How to Create a Wedding Dress Budget and Still Find the Perfect Gown

There is a lot more than the tag price of a dress to consider when setting the wedding dress budget. Here are some things to keep in mind before you start shopping. There are also some things that will save you money to keep in mind while shopping.
 
Alterations- Alterations can be very pricy.  The more complicated the alteration, the more it will cost.  Be sure to consider the realistic cost of any alterations the gown that is chosen will need.
 
Wraps and Covers- Some venues do not allow bare shoulders and some brides may want a wrap for their strapless dress regardless of the venue’s requirements regarding such covers. The price of these wraps can be higher than expected.  As with everything, brides should shop around but be prepared to fit the cost for a wrap or shawl into the wedding budget.
 
Undergarments and Shoes- Many gowns will require special undergarments like corsets and crinolines. Be sure to budget these into the amount required for the bride’s attire.
 
Shop Weekdays- On weekdays bridal store attendants will be less busy and you will get more of their time and be less likely to be swept up in the moment.
 
Ditch the Rules at the Door- Forget about the rules that tell brides what dresses look good on what body types.  Forget about designers and styles and try on a little of everything.  A dress on the clearance rack can be the one just as easily as a custom made designer gown.
 
Don’t Impulse Buy- If you think you have found a great gown look around at prices. Take pictures if you can and take a few days to sleep on it.
 
Don’t Settle- A good bargain will not be so good if the bride decides she doesn’t love the dress a month or two later. A good deal should not be a reason to buy a gown unless the bride is in love with the gown.
 
Press and Steam- The cost of cleaning, pressing or steaming should also be considered. If a bridal photo shoot will be done, a second pressing may be needed after that bridal shoot.
 
Cover Yourself- Pay for a big purchase, like a wedding dress with a credit card if at all possible. Get every agreement in writing.  If you are offered a discount on pressing or alterations get a copy of the offer.  If it is a store policy to offer the discount, get a copy of that policy.
 
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