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Bridal Club Magazine

Make Your Bridesmaids Look A Million Dollars For Way Less

Make Your Bridesmaids Look A Million Dollars For Way Less

As you know, these gowns can be rather pricey - especially when you consider that the
bridsmaid may only ever wear it once. So we put together a few ideas to help cut the costs of the dresses.

BridesmaidsForget specialised bridal boutiques; try going to your local department stores to see if they have any dresses you like. Thanks to a change in fashion trends, hip bridesmaids' dresses now look much like the same offerings found in department stores. And those department stores offer much lower prices (and higher quality) than bridal shops. Chances are, you can add sparkles and highlights for a fraction extra. It would be a bonus if they can be removed easily as the dress will have a better chance of being used again by your bridesmaids. Department stores will also have a large range of sizes to choose from that may even fit better than the boutiques. Simple fitting alterations can be done at our local drycleaners if they have that service available. I used them once to take up a hem and make the waist fit a little better for fewer than fifteen dollars.

Off-season sales. Say your wedding is next summer, look in the beginning of winter sales. Shops are willing to let great dresses go for nix just to make room for incoming stock.

Package discounts. If you are ordering your wedding gown from a bridal shop - there may be a discount offer ranging from 10 - 20% if you order all your bridesmaids dresses as well. This could be negotiable as well. If you don't ask, you won't get.

Think about having the gowns made. What's a bridesmaid-style dress, anyway? A basic dress pattern with little detailing or fuss. You just buy typical bridesmaid fabrics such as taffeta or crepe at a fabric store? We've heard from several brides who had their favourite aunt sew their bridesmaids' dresses. Although not a solution for everyone, it has its merits. Maybe once you find the dresses you want in a magazine, take a picture of it to a reliable seamstress to see how much s/he will charge. Should I remind you, that if you were to try one on in a bridal boutique and attempt to photograph it, the designer might not receive it very well.

Rent or buy second-hand. Rental stores provide the service at a fraction of the cost of buying retail. Advertise or look in your local newspaper for second hand dresses. The NZ Wedding Planner has a section in their discussion forum where you can buy or sell your wedding clothes.

Any dress will do? If your wedding is more informal; instead of forcing all the bridesmaids Bridemaidsto wear the same dress, just give them a colour (a swatch is best) and then have them buy separate dresses. They won't exactly match in style, but who cares? Let the bridesmaids hit the department stores and find a style that they can wear again. (One tip: suggest to them a basic style or skirt length). Obviously you can't be a control freak to do this, but it might be worth a shot.

Don't forget the web! Put in an online search and see what you can find. Grab some mail order catalogues - don't be afraid to order from these. With your own touch, these dresses can be made simply stunning.


Time is of the essence here. Don't neglect finding your dresses as you plan the rest of your wedding. The more time you have, the more likely it is that you will find a good bargain. If you are on the ball, you can avoid incurring a late or rush fee if you have left it to the last minute. Perhaps you could look for your dress off-season.

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