Not buying a dress "traditionally"-did it bother you?

posted 2 years ago in Dress
Post # 2
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Banquet hall

I had always thought I would buy a gown in an alternative fashion. (I was hoping to find a vintage gown, but even on the smaller end of the plus size spectrum, I’ve had to let this notion go.) Anywho, my parents and sister wanted to give me the bridal store experience. I didn’t think it was all it’s cracked up to be…sales girl helping you change, giving you excessive undergarments to try on extraordinarily heavy gowns. It made me realize, more than ever, that I want a dress to my specifications. If you’re afraid you’ll miss the experience, go and try on gowns when you look for the bridesmaids gowns but make sure you’re resolved not to buy if it’s not in your budget!

Post # 3
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - SPRING VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB



I totally understand what you are going through. I knewi wanted a certain dress i had my heart set on it and it didn’t met the budget. So i had to choose differntly. I think you look around, try looking online, try specialty stores, try dresses that you wouldn’t normally. The best advice I can give you is to talk to brides in your area and norrow down a firm budget.


Post # 4
50 posts
Worker bee

I had a fantastic experience with a local dress maker. We discussed my budget and agreed I could not afford a dress made from scratch. Instead I paid her to measure me properly in case I wanted to go down the Chinese route, and she sat with me, discussed the styles of dress I liked and the type of alterations that would be possible if i bought an off the shelf or second hand dress.

In the end I bought a new but vintage style dress from Amazon for under £50, plus a second one to give us the material to make sleeves. Together with labour my dress was about £250, then another £50 for two petticoats, again custom made but by a different vendor.

I didn’t get the bridal store expereince, but I did get 3 personal consulations from a professional who took the time to undertand my style and ended up with a unique dress fitted exactly to me. I think that was a far more special experience, for a budget dress price.

This is the original dress:

This is how it will look on my wedding on Saturday! 

Post # 5
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

NOPE! I knew exactly what I wanted- a discontinued JCrew dress. I searched high and low and found it on ebay. When I opened it in the mail, my heart nearly exploded with love. No dress in any bridal shop will ever take the place of unzipping that garment bag and seeing the dress of my dreams in real life. It was love at first sight. 🙂

Post # 6
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Bought mine off the rack at Macy’s. No regrets.

Post # 7
102 posts
Blushing bee

Why don’t you go to salons to try on different ball gowns so you can decide on what materials/waistline/etc you want and then have the dress made somewhere else?

Post # 8
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

TwinkleBoss:  Hi! I knew that I had champagne taste on a beer budget. In all honesty, it’s just one day. I couldn’t fathom spending $5000 on a dress that will just sit in the closet.

Therefore, I set out on looking at preowned wedding gowns. I still went to try on dresses in salons so that I knew which styles I liked and everyone got to enjoy seeing me prance around in gowns. I’m a two dress bride :p So one of them is preowned and one I will be purchasing from a salon. However, with both dresses, I still came in waaaay under budget. 

So if you’re looking for the wedding experience, I suggest still going and trying them on so everyone can ooh and aah over you 🙂 But try either the preowned or custom route. Oh! Also to note, not all preowned gowns have been worn. On many sites, you’ll find that a good number of gowns still have tags on them! I purchased mine off of and I am so so happy I did.

Post # 9
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I wouldn’t count out davids bridal without trying. I had the same mentality at first but my inner voice telling me I had to see everything won out. I was actually shocked at how pretty some of those gowns are and so much cheaper than the ones I’ve seen at bridal boutiques so far

Post # 10
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I would also recommend calling your local bridal boutiques to see if they are selling any of their samples. I’ve seen sampke dresses at multiple boutiques for as low as 200

Post # 11
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I went to several boutiques knowing that I would either buy a preowned dress or have something made by an Etsy seller.  I ended up finding the perfect dress and buying it preowned.  I did have some issues with fit because it wound up being too small, so I found a seamstress who let it out for me.  If you’re careful I think this is a great way to go (if I could do it over I might have bought the one that would have been too big and had it taken in).  You try the sample on so you know what the dress will look like, but you also get a bargain!

Post # 12
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I got mine as a sample and loved it the moment it was zipped. I paid 1/2 the retail price at a little place that was going out of business where I stopped on a whim. I also wanted the bridal “experience” so I followed that trip up with a trip to Kleinfelds in the city. It was pretty much all you could ask for with my mom sister and aunt there. I was careful to give them the budget I was willing to spend though and only tried on dresses in my range (i know people who have been super disappointed after falling in love with an over budget dress) and I didnt like anything as much as the sample dress from that little store. I got the experience and the perfect amalia carrara gown 🙂

Post # 13
3333 posts
Sugar bee

Nope, doesn’t bother me! I basically have no choice in the matter, so there’s no sense getting upset about something I can’t change.

Post # 14
21 posts

TwinkleBoss:  Not sure where you’re located, but do you have any charity bridal salons near you? For example Church Street Bridal is run by a YWCA and they sell gorgeous donated dresses (including samples, overstock, etc) to benefit their programs. 

Post # 15
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Hidden Acres

The thought of the whole bridal gown shopping experience has never appealed to me for my own dress. I love shopping with other people for theirs, but not so much for me. I tried on a few dresses from a few different designers completely alone so I could get a sense of what silhouettes look best on me. My mom is a bit disappointed she didn’t get to have that “bridal” moment with me, but she knows I’m pretty untraditional when it comes to wedding sentiment.

This might not be for the faint of heart or the traditional bride, but I’m having a gown made by an Etsy seller that’s on the other side of the world. It’s custom made to my measurements in the exact color I want and I’m not having to spend multiple thousands of dollars to accomplish what I dream of wearing. Win-win in my book!!

I’d rather do what works best for me and my fiance rather than trying to fit into some “must do” tradition that someone insisted was correct decades ago. My bridal outfit is one of the smallest items in our budget. To me it’s more important that we have a beautiful day than spend a small fortune on an item I’ll wear once. To me that just isn’t a good use of our finances.

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