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Wedding Budget: The Dress

December 14, 2015 by The Marquardt Ranch

Here it is.  The one word all brides know is headed their way, but are dreading the arrival of.  Maybe you flinched when you saw it in the title.  Maybe you’re trying your best to stay under budget, but you’ve got so many dreams and wishes for your big day.  Maybe you love the challenge of thrifting and DIY. No matter what kind of bride you are, you have to face the budget.  There’s one for every bride, whether it’s big or small, strict or lenient.

The next few weeks on the blog are dedicated to the looming wedding budget. How can you stay in your budget while still having the wedding of your dreams?  We’ve got a few ideas for the bigger parts of your wedding budget, the ones that may seem rather daunting right now.  So break out your wedding planning notebook and settle in with your favorite mug of coffee.  Let’s pinch our pennies together and watch your dream day come to life!

Let’s be honest: your dress is probably the budget breaker you’re most worried about.  You’ve seen all the stunning dresses on Pinterest, and upon further research, you’ve seen their shocking price tags, too.  How will you get the exquisite lace or the sparkly beads you’re dying for?  And what about the alteration costs and the veil?

If you need some tips about how and where to start looking for your dress, take a look back at our entire wedding dress series.  Once you’ve got a few more ideas, refer to the list below for our best wedding dress money saving tips!

Wedding Dress Budget Tips:

  1. If you’re choosing a simple dress, but want to add a belt, try to find a comparable belt on Etsy instead of buying it from your dress shop.  This will save you money and your alterationist will be able to add it to the dress in the same way they’d add a pricier one.
  2. Stay away from custom alterations.  If a dress doesn’t have all you want, there will be another one that does or that you will end up loving more.
  3. When coming up with a dress budget, be sure to factor in alteration costs.  Some dress shops include a flat rate, while others customize the cost based on customer needs.
  4. Save a little by choosing a less formal dress shape.  Ball gowns with lots of beading tend to be more costly than an a-line or sheath.
  5. Be on the lookout for trunk shows and sample sales that usually occur in the winter and summer, right before new merchandise hits the sales floor.  Buying a dress off the rack will save you lots of money and time, even if it means doing more alterations.
  6. Did you know that some of your favorite retailers have wedding dress lines?  J. Crew, The Limited, and Anthropologie are just a few great stores that offer gorgeous dresses at a fraction of bridal salon prices.  You’ll have to shop online for most, but J. Crew does have select bridal stores around the country.
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