6 Tips to Finding an Affordable Wedding Dress

So, what am I gonna wear?

It’s a question you ask yourself every day.

As you stand in front of your closet. Or while you brush your teeth. Or hurriedly grab a cup of coffee.

Whether you like your clothes or not, you pick something, throw it on and head out the door.

You work with what you got. Whether it’s something you love or just something that works.

But, you’re engaged now. What about your wedding day?

What am I going to wear on my wedding day?

This is a trickier question.

Because it’s not just about finding something.

It’s about finding something you really like. Something that you feel good in.

AND something that fits your budget.

And that last piece can sometimes be the hardest.

Because a wedding dress can cost MAJOR bucks. No joke.

And if you don’t have major bucks or you don’t want to spend major bucks… how do you find an affordable wedding dress?

Outside of shopping at more budget-friendly bridal stores, what can you do?

6 Tips to Finding An Affordable Wedding Dress

1. Check out budget-friendly designer sister lines

If you look at magazines, blogs or even at a bridal store, you’ll find major wedding designer brands. Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, etc…

Like Tiffany & Co., with big brands you’re not just paying for the quality, but the brand.

And this costs you.

But, let’s say you have a thing for a designer. Or you want a designer style, but not a designer price.

Some of the big wedding designers have a more budget-friendly sister line.

They create dresses within their style, but at a much more affordable price. Which can be your chance to get a designer wedding dress for less.

2. Buy a past season’s wedding dress

Bride in her beachy wedding dress a a destination wedding in Hawaii by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning program
(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

Wedding dresses, like fashion comes in seasons.

And with a new season, stores and designers are looking to get rid of past season’s dresses.

Just like how a sale of shorts and tank tops happens at the start of fall, a past year’s wedding dresses go on sale when the new ones come out.

And an easy way to scoop up something nice at an affordable price is to buy a past season’s dress.

3. Shop at a non-wedding retailer

One of the best and easiest ways to find an affordable wedding dress is just to shop where you normally shop.

Bridal shops cater to weddings, but they also carry only “wedding dresses”.

Where as there are tons of non-wedding retailers with tons of options. And while not everything is wedding worthy, there are lots of retailers who don’t have a “bridal” line, but totally have options that work for a wedding.

Whether you’re looking for a dress or something different like pants or something with color, shopping at a non-wedding retailer can give you way more options.

And in almost all cases, it can be much more affordable than a bridal store.

4. Buy used

So, not everyone feels comfortable buying second hand, and I get that.

But, it’s a great way to save money on your wedding dress.

Buying a used dress also gives you the opportunity to get a designer brand without paying a lot for it.

And the biggest bonus? It’s good for the environment too. You’re recycling!

So, you’re not only getting a budget friendly wedding dress, but an earth-friendly one too.

5. Rent one

Classic bridal moment at a destination wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning course
(Photo credit: Strotz Photography)

And to go one step further, why buy a wedding dress when you can rent one?

Renting has come a long way and there are definitely options for an affordable wedding dress.

To be fair, there are less options. And if you’re looking for a very “wedding dress” dress, it’s harder (or not possible) to find.

But, remember that this is a dress that you’re only going to wear once. You don’t have to buy it.

And renting is also great for the environment. Sustainable fashion is such a good thing!

6. Borrow one

Bridesmaids getting the wedding dress ready at a San Francisco wedding by destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events creator of Passport to Joy online wedding planning course
(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

Something old, something new, something borrowed…

What if your wedding dress was your something borrowed?

I know, I know… it’s not for everyone. But, think about your married friends or family. You’ve likely been to some weddings.

Did anyone you’re close to have a dress you liked? Maybe your best friend. Or your mom. Or a sister or sister in law.

Of course the giver has to be willing in order for this to work. But, I’ve had brides borrow dresses before. They altered them and made it their own.

It gave the dress new life (and made their friend/family happy). And it saved them a ton of money. And once again, it’s eco-friendly.

That’s a lot of wins for one little dress.

If you’re looking for an affordable wedding dress, then use these tips! They can help you to find the right dress (or outfit) for you, at the right price.

Which means you’ll look good and your budget will be happy too.

Want to learn how to plan your wedding on your budget?

Become a Passport to Joy member! We’ll show you how to save money through the entire wedding planning process. So that you can create a wedding you love without blowing your budget.

Click here to learn more and join today.

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