Post # 1
I’ve found a dress I think is the one, and we are getting it for about the cheapest price I could imagine for something both new and silk. It is a $145 dollar bridesmaid’s dress and really seems perfect for our wedding and what I wanted. We are getting married on my grandparent’s lawn with a beautiful view of the mountains, and the guest list is mostly family. I tend to crawl out of my skin in fancy clothes and when I went to try on dresses I was just very uncomfortable in anything with beading, lace, boning or a train or full skirt.
We are keeping things very simple and are spending most of the wedding budget on food for our guests and a photographer. However, the attire budget keeps trying to creep up! Alterations are expensive, because the dress is simple I’m wearing wedding jewelry and although I’m trying to keep that very affordable I can’t wear costume pieces because of the metals, I need some sort of cover up because it will likely be too chilly for sleeveless before the ceremony, and I’d like to get my hair professionally done the day of because it is so difficult to deal with. Add in buying some new makeup and buying the groom a set of clothes for the day and our attire budget is creeping up to rival some of our priorities! We won’t even talk about wedding bands . . .
How on earth do people keep their attire budgets down? I know most calculators budget 10% for attire, but even when going as inexpensively as we’ve tried to go, we’d have to have a 6K budget to only be spending 10% on attire.
I’m trying not to let the costs get to me, especially since in our case everything but the money spent on the dress, alterations, and getting my hair done is money spent on items we will use again, but it still it feels ridiculous.
Post # 3
Why not get your hair done at a cosmetology college? It’s much cheaper, and can still turn out just as beautiful (I know many friends in undergrad who did this).
Also ebay, Etsy, Bonanza, and other similar sites are great for finding bargains for acessories and clothing (like your groom’s suit). Try looking for boleros/jackets/coverups that aren’t under bridal listings (the markup is pretty crazy once “wedding” is attached to the product).
As for jewelry, can that be your “something borrowed”? Maybe you can ask to wear jewelry from your mother, aunt, grandmother, family friend, etc. That way you still get nickel-free genuine metals, but it won’t cost you extra.
Post # 4
Mlle– thank you for replying. You have some excellent suggestions. I’m not sure they can be applied to my particular situation, but I am very sure someone else will come across this topic and use them! I certainly would if I was having a fancier wedding at a different location (groom isn’t wearing a suit, or even a vest– the wedding location is over an hour from the nearest beauty college– I’m already looking for a sweater that will work with my dress but is non-bridal and I can wear again). The jewelry idea is a great one though! My own mother and aunt don’t wear jewlery but my grandmother does have a lovely pair of gold and pearl studs which I’m sure she would loan me.
I’m doing my own makeup (but having to purchase a few new products to do so, but hopefully they will all be things I will use after) and would be doing my own hair too, but unless I want to go wash-n-wear that isn’t an option for me. With my heart condition it is very hard for me to hold my arms up above my head for long enough to do any styling. I’d ask my mom, but I have very silky fine hair and the last time she had to do anything to it she ended up in tears because she was so frustrated (this was in high school sometime). Even professional stylists often get overwhelmed when they try their usual tricks and everything the do just falls out, LOL. Having a necklace is important to me because I’d like to try to hide the small surgical scar on my chest, but that means something a little chunkier . . .
A lot of it is just exasperation, especially since we’ve decided that avoiding the stress of an expensive wedding is more important that the whole “fancy dress tux cake and dancing” part of the experience. We do still want to have a wedding to share with family, but after skipping al lot of the “fun” associated with wedding attire every dollar spent really seems to add up! I think part of it is that more mainstream brides (like many of my friends and family) compared the cost of acessories to that of their dress, and the perspective totally shifts if your dress is only 145 dollars– 50-150 in alterations is suddenly very pricey in comparison.
Also, I know another part of it comes from spending so much of our small budget (actually relatively little on wedding attire or for clothing period, but in relation to our budget) on attire and rings and photography, which conventional wisdom says guests don’t really care about. That plus etiquette and % norms make me feel like we might be being bad hosts. Right now 3/5 of our budget is being spent on non-guest items (attire, rings, photography, liscence, and around 100 dollars total in flowers, decor, guestbook, ect). That figure makes things sound really bad– but in reality we are offering our 24 guests a 4 course meal and 2-3 drinks on us for under 1000 dollars. We would like to invite more people, but it is more of an issue of not being able to invite the next “tier” of friends and family within our budget– we could do it but only if we could fit all of our other expenses into the last $300-400 dollars, which would mean no pro photographs, tons of DIY, no extras like dancing, ect.