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10 ways to find a dream wedding dress you can afford

The best things in life don’t always come cheap. Are you on the search for your dream wedding dress, but struggling with the price attached to it? Well, you aren’t alone!

Wedding dresses, especially designer wedding gowns can be very expensive. It may seem ridiculous to spend a major chunk of your wedding budget on a dress that you will wear just once in your lifetime. However, your wedding is also the most important occasion of your life, and you cannot afford to look anything but stunning on this day.

After all, how you look as a bride on this day will forever be etched in everyone’s memories. As wedding planner Ashley, of The Graceful Host mentions in this Style Me Pretty Article, all eyes are on the bride. And your guests will definitely remember “The Dress.” So, what you choose to wear on your big day is a very important decision. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to find a dress that is drop dead gorgeous without breaking your budget. Let us take a look at the various ways in which you can find such a dream wedding dress, when cost is an important constraint.

1.Sacrifice the designer tag

Top designer dresses are very costly, and the designer tag contributes to the price. However, it is likely you may find a great dress sans this tag, at an affordable price. Take pictures of the dresses you like to your dress appointment. Ask your bridal consultant to find a dress that fits your budget, but has most of the features you desire. More often than not, you should  be able to find such a dress in their collection, although it may not carry a designer tag. It is a good idea to visit stores that carry collections of varying price ranges, as well as in-house creations to improve your chances at this.

2.Keep an eye out for sample and clearance sales and trunk shows

Most wedding dress boutiques host sample sales and trunk shows at specific times during a year. Dresses at sample and clearance sales often have their prices greatly slashed. This is because during clearance sales, boutiques try to sell off existing stock to make space for new designs. At sample sales, they sell off shop floor samples at highly discounted prices. Trunk shows usually have dresses that are new to the market and are thus introduced at a much lower price. Hence both options present a good opportunity to find a wedding dress that fits your budget at a highly reduced cost.

Check out your local stores and find when their next sale is scheduled. If a sample sale falls during your engagement, plan your wedding shopping at that time. Take a look at the stock on sale and see whether it has a dress that you love. The only likely issue is that dresses at such sales are often available only in standard sizes. If you fall on either end of the size scale, this option may not work out for you.

3.Make the most of coupons and discount vouchers

Many bridal shops try to increase sales by offering coupons and discount vouchers on select designer lines. Such information is usually displayed on their websites or social media pages. If you are planning to shop in your local neighborhood, it is a good idea to browse through the wedding dress websites first. Also take a look at newspaper ads, magazines and wedding vendor listings on websites to come across current promos. If you are lucky, you may be able to snag a good discount on certain wedding dress collections and get a great dress for less.

While some boutiques offer promotional offers throughout the year, others do so at the end of a certain season or when a new dress line is introduced. Prepare yourself to shop when such a deal is available, if you must avail of such opportunities since they are usually time-bound.

4.Look for places that promote referrals

If you have friends or relatives who married recently or are currently engaged, you may be able to snag a referral discount through them. Many wedding boutiques offer special discounts on referrals. If you have friends who recently purchased a wedding gown, target the store they shopped at. If they have a referral program, you can use it to get a discount. Alternately, you may be the first to buy a wedding dress in your peer group. However, you may have friends who are soon to go wedding shopping. In this case, you can offset some of the money you spent through a referral incentive. Ask your friend to provide the shop manager with your reference, and they will either give you a discount voucher or cash back offer, once your friend makes a purchase.

At Best for Bride, we offer a $50 referral bonus on every gown that is purchased by a new bride who visits us on your recommendation. With no upper limit on the number of referrals we will pay, this is a great option for you to recoup as much of the money you spent on your gown, as is possible. Further, your friend will also enjoy a 10% off her wedding gown price, when she uses your referral. So, it is a win-win situation for both parties.

5.Find a custom dress designer

There are many benefits to custom designing your wedding dress. When you have your dress custom-made, the dress is unique and meet your specifications. No one else will have a similar dress. You can also find a compromise between the price and design features you desire. By opting for economic fabric choices, embellishments and design details, get your wedding gown made to your desired specifications. Hence it is a budget-friendly option, provided you find a good tailor for the job. Fortunately, many bridal shops have their own in-house custom dressmakers. Or they may be able to direct you to a suitable seamstress who can handle the task. Either way, with their experience in bridal dress making, these experts can easily design a beautiful dress for you.

