Discover the Ultimate Guide to Finding Affordable Wedding Dresses

When it comes to planning a wedding, finding the perfect dress is one of the most important tasks on a bride’s to-do list. However, with the average wedding dress costing thousands of dollars, it can be a challenge to find a stunning gown that fits your budget. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find affordable wedding dresses without sacrificing style or quality.

First and foremost, consider shopping at bridal sample sales or discount stores for a bargain. Additionally, renting a dress or shopping online for discounted gowns can also save you money. Don’t overlook consignment shops or thrift stores, as you may be able to find a pre-loved dress that fits perfectly. If you’re feeling creative, you can even repurpose a vintage dress or create your own stunning gown from scratch.

With so many options available, there’s no need to break the bank to find the perfect wedding dress. So, whether you’re planning an extravagant wedding or a more intimate affair, use this ultimate guide to discover how to find cheap wedding dresses that will make you feel like a million dollars on your special day.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these affordable wedding dress options and find the perfect gown that fits your style and budget.

Explore budget-friendly options at bridal sample sales

If you’re planning your wedding on a tight budget, finding the perfect dress can be a daunting task. Luckily, there are many ways to save money on your dream dress, and one of the best ways is to attend bridal sample sales.

Bridal sample sales offer an opportunity to find your perfect wedding dress at a fraction of the retail price. Sample sales typically occur when bridal shops need to clear out inventory to make room for new collections. Dresses that have been tried on in the shop are sold at a discount, making them a great option for brides on a budget.

Research bridal sample sales in your area

Before you attend a bridal sample sale, do your research. Look for sample sales in your area and make a list of the dates and locations. Check with local bridal shops and designers to see if they are hosting any sample sales in the near future.

Arrive early and be prepared

Sample sales can get crowded, so it’s important to arrive early. Be sure to bring any necessary undergarments and accessories so that you can try on dresses with the right foundation. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing that is easy to change in and out of.

Know what you’re looking for

It’s important to have a general idea of the type of dress you want before attending a sample sale. Do some research on different styles and designers to determine what you like. Keep in mind that dresses at sample sales are usually in limited sizes, so it’s important to be flexible.

  • Make sure to check the dress for any damage or stains.
  • Ask about the return policy, as many sample sales are final sale.
  • Be prepared to make a quick decision, as dresses at sample sales are often one-of-a-kind.

By following these tips, you can find a beautiful wedding dress that fits both your style and your budget. Don’t be afraid to explore different options, as sample sales can offer a variety of styles and designers.

Consider renting your dream wedding dress

Wedding dresses are a significant expense for any bride. A practical way to save money on your wedding dress is to consider renting one instead of buying it. Renting a dress can offer the same benefits as purchasing, such as access to high-end designers, but at a fraction of the cost.

Renting a wedding dress can also be an eco-friendly option, as it eliminates the waste associated with a single-use garment. Furthermore, renting can provide a hassle-free solution for brides who don’t want to deal with the maintenance and storage of a dress after the big day.

Benefits of renting a wedding dress

  • Affordability: Renting a wedding dress is often more affordable than purchasing a new one. This can be especially beneficial for brides who are on a tight budget.
  • Access to designer dresses: Renting a dress can give you access to high-end designers that may be out of your budget if you were to purchase one.
  • Eco-friendliness: Renting a dress eliminates the waste associated with a single-use garment, making it a more eco-friendly option.

Things to consider when renting a wedding dress

  • Fit: Make sure to have accurate measurements taken to ensure a proper fit. Some rental companies may also offer alterations to ensure the dress fits perfectly.
  • Condition: When renting a dress, make sure to inspect it thoroughly for any damage or stains before signing the rental agreement.
  • Timing: Plan ahead and allow enough time for the rental process, including any potential alterations and returns.

Where to rent a wedding dress

  • Online rental companies: Companies such as Rent the Runway and Vow to be Chic offer a wide selection of rental wedding dresses.
  • Bridal shops: Some bridal shops also offer rental options, so check with your local shop to see if they have any available.
  • Designer rental boutiques: Designer rental boutiques may offer a more high-end selection of dresses for rent.

