Be a beautiful bride on a budget

Don’t let a tight budget stop you from buying the wedding dress of your dreams.
Feb. 14, 2011 | By: Kelly Gorven

Women have dreamed about their big wedding day since they were little girls. They imagine themselves walking down the aisle, all eyes on them, wearing a magnificent white dress.

A wedding dress can be one of the most important items a woman purchases when planning her wedding, but it can also be one of the most expensive. A wedding dress can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how much beading, crystals or handmade lace is on it. Of course you can cut the cost of a dress by reducing the amount of detailing, but every woman wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day, right?

That doesn’t mean you need an expensive, custom-made dress, though. “You may not find the perfect dress at first, but with some tailoring and a small redesign in the neckline or by adding an accessory like a sash or belt, it can become the dress for you,” says Lynn Harlow, owner of Promises and Lace Bridal and Dress Boutique in Burlington, Ontario.

There are many ways a bride can get the look she wants at a price she can afford. If you’re looking for beauty on a budget, try these tips from Harlow:

Rent a dress

Many bridal salons may not advertise it, but they will rent a gown to a customer. All you have to do is ask. A wedding dress will most likely only ever be worn once, so rather than letting a $1,000 dress sit in the back of your closet, consider renting one for a few hundred bucks.

Shop at sample sales

At the end of every fashion season, bridal salons hold sample sales in an effort to sell wedding gowns that hung on the racks. A sample dress is one that brides try on before ordering in a specific size. If you choose to purchase a sample dress, the cost can be cut by a lot. However, there is almost always a no return policy, so be sure to buy the right size, or a dress that’s a little bit big and can be altered.

Buy off the rack

There are so many different gowns out there to choose from, so skip the step of custom-making your dress and hunt through the racks. If you’re patient and determined, you’ll find the dress that suits your standards and reduces the costs at the same time. Buying an off-the-rack dress is the best way to buy an original designer dress.  It can save you as much as 40 to 50 per cent, says Harlow.

 “Spend less on the dress and have it tailored to fit you perfectly. You’ll look like a million dollars,” says Harlow.

Lynn Harlow is the owner of Promises and Lace Bridal and Dress Boutique in Burlington, Ont.

Want to find the perfect wedding dress? Find bridal wear on, Canada’s, Canada’s Local Marriage Services Directory.