Your Perfect Wedding Dress – Why it Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

What's your perfect wedding dress? Is it high end couture, something off the rack, a dress handed down from family, or middle of the road? Well, today joining us again is Kate Tunstall, whom has written a guest post previously (Should You Hire a Make-Up Artist for Your Big Day?), and has returned to offer us some more savvy advice to share with all of you, concerning finding the perfect wedding dress for you, that doesn't have to break the budget. 

I am now turning this over to Kate! We hope you enjoy her perspectives and savvy advice!

Your wedding day is an exciting prospect, beyond (probably) anything you have experienced previously. However, marrying your beloved is only half the story: 50% of the anticipation is for the opportunity to live the fantasy of being a princess for one day only. Any woman that says different is lying. And you have to make it count. Many brides have a romantic notion of buying a very beautiful (read expensive) dress, and keeping it forever. However, lovely though the idea, it is not practical for several reasons.

3 Reasons to Flout Tradition

· Cost

With most clothes, even your most formal attire, you’ll get more than one wear of out of each piece. Ergo, with every outing, a garment becomes better value as the cost per wear decreases. With your wedding gown, however, this will never be the case (the only feasible situation in which you may choose to wear your wedding finery on a second occasion is if you marry abroad and have a party on your return). You see where I am going with this.

· Space

Wedding dresses are often quite large. They are awkward to store and take up a lot of room whether hanging in your wardrobe or stowed in a bespoke box.

· Waste

Due to the practicalities of storage (see above), wedding gowns will usually be kept in the loft, just in case you ever have cause to need it in the future. Despite never being able to wear it again because there is no appropriate occasion that calls for it. Despite the fact that even if you do have, or go on to have a daughter, there are no guarantees that she will have the same tastes as you, that the dress will be classically stylish rather than dated, that it will not be moth-eaten. Basically, despite the fact it is highly unlikely to ever again see the light of day. But at least you know it’s up there right?

The Perfect Dress will mean something a little different to every bride, but without fail what it does mean is years of imaginings becoming a reality. And each and every one of those dreams will have one consistent theme: looking your best and drawing gasps of admiration from friends and family. To bring this vision into being, it is therefore essential to wear the right dress. But does that, by its very definition, equal bankruptcy?

5 Options for Buying the Perfect Wedding Gown without Breaking the Bank

1. Hire

There are some fabulous options available for hire, including dresses that perhaps you would be unable to otherwise afford. Check out these websites:

2. Opt for Second-Hand or Vintage

If you are determined to keep your dress but want to buy at a discounted price, consider second-hand. If you’re a lover of vintage, this is a total no-brainer. Try the following websites for inspiration:

3. Buy, Then Sell

If you have to have the exact dress you want and it absolutely must be new, read through the three reasons I gave above for considering doing things differently – and consider selling after your wedding.

4. Purchase Off-The-Peg at a Department Store

I like to think I was pretty far from the understood expression of a ‘Bridezilla’. I thought I would be easy to please in terms of a dress as I knew what I did not want. The problem I faced was that essentially, everything incorporated some element of what I didn’t want. As it transpires, I was incredibly fussy, and I tried so many different dresses, in so many different shops that I lost count and reached the point where I thought I would never find The Dress. I finally found it online, in a department store for a fraction of the (admittedly, in the end, pretty open-ended) budget I had set myself. Be open-minded, you may surprise yourself.

5. Go Bespoke

Finally, if you have a fair idea of what you want but can’t afford the designer price tag, find yourself a really awesome dressmaker and have your perfect gown made for you. Try the following based in New York:

Despite these compelling arguments, some brides will choose to budget for their fairy-tale dress with the resolute intention of keeping it after the big day. And that’s fine: if you have considered your options and are making an informed decision then more power to you. No matter your final choice, keep in mind that however imperative the right gown is to your day being perfect, the other 50% of the anticipation should be about your marriage.

Kate Tunstall is the founder of Refined Prose, the home of her wedding and lifestyle blog. You can find details about the blogging and writing services Kate offers, and how to hire her here.

Which bit of info did you find most helpful to you? Please share with us in the comments section below! 

Our thanks again to Kate for providing us with the great advice concerning wedding gowns and budgets!