Although debatable, the focal point of a wedding is the bride and her wedding dress, ranging from simple and sweet to the über fabulous. If you’re a bride on a budget, though, getting the perfect wedding dress can be a hassle – but not impossible. According to Susan Sardone of About.com, the average amount spent on a wedding dress is $800, and those averages appear to be rising. So how do you buy the dress of your dreams without going into debt? Simple – shop like a Kickass Bride.
The Five Simple Dress Solutions, The Kickass Way
To get the best deal on your perfect wedding gown, you will need to use alternative ways to shop for your gown (sorry ladies, David’s Bridal is out for many, many reasons). Although it may be more unconventional than doing it the traditional way, it will save you hundreds and a lot of headache, which is what Kickass Brides aim to achieve – the satisfaction that you’ve done something unique without spending needless amounts of money. Here are five simple tips that will save you money without sacrificing quality:
1. Avoid bridal shops.
Bridal shops always tend to be expensive, sometimes with pushy salespeople who make their money on commission. David’s Bridal, a very well-known bridal shop chain, is a great example of this, with numerous complaints on sites such as Ripoffreport.com and Complaints.com. Avoid bridal shops if you can, and if you can’t, be wary of the salespeople – they may not always want what’s best for you.
2. Go for a different style.
You don’t have to buy an actual wedding dress, as there are many non-wedding dresses that could fit the bill. For example, buying a bridesmaid’s dress in white or off-white can save you hundreds of dollars, as reported by About.com’s wedding expert, Nina Callaway. There are many dresses intended for a bridesmaid that could be easily passed off for a fancy wedding gown (just don’t let anyone know!). Also, look for discontinued styles, as they are usually cheap. If you truly want to be unique, look for a dress that isn’t white – ivory is a good pick, and some even dare to go with deep red. You aren’t certainly required to wear white.
Historical Fact: Wearing white didn’t come into popularity until 1840, when Queen Victoria married in white. Don’t be afraid to start your own trend!
3. Shop online.
Another great way to save money on your wedding dress is by shopping online. It is very easy to save hundreds of dollars going this route, but it does present some risks. Make sure you know your measurements beforehand and do your research, in order to avoid any hassle. One popular place is Ebay, with a wide variety of wedding dresses sold by individual sellers. There are a handful of scam artists and dishonest sellers though, so check their feedback for any neutral or negative comments, and ask on wedding message boards about the seller. Some other key factors to look out for are:
– If the seller is not from North America. Not only are shipping costs expensive, but it may take a while to arrive. Another difficulty is the language barrier between you and the seller, and you may not be able to communicate effectively with him/her.
– If the seller uses a stock image of the gown and won’t show any pictures of the actual dress. Not only is this a sign of a scam, the seller may just make knock-off versions of the dress with cheaper material.
– The price is too low. It’s nice to find great deals on dresses, but sometimes it’s too low to be authentic.
Great dresses can be bought at very low prices on Ebay, but make sure you order safely, so that you’re not sorry later on.
4. Something borrowed, something true!
Fulfill the something borrowed adage by borrowing someone else’s wedding dress. Chances are your mother still has her wedding dress from years ago – this is a great time for you to honor her and wear her wedding dress. If you don’t like the style, have it styled the way you want by a professional seamstress.
5. Make your own wedding dress.
Believe it or not, making your own wedding dress is cheaper than buying one yourself! Find someone with experience in making wedding dresses and have that person make it for you (if it is a relative, it can be counted as a wedding gift). Not only is it cheaper, you can have it made the way you want and is a way to express your true individuality.
As you can see, with some resourceful thinking and creativity you can have the wedding dress you want without sacrificing thousands for it – and you can be satisfied with yourself, as a truly Kickass Bride should be. For more informative tips about budget weddings, check out the entire series of The Kickass Bride’s Guide to Budget Weddings, exclusive at Associated Content.