Wedding Dresses On a Budget - Ways to Find Them!

Finding wedding dresses on a budget is not a hard process...you just have to know where to look and congrats to you, you have found the place to start!



What I can say is that you probably won't be able to find the best prices in town at your local bridal dress shops.

However, they may be a good place to start to see what kind of style is flattering on you, then look for that style of wedding dress in one of the following places when looking for wedding dresses on a budget. (I wouldn't tell them that that is what you are planning to do ;)


Best Places to Find Wedding Dresses on a Budget:

  • - Ebay is a terrific place for the bargain hunter looking for wedding dresses on a budget. What you will find is most items are new (read the description carefully) and you can find huge savings.

    Here are some key tips to keep in mind when looking on Ebay for your perfect budget wedding dress:

    • Use a Credit Card - when you use a credit card (or even better use PayPal) to pay for your item, it safeguards you against fraud.

    • Read Descriptions Carefully - Make sure that your dream bargain dress is a reality. Read descriptions carefully for any clues that the item might not be brand new (eg. used or sample gowns).

      If the description doesn't answer all your questions, then be sure to pose them to the seller prior to making a bid or buying an item.


    • Don't Miss Out - You can get reminders right on your desktop of listings that are about to end right from Ebay's own down loadable toolbar.

      You will get desktop alerts for items you're watching, bidding, items you didn't win, and items for which you've received Second Chance Offers.


    • Check Seller Feedback - Always check to see your seller's feedback. When you purchase or sell on Ebay you get graded by the other participant of the transaction as to how you conducted yourself.

      If your seller has a stellar rating with good feedback, then you could probably count on not having any problems with your purchasing wedding dresses on a budget from them.

      If they do have some negative feedback, it could give you an indication to possibly look somewhere else for your your wedding dress.


    • Shipping Fees - Always check what the seller is going to be charging you for shipping the wedding dress to you. Sometimes the price is an incredible buy but the shipping and handling charges are outrageous and push the final purchase price into "not so great a deal" areas.

    • Bridal Shops Use Ebay too! - You will find that it is not just individual sellers doing the selling on Ebay. Sometimes you will find bridal retailers in there too trying to unload discontinued sample wedding dresses.

      They may be a good price, but could also suffer from the abuses of being tried on so many times (ruined beadwork, stitching, makeup or other stains) so be sure to read the descriptions carefully and try to see a detailed picture (or ask for one) or the gown before bidding. And don't forget to ask those questions too!


    • Use Bidnapper.com - Bidnapper.com submits bids in the final seconds of online auction sites in order to help users manage their bidding, and win more auctions.

      Bidnapper's sniping software delivers bids to eBay auctions at the last moment in a process called "sniping." You can snipe eBay auctions with Bidnapper to:

      • win more auctions since your competition won't have time to respond to your bid
      • protect your username from searches by your competition
      • change or delete bids without the eBay hassle
      • hold the price of the auction you want to win down by not bidding throughout the auction
      • use the proxy system to advance your bid just enough to win an auction
      • place your bids automatically, in any currency while you do your other wedding planning

    Here is just a sampling of what you would find at Ebay right now:


  • Order From the Internet - Another option to find wedding dresses on a budget is to use the internet, of course. Click here to find a listing of online wedding dress suppliers with reviews.

  • Dicker - Don't you just love that word! If prices online are so much better, then how do local bridal shops compete with finding wedding dresses on a budget?

    A little known fact that I will let you know here is that they just might try to match that amazing deal you just found on the internet for your perfect wedding dress IF you ask!

    This will usually turn into a deal amounting to a 20% to 30% discount but without all the perks that the shop would offer another customer.

    Just make sure that your end price doesn't get inflated due to "hidden charges".


  • "Off the Rack" - You can find stores like David's and BridesMart in the U.S. that offer a good selection of moderately priced dresses with in stock sizes of 2 to 24. These stores usually offer a wider selection of wedding dresses on a budget and price range than your local specialty bridal shops.

  • Classifieds - Be sure to check your local newspaper classifieds or online ad service such as Kijiji for wedding dresses on a budget. Sometimes things don't go as planned and a wedding might be canceled or delayed which could result in big savings for you.

    Sometimes the dress is not even worn or worn once and could mean up to 50% savings for you. Of course, you should carefully check over the gown prior to buying. You might also be able to find other accessories you will need such as crinolines, etc.


  • Department Stores - Another great place to look for wedding dresses on a budget. Don't discount places such as Sear's and JCPenney. They often times carry a few budget wedding dresses for unbeatable prices. The only drawbacks are selection and they might not be as fancy as you would like but they are a great deal.

  • Get It Made - If you have fallen in love with a dress that costs over $1000, you could perhaps consider having a custom copy made for you by a talented local seamstress.

    A seamstress can often times purchase materials at wholesale prices and because the dress will be made for you, you will not have to pay for costly alterations.