6.Shop in other aisles

If you are flexible with your options, it is likely you can find a cheap, but gorgeous dress that wasn’t intended as a wedding dress. Bridesmaids collections and evening dress collections usually have plenty of beautiful white dresses that can pass of as wedding dress. Take a look at this roundup on A Practical Wedding for bridesmaids dresses that work as wedding dresses.You will find various silhouettes like the sheath, A-line or even fit and flare dresses that are perfect for various wedding themes. These are splendid choices, especially if you choose a relaxed and casual wedding style. Although you may have limited choices this way, it is nevertheless a good idea to consider when you are on a tight budget. You can even add extra embellishments or dress up with suitable accessories to achieve your preferred bridal look.

7.Opt for a gently used dress

Bridal dresses that have been worn just once, but promptly preserved and put aside after the wedding are often as good as new wedding dresses. The best thing about such dresses is that they are often sold off at a fraction of the original cost. Thus, it is a great way to find a designer wedding dress for much cheaper than you would in a store. There are several websites that specialize in second-hand wedding dress sales. If you are flexible with your options and ready to invest time and effort in finding options, it is a feasible solution. If you are lucky, you may even find a second hand unboxed dress, that wasn’t used. This happens when brides decide on another wedding dress after making the purchase, and try to sell off the first one.

Nonetheless, you should be careful when searching for a gently used dress. Make sure you are sure the dress is in excellent condition before agreeing to the sale. Also, determine if the alterations are reversible and you can alter it to your exact measurements if you decide to buy it. For all that you need to know about pre-owned wedding dresses, take a look at this article on the Bride Box

8.Explore wedding dress rentals

If you cannot afford to buy a brand new dress, why not rent it? Wedding dress rentals are a practical and sensible option to look amazing on your special day. Several wedding dress boutiques offer this option. They thus give brides the chance to choose a dress they love at a fraction of the original cost. After all, you will rarely have another occasion to wear your wedding dress. Hence the money you spend on it may not always be justified.

However, every bride wants to look beautiful and wear a dress she loves on her wedding day. If you cannot afford to buy such a dress, rent it and look fabulous on the occasion. You can return the dress as soon as the wedding is over. Apart from wedding dress rentals, it is also possible to rent your accessories and complete your bridal look. This is the cheap way to be a beautiful bride, without spending a fortune.

Best for Bride has a rental option for brides. For more details on this service, take a look at this link on our website. 

9.Buy online

Nothing compares with the fun and excitement of going shopping for your wedding dress at a store. However, you may not always find as many dresses at a store, as you would online. The best place to find a wedding dress that ticks all the boxes, is online. This option allows you to compare prices, designs and even stores. You can finally zero-in on a dress that fits your budget and appeals to you.

Except for being unable to see and try the dress in person, you can find all necessary information about it on the website. There will be pictures from different angles that show the dress details clearly. It will also include the price options, comparison with other dresses and other relevant information to help you make your decision. Some dresses even have free shipping, giving you better value for the money you spend. You can also take your time to make your decision without any pressure. The only thing to remember is to pay attention to customer reviews and feedback. Always pick a reliable seller to make sure there are no nasty surprises when the dress arrives.

10.Try your luck at bridal contests

Search online and you will find several wedding competitions that give away free wedding gowns to the winner. These competitions usually require you to promote their products or company name in different ways to be eligible for the prize. Visit bridal shows, shop promotions and local boutiques to find out about such contests that you can participate in. If you are lucky, you may win a wedding dress this way without spending a penny on it.

So, you see, it isn’t necessary to always buy a brand new wedding gown. There are other options that allow you to look fantastic on your wedding day, while sticking to your wedding budget. Remember that whether you buy a brand new wedding dress or score a budget dress, what matters is you are happy with your choice. Don’t worry about what others think or say. If you are happy with your choice, the details are irrelevant.

At Best for Bride, we have many amazing deals, discounts and offers on wedding dresses all the time. We also carry wedding dresses that fit every budget, that you can view and shortlist on our website. Visit this link to our bridal collection to find all that you need for your special day. 

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Expert answers to 7 tricky bridesmaid situations

Bridemaids

Bridesmaids are the women who share the stage with you on your wedding day. This is a position that you should confer after thoroughly thinking it through. This is because they have an important role to play at your wedding; it is one where they will have to handle several responsibilities.

