Your wedding gown is arguably the most important garment purchase in your lifetime. No other dress comes with more anticipation - and will be more photographed - than this one. But that doesn't mean you have to spend like royalty to look like a princess on your wedding day. With our smart strategies, you can still walk down the aisle feeling like a million bucks (without having to spend just that).
Today, anything retro screams chic. So consider donning your mother's wedding gown. You'll not only honor a family legacy, you'll save a pretty penny too! With vintage lace overlays and crystal embellishments making a comeback, you won't have to worry about looking dated. With a few simple (and inexpensive) alterations, you can make it your own.
Avoid Added Adornments
Beading, pleating, stitching, embroidering. . . all of these trimmings add up and are going to cost you extra. Consider a dress that is simply embellished, yet still elegant.
Don't Name Drop
Sure, designer duds are nice - but if you're on a budget - you may want to skip the sought-after label. The good news is that you won't have to sacrifice on style. If you find a look you like from a high-end dress designer, you can almost always find something similar by another name in your price range.
Just because your wedding dress budget doesn't match your elaborate vision doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the look you want. Approach this shopping decision with an open mind. When stepping into a bridal boutique, tell them exactly what you can realistically spend, and let them take care of the rest. They are the experts, and you might be surprised to see what they can come up with-the perfect wedding gown exists at every price point.
Be on the lookout for sample sales, trunk shows, and outlet bargains. Bridal shops are trying to rid their racks of the previous season's styles to make room for new ones in the late-summer/winter months, so brave the crowds for some super savings. This article offers even more advice on shopping for wedding dresses .
Think Outside Traditional Tulle and Lace
There's no written rule that says your wedding day attire has to be an official bridal gown. The look you are going for is often available through another avenue. For instance, a standard white or ivory dress can be a less expensive, less fussy alternative to the traditional wedding dress.
Cori Russell is editor for Elegala.com and Gala Weddings Magazine. Elegala.com is a comprehensive wedding planning resource with a national directory of wedding venues and services, along with articles, expert advice, checklists and photo galleries to lead brides through every step of the planning process.