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How to find an amazing wedding dress on a small budget

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.

As the first step, here is what you should do so you find the dress of your dreams sans the hefty price tag.

  • Start early. You cannot zero in on the right wedding dress till you know your wedding style and venue. Soon after your engagement, quickly identify your wedding venue and theme. You can then go on the search for your wedding dress as early as is possible.
  • Recognize what you want in your wedding dress. Complete your wedding shopping research in advance. Identify the silhouettes you prefer and create an inspiration board with the dress styles and features you like. Shortlist this and you can recognize exactly what is right for you.
  • Locate the different sources. These are places where you are most likely to find dresses that fit your expectations. Again research is necessary. Set aside few hours and track down and note likely places where you can find the best dresses.

Once you have the information we enlisted, it is time for shopping. Here is how you can find a gorgeous wedding dress for less.

Sign up for alerts on discounts at leading bridal stores

Every bridal store holds discount and clearance sales at some time of the year. The earlier you identify the dress you want to wear, the sooner you can make the most of such sales. You may not find all bridal stores advertising their sales in full swing. They usually announce such details on their website, social media pages or through email newsletters.

So, subscribe to their mailing list and visit their social media page to stay abreast of such news. Also visit the websites regularly. This will help you discover limited time offers and discounts as and when it occurs. You can also contact the store over phone and inquire when their next sale is.

Be ready to shop at the right time

Most stores hold sample sales when they need space for new collections. So, time your shopping accordingly, and you can snag the best deals. New collections enter the market just before spring and fall. So, stores clear their racks around this time. This is when they slash the prices considerably, as they have to get rid of existing stock to accommodate new ones.

Although this means you will have to choose from previous collections, you will still have plenty of choice. After all, not all people follow bridal fashion trends closely. As long as you aren’t looking for an extreme or brand-new trend off the runway, you should find what you want in these collections. Shortlist the designer collection you want to buy from and keep track of stores that carry these collections. Then, it will be easy for you to plan your shopping when there is a sale. Many shops also give huge discounts at the time of bridal shows. So, you may benefit from it if you plan your shopping at that time.

Consider buying a floor sample

When you buy a wedding dress, the normal procedure is that the boutique will place your dress order in your size with the manufacturer after you make the payment. However, the shop will also have floor samples for you to try on when you go shopping. If you are fortunate to find that the shop sample fits you closely, you can ask the shop whether they are ready to sell it to you. If they agree, you can get your dress at a significant discount.

Make sure that the sample is in relatively good condition. It should ideally be just the right size or slightly bigger, so you can have it altered to fit you perfectly. A gown that is too small or too big isn’t recommended, as it may lose it’s original impact and finish if it requires significant alterations to fit.

Consider buying a gently used dress

Many brides who initially decide to save their wedding dress may later change their minds and put it up for sale. Most of these brides take the trouble of having their dress dry-cleaned and preserved professionally after their wedding day. This means that the dress will be very well-cared for. With the considerable difference in price, this is a good option.

Many brides advertise their dresses on websites like Oncewed  and Pre-owned wedding dresses.  So, stay tuned to these websites and you should come across suitable advertisements. However, remember that you may not always find the exact designer dress you want in your size, when it is second-hand. Shop with an open mind and you can increase your chances of finding a dress that works. Don’t forget to ask the seller about what type of alterations they did on the dresses, to identify if they are reversible.

Search for second-hand but never worn dresses online

There are many brides who buy a dress and even have it altered, only to later realize they aren’t happy with their choice. Instead of continuing with the same dress and ending up with dress regret, they decide to buy another dress. There are also cases where the dress is never used because of the wedding being canceled.

In all these cases, the brides often sell the dress off at a discounted price to adjust for a part of the expenses they incurred. These dresses may not have their original packaging, but are usually as good as new, and have the tags still on. You can always negotiate the price and get this as-good-as-new dress for a heavy discount.

