Six Tips for a Beautiful Wedding Gown on a Budget

Conde Nast Digital StudioConde Nast Digital StudioBrides magazine

Get a beautiful dress and stay on a budget with these six essential tip.

1. Know your price range

Before you set foot in a store, determine your budget, and only try on dresses that you can afford. There's no sense in falling in love with a gown that's beyond your means.

2. Seek out trunk shows

During these special events held at bridal salons, a designer shows off her new collection. As an incentive, the store may offer a discount if you buy a dress that day, says Cristina DeMarco, general manager of Bridal Reflections, in New York City. within reason before letting its low price win you over.

3. Snag a sample

Several times a year, salons make room for new dresses by selling their showroom samples at 50 percent off or more. (Factor in the cost of having the gown professionally cleaned.)

4. Think before you buy

A dress purchased at a steep discount at a one-day super-sale or from an online auction may seem like a steal, but alterations can cost a ton of money if the gown is way too big or small, warns Harper Della-Piana, owner of Seams Couture, in Wenham, Massachusetts. Make sure a dress fits within reason before letting its low price win you over.

5. Plan Ahead

If you're shopping in a salon, start about nine months ahead of the wedding. This way, you'll avoid paying rush fees on your orders from the manufacturer and the alterations department.

6. Pay It Forward

Charge your dress on a credit card that earns points toward airline miles for your honeymoon. Charging your dress also gives you a record of your purchase for a worst-case scenario, such as if the salon suddenly goes out of business.

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