Renting a wedding dress can be a practical and eco-friendly option for brides looking to save money on their big day. Consider the benefits and factors to keep in mind when renting, and explore your options to find your dream dress for less.

Shop online for discounted wedding gowns

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding gown, many brides dream of walking into a high-end bridal boutique and trying on designer dresses. However, the reality is that these gowns often come with a hefty price tag. That’s why shopping online for discounted wedding gowns is becoming an increasingly popular option for savvy brides.

There are many online retailers that specialize in selling designer wedding gowns at discounted prices. From overstocked inventory to sample sales, these retailers offer a wide selection of dresses that are both stylish and affordable. Shopping online also allows brides to compare prices and styles from the comfort of their own home, making it a convenient and stress-free option.

Consider buying a pre-owned wedding gown

If you’re looking for an even more budget-friendly option, consider buying a pre-owned wedding gown. Websites like Stillwhite and allow brides to buy and sell gently used wedding gowns. Not only is this a great way to save money, but it’s also an eco-friendly option that helps reduce waste.

Look for deals and discounts

  • Many online retailers offer deals and discounts on wedding gowns throughout the year, so it’s important to keep an eye out for sales and promotions.
  • Signing up for newsletters and following retailers on social media can also give you access to exclusive discounts and early access to sales.
  • Additionally, some retailers offer discounts for military members, first responders, and healthcare workers, so be sure to check for those options as well.

Check return policies and sizing charts

When shopping online for a wedding gown, it’s important to check the retailer’s return policy and sizing charts. Make sure you have accurate measurements and that the retailer accepts returns in case the dress doesn’t fit or isn’t what you expected. Be aware that some retailers may charge a restocking fee for returns.

Shopping online for a wedding gown can be a great way to save money and find the dress of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a designer gown at a discount or a pre-owned dress, there are plenty of options available online. Just make sure to do your research and read reviews to ensure a positive shopping experience.

Check out consignment shops and thrift stores

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly wedding dress, consignment shops and thrift stores can be a great place to start. These shops offer a range of gently used or vintage dresses at a fraction of the cost of a brand new one. Don’t be afraid to try on dresses that may need a little bit of TLC – with some alterations or cleaning, they can look as good as new.

Keep in mind that these shops can have a limited selection of dresses in your size or preferred style, so it may take some searching to find the perfect dress. Be patient and visit multiple stores to increase your chances of finding the right one. Also, be sure to check the return policy before making a purchase.

What to look for

  • Quality: Look for dresses that are in good condition and made with quality materials. Avoid dresses with major tears, stains, or missing buttons or zippers.
  • Style: Keep an open mind when it comes to style – you never know what hidden gem you may find. Consider trying on different styles to see what flatters your figure.
  • Price: Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price, especially if the dress needs alterations or cleaning.

Tips for shopping

  • Go early: Consignment shops and thrift stores often receive new inventory daily, so it’s best to go early in the day to have the best selection.
  • Be prepared: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to take on and off, as some shops may have limited dressing rooms.
  • Bring a friend: Having a trusted friend with you can provide helpful feedback and support during the shopping process.

Get Creative and Repurpose a Vintage Dress

There’s something about a vintage wedding dress that just screams romance and nostalgia. Maybe it’s the intricate lacework, the unique cut or the history behind it. Whatever it is, more and more brides are opting for vintage dresses on their big day. But what if you find the perfect vintage dress, but it doesn’t quite fit or needs some updating? Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to repurpose a vintage dress to make it the perfect fit for your special day.

Here are some tips on how to repurpose a vintage dress:

Tailor it to fit

If your vintage dress doesn’t fit quite right, take it to a trusted tailor to have it altered. A good tailor can make adjustments to the size, length, and shape of the dress to make it fit you like a glove. You can also add or remove sleeves, add a train or even change the neckline to make it more modern.


