No matter where your wedding falls on the scale of grandeur, we all want to wear something a little special on the big day. The problem is that your big day will often come with a big cost. Even a simple wedding will need to be budgeted for and budget savvy brides can struggle to justify spending big on a dress that will only be worn once.
The multitude of inspiration and choice only makes the decision harder! It's not uncommon for women to develop the taste for couture gowns only to discover that these dresses are out of their price range. Madeline, the owner and designer of the bridal boutique Bridal Envy (and a recent bride), found herself in this very situation. While looking for her wedding dress she often found that the prices would mean giving up her dream honeymoon. To help brides overcome this dilemma, Madeline offers different services at Bridal Envy, such as carefully picked second-hand designer wedding dresses, the option to sell your wedding dress and a selection of gowns at an affordable price. She also gives us her top-tips for finding your dream wedding dress on a budget!
1. Know your budget and find designers and retailers with gowns that fall within it!
I believe that if you have set a budget for your dress it is important to try and stick close to it. Your budget should determine the types of dresses and boutiques you are booking into from the start. I think brides have to be realistic in their expectations of what their budget will allow them to buy. You may not be able to buy a hand-beaded couture gown if your budget is less than $11,000. Shopping beyond your budget can only result in heartbreak!
At Bridal Envy we believe that it is important for brides to have a budget for their wedding day, as the expenses can suddenly become overwhelming and costs can be overlooked. We carry a collection of new gowns by Turkish designer Tarik Ediz and we have also created our own collection of gowns to allow brides to personalise their style whilst not blowing the bank.
2. Buy second hand.
The other option is to buy a pre-owned dress. Wedding dresses are going to be one of the most beautiful pieces of clothing you own. They are intricately structured and well-made but, they will only to be worn once. Purchasing a pre-owned dress opens up the doors to high-end designer brands for a fraction of the price. This is to be said for accessories as well.
We are scrupulous about our dresses and hand-pick dresses that are in pristine condition. All dresses must be dry-cleaned and future brides are made aware of any defects (if any) before purchase. The beauty of a pre-owned dress is that most women are not a stock size and sometimes prior alterations are perfect to the future bride! If alterations are needed, dress makers tend to leave extra fabric in the seams of an altered dress in case of size changes, so they can normally be taken out to the original stock size if needed. Browse our collection here.
3. It's worth paying for important dress elements.
There are something things worth paying for! Don't skimp on the style you love. It's a reflection of who you are, so don't buy a dress that “isn’t you” just because it falls into your price bracket. Also pay close attention to the structure if the gown. You want to feel comfortable and confident on your day and an ill-fitting bodice or straps will just get in the way! Which means that you should also invest in an expert dress maker to fit your dress to you. There is nothing worse than a bride tripping over her hem that is too long or revealing too much with a hem that was cut too short! A dress tailored to you will always look the best!
4. Try on a variety of styles but don't be afraid to make the decision early.
Try a variety of styles to love and lose. Once you try a style that doesn’t suit you, don't keep trying the same style over and over. Narrow it down to the shape and looks that you love. It's also important to not stress about trying on every dress in the world just in case! If you feel like the second dress you tried was the one then it's probably is!
5. Sell your dress!
It's understandable that brides are attached to their gowns, but the reality is it is something that will most likely never be worn again. Selling your dress allows you to have the funds to remember your day with something more practical or meaningful - perhaps an eternity ring or a second honeymoon! It is also a chance for that exquisite dress to help another bride shine.