However careful or calculating you may be when choosing your bridesmaids, you can still end up with unexpected surprises or awkward situations in this area at different stages of the wedding planning process. Sometimes, the issues may crop up right from the time you start choosing your bridesmaids, at other times it may be an issue that suddenly popped up when you thought everything was progressing beautifully.

Bridesmaids
Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

 

Here are some issues that brides have had to tide over, and let us look at the best way to handle each of them.

Q. Who to choose when you have more than one Bestie?

Enter Friends, with Monica who had to choose between Rachel and Phoebe, or Jules on Cougar Town with Ellie and Laurie! This is a situation we’ve seen time and again. If you have always been certain of who to choose as your Maid of Honor, and its been mutually agreed upon, lucky you! If not, do not worry, we have a few solutions for you to consider.

  • Leave it to the girls to decide among themselves, if you think that is the best approach. Of course, be prepared to go with whoever they decide to choose, if you take this route.
  • Ask them both. There is no problem with having two Maids of Honor, and it can perhaps be easier on them too as they can share the responsibilities and you needn’t feel guilty about your decision. This is the easiest and most practical approach, especially if you seem to be getting nowhere with making a choice.
  • If you have a sibling who you trust to take care of everything well, it is best to ask her and avoid stressing over it further. This will also save you from the problem of choosing between friends.
  • When considering your choices, give priority to responsibility, availability and organizing ability. Remember your maid of honor should be available and able to make things easier for you, and not just someone you choose so she is happy.

Q. What to do if a bridesmaid is pregnant or a new mom at the time of the wedding

Since you’ll be engaged for a long time, don’t expect all your bridesmaids to be in their current situations at the time of your wedding. They may or may not! However, having a bridesmaid who is pregnant or a new mom doesn’t have to change too many things. The best approach in this situation is to ask her what she would be comfortable doing. If your friend would still love to continue being your bridesmaid, trust her with it. If she is nervous and would prefer to back out, it is best to go with her choice. If your friend would like to continue in the role, make sure you do all you can so she is comfortable. You may have to make a few changes to plan when ordering her dress. It may have to be altered or you may have to choose it closer to the wedding. So, plan the logistics accordingly. Also, entrust her with light responsibilities, given her situation. She will already be handling a hundred extra things of her own, so don’t stress her out with more than she can handle. Just talk to her and find out all you can about how you can make things easy for her, and we are sure it will all work out well for both of you.

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Q. When your bridesmaids hate the dress you chose

It is impossible to make everyone happy, and yes, it is your happiness that ultimately matters. So, if your choice for the bridesmaids dress doesn’t find favor with the girls, you can still stick to it. All the same, remember that there are several ways in which you can work around this and find a choice that they can be happier about.

Many brides make the mistake of choosing bridesmaids dresses in unusual colors, that many girls find unappealing. The mix and match bridesmaids look is one of the best ways to tide over this issue and get you what you want, while your bridesmaids are also happy. You can keep two or three factors uniform, like the color, neckline, hemline or designer collection, and allow your girls to choose any dress they like as long as these factors are met. Find out how to do this right, by checking out this previous article of ours. The other way is to go with a neutral color or universally flattering pattern and step up the style with colorful accessories or bold fashion items. Here are some suggestions for some colors that work this way in this post.

Spend some time researching your options and be open to ideas that fit in with your wedding aesthetic. You may not only find a choice that everyone adores, but it may also give you something unique that sets your wedding apart. Also ask your bridesmaids if they have any suggestions and then make a choice that nobody can totally hate. This way, you’ll be happy and so will your bridesmaids.

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Q. Your bridesmaids think they are paying too much for everything

When a bridesmaid agrees to be one, she knows she signs up to spend some money for your wedding. So, it is part of the deal. Nevertheless, it is up to you to be reasonable about what you choose, so you don’t make your friends regret their decision later. This bridesmaid voices her concerns, in this post on Apartment Therapy, and she tells us how difficult it is for her to cough up all the money she is expected to spend for her friend.

Remember that this applies to your bridesmaids too. They have to pay for a dress which they may never wear again, pay for the bridal shower and wedding gift, hair, makeup, accessories, and these things can quickly add up. So, if you value your friendship, it is only right that you are understanding and either stick to reasonable plans where they have to pay only what they can afford, or volunteer to pay for anything extravagant. The best approach is to have options for everything from the dress to the gift, and allow them to pick from the choices based on their comfort. Your wedding shouldn’t leave any of your friends in a financial crunch, and unless you have been on the receiving end with the same friends previously, it is only wrong if you do. If you think the dress price exceeded your idea, or if they have paid more than they expected to, you can always buy them their accessories like shoes or jewelry and take that burden off them. They deserve it for all the hard work (and money!) they are putting in to make your day extra-special.

