7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

For most brides, the dress is the most important part of the wedding and the budget. If you’re not careful, you can easily go over budget on your dress purchase, but today I have 7 tips on buying your wedding dress that will save you money.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs

My daughter and I started dress shopping almost immediately after she became engaged. I think this process is something every little girl and her mom have dreamed about, and I will admit it was so much fun and there were plenty of tears shed.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs

She did find her perfect dress, for the perfect price, but in the process we did discover some things that would have made it easier for us. Here they are for you…

  1. Attend a Bridal fair or expo – We attended a local expo first and I’m so glad we did. We were able to meet with several Bridal Salons and even make an appointment with them. They had many designers on display and even a fashion show. This helped us tremendously!
  2. Know your budget – This is one mistake we made early on. We started shopping before the budget was finalized and she ended loving some dresses that were eventually out of budget. So know your budget first and stick to it.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs
This Maggie Sottero dress ( Mallory Dawn) was her favorite, but it was double her final budget!

3. Check for Sales – Bridal salons will usually have sales over holidays or end of year sales, this can save you hundreds, if not thousands. So give them a call and see when their next sale is.

4. Bring a small group – For most of her appointments, it was just me and Kristin. She didn’t want a lot of people giving opinions or comments. She wanted to make the decision and in the end that’s exactly what she did. Larger groups can leave you feeling overwhelmed and if disappointed, especially if you love a dress and they don’t.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs

5. Don’t let them push you into a sale – Just about everything she tried on looked beautiful on her, so this made it difficult to make a final decision. But, one dress we didn’t buy because she felt so overwhelmed and pressured to buy, was the one at David’s Bridal. It was a beautiful dress and within budget, but we were at the beginning of our buying process and she still had other appointments. In the end, I had to say “no” to the dress and we ended up not going back. So, don’t let the sales girl try to pressure you, if you’re not feeling it, walk away.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs
This is the dress at David’s Bridal. Can you tell by her face, she was over it?

6. Don’t try on too many dresses – Kristin tried on probably 40 dresses before she found “the one”. I would not recommend that because after a while they start to look the same. Following the first few tips will help in avoiding this problem. Your search will be much more strategic.

7 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping - Carmen Whitehead Designs

7. Be open to trying on new styles – If you have your mind made up that you only want mermaid or trumpet style and don’t want ball gown, you could be limiting yourself to not finding a beautiful gown. Kristin was pretty dead set on long laced sleeves because she loved vintage and is having a Winter wedding. But, I convinced her to try on some other styles and she loved the way they looked on her. You may be pleasantly surprised!

This trumpet style chiffon dress was almost “the one”. She loved it!

Bonus Tip – One last little tip for you. Don’t buy your accessories at the bridal salon. Veils, tiaras, shoes and jewelry are very marked up in salons. Many of the veils she tried on were ranging from $300 to $600! That was actually more than what she ended up paying for her gown. So, look online like Etsy , Amazon or JJ’s House for affordable viels and accessories.

When she did find “The One”, it was at Brilliant Bridal in Mesa, AZ and they were having a Memorial Day weekend sale. This salon carries discontinued sample dresses and it’s buy and carry for them. So, the dress you try on and love is the one you purchase. They already had incredible prices for their designer gowns, but Kristin found a Justin Alexander, A-line dress for only $95!!! Originally priced at $2,500, it was an incredible saving.

Of course we’re not going to show you the dress just yet!

The dress will need some alterations, but we have plenty of time to get them done and we’re still very much under our $1,000 budget.

Check out the video we created too.

If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, The Frugal Bride, for more tips and follow along on Kristin’s wedding journey.

Thanks so much for visiting today and make sure to stop by again.

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