The number one priority for most brides to be is finding the perfect wedding dress. This is your one day to look and feel the most beautiful in your life, so of course you want to find a dress that makes you feel this way. But you also don’t want to blow your budget – so what do you do? Don’t panic, there are plenty of tips and resources for finding your perfect outfit without breaking the bank.

Renting

If you have your sights set on a designer wedding dress, then an increasingly popular choice is to rent one. Of course, some brides want to keep their dress forever for the memories, but if you aren’t one of these, renting is a great option for you. Check out Borrowing Magnolia, where you can rent runway creations for up to 80% off the regular price.

Wedding dressPhoto credit: Borrowing Magnolia

Previously owned

Those brides who don’t keep their dresses forever often sell them on, meaning you can buy a beautiful wedding dress (worn only once!) at a reasonable price. We recommend Wore It Once and Recycled Bride. The example below is a $1500 dress from Wore It Once, although there are many more at cheaper prices. Don’t forget to factor in a professional clean and alterations to your budget.

wedding dressPhoto credit: Wore It Once, $1500

Custom made

Custom made wedding dresses can go either way; depending on the dress maker you find and the style you want, you may find that custom is cheaper. Shop around, make sure you know exactly what your price range, size, style, and color requirements are.

Ex-show dresses and sample sales

What happens to those wedding dresses that see light only on the catwalk? Well, they often end up seeing a huge discount and going off to some very lucky and savvy bridal shopper. Check out sample sales and have a good rummage, you never know what gems you may find!

wedding dressPhoto credit: Before the Big Day

Buy online

In-store buys may be preferable for a lot of brides to really see what the fit is like, but thousands of people are turning online for good quality finds. Sites like eBay, Amazon, and even Craigslist boast plenty of options for second-hand and even local dresses. Our tip for buying online is make sure you know what you want. Scout in store first so you know exactly what looks good and what size you are for certain styles.

Go non-traditional

If you are a bride looking for a non-traditional wedding dress, you may be luckier than most. Dresses in different colors, knee-length dresses, and more casual styles often go cheaper than the standard white, floor-length gowns. Our personal favorite for low-priced and non-traditional are at Bloomingdale’s, where you can find many beautiful gowns for under $500.

wedding dressPhoto credit: Winter Blue Music

Retail stores

You won’t believe some of the amazing deals in your everyday retail stores today. You may have heard J Crew started stocking wedding dresses, and the prices and quality are very attractive. For more high-end pieces, the BHLDN line at Urban Outfitters has dresses around $1000, and even a few under $1000. Definitely worth a look.

wedding dressPhoto credit: J Crew

Banner photo: Praise Wedding