    You can also make suggestions along the way as the gown is being made for you and you are seeing the seamstress for fitting so if there is anything you would like to change, it is more flexible.

    You will be able to get the best deals if you have your sights set on a dress costing $1000 or more retail. If you go for a less expensive dress, you might just find that you won't be saving as much in the long run if you were to pay to have the dress made (after paying for the materials and the seamstress's time).


  • Sew It Yourself - If you are a good sewer (or know a friend or relative who is) you can consider making the gown yourself.

    You can find patterns, materials and trimming for bridal gowns at local fabric shops. Although the materials for a $1000 dress could be only $250, it should be noted that sewing with bridal fabric is more of a challenge and so please be careful when going this route.

    You can also find great sources for bridal fabric and trim online.

    Check out these sources as well for more information:



  • Buy a "Sample Gown" - Another great source for wedding dresses on a budget is buying a sample gown. You just might occasionally go into your local bridal shop and find a rack of gowns on sale.

    What these budget wedding dresses are, are samples of gowns that have been discontinued or the shop is looking to offload to make room for more up to date styles coming in.

    You can find yourself quite a bargain, however, make sure that your sample gown isn't going to need major repair or cleaning or alterations to offset the good price.

    Remember, these are the gowns that everyone tries on to see if they like the style and so could be suffering from stains, rips, tears or any other damage. Look carefully!


  • Wear Your Mom's Dress or Borrow a Dress - Wasn't that the tradition years ago? That when you got married, you would wear your Mom's or even Grandmother's dress? That was before the bridal industry got a hold of us (sigh).

    Now we must buy a hugely expensive dress that we wear for a few hours and then pack it away, never to be worn again! Well I say "NO!" I think it is a lovely idea to wear your Mom's or even a sister or friend's wedding dress.

    Even if it is a little out of style or date, you would be surprised at how well a talented seamstress could jazz up a vintage gown.


  • Order a Bridesmaid dress or Less Formal Gown - Many bridesmaids' gowns can be ordered in white. You can easily find a beautiful, less-formal wedding dress this way.

    If you want to "jazz" it up a bit, I'm sure that a talented seamstress could add a train and some beading for an elegant effect!


  • Vintage Clothing Shops - Wedding dresses on a budget can also be found at vintage clothing shops. Not only can you find clothing, hats and other items but sometimes you can also find a beautiful, older, vintage gown for a great price.

    Once again, check over the condition carefully to make sure that alterations and repairs or cleaning are not going to add up to make your bargain not a bargain. To find these stores, just look in your local phone directory or yellow pages or search online


  • Outlet Stores - Yes, there are bridal outlet stores for bridal designers and retailers that can offer you substantial savings on wedding dresses on a budget, however, most you will find off the beaten path and not in those fancy outlet malls.

    Try Your White Dress in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They offer all dresses on the floor at the bargain price of $299.

    You can also do a search on the web for "bridal dress outlet store" to see if there is one in your area worth visiting.


  • Fabric Swap - If you have fallen in love with a gown made of silk, ask if it comes in other more affordable fabric, which can end up saving you hundreds of dollars off the price.

  • Travel to Another City/State/Province/Country - Sometimes wedding dresses on a budget are as easy to find as doing a little driving. If you live in a large city, such as Toronto or New York, you can sometimes find better prices in smaller towns and cities outside your area.

    Better yet, combine a smaller town with other savings such as lower sales tax or favorable exchange rates and you could be saving well over 20% or more!

    Just be sure NOT to tell the shops where you are coming from and why you are shopping there as bridal shops have a tendency to charge higher prices to brides-to-be who've made major trips to gown shop.


  • Hire a Student - If you have a fashion school or college nearby, you might just be able to hire a student to make your wedding dress for you (and maybe even design it...how's that for an original!)

  • Charity Sales - You can also find wedding dresses on a budget by checking out charity sites such as Brides Against Breast Cancer for locations of shows coming in your area.

    Some of the dresses are donated by brides but some are also brand new donated from designers for this worthy cause. What a great way to find your perfect wedding dress and support men and women dealing with breast cancer.


  • Rent a Wedding Dress - Yes, you can do this! Rental prices can range from $100 to $600 with deposit required and the gowns are professionally cleaned after each rental and can be altered to fit (check with each rental shop).

    The problem is it might be hard to find a shop that actually rents wedding dresses when you are on a budget. Again, as my motto goes "save your money and time, plan your wedding online!", check the internet.

    If you do a search on "wedding dress rental" you should be able to find some sources in your area should you like to try this route.

Don't forget, you can also check out an amazing source of designer label wedding dresses at bargain basement prices at Cheap Wedding Dresses.

I hope that you can use these tips to find those wedding dresses on a budget that you can afford! Happy Shopping!

Don't forget to visit our Wedding Surveys and Polls page.



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