4 Ways to Find a Wedding Dress for Less than $500

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Budget wedding dressAlthough any bride would love to look like a million dollars on her wedding day, the reality is that there are financial tradeoffs to be made.  In this economy, many brides-to-be are finding themselves forced to cut corners on their wedding budget.  That said, all is not lost, and in fact it is possible to find a beautiful wedding dress for less than $500.  Yes you heard that right – less than 500 big ones!

One idea is to essentially rent a dress.  Bridal rental stores are increasingly common (both online and offline), and let’s face it – do you really need to keep that dress locked away in a closet hidden from human view until the day you die?  The answer is no, you probably don’t.  Of course, before you choose a bridal rental store, make sure you do your homework and check referrals, and that they have a money-back guarantee.

Another option is to buy a used dress, with the only caveat being that you’ll need to inspect the dress extra carefully by virtue of the fact that it was previously worn.  You can browse listings on eBay or online classified sites like Craigslist.com.  There are also several websites that specialize in used wedding items, such as RecycledBride.com and OnceWed.com.  Also, don’t be afraid to check out what’s in your local thrift store.  I know, I know – you might feel a little embarrassed walking into your local Goodwill store, but swallow your pride and just do it.  No one will care except you!

The third option is to find a new dress that is either on sale or is heavily discounted.  For example, you could attend bridal sales.  These are usually advertised in wedding magazines or in your local newspaper.  You could also keep an eye out for off-season sales at large retailers that sell wedding attire, such as Anne Taylor.  Another option is to check out local outlet stores in your area, as well as discount bridal stores.  Additionally, some stores might offer you a nice discount on sample dresses or “floor models,” such as those that were on display at the store.

Finally, you could wear an anti-wedding dress to your wedding!  In other words, think creatively; dresses that are not generally worn by the bride are always going to be cheaper.  Consider wearing a sophisticated bridesmaid dress (more and more of which are white), an elegant white evening gown, a prom dress, or a formal tea length dress.  Many times you will be able to find an elegant, formal “non-bridal” white dress that will be difficult to differentiate from a traditional wedding dress.

I hope you enjoyed these 4 tips for finding a cheap wedding dress, and that you found them helpful and informative.  Do you have any other ideas for wedding dress shopping on a budget?  If so please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

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