Buying a Wedding Gown on a Budget: Saving Money on a Wedding Dress

how to save money on modest wedding dresses, photo by Amelia Lyon,
Photo Courtesy of Amelia Lyon Photography

Chances are that shortly after you were engaged, you envisioned yourself in your wedding dress and couldn’t wait to start shopping for one. But once you saw the price tags of even the most basic dress, you were probably a little shell-shocked. Lessen the impact of your dress on your wedding budget by using these simple tips for choosing an inexpensive wedding dress.

Shop Around for a Mormon Wedding Dress

Wedding dresses have a lot of variability in their price, and brides willing to do a little digging may find a great bargain. Prices for the exact same dress can vary from retailer to retailer, too, so even if a store has a huge selection make sure to check out at least a few other bridal gown retailers.

modest wedding gown, photo by Doug Miranda for
Photo Courtesy of Doug Miranda Photography

Buy a Basic Off-the-Rack Wedding Gown

Dresses with excessive beading, lacework, and fancy stitchwork are naturally going to be more expensive. Skip the extras and buy a plainer (and more affordable) wedding dress – you can always take it to a tailor and have them add fancy extras for much cheaper afterward.

Also, if you’re looking to save money on a wedding dress, then buy one off the rack. Having anything custom made is going to cost brides dearly. Even the pickiest bride is bound to find something she loves if she’s willing to do a little shopping.

Buy Used or Rent a Wedding Dress

Many bridalwear stores will offer the option to rent a dress rather than purchase it outright, although they usually won’t advertise this option to customers. Ask about it and see what they have to say.

Other brides might try looking at secondhand wedding dresses through consignment shops, Craigslist or Freecycle, or specialty secondhand formalwear or bridal retailers.

Bargain on the Price of a Wedding Dress

saving money on a wedding dress, photo by Cameron + Kelly Studios for
Photo Courtesy of Cameron + Kelly Studios

Like other major purchases such as a house or a car, wedding dresses are subject to negotiation in price. If you fall in love with a dress that is just a little out of your price range, be honest with the salesperson and see what kind of deal they can give you. Make an offer – if they accept it or counter-offer then great! If not, you can just continue shopping 

One-Stop Wedding Dress Shopping

Even if you have to pay full price for your dress, you may still get a bargain on other wedding accessories if you buy them all at the same time from the same retailer. See if they offer discounts if you buy your wedding shoes with the gown, or if you order bridesmaid’s dresses from them as well.

Bridal gowns are a substantial part of the wedding budget no matter what, but you can keep the dress of your dreams from turning into a financial nightmare with these money-saving wedding dress tips and tricks.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
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Modest Wedding Dresses, LDS temple weddings

LDS Weddings, LDS brides

2 comments on “Saving Money on a Wedding Dress”

  1. Hey! First off, I just would like to say that I absolutely love this website! Thank you for putting so much into it. Next, I have a question to ask. I have been looking at dresses online that are extremely cheap, but I’m not sure I should risk buying a wedding dress online.. What is your opinion on buying dresses online?

    • Hi Krisen,

      Your biggest concern buying online is the fit of your dress. There are many great online tailors, designers, and custom dressmakers. Each will vary somewhat in their measurement requirements and they should have a measurement form for you to fill out.
      Try to avoid using size numbers as decision making criteria. A size number will only be a starting reference point. It’s important to find out as much as you can about the retailer. If the site offers an online chat, take advantage of it and ask as many questions as you need to.
      If you have no particular figure issues, you may do well with online customization but if you do have figure issues, you may fare better at a brick and mortar store where someone can properly assess your body balance.
      Hope this helps!

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