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Cheap wedding dresses and gowns!

Updated on September 17, 2014

Wedding gown dress

My dress laying pretty but $600.00 +?  I don't think so...
My dress laying pretty but $600.00 +? I don't think so...

You truly can save

You really can get your dream wedding gown for ½ the price or even less, if you are open-minded and willing to do a little work. It will pay off. And the money you would have spent on a gown can be used in other areas to make your day great. This article will help you find your dream dress and keep your budget in tact!

The Wedding industry

There is serious money to be made for people working in the wedding industry. People pay on average around 33,000 for their wedding (this was data collected for 2013), I’m going to be sharing a lot of info on how to cut that cost down many different ways. Please see my other HUBS on other money saving ideas & how to save money on your wedding!!

My Own Wedding

I was 31 when I got married, not exactly a young bride. My husband and I were and still are both working fulltime, paying down school loans and other obligations we acquired before we met. We received some minor help from our parents but not much. We had to have our wedding on the cheap, not to mention; we wanted a nice honeymoon and did not want to go into our new marriage in debt from one day.

The Wedding Gown

So…how can you save money on your wedding gown? If you are going to have a traditional white wedding, gowns can be insanely expensive. The gown I fell in love with was $600.00 at David’s Bridal and that was just too much (and to think people spend thousands on the dress alone).

So...clever cheapskate that I am, I did something completely different.

Saving money should not make you feel deprived. You should feel happy and excited to get good deals, and not end up in debt over frivolous things.

First thing you need to do is rally the troops and go window shopping for wedding gowns, I’d say a good time to begin looking is a week or two after you are officially engaged. You will need time to find the dress, order it, and have alterations and fittings made, if you are lucky enough to find your dream gown on a discount wrack for $99.00, good for you. Most people don’t have that kind of luck. Another reason it is imperative to shop, is because you MUST try dresses on. What you love in a magazine will probably not fit you the way it does the lovely model. You should also feel fabrics, decide on train length, and get an over-all idea of what feels comfy and flatters your body. It’s always good to shop with trusted friends, family, sisters, moms, and future mother-in-laws when possible.

If you have over-bearing people in your life, leave them out of this event (it will save you a massive headache). I was fortunate enough to have my sister, and 4 of my best friends there to give me honest feedback.

Don’t feel pressured by sales associates and don’t let them convince you to buy that day, or take out a loan for your dream dress. They are going to be aggressive, just relax and keep it in mind; it’s nothing to fret over.

Try on as many different styles and dresses as you can! At one point in my own excursion, I remember feeling like I was wearing a mattress, they get heavy! Also shopping for a wedding gown is emotional, and it’s just tiring. I think I tried on at least 10. I’m 5’1” and tiny so it was not easy for me to find a dress I loved. Also my legs are like stumps. So styles I loved (think long and lean, which I am not) really didn’t work for my body. When you get tired, take a break, or stop. If you don’t find the dress style you love that day, don’t worry about it. Better to stop then to make a hasty decision you will later regret.

Where to find your deal

  1. Used- sometimes you can find a great deal at a consignment shop
  2. Craigslist-people on Craigslist list great deals all the time, and you can usually haggle with them
  3. Discount racks-a lot of bridal shops will have dresses and designer gowns discounted. Occasionally a bride gets really lucky and finds a dress she loves for $99
  4. DH Gate- China's Ebay, this is what I did, and had great success, make sure you review the sellers profile and standing. I had no issues with this site. However, Hubpages suggested I not reference this site, which is why there is no hyperlink. I've had NO problems with DHGate. It's www. DHgate .com

Maggie Sottero-Adelaide


My knock-off Sottero

My Dress

A romantic fall gaze at the pond
A romantic fall gaze at the pond

Quick Recap

  • Shortly after engagement, plan a wedding gown shopping date, look online or in magazines for dresses that excite and inspire you
  • Go shop, with family/friends...expect to spend at least 1/2 a day doing this. Look for local bridal shops. The big one in my area is Davids Bridal.
  • Take notes & photos; write down designer names you like, styles, fabrics, lengths. When shopping be sure to check the $99 dollar wracks in case you get "lucky"
  • If used is an option; take advantage of consignment shops, private sellers on Craigslist, and even a possible hand me downs
  • The BEST deals can be found on China's equivalent of Ebay. Called DH Gate. com Once you find the dress you want, you can find a "knock off" here, take your measurements, or have them taken, order your dress, and do alterations when it arrives

Another view of my dress

A blissful kiss
A blissful kiss

What Worked For Me!

I fell in love with Maggie Sotterro wedding gowns. But the One I wanted was way out of my price range. Maggie Sotterro names all of her gowns. I wanted the dress named Adelaide The first time I saw this dress was at Davids Bridal. They wanted over $600, and there were no sales for me to get in on.

I started internet researching.

And this is what happened.

I took my measurements and found a dress very simialar to Adelaide on DH Gate. com, I paid $180.00 USD, and it included shipping. DH Gate is the equivilant to China's Ebay. Ordering was simple. You enter your measurements, place your order and wait for it to arrive. When it did arrive, the only other thing I had to do was have it altered. I paid to have it bustled because I was not comfortable doing that myself, even though it can be done. My alterations were $80.00. So...for $260.00 (basically what you spend on High School Prom) I had the dress I wanted, and alterations done! As you can see from my photos, my dress still didn't fit me exactly as it did the model on Maggie Sottero's website. But it was beautiful, and I got one heck of a deal.

You can do this too!

© 2013 Rebecca


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    • Bishop55 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Sherry! And that is great news for your Daughter! Congrats to her BTW. I felt like finding the dress was one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning for me.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I think you looked beautiful in your wedding dress. Great job, and great advice for a bride-to-be! My daughter found a great wedding dress online, it didn't fit just right so she had it altered. She actually spent more on the alterations than the dress itself, but it looked like it was made for her.


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