(Closed) When you can’t afford to walk into a bridal shop…

posted 8 years ago in Dress
Post # 3
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Everyone’s budget and financial situation is different!

I highly recommend checking the classifieds on bridal sites too lot’s of brides try and sell their dresses! You can also talk to you local bridal salons and see if they have any off the rack dresses in your budget.

Good Luck!

Post # 4
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Hahaha I’d be inclined to agree with you. My local emporium of all things frilly had a big window display offering a horrible sparkly dress for only 1700 euro, I think it was! And it was yuck!

I actually found a wonderful dressmaker. She reckons she can make my dress for ca 380 euro – maybe $550, or so? 200 for her labour, ca 180 for fabric. It’s cheap cos it’s a very simple dress – if you’re going custom, it’s the detail – hand-sewn beading & embroidery etc – thast drives up the cost. So start looking around, see who knows a good dressmaker. Then find as many detailed pictures of what you like as possible – front, back, the lot.

It’s still a lot of money when you don’t have it, but a lot easier on the wallet.


Post # 5
16215 posts
Honey Beekeeper

It’s not strange at all to buy a “used” dress. Tons of women on here have done it; they probably just don’t post about it as much. In fact, you may find something you love on Weddingbee’s Dress Classified Board.

Post # 6
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Could you pay a deposit on a dress, maybe, in one of the smaller shops, then pay it off gradually over the year?

Post # 7
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking in consignment shops, ebay, craigslist, etc.  I’d prefer to do that than to add to my credit card debt, its a more responsible move if that’s the case.  I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with spending $2,000 if that’s what you’re comfortable with.  Its all just a matter of what people can handle.  I was recently in DB and they had some REALLY nice dresses that were around $300, so don’t write them off yet.  It just might take some more time scouring the racks, but it might just be worth it!

Post # 8
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have a ridiculous dress (its true, I made a beautiful mistake, that’s all there is to it). The only way I can afford is the same way I afford anything else: make myself put a little bit away every single pay check. I do everything by automatic payment and deduction so that no matter how I feel that month, I’m paying the bills and putting money away, and THEN I get cash for personal expenses. I don’t have a ton of discipline, so its a good system.

On finding a dress, no, there is nothing wrong with your approach. I would just say, what’s your rush? You are getting married in over a year. If you could spend $300 today, in 6 months I bet you could save another $300 by making small changes in lifestyle. Cut out going out to dinner once a month, and get three fewer mochas? That’s $50 easy.

You don’t need to buy a dress today, tomorrow, or even in 2010. And stick to your frugal sensibilities and check these out:



Post # 9
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

many people save for their weddings for a long time, some have family helping with expenses, or some are like me where i pay as i go along.

I am paying down credit card debt too – but i cut down a lot on other things to put some money towards my wedding so i can have what i want. Is it everythign i want? no. but i am happy with it. 

personally one of my reasons for making my engagement a year out – i wanted time to get my finances in order before joining my life with someone else. 

people have priorities, and people set goals. if having an expensive dress/wedding whatever isnt a priority to you its your perogative, but for some women who have saved for a long time or dreamed of this and worked hard to be able to afford a dress they love, dont make them feel like poop because they CAN afford it.

you do what you can afford. and if you are *DYING* to have “that dress” that costs too much right now, maybe put off getting married until you are more financially stable?

no one will think less of you for not spending alot of money on a dress – so dont look down on women who can.

Post # 10
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I can afford to spend that much be i REFUSE! for 1 dress for a few hours? NO WAY! Check out lightinthebox.com yes they are from china but the dresses are AMAZING! And there is nothing wrong with a used dress! no one needs to know unless you want to rub it in there face on how much you saved 😛

Post # 11
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with looking on Ebay or Craigslist or consignment shops. I had several friends get their dresses on Craigslist or Ebay. I plan on selling mine after the wedding. I am pretty sure that my girls won’t want to wear what I did when they get married.

You will find something perfect and beautiful and who cares where it came from. It will be your dress and that’s all that matters.


Post # 12
523 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

A previously worn dress will still be new to you. I also could not afford to walk into a bridal store and I was so freaked out that DB was my only solution. Though once I got into DB I found that the dresses were not that bad. Some of the material is cheap, but you can find nice styles there. In the end though I found my dress in a different shop. I think it was the least expensive dress there. Luckily, I really love it. It still cost $580 + alt & fees. If you can’t afford that, then definitely look online or in bridal consignment shops. There is no shame in getting a “once-loved” dress. Good luck to you.

Post # 14
90 posts
Worker bee

Maybe try going into normal stores and finding a long white dress, or even an ivory or white prom dress.  My friends mom got remarried a few years ago and found a beautiful wedding dress that was actually a prom dress.  She bought it on clearance this time of year, as grad is over, and it seriously looked like a wedding dress (which is why no one probably bought it for prom).  Nordstroms has some nice wedding dresses that are in the $200 range as well.  Good luck!

Post # 15
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I wouldn’t feel bad at all-I spent $250 on a beautiful dress from ann taylor that had been worn and cleaned once.  I love it and I love that I didn’t spend more than I was comfortable with. Unfortunately, I’m working hard to wrap my head around the fact that my fiance’s new suit is going to cost more. But he needs a new suit.

Post # 16
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

As everyone said ,you’ve loads of time, chick. Don’t be stressin about it. Maybe make a promise to yourself to not think about it for a month or so. Then see how your finances are going to handle the wedding itself. You do want to have good feelings about the whole dress thing, so maybe step back from it until you are in a more positive mindset.

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