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Wedding Day Looks for Less

You’re looking at your wedding budget with a sigh of relief. You have managed to whittle down every line item until it all came under the dollar amount you REFUSE to go over – venue, caterer, wedding cake, DJ, photographer, officiant, attendant gifts, florist, favors, string quartet, invitations…. that should be it, right?

Nope! Don’t forget to include your bridal ensemble in the budget! It adds up quickly and can put you over the top before you even know what happened.  Brides are spending an average of $1500 on their wedding dress alone, not to mention the garter, shoes, a veil, and jewelry.  In this age of Ebay, Craigslist, and a variety of discount dress websites there is no reason you can’t get away with spending $500 – $700 TOTAL on your attire for the big day. 

Don’t think it’s possible? I decided to take the challenge for myself.  I did all of my shopping online and I have no doubt I could have done even better going to brick-and-mortar locations.  Remember to keep an open mind – after all, if you’re not wearing your money down the aisle it can be spent on a fabulous honeymoon…. or the open bar!

The Dress:  I found this beautiful dress on my local Craigslist.  There were a TON of options within 10 miles of me and even more if I expanded my search to the 2 closest metro areas. Granted you have to be careful with this site because you never know which posts are from scammers or just plain crazy people, but if you do thorough research you can get a beautiful deal.  This strapless gown was listed for $450.  Don’t be afraid to offer them a little less – the worst they can say is no!

The Veil: I just LOVE a birdcage veil when accompanied by the right dress.  They’re easy to find all over the internet and range from $20 – $200.  Of course we’re going with a thrifty $40 veil. That might seem like a lot for such a little thing, but compared to the price tags on full-size veils anything under $100 seems good!  In addition to looking great and costing little, they are a great way to look both vintage and modern.  For ambitious brides there are also many DIY instructions online for any size veil.  Remember that you’ll only be wearing it for the ceremony, though, so I wouldn’t put out much time or money.

The Shoes: These beautiful Touch Ups – style “Erin” – were a great deal at $40.  They won’t be seen much but when they are they’ll look like a million bucks.

The Garter: Be creative! Surprise your groom with a garter from his favorite sports team or his alma mater.  Most college bookstores carry these now. This Virginia Tech model is only $12.

The Jewelry:
                        Ring:  Who says you can’t have the finer things in life? This “Something Blue” Gabriel & Co. ring is for rent from BagBorroworSteal.com for only $51/week.  
                        Bracelet:  “Diamond and Pearl” costume bracelet cuff for $30.  There are many variations of this to be had all over Google so just type and click!
                       Earrings:  Also a pearl and diamond look to perfectly compliment other jewelry. These are on Overstock.com for only $40. 

And that’s it! Since I was shopping for ME, the necklace is free – I would wear one of my grandmother’s.  Of course with any of the components here, if something is gifted or lent to you it cuts down on your costs even further.  This particular ensemble comes it at a final price of $623! Not too shabby.  Spend the rest of your wardrobe cash on bikinis!

PS – If you’re left thinking “What about the men’s apparel?”  Naturally that would be included in your budget too. But, most tuxedo rental shops include the groom’s tux for free when at least 3 or 4 of his groomsmen rent too! 

Happy dressing!


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