Q. What to do when one of my bridesmaids just doesn’t get along with the rest

Your bridesmaids are a team, and they do have to spend some time together to plan their roles and responsibilities properly. Having a bossy bridesmaid or one who always seems to disagree with the rest can throw the entire situation into chaos. So, the first step is to recognize the likelihood of any such problems arising, before you pop your question to your bridesmaids. If there is a difficult friend in your list, consider whether it is more important that they be a bridesmaid than avoiding arguments among your bridesmaids. If you think it is, you may have to take on an active role to avoid potential problems. This article on Huffington post gives some practical solutions in this regard. Firstly, avoid tricky situations that can lead to friction.  You can delegate responsibilities like the shower to a particular person, even outside the bridesmaid group to avoid arguments. Delegate only specific responsibilities to her, so she won’t have to cross paths with an opponent. Pair her off with those who can handle her with tact. Finally, before your wedding day, sit her down and personally ask her to put aside her differences and cooperate, so your day goes well. If she cares even an ounce for your happiness, she will handle it well and make sure that the excitement of your day is not ruined due to her petty and unnecessary problems.mix ‘n’ match bridesmaids dress

Q. What to do when a bridesmaid can’t keep the wedding planning details a secret

Whether it is because she is super-excited about your wedding, or simply jealous of what you have, it is simply wrong to tell others your wedding planning secrets. If your bridesmaid does this by mistake, let it go, but make sure to ask her nicely to never repeat it. Despite this, if she continues with gossiping, it may be better if you act immediately. If you wait too long, she can cause your wedding surprises to be ruined by her inconsiderate behavior. Aim for a solution where you involve only those who can keep their thoughts to themselves, in the planning. Don’t make it into a bitter problem and spoil the entire mood by arguing with the person who spills the beans every time. Be discrete and don’t give any details if she keeps asking you for what’s going on. If you want to handle it diplomatically, and not create any unpleasant situations, assign a generic project to her and leave her with it. Make sure it is one that won’t make a difference even if she goes around telling the town what is involved, and it’ll keep her busy from interfering with the rest.girls-685787_1280

 

Q. Is it alright if my bridesmaid lives far away and will be arriving just in time for the wedding

This isn’t too rare these days. After all, you may have friends right from the time you were a little girl, who are close to you despite the physical distance. Although it may not be easy to shop for the bridesmaid dress or plan the shower from long-distance, it is still possible. Where dress shopping is concerned, you can simply mail her the options or share links to the collection online, and ask her for her opinions. Once the choice is made, you should order it for her, along with the dresses for your other bridesmaids. For this you need to know her dress size. Make sure that your bridesmaid is measured by a professional seamstress, so you get the measurements right before ordering the dress. Since you will mostly be ordering all the bridesmaids dresses in one go and from the same dye lot, make sure you know this before you place the order. Once the dress arrives, ship it to her right away. This will allow her to get the alterations done, so it is ready to be worn when she travels for the wedding. Where the bachelorette parties and bridal showers are concerned, it is up to your maid of honor and other bridesmaids to plan it. If you would like her to attend, see if it is possible to move these events closer to the wedding date. Since you want her to be involved in the wedding as much as the rest of the wedding party is, you can consider designating some day-of tasks to her. Nevertheless, remember that she may be tired from the journey and so accommodate that factor into the plans as well.

Now that we have most of the tricky questions addressed here, we think you are covered for most scenarios. If you think there are any more likely situations that you want help with, write to us and let us know.

For your bridesmaids dresses, we suggest you take a look at our extensive collection of bridesmaids dresses here on Best for Bride. With exhaustive collections in all sizes and designs from leading designer brands, you are bound to find the right dresses for all your bridesmaids by visiting us.

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3 Wedding Social Media Etiquette rules to follow

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Have you noticed the post that was making the rounds on Facebook, where the wedding officiant announces, “You are now pronounced man and wife. You may now update your Facebook Status.”

This is of course, an exaggeration. Nevertheless, we all know that every event, ceremony and celebration is incomplete until it becomes a part of the online world today. Social media has crept into every aspect of our lives, and weddings are not left behind.