Visit trunk shows

Trunk shows are a good place to find discounted versions of designer wedding gowns. The only catch is that limited sizes are usually available for a certain design. Also, you should expect trunk shows to have a big crowd. So, it is best to attend the show with a bunch of friends. After all, what are your bridesmaids for?

Be alert so you can find out about any upcoming trunk shows. The first two days are usually the most rushed. If you are not too particular about a certain dress itself, skip the first day or two and go when the crowd will be much lesser. However, don’t expect anything like a regular dress appointment. You will have to share space with others if you have to try the gown out. Also, you can’t linger on forever to make your decision. It is best to attend a trunk show with a number of possible alternatives in mind, and be satisfied with the one you find from this list.

Look for exclusive online coupons and discount vouchers

Many bridal stores offer exclusive online offers which you may not find in-store. Make the most of such offers and get a significant reduction on your wedding dress. Since these are limited-time offers, it is a good idea to first decide which is the dress you want by shopping at a store.

Once you have made up your mind, don’t purchase the gown just yet. Wait till they have a discount or offer on the design, and you can have your overall price reduced to a great extent.

Explore good package deals

Many bridal salons give you a bulk discount when you buy accessories like shoes, jewelry, veils and sashes along with your wedding gown. Although this technically doesn’t change the price of the gown, it gives you more for the money you spend.

You will anyway have to accessorize your wedding dress. Buy all your extras from the same place where you buy your gown, if they have a good discount on it. This is often better value for money than having your gown’s price reduced. You can then divert the funds saved for your accessories to another wedding expense.

Look other than in the wedding dress section

Depending on the type of wedding you have in mind, you may not even have to search through wedding dress collections to find the right dress. For weddings based on a casual theme, like a beach wedding or a garden wedding, the requirements are often different. Rather than being weighed down in a heavy, elaborate wedding dress, a light, breathable dress would be more suitable.

Although there are bridal collections that cater to these requirements, you can also find such dresses in bridesmaids dress collections and dresses for special occasions. The difference is that the cost is less. So, you can enjoy the look for less when you choose dresses other than wedding dress.

Have an old dress re-purposed

Has your mother or grandmother lovingly preserved her wedding gown to hand down to you? If yes, we think you should take a good, close look at it. You may not find it suitable to wear as it is, unless you are looking for a vintage style. However, with the help of a talented dressmaker, you can easily transform this dress into one that satisfies your modern taste.

Most parts of a well-preserved gown are suitable for reuse in a new dress. You can also have it altered, dyed or customized to meet your specific needs. In any case, working with an existing dress will allow you to have your wedding dress for much cheaper. Also, wearing this heirloom on your special day will be a tribute to your mother or grandmother. It will be a very sentimental moment for her!

Rent your dress

The final, but very practical option to having an amazing wedding dress is to rent it. There are many bridal shops that offer rental services. The benefits of this option are many. You can find amazing designer wedding dresses that you couldn’t otherwise afford, for a fraction of a cost.

Also, with a dress rental, you needn’t worry about taking care of the gown or preserving it after the wedding. Return it to the shop and they will do the rest. With a huge chunk of your budget saved in this manner, you can allocate it to other wedding expenses.

So, tell us, which of these options do you think is best and practical in your case?

Whether it is a brand new wedding dress, rental, discount or sale, we have all the options at Best for Bride. We pride ourselves on our lowest price guarantee. So, expect only the best quality for the best prices at the Best for Bride stores. Check out our clearance and discount section for amazing deals and bargain shopping offers all-year round. And for more tips and tricks on planning your wedding on a budget, stay tuned to this page.

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5 Steps to Selecting a Wedding Dress at Your Local Bridal Shop

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Selecting a wedding dress may seem simple, but when you are in a store filled with dresses that all have different styles, it can be a little bit overwhelming. With your maid of honor and a close family member at your side, usually your mother or sister, a wedding dress shop may not be as intimidating, and by following these five easy steps, we are confident you will find the perfect dress for your wedding day in a your local bridal shop.

