in advance. If a guest is bound to kick up an argument, find a sensible solution like arranging a distraction, that will avoid such a scenario. If things still go wrong, hush it up and settle it silently. The fewer the people who know about it, the fewer the chances of it becoming a topic of conversation.

Don’t complain

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Even if things don’t go as per plan or you are unhappy with certain arrangements, try to focus on the positives and be happy on your special day. If you have a genuine reason for complaints, save it for later. This is not the time to secretly bemoan your in-laws or express how disappointed you are with your bridal party.

Remember that your complaints are not going to change anything, except maybe irritate a few people. Also, you will spoil your own mood, when you dwell on the negatives instead of enjoying the good things going on. And think of what would happen if you were overheard by the wrong people? How would it be if your complaints were to reach the person you spoke about. This would only irritate them and make them unhappy about being at your wedding. Try to be positive, and brush off things before they get to you, and your wedding day will be a lot more fun.

Don’t be unprepared for wedding day emergencies

Wedding day mishaps happen, and often when you least expect it. The best way is to be prepared for any likely scenario. Depending on your wedding details, there are chances for different things to go wrong. If you have an outdoor wedding in summer, nature may surprise you with a quick shower. Your wedding dress may end up with a stain or a button may come lost. You or someone in the bridal party may suddenly feel dizzy or nauseated with all the excitement. So, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.

As optimistic as you may be, it doesn’t hurt to be ready for the worst. Pack your emergency kit for any wedding day disaster, or even buy it online, and you should be ready to tide over most emergencies. Find out all about what should go into this kit by checking out this previous post of ours.

Don’t get drunk

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We know it is a happy occasion and merriment goes with booze, but don’t drown yourself in it. Things can get ugly if you go overboard with the drinks, and it can ruin your entire memory of the happy event. You do not want your guests to see you drunk and doing things you wouldn’t want them to see. Plus, they will always remember your wedding because of how drunk the bride was.

No matter how well you plan your wedding, if you or your husband create a scene after getting drunk, this will be in your guests’ memories years later. Also, you may miss out or have clouded memory of several details of the special day, if you are soaring on alcohol. So, enjoy the champagne from the toast, and maybe an extra drink or two. But stay away from any more than you really need.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself

We think this is the most important of all of them. Don’t get so caught up with wedding etiquette, meeting and greeting, managing vendors and planning and organizing everything, that you forget to truly live and enjoy every moment of your wedding day. This is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion and one that you deserve to remember every detail of.

So, while you chat with your guests, don’t get caught up in long conversations that will keep you away from all the fun. Delegate as many responsibilities as possible, and try not to micromanage every last detail, or you will have no time for fun. Your wedding is a day that you have planned to perfection, and if anyone deserves to enjoy it, it has to be you. Take brief moments to look around and capture those memory snapshots, dance like you mean it and enjoy your first kiss so it becomes a fond memory.

This brings us to the end of the lengthy list of what you shouldn’t do on your wedding day. Didn’t we tell you, it isn’t as bad as it sounds? With a little planning, you can steer clear of trouble. Do you have any more to add to this list? We would love it if you could share your insights with us in the comments section.

Best for Bride is all about making bridal dreams come true. From the perfect wedding dress to the entire ensemble, décor and other aspects of wedding planning, we can help you organize your wedding to the last detail. Check out our online website to find out all you need to find out how we can help you. Our exciting offers, referral bonuses and special sales will make it easier for you to come one step closer to having your perfect wedding.

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10 Insanely Useful Wedding Dress Selection Tips for Tall Brides – Everything You Need To Know

10 Insanely Useful Wedding Dress Selection Tips for Tall Brides – Everything You Need To Know

For many women, being tall is a dream! So, if you are taller than average, you will most likely have had others tell you how they envy your height. However, you know how this factor makes it exceptionally difficult to find dresses that fit you. As the general fashion industry is more geared towards creating dresses for women of average or slightly above average height, both tall and short women do not find as many options when they go shopping.

10 Insanely Useful Wedding Dress Selection Tips for Tall Brides - Everything You Need To Know

Fortunately, wedding dress shopping is not as difficult as finding regular dresses for your tall figure. Most wedding dresses are longer than average gowns and evening dresses, but it can still be challenging to find one that covers your toes when you are six feet tall or more.

Here are some tips to help you find the dress and complete your look, so it matches your expectations.

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