Wedding Gown – The A to Z

Cinderella’s princess gown was tailored by mice.  In fairytales, that’s an easy solution!  In real life, it’s much more daunting!  Finding the perfect gown is very important to every bride to be.  Most girls want to feel like a princess as they walk down the aisle to their prince charming!  You can look like a princess without spending a whole month’s rent on your dress!

Do you really need a hand-made wedding dress with beads and diamantes? This is where the big cost is and there are several options in cutting the cost.

The Wedding Gown Dilemma – Go Cheap or Go Crazy?

First and foremost, consider wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding gown – assuming they still have them.  Can you imagine the pride on their faces as they watch you stroll down the aisle toward your future husband wearing the very gown they wore doing the same thing?

Think that gown is a bit out of date?  If you don’t like the style, consider hiring a seamstress to update the cut a bit.  You can often find a seamstress or tailor for around $100 – well less than the cost of a new, off the rack wedding gown!

Why not opt for a second-hand wedding dress? It’s probably only been worn once anyway and you can get a once expensive dress for half the price. Check out consignment shops or thrift stores to see what they have to offer.  Better yet, check out ebay.com.  Again, if you can get a great deal on a gown and only need some alterations, a seamstress will be only a fraction of the cost to buy the gown outright.

Consider buying an evening gown/cocktail dress from a department store.  Look around prom season.  These days, many prom dresses can look like wedding gowns.  A lot of specialty shops will run specials prior to prom hoping to cull their inventory.  You can come across a great deal on a beautiful dress and look like a prom queen in the process!

For my second marriage, this is what I did.  It wasn’t prom season, but homecoming season.  I found the most gorgeous dress off the rack that fit me like a dream.  They wanted to get rid of it and I managed to talk the owner into discounting it 40%!

You may want to look around for closing out sales or liquidation sales at bridal shops in your area.  One word of caution:  don’t drive the equivalent of halfway across the country just to find a gown.  With my first wedding, they were having a going out of business sale at the local bridal shop.  I found a stunning gown that retailed for $800 for a mere $100 just because it was two days before they closed their doors!

Wedding Gown Rental?

Another option is to rent your wedding gown.  When my brother got married, his wife rented her gown.  It was a stunning number that retailed for over $3,500.  She rented it for $75.  Sure, she couldn’t keep it, but considering that my first wedding gown is still in the vacuum sealed box untouched for over 20 years, who really cares?  I doubt my daughter will want to wear it, although I will certainly steer her toward this option – with a seamstress on stand-by, of course!

Consider shopping online at a discount wedding store or even e-bay.  You won’t get the pampering you do at a bridal shop, but you can save up to 40% by going this route!  You can have the dress altered locally if it doesn’t fit just right.

Finally, you can realize incredible savings on your dream gown by picking one out and asking a local seamstress to copy the design.  This probably won’t be the most cost-cutting measure, but you can have a designer gown for about half the cost you would pay directly from the designer.  If you find a good seamstress, they should be able to copy the design for a significant savings.

What would be even better than that?  If you or someone you know sews!  Pick out a pattern at the local discount store, buy the fabric and notions, and make the dress your own, for a fraction of the cost!

The Wedding Veil

What about the veil?  Many brides these days eschew the traditional veil over the face in favor of a more contemporary design.  That’s fine and even beautiful.  It’s all a matter of preference!  But don’t fall for the inflated prices of a handmade veil at the local bridal shop.

I splurged on my first wedding for a to-die-for long beaded veil with a Juliet cap that cost more than my dress.  It was a gift from my grandmother, so I didn’t feel guilty.  It was the ultimate headpiece for my dream wedding and I love putting it on for kicks to this day!

For my second wedding, I fell in love with a flowing tiara veil on display.  The price tag, however, brought me back to reality.  Imagine my surprise when my mother found a similar tiara at Claire’s for $1.99 and bought the tulle for the veil at just $.99 a yard!  She added satin ribbon to match the satin ribbon on my gown, and a headpiece that would have cost me over $200 adorned my head for a mere $10!

Make your Own Wedding Veil! Fun and Cost Nothing!

Want to know how to make your own wedding veil?  It’s much easier than you think!  Follow the directions below and you can have a headpiece that’s amazing!

 

  • Start with a base.  Many stores such as Claire’s have cheap tiaras that can serve as your base.  If you’re not quite into a tiara, just have on hand some craft wire and some plastic combs to hold the veil in place.

 

  • Have a glue gun on hand.  Get some tulle and attach it to whatever base you have.  If it’s a tiara, just glue directly to the headpiece.  If it’s combs, you’ll need to create a “halo” to attach the tulle to.  Add the combs so you can put it in your hair.  Most tiaras come with built in combs.

 

  • Simply glue the tulle to your base and add any embellishments you want – flowers, baby’s breath, etc.  Add accents like ribbons and bows for a special look.

 

Also consider having simple flowers or baby’s breath in your wedding coiffure.  It’s a beautifully simple touch to a beautiful day that will make you look like a goddess in the process!

Hair And Make Up

One note here about hair and makeup.  You could splurge and have a beauty shop do you and your bridal party’s hair, but that’s an extra expense that is really un-needed.  Once again, call on family or friends to help.

Do you know someone whose hair is always stunning?  See if she’ll help you out.  Maybe you have a distant cousin who is a hairdresser.  See if she’ll donate her services as a wedding gift.

When it comes to make-up, the best look is your natural look.  Most people want to see the bride dressed up in her finery but looking like the same gal they know.  No need to cake on foundation if you normally don’t wear it.  Go for some light eye shadow, mascara, a little blush and a pale lip color.  You know how to do your own makeup – do it on your wedding day too.

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