And with this factor comes a whole new list of what is right and what is wrong. If you are worried about how much networking is alright so you do not ruin the mood at your wedding, and how to make sure you do not overstep any boundaries, we have help.

Here are the four cardinal rules of social media etiquette for couples, where weddings are concerned. Do not break them, and you will do just fine.

#1 Remember that it is more personal to do things the traditional way

Your friends may not mind receiving your wedding invite via email, or posting their RSVP on your wedding website. But remember that the old-fashioned pen and paper style is more personal. Go for traditional wedding invites and telephone calls where it is necessary. This will be better received.

#2 Be sensible about what you put online for everyone to see

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You certainly want to show off your engagement ring, and may feel tempted to tweet or post every update on your wedding plans. Resist the temptation. Remember that not everyone is as excited as you are, and may feel you’ve intruded their space with too much information. Be especially careful about posting negative comments about people or plans, as news travels quickly, even if the person isn’t online. Don’t end up in a fix, where you will regret what you wrote.

#3 If you don’t want people to post your wedding details, mention it explicitly

We can perfectly understand it when you say you do not want people glued to their phones during your ceremony and reception. But, don’t assume that they will do so. If you don’t want to feel disappointed when you see them tapping away at their phones all the time, make sure you tell them so. Consider putting up a humorous board that suggests your wedding is a social-media free zone, if you are dead against it. However, it is better to be understanding and expect them to post occasionally. If you do not want your wedding pictures to go online before you upload them yourself, make sure that your guests are aware of this.

#4 Share your wedding hashtag information

This is the best way to make sure that all your wedding pictures are in one place. Share your wedding hashtag with all the guests at your wedding, and request them to upload the pictures with the tag. To do this you can either add it to your wedding invitation, or put it up on your wedding website. You could also mention it on the welcome board at your venue, for those who may have missed making a note of it.

Hopefully this clears the air on how to enjoy social media in moderation, so it doesn’t take over your wedding day. For more valuable wedding tips and advice, keep visiting us on Best for Bride.

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7 Tips to Help You Sell Your Wedding Dress [Step-by-Step Guide]

beautiful wedding dress

The wedding dress is usually one of the most important things that reminds a bride of her wedding day. Nonetheless, it is a dress that is seldom worn more than once. Unless you plan to have a vow renewal ceremony wearing your original wedding dress years later, or wish to hand it down as an heirloom for the future generations, it will usually just be boxed and sit in your closet in the years to come.

Although most brides aren’t too eager to sell off their wedding dresses soon after they are married, many decide to let it go after a while. When you think that you’ve spent a huge amount of money on it, it is pretty sensible to recoup some of that amount by selling it. This money could be used to celebrate a honeymoon, or it could go into the family’s financial budget, wedding day debt or a similar need. Then there are also those dresses that are sold for other reasons. It could be that the marriage didn’t work out and the bride decides to give up everything that reminds her of it. Or, it could be that the bride wasn’t sure she wanted to wear the dress she bought, and so decided to sell it and buy another.

Either way, it would be a great favor to another bride who wishes to look splendid on her wedding day, but doesn’t want to or can’t afford to spend too much on her wedding dress. So, we can say that both parties are benefited by your decision to sell your dress.

Now, lets get on to the more important part of how you can make sure that your gown is sold, and get the best deal for it. Here are some tips that will help you sell your gown at the best possible rate.

Sell it as Soon as Possible

You know how volatile fashion is. A design that is trendy and stylish today, may seem dated in a year’s time. Wedding dresses are no exception. There are very few designs that are timeless, and will always be sought after. So, once you decide to sell your gown, it only makes sense to do so as early as is possible. The Green Bride Guide mentions that used gowns will have a good resale value for up to 2 to 3 years, after which their worth starts dwindling.

This means that you shouldn’t leave it lying around in your closet for too long after your wedding, if you wish to get a good price off it. If you sell it within the first year itself, you can recoup most of the money you spent. Remember that selling off a gown when the style is still current means you will have more buyers looking at it, and this will potentially improve your chances of getting a good price. However, if you have a dress from the 80’s or 90’s to be sold, don’t hesitate to do so. These are considered vintage and in great demand by brides who choose vintage wedding themes. Just spend some time to research the details, and you can decide on the price accordingly.

vintage wedding gown

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