How to Get a Fabulous Wedding Dress on a Budget

I always knew designer wedding dresses were pricey, but the reality didn’t set in until I actually started trying some on. Some of the prices we so outrageous  I wondered if the dress came with the wedding and a full service planner too or maybe the dress turned itself into a plane to take us to our honeymoon afterwards?

My husband and I paid for our entire wedding in cash. I have expensive taste and I can justify some things but I absolutely could not justify spending $10,000 on a dress. I looked high and low for wedding dresses on sale, second-hand designer dresses and scoured everywhere online but I didn’t find anything I liked. I tried on quite a few.


No, that wasn’t a look of joy. I was in mid-sentence when she snapped the pic.


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I was pissy I even put this plain, boring dress on.






Here are some of designer dresses that I tried on that I actually liked. All of these we’re $7,000 – $11,000.















Even though I LOVED the one with the veil, it wasn’t gonna happen so I decided to take my dream dress to a wedding dress alterations lady and ask her to make me one from scratch and boy did she!




I ended up paying $1,900 for my own version of a $10,000 dress. Although the dress came out awesome, it wasn’t without its own major drama which I won’t get into here. The main point is that I got the dress before I left for the wedding and everything was beautiful.

Tips to Get a Fabulous Wedding Dress on a Budget

1. Find a picture of your dream dress 

Find THE picture of the dream dress that makes your heart flutter. It’s ok if it’s difference pieces of different dresses.

2. Try on something similar

If you can’t try on the exact dress, try on something similar in the correct shade of white (or whatever color). You want to make sure the silhouette, fabric type and color actually flatters you.

3. Go custom 

Or alter something simple into something fabulous. Designer dresses, even second hand are outrageously expensive. The only way to get a dress that looks like a million bucks is to have it custom made. If you don’t have the eye for detail, bring along a brutally honest friend to help out.

4. LIE about the due date

My BIGGEST tip for brides who plan to get their dresses custom made is to LIE about your wedding date. Tell the dress maker that it’s a month prior to the actual date. This will save you so much drama. Just take my word for it.


Missed other posts in my destination wedding series? Catch up.

Top 3 Destination Wedding Planning Tips – Part 1 

The Dirty Details: Destination Wedding Planning Tips – Part 2 

Your Ultimate Destination Wedding Packing Checklist

Epic Pre-Wedding Bridal Meltdown

Honeymoon Packing and Practical Tips 



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