How to Find a Cheap (and Stylish) Wedding Dress

The scariest show on TV has to be WE TV’s Brideszilla. The smokey thing that eats people on ABC’s Lost ain’t got nothing on the Brides on that show. What is scarier than the brides themselves is the money they spend on their weddings, especially their wedding dresses (in one episode one bride took out a second mortgage so she could buy a $5,000 wedding dress… what??). There’s no reason to go that crazy on a wedding dress.

How to Find a Cheap Wedding Dress on a Budget

1. Hunt for the Bargains – Many stores have annual sales on bridal gowns and several top wedding dress companies hold sample sales- although most of these sales are held in the fall. These sales can be quite ridiculous and most don’t have fitting rooms, so wear a swimsuit or catsuit so you’ll be able to try on the dress without showing your goodies to the entire store.

Filene’s Basement Bridal Gown Sale
David’s Bridal Bridal Sample Sales (usually held in the fall)
Kleinfeld’s (Of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress) Sample Sales

2. Gently Used Works Great – Some brides may cringe at the idea of a second hand dress but the reality is it makes good financial sense, especially when heading to a consignment shop. Consignment shops do not generally just accept any item unless it is in top-notch condition and since most folks only wear their wedding dress once, your likely to find a great deal on a dress. A couple of things to be aware of; know the return policy and get it in writing, compare the consignment/thrift price with the retail price of a brand new version (it should be at least 50% off the retail price), and make sure to check the garment for any strange smells, marks, stains, etc.

Wore it Once
Once Wed
Encore Bridal

3. Go Non-Traditional – You don’t have to have a sleevelss, white, satin wedding dress with a 5 foot train in order to get married. Brides not afraid to think outside of the box can save a bucket of cash on a dress if they shop outside “wedding” stores. Plenty of department and other types of stores offer white and ivory dresses that are suitable for any occasion, including a wedding. No one will know, nor should they care, where you found your dress.


4. Search Online– Shopping online for a wedding dress is a great option if you know the type of dress that you want AND you have plenty of time before the event (at least 6 months) to take a bit of a chance.


5. Hit Up a Relative – Why not borrow a wedding gown from your mom, sister, or cousin? Most wedding gowns are stored away and never used (or seen) again. Asking a loved one for a dress loan may start a new tradition in the family. Ask if you can alter the dress to your own specifications, saving you a ton of money.

Love this post? Subscribe for Updates.


    Catherine Brock

    As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine,, Refinery29, and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

    Blog Comments

    Another non-traditional option is a bridesmaids dress, which also is sometimes available in white and ivory, and they are way cheaper than bridal gowns.

    Great tips – I am investigating my mom’s dress, which was made by my grandmother!

    That would make more sense

    Another non-traditional option is a bridesmaids dress, which also is sometimes available in white and ivory, and they are way cheaper than bridal gowns. wedding dresses custom

    the dress is so beautiful!

    There’s a great warehouse of cheap wedding dresses that are absolutely beautiful featured on CoffeyBuzz (link below). They could be good for a look in the hunt for the perfect dress. 🙂

    I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

    Very good tips! I have similar experiences shopping my wedding dress online, I just got my wedding dress from, it is gorgeous. Before purchase, my suggestion is to do research and ask questions! I checked a lot of online wedding dress shop on website, found this website offers real product photos, also they answered all my questions before payment. I researched the website, some good comments, some bad, looked real to me. The prices are good, finally I tried to place my order and they’ve made it!

    You did give very helpful advices. However, I here would like to give the additional tips.
    1. bridal show is a very good channel to find discount wedding dress especially on the last day of the show.
    2. browse wedding forum such as, where we can find vendor or brides selling a wedding dress that they haven’t even worn.
    3. would like to recommend which offers inexpensive wedding dresses.

    I agree $5000 for a wedding dress is simply just wayy too much to spend. Especially for one night. Upon doing some research you’re able to find reasonable priced wedding dresses that are stunning at the same time. Take the time it’s totally worth it 🙂

    Looking into sites like can also be useful. There are beautiful, custom, handmade dresses that you can get for as little as $300.

    Agreed! LOVE Etsy!

    Kaye (JerseyCityGal)

    You mentioned …….. I found the PERFECT dress on there but cant find any reall advice or reviews on the site!!! Any suggestions or reviews?

    Lightinthebox is a knock off. Google reviews on lightinthebox. Thats what I did

    Has anyone used dresshopping,com

    We sell second hand wedding gowns that brides bring in after they have worn them maybe for the day or maybe a few hours. We sell them at our store for 50-70% off retail prices. All our gowns has been dry-cleaned. We also get new gowns with tags on them which we sell for 50% off retail prices. Our store is located in Warwick, RI.

    you can buy your cheap wedding dress online, it’s much cheaper and not for extra fee, best price, kind service and high quality.

    Learn a lot. Learn to pick a dress online is very important.

    i found the perfect wedding dress for me..the only thing its in white…because of my age 42 i prefered ivory….is it ok to wear white at 42 …am i too old to wear white as i  have 2 children and 3 grandchildren…i am having a civil ceremony not a church wedding

    Jodhpuri suit is really a blend involving Indian along with western taste. Jodhpuri suits, when worn, imparts a regal look. Its custom fit makes it suitable for Royalty and wearing it will make Jodhpuri suit. It gives the bridegroom a new royal overall look. Best royal wedding dress for Mens from Jodhpur, Rajasthan – the land of kings and all things royal.

    Great tips – I am investigating my mom’s dress, which was made by my grandmother!

    the dress is so beautiful!

    I never of thought these could be possible until I found your blog. This is something I can definitely use this idea for friends wedding.

    Especially for one night.

    I know you can get an inexpensive wedding dress online. There are a lot of dresses under $200 at Might be worth the risk.

    You cannot copy the content of this page.