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7 Practical Tips for Finding Elegant and Affordable Wedding Dresses

Updated: Mar 12

Wedding Dresses in a dress rack

Every bride deserves to shine on their wedding day. What if we told you that it’s possible to find an elegant yet affordable wedding dress? At Ansuné Bridal, we understand that not every bride has the budget to splurge on her wildest dreams. That doesn’t mean she can’t look exquisite while still saving money significantly.

While it can be overwhelming to find the perfect dress without breaking the bank, a few tips and tricks will can help you out! In this blog post, we’re here to guide you through the process of finding a stunning wedding gown that fits your style and your budget like a glove. Say goodbye to the dress-related stress and hello to options that will leave you feeling beautiful and confident as you say “I do”. Let’s get to it!

Be Open About Your Budget

When it comes to finding the perfect dress that doesn't take up half your wedding budget, it's all about being upfront and honest about it. The moment you're sitting down for a consultation with a bridal designer or consultant, the first thing they ask is, "What's your budget?" Don't be shy! Sharing this information right from the start is key to discovering the affordable options available.

By letting the consultant know your price range from the get-go, you're setting the stage for a positive dress-finding journey. Plus, it will save you both time and any potential heartache down the line because there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a dress and then finding out it’s not within your means! Remember, bridal shops are used to catering to various needs and budgets, so rest assured in knowing that there's a stunning dress out there for you.

Do Your Research

A little homework goes a long way when it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress that fits your budget. While there are bridal shops that exclusively carry very expensive, high-end gowns, there are also bridal shops that cater to all budgets. Go online and look for the bridal shops that offer dresses within your price range. Check out their reviews and website information to learn about their pricing, policies, and overall shopping experience.

If you find a store that catches your eye but aren’t sure about its pricing, just reach out and ask about it. After all, transparency is key! A reputable bridal shop will be more than happy to share the details you need to make an informed decision.

During your research, also be on the lookout for sales or clearance items. The dress you fall in love with might just be there!

Consider Pre-Loved Dresses or Sample Sales

Sometimes, it takes thinking outside the box to find an affordable wedding dress that doesn’t compromise style. One fantastic option is to explore pre-loved dresses. Just imagine getting your hands on a thrifted designer gown at a fraction of its original cost! Steals like that are so exciting, and it would be quite a story to tell! If there’s minimal damage to the dress, or it doesn’t quite fit you right, by shopping second-hand, you’ll have extra cash to spend on alterations or customizations. Lucky for you, many brides choose to sell their wedding dresses, which opens up a world of possibilities for you to score a stunning dress affordably.

But that’s not all. Bridal boutiques often hold sample sales to clear out their inventory and make room for new arrivals. This is a golden opportunity for budget-savvy brides! While these sample dresses have probably been tried on several times, they are usually in excellent condition and are just sitting there waiting for someone to give them a chance to make a bride’s dreams come true. The best part is that they come with amazing savings, allowing you to snag a gorgeous dress at a fraction of its original price. Do keep in mind, though, that these sample dresses are usually only available in the more common sizes, so it may not be an option for extra petite or plus-size brides.

Don’t Overlook Alteration Costs

A big no-no is forgetting about alterations or thinking you can just send your dress to any seamstress. As you plan your wedding dress budget, be sure to allocate some funds for alterations done by a professional bridal seamstress/designer. Keep in mind that by looking for budget-friendly options, you may have to compromise a bit. The dress might be a bit too big or too long, it may require dry cleaning to remove some stains, or it might have sleeves you don’t like. This means that you’ll have to find someone to handle alterations.

Alterations can make a huge difference in how a dress fits and flatters your body shape. A skilled seamstress can transform your dress into a customised and perfectly fitting gown — within reason, of course. You don’t want to choose a dress that will be too far gone to upcycle, such as something with a lot of intricate beadwork that you’re not a fan of. You have to keep it real! Adjusting the length, adding or removing sleeves, or altering the silhouette are all possibilities as long as you have a separate budget for alterations. This is a surefire way to obtain the desired look and feel of your dream dress.

Aim Slightly Under Your Budget

Wiggle room is a must! When browsing for wedding dresses, explore options that are slightly under your budget. If you fall in love with a dress that is slightly above the price you’re searching for, it might still fall under your initial budget. This strategy will also guarantee you have extra money for any alterations and accessories. Be flexible and keep your options open, you’ll eventually stumble upon a dress that will meet both your style preferences and your financial expectations.

Don't Forget About Accessories and Shoes

All too often we see brides spend all their budget solely on the dress, overlooking the cost of their veil, jewellery, shoes, and undergarments. These elements complete your bridal look and should be planned for. You can consider borrowing or renting accessories, such as veils, jewellery, or headpieces, to save costs. For shoes, we recommend exploring options that are comfortable, stylish, and budget-friendly. The bottom line is that your accessories and shoes can elevate your overall bridal ensemble without breaking the bank.

Timing Is Everything

The sooner you start the search, the greater the possibility of finding the one, especially if you’re on a budget. Start your search early, ideally 10 months to a year before your wedding day. This gives you plenty of time to look for clearance sales, seasonal discounts, and sample sales. If you’re thrifting for a dress, that also requires time because your options are more limited. You also need to keep in mind that any alterations will take time. Rush orders or last-minute modifications come with additional fees, so plan ahead to avoid unnecessary expenses.

ballgown wedding dress black and white background image

Ready To Look Stunning in Your Affordable Wedding Dress?

Now you know that finding an affordable wedding dress doesn't mean you have to compromise on style or elegance. By following these tips, you can create a breathtaking bridal look without overspending. With a practical approach and a little creativity, you can walk down the aisle in an affordable gown that captures your personality and leaves a lasting impression.

Brides-to-be in Epping, Lalor, South Morang, Thomastown, Broadmeadows, Bundoora, Reservoir, Diamond Creek, Preston, Fawkner, Essendon, and nearby areas are welcome to start their magical journey with us! Ansuné Bridal has dresses for all kinds of budgets, tastes, and sizes. We also have sales regularly, so doget in touchif you’re a bride on a budget!

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