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thrifty Weddings: Dresses

I could never understand why someone would spend a fortune on a dress they were only going to wear once.  I know that wedding dresses are a big deal and maybe my fashion resistant brain just doesn’t get the significance.  That’s not to say that I don’t admire the beauty of many of these dresses but I feel that there are plenty of ways to have a fantasy dress and not break the bank.

I often see dresses at second hand stores.  They are pricey compared to the other items in these stores but a bargain when you compare them to the brand new price.  There is a problem with this – it may be hard to find “the” dress in your size.  If you really want to find a bargain, I suggest starting early.  My husband and I were engaged for a year but I had my dress prior to that time.  I’m not going to explain why because it’s a long and not very interesting story but I will say that I found my perfect dress on ebay and it was affordable.  I had no problem purchasing it and storing it away.  It’s actually not a weird concept since there was a time when young women put together their “trunk” of wedding items.  To have a dress ahead of time may just mean you found the perfect dress at the wrong time but figured it would store just fine.

There are plenty of places that do affordable wedding dresses.  I know that when we were planning our wedding, my mom watched for wedding dress sales (I had a moment when I thought I might have wanted a new dress).  A well known wedding dress store started advertising a sale – dresses for $99.  We opted not to go which was fortunate because a riot practically broke out in the store during the sale.  Not exactly how I wanted to acquire my dress.

I’m not well focused today so I’m going to do a list

1. shop second hand stores

2. try ebay

3. make your own dress or have someone in your family make the dress(es)

4. buy a nice dress not marked as a wedding dress – often times you can find an equally beautiful evening dress, even in white, for a fraction of the cost.  Calling it a wedding dress means they can charge more.

5. Casual weddings call for casual dresses.  I know I’m all for casual weddings because they are more intimate and they are far less expensive.

These same tips go for the bridal party dresses.  My goal with my bridesmaids was to find a dress that they could wear after the wedding and wasn’t going to cost them much.  I found beautiful floral tea dresses online for well under $50.  Our groomsmen work black slacks and then we found them all matching shirts.  Since we got business casual shirts, they weren’t all that pricey.

Don’t feel the pressure to get something fancy and brand new.  There is no shame in wearing an inexpensive dress.  Personally, I was far more comfortable in my dress than I would have been in a “wedding” dress.  I can’t eat without spilling so wearing something that I could be comfortable in and not stress if I got something on it made my day so much better.  I didn’t have a train to be stepped on or soiled by being outside.  I was still beautiful and I look at my wedding pictures with joy.  To me, that’s all that mattered.  On that day, I felt like a princess.