5 Tips to Keep Your Wedding Dress Shopping on Budget!

The wedding dress is probably one of the priciest investments you will make for your wedding and it’s definitely one purchase that put a dent in our wedding budget. While some brides rent their dress or purchase a used dress for their big day, most prefer to go the traditional route to purchase a wedding dress that they can keep for years to come. Finding that perfect wedding dress is an adventure in itself and you’ll need to set aside some time to try on dozens of dresses until you find the right match. It can take weeks, even months, to find The One but your effort will pay off when you find the dress that gives you that ‘wow’ factor you want! You also need to work within your budget, so be prepared to modify your wedding budget as you go.

Here are five ways that my wedding dress added color to me and my husband’s finances:
1. Designer labels. 

Purchasing a designer dress versus an off-brand that you could pick up at a local department store will make a big difference in your purchase price. A designer dress that is custom-made for you will cost you even more. Couture gowns are often designed for a specific client and the designer will work with the bride to create something truly one-of-a-kind. If you want to wear a designer label on your wedding day, be prepared to pay a premium for the dress itself and any costs associated with tailoring the dress to fit perfectly. When you are making such a big investment to purchase a designer dress, you’ll definitely want the boutique to handle all of the alterations.

2. Alterations. 

Be mindful about the time between the purchase of your dress and your actual wedding day. If your wedding is several months away and you plan on losing (or even gaining) some weight for the wedding, you’ll need to have your dress altered. Plan out when you are going to go in for final measurements and alterations so you don’t have to pay extra for an excessive number of alterations. Those costs can really add up!

3. Fabrics and details. 

Natural fabrics are much more costly than most manmade materials so be prepared to pay a premium when you are going with an eco-friendly dress, a 100 percent handmade dress, or anything with exceptional details. If you aren’t prepared to spend a lot of money on the dress, you’ll need to settle for cheaper fabrics and embellishments that may have been made overseas. Set your priorities so you can stay within your wedding budget.

4. Shipping costs. 

When you have a wedding dress shipped to your home, it will need to be carefully packed and shipped in a special casing. You’ll need to pay extra to have the dress shipped overnight or second day air, so plan accordingly. The shipping and handling costs of most dresses are usually much higher than the average shipment, so be prepared to include these costs in your wedding budget.

5. Shoes. 

Most bridal boutiques will provide a large selection of shoes to go with your dress but you can shop for shoes on your own. Just remember to consider which wedding outfits you’ll be wearing these shoes with, and how much will actually show under your dress! Designer shoes that match your dress perfectly can be another costly purchase but one that you will probably cherish for years, just like your dress. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a great deal on bridal shoes when you have a specific design or style in mind. Remember you don’t have to purchase the shoes the bridal boutique recommends, but can certainly take notes!

Aileen Pablo is a Filipina business and education blogger. She works at Open Colleges, one of the pioneers of Online education in Australia and one of the leading providers of accounting courses and bookkeeping courses .

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Infographic: How to choose the Perfect Silhouette for your Shape by SimplyBridal
Wednesday's Wedding Dress Wow!


  1. by Sandi McLaren on October 24, 2012  4:03 pm Reply

    The VERY FIRST RULE...never, ever, ever no matter what your friends, mum or the bridal consultant will say do you EVER try on a dress over the price you have set for your dress budget. I can guarantee you will fall in love with it, and then the trouble begins. Stick to your price guideline.

    • by Bláithín on October 25, 2012  9:29 am Reply

      Sandi, sounds like you have some personal experience with this?

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