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Cutting Wedding Costs: Find a Wedding Dress for Less

Considering many dresses carry price tags of a thousand dollars or more it pays to do your homework when shopping for a wedding dress. These tips should help you in that process.


Find One in the Family

Many people save their wedding dresses. There may be several people in your family that would be willing to loan or give you their dress. Obviously, it has to be a style that you want to wear. But if you like the style you probably can have it altered to fit.

Rent a Dress

The ability to rent a wedding is becoming more and more common. This allows you to get the dress of your dreams without having to pay the purchase price.

Make a Dress

Find a pattern and fabric and either make it yourself or have someone else do it.

Shop Around

The first thing you should do is find a style of wedding dress that you love. Once you have chosen a style that will make you look your best there are a number of places to look for your dress and get a discounted price.


  1. Shop Online: You can buy both new and used dresses online at discount prices. You can also test your luck with Ebay.
  2. Consignment Shops: While you are looking for a dress a lot of other people are cleaning out their closets and selling theirs. Consignment shops offer a good opportunity versus buying online because you can view the dresses in person and try them on before buying.
  3. Discount Stores: Bridal discount stores and outlets also offer an opportunity to find dress for less than retail.

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By Lynne (Guest Post)
April 14, 20040 found this helpful

If the city you live in is large enough to have a Bridal Expo or Fair, go! There's usually a LARGE selection of bridal dresses there to look through and try on and purchase (or order, if your size isn't there), and the selection is much larger and prices are much less than what you'll see in a boutique. I found my wedding dress at an Expo.


It was a gorgeous Demitrios off-the-shoulder white silk with fitted bodice and long train, and the neckline was trimmed with a wide band of white silk daisies. The daisies were tacked down only in the middle of each flower, making a ruffled effect. For this, I paid less than $300, much less than what I saw in the other retail shops I visited.

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By Linne Dodds (Guest Post)
April 15, 20040 found this helpful

I've seen some Lovely wedding dresses & other formal dresses such as prom & pageant dresses at Thrift Shops. Yes,indeed even good old Good Will. The dresses are not in shabby shape either.

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By Sheila (Guest Post)
January 4, 20050 found this helpful

Try as many thrift stores that you can drive to. We have thrift store here that has wedding dresses from $20.. to $90.00. I found my wedding dress for $40.00 there. I have also seen wedding dresses at yard sales. If I didn't already have the perfect wedding dress, there was one at a yardsale for $20.00 that I wanted.


I would not advise renting one since you can not pass it down to a daughter or daughter-in-law. Not even to a family member. Good luck! Sincerely, mom of 6. Also ebay has had some beautiful ones. Type wedding then click search you can find some inexpensive ones there also. Sheila.

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By kittikat1119 (Guest Post)
January 30, 20050 found this helpful

I am a huge believer in ebay! I got my Jasmine wedding dress (worth around $1000) brand new for only $153. It had a chapel train with beautiful embroidery and beading on the train and bodice. I didnt have to alter it at all! The trick is to buy from a seller with a high rating (the lady I bought mine from owns a bridal shop and sells display and old patterns for a fraction of what they are worth) and check the measurements to make sure it will fit you ok.


I hope this helped someone.

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April 15, 20050 found this helpful

I'm being married for the second time, this October.

I found my dress in a Salvation Army Store, for $5.99! Best purchase I ever made! It looks beautiful on me, and will only need to be cleaned, and the faux pearls reattached at the neckline. A good friend of mine is making an under slip for it, in Hunter Green. My groom is wearing a Hunter Green banded-collar shirt, black leather Western vest, black jeans, and black crinkle-top cowboy boots. We're being married in a smoke-free, alcohol-free dance hall!

Here's the picture of my dress!

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July 20, 20080 found this helpful

I purchased my wedding dress on eBay for $56 (including shipping) from a highly rated seller and when it arrived, it still had tags on it with an original price of $700! I measured myself beforehand and made sure to choose a style that would be easy to alter. A good undergarment (long line bra, bust pads, etc) will sometimes help fix minor problems in the way a bodice fits, but if you're short, keep in mind that most gowns are cut for women 5'9 and up.


Don't count on wearing ultra high heels to offset the length, because the pain of uncomfortable shoes will ruin your fun! Pick a style that has little/no embellishment at the bottom, because it may end up being cut off during the hemming process. Taking a gown up at the waist is another option to preserve the hemline decoration, but this alteration usually costs somewhat more. I was lucky enough to have a mother who could hem and bustle my gown, but I advise consulting with a seamstress before making your purchase.

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