I found some interesting articles this week that inspired me to write about a feature that can single-handedly define a wedding: The Wedding Dress.
Dress Hunt Success Stories: Pure Luck?
The first article I read was about a couple who got married back in 2007. The unnamed bride had a real stroke of luck. She stepped into her first discount bridal store and found that they were going out of business. She managed to buy a $1,500 dress for a mere $300.
Samantha and Nik is another couple that had a bit of good luck. The Dress was one of the two biggest splurges they planned for. You can imagine Samantha’s joy when she found her favorite dress in a sample sale and made some serious savings.
Then, I read about Rachel and Damian’s wedding and how she found the dress she wanted on sale. She had to do a bit of travelling to get to the bridal shop, but she got her dress and it came with a bargain.
At first I thought that these ladies were incredibly lucky; but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they had more than just luck going for them. There was some real effort and research put into their dress-hunting.
I’m sure Samantha didn’t just stumble upon a sample sale while she was out picking up some milk. Rachel did her research and found her dress on eBay; but took the extra step of traveling to Essex just to get it on sale. These ladies put in the work and were rewarded for their effort.
So, what can you do? Read on and find out.
Make Your Own Wedding Dress
If you have talent with needle and thread, try your hand at making your own dress.
Yes, I’m serious.
Many people with a talent in tailoring get nervous about the idea of making their own wedding dress. I mean, it’s a wedding dress. Its symbolism is huge. Getting it wrong would be a big (expensive) deal. Right? Not necessarily.
Emma made her own wedding dress and it looks fantastic! Okay, she’s a costume maker so she knew she could do it. But one thing that struck me was how she also made a knee-length evening dress using the same top pattern as her wedding dress.
If you have the skills but lack the confidence, do a practice round! Make a normal evening dress based on the wedding dress pattern. From there, you can try it on and tweak things until you are satisfied. After that, the jump to make your own wedding dress might not seem so scary.
Look Out For Sales
If you can find a wedding dress on sale, chances are the discount will be deep. It is a good thing that the wedding dress industry have regular sales.
You have sample sales where the bridal shop is trying to sell off the dresses they keep for people to try on. These dresses cannot be sold as new and therefore get steep discounts.
Some bridal shops also have consignment sales where they sell off second-hand dresses or dresses that had to be returned (and sometimes sample dresses too).
You also have end-of-season sales. Like any other fashion, wedding dress designs change with the seasons. Take advantage of this and hunt for a wedding dress when the season changes.
Like our first dress hunt success story, you can even hunt down bridal shops that are going out of business and help clear their stock.
Know Where To Shop
If you have a limited budget, you need to put in some due diligence when sourcing for vendors. Finding a bridal shop within your price range is no different. Fortunately, there are many options available.
Bridal shops are usually the go-to place for wedding attire. Here, people help you pick the perfect wedding dress. They will help you find the most flattering cut, how to accessorize, assist you with alterations, and sometimes even furnish you with a boatload of tips.
There are also a growing number of wedding dress outlets. You can browse the racks until you find one that catches your eye. These outlets don’t usually handle alterations or provide assistance but their dresses are cheap (often at wholesale prices).
Don’t forget to check online wedding dress portals. There are websites for second-hand dresses or new ones at low prices. Some of these websites even allow you to send in your measurements where they will adjust the dress to your size at a minimal fee. The obvious drawback is that you can’t try the dress on beforehand. But the savings are significant.
Borrow or Rent A Dress
What are you going to do with a wedding dress once the wedding is over? If you don’t have any specific plans, how about renting or borrowing a wedding dress instead.
There are some definite benefits to hiring a wedding dress for your big day. The biggest benefit is that hiring a dress opens you up to a wider variety of dresses that might otherwise have been out of your price range.
You can also ask to see your family and friends’ wedding dresses (if they still have them). Wedding dresses are a big business. There is a good chance you know someone with a wedding dress packed away. What if they have a Vera Wang in the back of their closet? Just be sure to tread lightly here. Some women would be happy to lend you their dress. Others might not like the idea of having to share the sentimental value of their dress.
For me, I took the risk of buying a wedding dress online (and gave them my measurements). I managed to save about three times the cost. It took them three weeks to alter and deliver my dress and I was a nervous wreck the whole time. But I really do love my dress, especially now that I have survived the long wait without heart failure or brain damage from constantly wondering if I made the right choice.
Do you have a great story to share about your wedding dress hunt? If so, tell us below. We love hearing from you!