The wedding dress is one of the most extravagant costs of the entire wedding. Many women will spend thousands for the single garment, which is fair enough given the sentimental value and the fact that they might be planning to save it for the next generation.
But not all of us are willing (or just able) to spend that kind of cash for a dress we will wear once. So we seek how more affordable means of acquiring our all important gown.
Here are three ways that you can save big on your wedding dress.
There are a ridiculous number of stores that buy dresses wholesale or clearance, and then stock them for a profit while cutting down the price significantly. I have seen $1000 wedding gowns on these sites being sold for $300 or less.
But a quick word of caution: read the fine print. Any terms of service and policies on things like refunds, concerns, condition and shipping should be studied prior to buying. Also, a quick fraud report check is helpful to make sure a shop has not been reported as a scam. Most will be safe, but double check before you buy from any wholesaler or depot.
Goodwill, the Salvation Army, thrift stores and second hand shops...all of these are places that will often have surprising items for you to check out. I have noticed that with these shops the dresses are old and sometimes damaged. So go early to give you enough time to make adjustments, fix any issues or make arrangements for the dress to be restored. Spending $100 to pay for someone to correct any issues on a $50 dress is still a bargain.
Of course, you can always check online for second hand dresses that are newer and in better condition. Ebay and Craigslist, as well as newspaper and tv news online classified sections are a good place to start. I have found plenty of places where bitter divorcees are looking to unload a reminder. Sad, but a bargain.
Look For Donation Centers
A lot of places will take donated wedding dresses and resell them, with proceeds going to charities for military brides, women with cancer and even human trafficking rescue centers. Since they are selling them for non-profits, the donated gowns are usually very affordable, and you have the added bonus of knowing you are doing good through your purchase.
is a list of stores that take donations. Many of them resell.