Accessories can make all the difference in updating a vintage dress. Consider adding a sparkly belt or sash to cinch in the waist, or a veil or headpiece to add some extra glamour. You can also add a pop of color with bold jewelry or a statement shoe.

Reinvent it

Get creative and think outside the box with your vintage dress. Maybe it’s too short for a traditional wedding dress, but could be perfect for a bohemian or beach wedding. You could also dye the dress a different color, or even use the fabric to create a new dress altogether.

With a little imagination and creativity, you can turn a vintage dress into the dress of your dreams. Whether you choose to tailor it, accessorize it, or reinvent it, a vintage dress can add a touch of timeless elegance to your special day.

DIY your own stunning wedding dress on a budget

If you’re on a tight budget for your wedding, consider making your own wedding dress. Not only will it save you money, but it will also add a personal touch to your special day.

With some creativity and basic sewing skills, you can create a beautiful and unique wedding dress that reflects your personal style. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Choose the right fabric

  • Satin: A classic choice for wedding dresses, satin is elegant and luxurious. It’s also forgiving and easy to work with.
  • Lace: A romantic and feminine choice, lace can be used to create a variety of different looks, from vintage to modern.
  • Tulle: A lightweight and delicate fabric, tulle is perfect for creating a dreamy, ethereal look.

Find a pattern

Look for a pattern that suits your skill level and style. You can find patterns online or at your local fabric store.

If you’re feeling confident, you can even try to create your own pattern by combining different elements from your favorite dresses. Just be sure to make a muslin or practice dress first to ensure the fit is right.

Add your own personal touches

  • Accessories: Add some sparkle to your dress with a beaded belt, a sash, or some delicate jewelry.
  • Embellishments: Add some texture to your dress with appliques, embroidery, or lace details.
  • Color: Who says a wedding dress has to be white? Add some color to your dress with a pastel shade, or go bold with a bright hue.

Remember, creating your own wedding dress takes time and patience. Give yourself plenty of time to work on your dress, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. With a little creativity and determination, you can create a stunning wedding dress that you’ll cherish for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find cheap wedding dresses?

There are several places where you can find affordable wedding dresses, including consignment shops, sample sales, online marketplaces, and discount retailers. Many brides also choose to rent their wedding dresses or buy second-hand dresses to save money. Keep in mind that you may need to do some research and be patient to find the perfect dress within your budget.

How do I know if a cheap wedding dress is good quality?

The price of a wedding dress doesn’t always indicate its quality. To ensure you’re getting a good deal on a dress, check the fabric, stitching, and details such as beading and lacework. Try on the dress and walk around in it to see how it fits and moves. Reading reviews from other brides who have purchased the same dress can also be helpful in determining its quality.

Is it okay to buy a used wedding dress?

Buying a used wedding dress is a great way to save money and reduce waste. You can find pre-owned wedding dresses at consignment shops, online marketplaces, and through bridal gown rental companies. Just make sure to thoroughly inspect the dress for any damage or stains, and have it professionally cleaned and altered to fit your body.

How far in advance should I start looking for a wedding dress?

It’s recommended to start looking for a wedding dress at least 9-12 months before your wedding date, especially if you’re ordering a custom dress or buying a dress from a bridal salon. This will give you enough time to find the perfect dress, have it altered, and make any necessary adjustments. If you’re on a tight timeline, don’t worry – many places offer rush alterations or have dresses available for immediate purchase.

Can I alter a cheap wedding dress to make it look more expensive?

Absolutely! With the right alterations and accessories, you can easily elevate the look of a budget-friendly wedding dress. Consider adding beading or lacework, changing the neckline or sleeves, or adding a statement belt or veil. You can also choose high-quality jewelry and shoes to complete the look.

What should I do with my wedding dress after the wedding?

There are several options for what to do with your wedding dress after the big day. You can preserve it in a storage box or frame it as a keepsake, donate it to a charity or thrift store, sell it online or at a consignment shop, or repurpose it into a different garment or accessory. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to properly clean and store the dress to keep it in good condition.

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