Every year it costs more to throw the average wedding – not that there is any such thing as the average wedding!
However, more and more couples are bucking the trend and looking for ways to save money as well as having less environmental impact with their wedding. If you are looking to find more affordable options for your wedding dress or ways to reduce your waste-line then you are not alone.
While we work together as a modern, game-changing society to demand more affordable options for weddings – the industry as a whole seems to be going in the other direction, and charging higher prices every year!
Why are wedding gowns so expensive?
Wedding gowns are generally so expensive because of a supply and demand equation. Brides want gowns that are good quality and original, that are personally tailored and perfectly matched to their style as well as their body shape.
We want something very specific, and the designers who are very good at making wedding gowns know that we will pay for it.
If you want a gown that is bespoke or custom made just for you, you will pay more for both the time taken to create the design and to put the gown together. It will require a number of measurements and fittings and basically require more work.
We are all about paying a designer a fair price for their time and talent, but when you know you could get a decent car for the same price as your wedding dress, you may be in the exorbitant end of the scale.
Here are some wonderful ways to find affordable wedding gowns that are perfectly you.
Recycle your gown
The expense of a dress is compounded by what you do with it. If it gets worn once and then put away forever, it is not a very cost-effective dress.
If you really have your heart set on a custom, one-of-a-kind gown, then you can get a considerable portion of the cost back if you choose to pass on the dress to a wonderful new life.
If you get more worth out of it, it becomes more cost-effective. Your dress can be made more affordable for example by recycling it.
You can do this by:
- Wearing it again (it might need to be altered slightly first)
- Selling it
- Renting it out
- Buying a pre-loved gown
I love the idea that rehoming a wedding dress helps it to fulfil its precious destiny over and over again. A stunning designer gown has been made with so much love, time and attention that it deserves to repeatedly shine.
You could sell or rent your gown once you have worn it, or look into getting your beloved gown remade into a more user-friendly dress for everyday wear – if you would like more information on how you can do this click here for our FREE guide on How to Sell Wedding Dress.
Buy Ready to Wear
If something is less tailored just for you, it is more affordable. Ready to wear gowns can be of excellent quality and make you look amazing, and most will easily be adjusted to fit you as perfectly as one that has been tailored for you.
Designers such as Karen Willis Holmes have an awesome range of gowns that you can choose from in their ready to wear lines, and these will be made to fit your shape and size.
It will be less likely to be one of a kind, but you can totally make it your own by adding a jacket, shrug or cape as a beautiful, personal touch or a bold touch of colour such as a belt, corsage or shoes.
Buy Off the Rack
Off the rack wedding dresses are those that come straight off the rack at a wedding salon, and are a more affordable option again. You can still arrange to get these adjusted to fit you by your own tailor, and this means that they may be easily resold on again when you are finished with it.
Many will need at least to have their length adjusted and have their zipper replaced, as well as needing a dry clean before you wear them.
Because off the rack gowns have been tried on by many people, make sure that you look very closely for any blemishes before you make your purchase.
Make sure that the cost of cleaning and repairing an off the rack gown won’t add up to costing more than buying one made for you.
Support Boutique Businesses
Up and coming designers are out there just waiting to be discovered – and you know when you find an emerging designer for your wedding gown you are going to be wearing a look that no one has ever seen before.
Do a bit of research and you are certain to find a boutique wedding gown creator that crafts dresses that you absolutely love. Unique designers have an amazing sense of what modern women want, combining looks that are feminine and sassy, that are sexy yet comfortable, that respect fabrics and the environmental impact of their clothes.
Some affordable gowns that we love include the flirty and non-traditional designs from Love Found True and the beautiful and elegant gowns from Made with Love. We also love the separates from One Day Bridal or the sophisticated looks from Spell and the Gypsy Collective.
Buy a Formal Gown instead of a Wedding Dress
A fantastic way to find a stunning yet still cost-conservative wedding dress is to not buy a wedding dress at all. Look for gorgeous formal gowns in white or similar shades (or let’s face it – in any colour you like!) that will look wonderful as you glide down the aisle.
There are many ways you can find an affordable gown that is perfectly you. You don’t need to compromise on your happiness just because you are on a budget, and you certainly don’t need to give up your own individual style.
Give yourself a little more time for research and think outside the box, and you are certain to discover the perfect one for you.