It's Money Saving Monday again and this week is all about the bride. When planning the wedding most couples are focused and aware that the venue, caterer and photographer can be large expenses but they forget to factor in that the brides attire on average can cost about $3000! The worst part is that these expenses often sneak up on you and put you over budget. The key to saving money on bridal attire is to start early!Starting early is the key but be careful not to start before you set a date. If you buy a gown that compliments a winter wedding but then change your date to summer, you have a dress that does not match! Do not forget that the gown often dictates the tone of your wedding; whether it is romantic or modern in style it should be complimented by other elements of your wedding.
When brides first start looking for gowns I always tell them to push themselves NOT to buy on their first visit. Often with the first visit you find a dress a you like and get so consumed in the moment the you spend hundreds of dollars more than necessary just to have that gown. Take your time and weigh the options. If it is a designer gown, can you find a look-a-like? If your mom wants you to wear her dress, but you do not like the style, have is redesigned. Is there one designer you love? Search and plan to go to their trunk shows. These same rules can also be applied to your shoes and accessories.
Many people have the misconception that bridal shops are the best place to buy shoes and they are if you want to be over charged. "One price test turned up a fifty-dollar difference in identical shoes sold at a regular store versus a bridal salon." (1,001 Ways...S. Naylor) Fifty dollar difference on an identical item! This misconception can not only affect you but your bridal party as well if you direct them there for their shoes. Shop around, collect coupons and save some money. Just because something is not from a bridal shop, does not mean you should rule it out.
In the end, bridal attire is all about patience and planning. Try not to get overly anxious and make decisions on the spur of the moment because they will cost you.
Happy Planning and remember... Every bride deserves her dream wedding at her dream budget!