Every girl has fantasised about what kind of wedding dress she’s going to wear and Pinterest is chock full of dream wedding dresses that girls are pinning and sharing about. There are so many choices out there, but if marriage has been on your mind for years then you probably know exactly which one, you want. Usually, there’s just one problem with your dream dress… it’s way out of your budget. The cost of wedding dresses has always been super inflated because of the material and time involved in making them and because retailers know they’re selling a ‘one off’ item that you’ll be willing to pay more for. In fact, the average price of a wedding dress is $1,500, and that’s without any jewellery or the veil, or the shoes. You may have a sinking feeling in your tummy right now and we don’t blame you! Obviously, you want to look stunning, but you also want to give your guests something to eat and drink, right?
Luckily, there are ways to make a saving without forsaking the dress of your dreams. Wedding dresses are actually one of the areas where you can significantly cut costs! If you’re really pressed and can’t afford to splash out for a flashy dress, read on. We’ve got some great ideas that will help you make a big saving on your dress and we can also help you to plan an unforgettable wedding to match it.
1. Forget the name brands
You might think that you need that off the shoulder Vera Wang number, but really, you don’t. Take it from us, nobody is going to remember where you got your dress from, or how expensive it was. Branded dresses come with a huge price tag and you really don’t need to fork out that much money for something you’re only going to wear once. If there’s a particular design you’re head over heels in love with, bring photos to the tailor and have them make a copy of it. We guarantee you’ll make a massive saving!
2. Get it second hand
If you absolutely can’t deal with settling for a non-branded dress, check out some second-hand listings where you can visit and try the dress on. 80% of women surveyed in the U.S said that they would consider wearing a second-hand dress on their wedding day and you might be able to afford a higher end designer this way. Many women sell their wedding dresses online or in shops, so be sure to check out all of the second-hand options in your area. There are numerous websites set up to help sell used wedding dresses.
3. Check out some mass retailers
Believe it or not, lots of mass retailers are now budding wedding dress designers. J. Crew started this trend in the US, and now many in Australia have followed suit. Mass retailers offer surprisingly attractive dresses at very affordable prices. We suggest you buy online, splurge a little on the altering process and make that dress yours. You can add lace cap sleeves, shorten the train or add some cute embellishments!
4. Have a reputable tailor in Bali make it for you
Costs in Bali are around half, to two-thirds less than what they are in Australia. With so many Australians having their weddings in Bali, the local suppliers here have become accustomed to the standards expected for wedding services. You can find quite a few reputable tailors here who have a large portfolio of stunning wedding dresses they’ve designed. Expect to pay around 50% less for a bespoke dress of your dreams. Just make sure that you have seen the final product and done a few fittings.
5. Consider something non-traditional
If you’re planning to have a non-traditional wedding anyway, why not wear a simple white dress that you can wear again? You’ll get more value out of the dress and it’ll be much easier to find an affordable white dress than a wedding dress. You can even wear a bridesmaid dress in white, as they tend to be much more affordable than anything labelled a ‘wedding dress’.
6. Revamp a family dress
If your sister, mother or grandmother still has her wedding dress, consider having it altered and revamped for your wedding! You might want to make it a little more modern or elegant, but it’ll be more special and meaningful than a dress bought online.
7. Plan a less formal event
If you’re really that pressed, you’re probably thinking of reducing costs all around. Planning a more relaxed, less formal event is one sure fire way to cut costs, especially with your wardrobe. No one will expect you to be sporting a princess gown if you’re having a hassle-free beach wedding. You’ll look fabulous in a white maxi dress, barefoot with flowers in your hair.
8. Choose embellishments carefully
If you’re having your dress custom-made, you can save a pretty penny by being humble with your embellishments. Hand-sewn beading can drive up the cost of a garment quite dramatically, so be reasonable. You might be able to make a good saving if you skip the hand-made lace panelling and stick to something a little more simple.
9. Know your fabrics
One factor that can pump the cost of a wedding dress up is the fabric it’s made from. Silk is one of the most expensive textiles out there, but there are many synthetic variations that give the exact same look for a fraction of the price. Lace, especially delicate lace like Chantilly, is going to be extremely expensive, but luckily there are numerous budget-friendly options out there like chiffon, taffeta and many others. Opting for simplicity is always going to result in a saving.
10. Shop for your dress at the right time
Twice a year, in summer and winter, bridal designers and retailers will host big sales to make room for the next season’s products. If you simply can’t live without a designer gown, shopping for it at the right time might mean you can snag it for around 80% less! FYI: At these sales, sizing can be limited and you should keep in mind that you may have to battle hordes of others looking for their dream deal. Another option could be to order pre-season online.
11. Wear whatever colour you want!
We’ve been to quite a few weddings where the Brides wore completely "non-traditional" dresses: black, red and even vintage. When push comes to shove, it's your day and the dress is such a direct reflection of who you are - no need to feel like you should conform to some sort of society norm: wear whatever makes you feel like the Goddess you are!!
12. Buy a floor sample off a mannequin
If you’re an easy going girl that really wants to make a good saving, consider buying the floor sample you tried on rather than a brand new dress. Depending on how long the dress has been on the shop floor and what kind of condition it’s in, you might be able to get an amazing saving and you can have it dry cleaned, tailored and spruced up to look like new.
13. Visit a designer trunk show
If you’re still stuck on the designer dress idea, consider visiting a trunk show where a designer will bring the entire line of new dresses. Although these pieces probably won’t be discounted, most trunk shows offer a decent discount for orders placed right then and there. Don’t be shy to ask; even if the designer or sales rep doesn’t offer a big discount, they might be glad to throw in a few extras like buttons and embellishments for no extra charge. Every little bit helps when you’re trying to make a save!
14. Don’t try dresses on if they are over your budget
Just don’t! We know how tempting it is. You see the dress of your dreams in the store window. It has just the right amount of lace detailing and it looks like it would flatter your body perfectly...how can you resist? Don’t do it. You will either end up going over your budget or will leave the shop extremely disappointed with all of the options that are within your price range.
Choosing your dress is only one aspect of the wedding planning process and if you’re a Bride-to-be, you probably already know how stressful it feels to organise a wedding alone. Luckily, Botanica Weddings are here to help. We are professionals with years of experience in planning weddings. Whether you’re dreaming of a quaint, intimate ceremony or an extravagant affair, we will help you every step of the way. Contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with one of our experts. We’re passionate about weddings and we can’t wait to meet you!