Post # 1
So because of my body type (large bust but otherwise petite), the fact that I don’t want a strapless dress (I want 3/4″ length sleeves) and something that is tea length I’ve decided to go the custom dress route. I have 2 options that I need to make a decision on by Saturday.
My original budget was $600 but after some searching I was willing to go to $1000.
Dress 1: Met with this store first, I tried on some of their party dresses and the skirts were awesome. It’s not entirely “custom” but I can select a top and skirt from a dress they carry and have them create a dress from that. This one is more in range with what I had initially wanted to pay ($1130). When I first had a consultation they showed me this lovely off-white lace and satin. When I came back to look at the lace she had recently gotten in she suddenly said I couldn’t use the offwhite because the lace was too fine for what we had talked about doing. So I would have to get it in white, and maybe my memory sucks because I remember it being really white, which I don’t love.
Dress 2: Met with an actual custom dress maker. Showed her some pictures of what I wanted, loved the fabrics she would offer and the fact that she would make muslin samples prior to making the actual dress. She started sketching and it was exactly what I had envisioned. That and the fact that she had suggested adding details like buttons on the sleeves (I know, why does that make me so excited?) The offwhite ivory and champagne fabrics gave the dress a vintage feel which the wedding revolves a lot around. But, this dress after taxes would run me about $2000. A lot more than my initial $600 budget.
So my question is, how did you come up with your budget, did you make a leap to a next bracket in price because you loved something more? My wedding is a budget conscious one, I’m making the bow-ties and the decor. I’m just having a hard time thinking about spending so much money on a dress I will wear once. But my 2 close friends that came with me to meet the lady for dress 2 said this is one area that I shouldn’t skimp out on. I’m just frugal!!
Any advice would be welcome 🙂
Post # 2
I’m super frugal too, so I feel your pain. I originally wanted to stay under $1000 for my dress, but I couldn’t find anything I liked at all in that range. It wasn’t until I started looking in the $1200 – $2000 range that I started getting excited about dress options. My dress was $1500, but with shipping and alterations and veil it will be about $2000. I personally have no regrets about spending more on the dress and less on other things for the wedding. One thing to keep in mind about the custom dress is that alterations will be minimal, so you may be able to save on extra costs after the dress is finished. I think that you should go with the dress that matches with your vision 🙂
Post # 3
My budget was $2k. I knew I could get something well made of silk (I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on polyester!). Some of the gowns I really loved browsing online where much more expensive (Lazaro, Romona Kaveza, etc) but $4k plus on a wedding gown was just absurd for our overall budget.
The second dress sounds really awesome, so I’d seriously consider it. Another bee dyed her wedding gown black after the wedding and now wears it to formal events. You could do something with your gown (either one) and get more mileage out of it, too.
Post # 4
I am on a tight budget as well. I had also set my original budget to around $600, and wouldn’t touch a dress more than $1000 no matter how pretty it looked.
I couldn’t find anything I liked in that price range at all. So I decided to allow myself to go a few hundred over $1000 and see what happened. For my next shopping trip I also had some specific dresses picked out that I wanted to try. I ended up finding my dress this time – but it was $1300 plus tax. I even got emotional because I loved it so much but I couldn’t justify the price. That was when my mom told me she would pay for half so I could keep myself within my original budget. Since FI and I are paying for the whole wedding ourselves, this is actually a huge help and we are very grateful for this!
I went home and called around all the salons within driving distance from me and I found it for $1100 at another salon. This helped ease my mind as well.
Not sure if this helps with your decision, but I really think you should do what you feel is right. Do I think there’s a $4000 dress out there that suits me better? Maybe. Could someone have custom made me a dress that I could love more? Maybe. But I still don’t regret my decision because not only is looking beautiful on your wedding day important, so is staying on budget (IMO).
So I guess if I were in your shoes, I would exhaust all my resources to try and find a dress you’re happy with in the lower price range before deciding to increase the budget to $2000.
Post # 5
I had a budget of 2k. My parents were buying my dress- but that didn’t mean I wanted to spend up to that amount. I went to a sample sale at fancy-pants bridal salon in our city- and I found a gorgeous Amsale for $800 (down from $4500)- we bought it on the spot- even though it was 6 sizes too small (I was a bridal 14, sample was an 8)- I *knew* I’d have to have extensive alterations that needed to be done. So I budgeted in $500-$700- and sure enough it was $550. Still, for a designer gown- I’m happy with $1550.
Plus I also factored in how much I can sell it for after the wedding.
This was the second store I went to. And my tip for brides who find a great dress and buy it. If you don’t want to be a two-dress bride. JUST STOP SHOPPING. I’ve lost 20lbs since my initial purchase- and I really want to go try on some other dresses to see what would look good on me now. Buuuut- I don’t want to fall in love with anything else.
Post # 6
artdeco: I also had a budget of $600 for mine. The first place I went to was David’s Bridal and I didn’t like any of my options in that price range. The second place I went to had much pricer dresses (in the $1500 and up range), so I went straight to the sample rack. I found my dress there. Originally over a $1000 and I paid $499. The fact that it was a sample never bothered me, but it does some people.
Post # 7
bleusteel: The dress will definitely be $2000 including several fittings with alterations. I believe the last fitting will be about a month before my wedding so I won’t need to pay for alterations. I guess I need to get over the frugal mindset when it comes to this. My FI said to just buy the dress I love and what I would feel comfortable in and not worry that’s it’s more money that I had originally wanted to spend. Which helps ease my mind. Are you planning on doing anything with your dress after?
LoveBugBee: Did you end up buying a dress? Yes $4000 I wouldn’t even consider or look at! The dying option sounds really cool, but it would still seem so formal of a dress. I think the styling that I’m thinking of would be very classic so if I had a future daughter or DIL I would think that perhaps they would consider wearing it.
MissKayDee: Yes I’ve looked a lot of places. A lot of dresses online (don’t want to go the designer knock off made in China route) that were still pretty expensive for what I was looking for. Went to several “bridal” salons but nothing that I was looking for, went to a vintage shop and liked the dress but after alterations it would become a $1500 dress and not be entirely what I wanted. I found a cheaper dressmaker but I’m not confident she could create what I would want and after purchasing the fabrics it would still be about $1200 and I’d be taking a risk. Our close personal friend offered to pay half but I couldn’t accept.
Post # 8
pepsint: $1550 is pretty reasonable and yes since yours is a designer dress you can probably re-sell it. I suppose I could attempt to sell mine after but as a custom dress it might be difficult. I also think since the one I’d like to have made is such a classic looking dress, it’s something I may want to preserve and keep for my kids. And definitely I would stop looking because you would start to second guess yourself and have dress envy even though you were happy with your first choice.
TeeBee25: I wasn’t impressed with the dresses at David’s Bridal, maybe because I am going for something retro with sleeves and mostly everything in bridal shops are strapless dresses. That’s another issue with trying to find something at a sample sale is the style of dress I have in mind. Our wedding is very intimate but also retro inspired so I want a fun dress. Simple is definitely not a bad thing!
Post # 9
I know it’s risky but have you looked into going hte China route? Most places can customize the gown completely. I had a really great experience with DH Gate Denia’s bridal. And they may even be able to do it under your $600 original budget! You can even pay more for up graded fabrics. If you have a seamstress at home and time if it doesn’t fit quite right you could get it altered.