Step One – Research Wedding Dresses You May Want to Try On

Looking online or through some bridal magazines will give you an idea of the kind of wedding dresses you may want to try on. If you want a specific designer, make sure to write down their name or save the photo to your phone. Doing a little bit of research online before going dress shopping will ease the feeling of being overwhelmed when you get to the shop.

Step Two – Research Prices for Dresses You Like

Price is an important factor, and this can vary from store to store. In order to get prices on dresses, it is always easiest to go to the designers website and see if the price is on there. This will help you stay within your budget so you aren’t trying on dresses you will never be able to afford. It is important to stick to your budget, especially when it comes to the dress.

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Step Three – Research Shops in Your Area

Most shops will have social pages that provide reviews from other people who have shopped there. You can also see photos of the shop, or visit before making an appointment to make sure that this is the shop for you. Pay attention to reviews that talk about the service and reliability of the people who take care of hemming and taking in dresses as you may need to have something on the dress altered. A dress boutique with high ratings and happy clientele is definitely the place you want to shop.

Step Four – Make an Appointment at the Shop You Want to Buy From

With every bridal shop, you must make an appointment. Make sure to tell whomever you are bringing with you the date, time and location if you will not all be traveling together. Appointments are important to keep as some bridal shops take bookings weeks in advance, depending on how popular the store is.

When you are making the phone call, you can also tell the person booking the appointment if you have any specific dresses you would like to try on. This will give them time before your appointment to pull the dresses so you are not stuck waiting around for them to find them. Plan to arrive about fifteen minutes before your appointment and browse around a bit while you wait; you may find a dress to try on that you hadn’t considered before.


Step Five – Take Advice from the Salesperson but Listen to Your Heart

The salespeople at bridal boutiques usually aren’t that pushy about sales, however if you do not like a gown you are trying on, you have to be honest. The salesperson is there to help you find the dress that is right for you but it is always alright to accept some advice. They may even find a dress you love that you wouldn’t have looked at before. Make sure you absolutely love your dress before confirming that this is ‘the one’ because you will be looking at the photos for years to come!

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Top Ten Most Expensive Wedding Gowns [Infographic]

These elaborate wedding gowns are sure to make you in awe of their beauty while crying at the price tags. These dresses aren’t for your average bride, but it’s ok to drool over them a little bit.  Just don’t drool directly on the dresses or you’ll pay a steep dry cleaning bill.

Top Ten Most Expensive Wedding Gowns
Top Ten Most Expensive Wedding Gowns

#10 Imperial Pearl Syndicate Gown – $100,000
The cheapest on the list, who wouldn’t want a gown made with 100,000 pearls?  This gown weighs a whopping 27 pounds and is made from silk and satin.  This beauty took eight dressmakers and two months to create.  Hope the bride didn’t get cold feet and ditch the wedding.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveGowns

#9 ‘Bach Ngoc Xiem Y’ Wedding Dress – $117,000
This dress is made of white silk and satin and is adorned with 222 diamonds and 100 rubies.  If you ever make it to Hanoi, you can check it out at the Ruby Plaza.  Just be sure to wear your sunglasses or you may go blind from the reflection off the diamonds.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveGowns

#8 9,999 Carat Gems Wedding Dress – $158,874
A wedding dress with 10,000 carats of gems has to cost a ton as well as weigh a ton.  Poor bride will have some back issues after wearing this gem-laden design.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveGowns

#7 Platinum Wedding Dress – $250,000
Platinum?  While this red and silvery gown is beautiful, seems like this over the top wedding dress would get a bit stuffy and heavy to wear.  It’s on display in China’s Anhui Province if you ever get out that way.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveDresses

#6 Mauro Adami Wedding Dress – $372,564
This silk wedding dress is sewn with platinum thread.  The beautiful embroidery is just one small detail adding to the gown’s elegance.  While any bride would like to add this to their dream list, most will come to reality real quick after looking at the price.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveDresses

#5 Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress – $388,088
Many people are enamored with royalty, and the big royal event in recent history was Prince William and Kate’s nuptials.  The big question before the marriage was “who will design Kate’s” wedding gown??  Sarah Burton was the winner and she created a beautiful, but pricey, masterpiece.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveDresses

#4 Danasha Luxury Gown – $1.5 million
This gown was a creation of Danasha Luxury and Jad Ghandour.  While seemingly no-fuss, the dress holds 75 carats of hand-picked Antwerp, Belgium diamonds and 250 grams of 18-karat gold.  Any buyer would need to break open a lot of piggy banks to own this dress.
http://bit.ly/ExpensiveDresses

#3 Peacock Wedding Dress – $1.5 million
This gown veers way off course from the traditional wedding gown.  Created with 2,009 peacock feathers and painstakingly sewn together by 8 different artisans. Vera Wang created this in 2009 and was premiered at the Nanjin, China wedding expo.
http://bit.ly/PriceyDresses

#2 Yumi Katsura White Gold Dress – $ 8.5 million
This gown carries a hefty price due to the 8.8 carat green diamond centerpiece.  It also boasts 1,000 pearls, and a 5 carat white gold diamond.  The material is crafted with white gold and fine silk and satin.  Any bride would feel like a fairytale princess at her wedding wearing this gown.
http://bit.ly/PriceyGowns

#1 The Diamond Wedding Gown – $12 million
The most expensive wedding dress on the planet.  This gown was fashioned in 2006 from the finest fabrics and features 150 carats of diamonds.  It is currently on display at the Ritz-Carlton del Ray.
http://bit.ly/PriceyDresses2

This Infographic created by Best for Bride.

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Wedding Dress Styles for every Bride

Every bride wants to look beautiful on their wedding day. The main way that she is able to do this is by choosing the perfect wedding gown to fit her personality and style. However, there are so many different designs to choose from that it can be difficult for the bride to find her perfect gown. When you are in this situation, you should start by choosing the style that is the most beautiful to your.

Trumpet Wedding Dress

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This is a beautiful gown that works best for girls with an hour glass or rectangle shape. If you are a girl who is fit but curvy, this dress will look beautiful on you.

Princess Wedding Dress

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With this gown, women who are top heavy, or have the pear, hour glass or rectangle shape will be perfect for the design. It can also help to hide tummy bulges as well.

Empire Wedding Dresses

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This dress has a high waist line and is great for women with an inverted triangle, apple, pear or hour glass shape. It is very flattering and is also great for slim brides with small busts as well as for pregnant brides. It is an extremely comfortable shape to wear and many brides have chosen this design.

Column Wedding Dresses

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These dresses are form fitting and tend to hug the body. For women who are not as confident about their bodies, this may not be the best option for them to choose. It works great for brides who are slim and have balanced figures.

Ball Gown

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The ball gown dress is usually referred to as the fairy-tale wedding gown. This is the dress that you would expect to see Cinderella wearing. They are very dramatic dresses that flare out from the waist line. They usually come with a fitted bodice and work great for women with a pear shape, the hour glass shape, inverted triangle, rectangle or even apple shapes.

Making the Decision

When you are choosing your wedding gown, it is best to choose a style that you will feel comfortable with. Take into consideration your body shape and try on a few dresses in each style. Once you have found the style dress that you love the most, you can focus on the dresses that are available in that style range.

Whether you are planning an over the top wedding with glamourous dresses or something a little more budget friendly, you will be able to find dresses in each style that will fit well with your budget. Make sure that you take your time and find the dress that will make you feel the most beautiful. With the nerves that you will be experiencing on your big day, the last thing that you need is a dress that will make you feel uncomfortable.

Don’t forget to visit Best for Bride to find the wedding gown of your dreams. The store offers options for every bride, every budget and every preferred wedding gown style.