Budget Wedding 101: Saving on the Dress

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Getting married doesn't have to be a budget buster! In this Budget Wedding 101 post, I'll show you how to save big on one of the most important aspects of your ceremony. The dress!


Getting married doesn’t have to make you go broke. You can totally have the wedding of your dreams on a budget and still have a beautiful and memorable ceremony. One of the most “important” things about your perfect day is of course, your dress. Every little girl dreams of their dress, but the cost isn’t usually factored in. For my wedding? I had a beautiful gown that was everything I wanted…for less than $125.00 and that included the dress bag.

To start, the first thing you need to realize is that this will be a hunt. Whether you’re looking for a deal or not, finding your perfect dress is a hunt. The second thing is that you need to start early if you want to find the perfect dress AND the perfect deal. By start early? I mean the day after the ring is on your finger…lol. Give yourself plenty of time to look, try on and have it altered if needed so a good 6 or 8 months before the ceremony is perfect. The last thing you’ll want to do is set a budget for your gown. Personally I wouldn’t go over $200 and even that much is pushing it for me. If you don’t set a budget for it, you’ll end up spending more than you intended to. Guaranteed.

To start, see if you have any friends or family that may be selling a gown. If so, take a look and see if you like what they’ve got to offer. You never know and you might find that you get the best deal this way. If buying from a family member or friend won’t work, one of the best places to find a great deal on a gown is Craigslist. Start searching the ads for your local city and the ones that area few miles off. Be sure you look for your current size AND one size up and down. Gowns can generally be altered and if you can find the right gown and have it taken in (or let out if needed), go for it! Craigslist is one of those sites that you will have to check daily. You can easily find the deal you want there, but since it’s so busy, it may take a few searches to track it down. Also, do NOT be afraid to negotiate. Just be sure that you don’t lowball them with your offer. Sellers tend to take offense to that (and I’m sure you can understand why).

Another great place you could find a deal is your local Facebook buy sell and trade groups. The same rules apply here as with Craigslist, but these can really be hit or miss on finding deals. If you decide to go this route, be sure you post an “ISO” thread. You’ll find that a lot of people in these groups don’t actually list things for sale until someone says they need or want it.

Ebay is another great place to find your gown. You’ll want to search the same way as you did with Craigslist, but a warning. A lot of the sellers for gowns are from China so be aware of what you’re buying AND be sure to allow time for it to be delivered and altered if needed. Also, make double sure that you check feedback ratings for a seller before you buy. If by chance you do get a bad seller or bad dress, Paypal will cover your purchase so you don’t have to worry too much about getting “taken to the cleaners.”

Finally, on the hunt for your dress, be sure to check out the local bridal shops in your area and online. David’ Bridal is where I got my gown from during one of their famous “$99 sales.” Never discount a sale because you think it will be sold out. Always make sure to go in and check them out or do a search if you’re shopping online. Be sure you check for any coupon codes too if you’re shopping online to make sure you can save the most.

The biggest thing I can tell you about finding your wedding gown on a budget? Don’t stress it. If you’ve given yourself enough time and you have enough patience. You can find the perfect one and have yourself a stunningly beautiful budget wedding!


Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

Click here to learn how I made over $100,000 blogging in 2016!
Stacy Barr
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