Many Brides experience sticker shock when they go dress shopping for the first time. How can a dress you'll only wear once, cost so much? Fortunately, you can now look fabulous and fashionable without going over your budget.
Find deals online.
Look for overstock or consignment web sites. Ebay and Craigslist both have wedding sections and there are other sites dedicated to reselling wedding dresses. Caution: Before you buy, check the return policy in case the dress doesn't meet your expectations.
Think inside the big box.
Many retailers carry inexpensive formal dresses in white or ivory. You may be lucky enough to find one on sale. No one has to know that your beautiful dress isn't a "wedding" dress.
Look for resell shops.
Thrift stores, consignment stores and local classified ads are excellent places to shop for a wedding dress. Check carefully for stains, rips, and other damage before buying.
Bridal store bargains.
Check out the clearance rack or opt for a white or ivory bridesmaid dress, which can be much less expensive. Research bridal outlet stores in your area.
Borrow a dress.
A friend or family member may know of a "heirloom" dress available for you to use.
Make your dress.
If you sew, make your dress for little more than the price of the material.
In all cases, a tailor can alter or customize your gown or add an accessory. A bow or sash around the waist, a new veil or a jacket can create a entirely new look. Use your creativity! With a little ingenuity, that sensibly priced gown can become your heirloom dress for the ages.
It is much easier to take your dress in than to let it out. Buy your outfit close to your size, but if in doubt, go up a size. Even if you are planning to lose weight, don't take a chance. If you go up much more than one size, the tailor may have to take apart the entire garment and remake it, which will add considerably to the price.
Tailoring is especially important if you are a special size. Perhaps your top is bigger than your bottom, or you are generously proportioned, but short in stature. An expert tailor can make the alterations you need to get the perfect fit.
To alter the look of a gently used or heirloom dress or customize an inexpensive retail dress, consult the best alteration specialist you can find. With care, patience, and experience, they can take off sleeves, shorten trains, add embellishments, and do other alterations that will make your dress one of a kind.
A talented tailor can alter any garment to give you a customized look that flatters your body. Just remember that expert alterations are not inexpensive and you will get what you pay for. The lowest price you can find ia probably not a bargain.