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Wedding Dress Inspiration: Five Bridal Gowns Under $1000

Updated on November 7, 2014

Look for Prom Dresses

White Prom Dress--$790
White Prom Dress--$790 | Source

Sure, you might feel a little ridiculous at first...but when you see dresses that could clearly be wedding dresses, you realize you're saving thousands of dollars just by looking in the other part of the store. White prom dresses were a big trend in spring 2014, so they're still easy to find--and at an even steeper discount, because those crazy kids sure do move on fast.

Bridesmaid Dresses, Too!

White Silk Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress--$230 ($298 plus-sized)
White Silk Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress--$230 ($298 plus-sized) | Source

It's surprisingly easy to find white bridesmaid dresses. You've got to wonder who's putting their bridesmaids in white, but hey, maybe someone out there isn't a slave to color traditions. And if that someone is you...

Try Non-White

Zinnia Gown--$450
Zinnia Gown--$450 | Source

If you look outside the realm of white dresses, your options are essentially limitless. Whether you choose a more traditional alternate color like blush or champagne or go for something bright or printed, you'll be able to bargain-hunt without sacrificing any style or craftsmanship. It's just a color, right?

Go For Short

Cocktail-length White Dress--$136
Cocktail-length White Dress--$136 | Source

Stands to reason, right? Less fabric = less cash. Considering short dresses gives you heaps of new options in the prom and bridesmaid categories, as well. It's even easier to find short white dresses that aren't labeled as bridal gowns than it is to find long ones.

Plus, you'll be able to actually dance. Or even throw it in some dye and wear it to someone else's wedding!

But if You're Dying for Designer...

Pre-Owned Vera Wang Wedding Dress--$650 (originally $1028)
Pre-Owned Vera Wang Wedding Dress--$650 (originally $1028) | Source

Look at sites that specifically sell secondhand dresses, like, or check out standard sites like Tradesy or eBay. (On a site like eBay, make sure you're actually looking for pre-owned dresses; unused "designer gowns" at deep discounts are more than likely cheap knock-offs, and what you see is not what you get.)

Prefer to try on in person first? Aiim for sample sales, or go in any old day and ask if there's an option to buy off the rack. A lot of brides place a lot of importance on being the only person to ever try on their gown; you can capitalize on that obsession and get a gown for a deep discount just because someone else has tried it on.

Or? Ask your friends! Most of your married friends probably have their gown just hanging out in their closet. My mother wore her maid of honor's old wedding dress!


  • Don't get hung up on whether or not something's called a "wedding dress." Branch out, and you'll find dresses that still look bridal and save a ton of money.
  • Consider something that doesn't look totally bridal! You're getting married; no one's going to be confused who the bride is if you're not wearing a white dress. It's the one getting married.
  • Don't buy a designer knock-off. They're terrible quality and most likely made through slave labor. Get a designer dress secondhand or, even better, find something one-of-a-kind on a site like Etsy!

Also An Option: Renting Your Wedding Dress


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