Engagement season has ended and now comes the fun part planning your wedding! Or if you’re a bride on a budget like me, the stressful part. Why are weddings so expensive?! $200 for a veil!? WHAT? Spending thousands on one day is just crazy to me, not that I am knocking anyone who does, it’s just not my thing. Some may call me cheap, I like to call it professional thrifter.
A little back story, I got engaged to my fiancé November 25th, 2017 after being together for a little over a year. We are both not into big over the top weddings, so we agreed to a small simple ceremony and a shorter than average engagement. Of course right away I was on Pinterest saving ideas to a wedding board. (You can view my wedding board here.)
When it came to wedding planning I realized that all of things I use to want when I was younger I no longer cared about. The big expensive ring, big venue, the whole shebang just didn’t matter anymore. The one dream item I couldn’t give up though was a real wedding dress. I mean you only get to wear a dress like that once and (almost) every girl dreams of wearing a gorgeous dress her whole life. But when I thought about how I would only really be wearing this dress for half a day at best I just couldn’t justify spending more than my monthly bill total on a dress. According to the popular wedding planning website, The Knot, the average cost for a wedding dress in the US in 2016 was $1,564!
I was stressing about dress shopping to say the least, would I be able to find something I loved and could afford? Shopping for clothes is already a stressful thing to begin with, but throw in having a baby, needing a plus size dress and working with a small budget, I was almost dreading the day. I was pretty discouraged with my trip to a well known bridal store chain. Even searching their “discount” racks still managed to let me down. I did really love a designer dress I found on that rack that was originally $1000, but even though it was a discontinued 2016 dress they still had laying around it would have cost me $500 plus alterations! I wanted to give up then, but I talked with some ladies in a local bridal group on Facebook who also didn’t want to break the bank buying a dress. They told me to look online, which I hadn’t really thought to do because I always thought you had to try on a million dresses and have your “moment” to find “the one”. But many assured me this is how they found the dress of their dreams.
I started searching bridal stores online and some were more affordable than bridal stores, but still not what I wanted to pay for something I would wear for such a short time. A few women suggested Amazon for affordable dresses, I was nervous but decided to check it out.
I could not believe the prices when I did my first search on Amazon! There are so many beautiful dresses, it was VERY easy to create a whole list of dresses I liked under my $200 limit. Some even had Prime shipping and free returns! I was still nervous about ordering online, but I made sure I looked over reviews and customer uploaded photos for every dress I liked. Anything without reviews or with no customer photos was removed from my list.
I found a gorgeous all lace aline dress, similar to one I really liked when I tried on dresses at a bridal store, and lucky for me it had great reviews and lots of customer photos. There were options to customize the sleeves of the dress, as well as a custom measurement selection for the dress size. To make a good thing even better it was only $109.99 for a custom size!
After searching the reviews and images I decided to take the plunge and go for it! I took my measurements and ordered the dress I fell in love with. After shipping it was still only $137, what a steal! After waiting impatiently for what felt like forever, but was really only 12 days, my dress arrived! I was so excited to tore right into the package to check it out, and let me say I was not disappointed! The dress was SO well made with beautiful lace, the perfect length and came with a nice jeweled belt as well! Thanks to sending in my measurements the dress needs NO alterations as well! How many brides can say that!?
The lace is a beautiful floral pattern that isn’t overly small and detailed, which can look busy, it’s just the right balance.
The dress also has lovely detailing on the bottom hem of the lace and some top notch pleating across the bodice.
The craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing! They even included an adjustable strap like the band of a bra within the dress to help hold it up, so you don’t feel like it’s slipping.
Once I got my dress on I finally felt like things were real and I could manage to pull off this wedding on my terms, without selling my first born to pay for it! I even found my bridesmaid dresses (with Prime shipping!) not to mention all of the other great accessories available on Amazon as well.
Don’t feel you have to spend hundreds or even thousands to get the dress of your dreams. You don’t have to follow conventional, traditional ways to make your day amazing! I paid less than $150 for my dream dress and couldn’t be happier! No one would even know the difference if I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops out of excitement for the deal I found! Saving money always gets me excited, like I’m getting away with something. 😂
If you’re planning a wedding on a budget stayed tuned for more of my thrifty budget wedding deals! I’ll have more to come on bridesmaid dresses, invitations, bouquets, venues and more! Also I’ve linked my wedding dress below for you just incase you fell in love with it like I did! (If you aren’t a fan of sleeveless there are options for other sleeve types. And the seller is great to work with on custom orders.)
I hope I could help reassure anyone on the fence about shopping online for their dress or sparked your curiosity to look for an affordable online option! Happy planning to all the other brides out there!
Until next time – Shelby