When a bride shops for a wedding gown, the number of options can be simply overwhelming. Color, fabric, fit, with so many choices, it’s a wonder that more women don’t get married in a favorite pair of yoga pants. And as soon as you find the dress you adore, you check the price tag and your heart stops cold … the gown of your dreams is well out of your price range.
Rick and Leslie DeAngelo, owners of VOWS bridal boutique, and stars of TLC’s I Found The Gown, shared money-saving tips to help every bride feel chic and beautiful (and on budget!) on her big day.
Rick and Leslie have been in the bridal business for over 22 years, since their own wedding. After Leslie struggled to find a designer wedding dress that she could afford (she didn’t find one), they discovered a missing part of the wedding industry. Now as the owners of the largest discount bridal boutique in America, Rick and Leslie use their relationships with designers, manufacturers and retailers to find designer gowns up to 60-80% off of the retail price.
Of course, the simplest solution for a bride on a budget is to fly to Boston and visit VOWS. A second option is to check out Leslie and Rick’s money saving tips.
Buy The Sample
Says Leslie, “When you go to a regular retail bridal boutique, brides could always ask the owner if they were willing to sell them the sample dress. Bridal shops are set up with sample dresses; a bride goes in, they try on the sample dress, and the store orders them a new dress.
But some stores are willing to sell the sample, if it’s been there for a little while, or it’s not moving, they’re not getting a lot of orders on it, they might say ‘we’ll give you this dress at 30-40%off.’ Some brides don’t realize that you can ask that question. Some people don’t feel comfortable asking that question, but it’s an OK question to ask.”
Says Rick, “There are a number of online sites that sell used wedding gowns. If you decide to buy a used gown find out of it’s been altered. Generally, when a dress is altered, they take in the side seams and they cut the seams and they can’t be let back out. Unless you have the same shape of the other bride, the dress might not fit. Make sure they have a return policy just incase you get the dress home and it wasn’t the dress you thought it was.
Be a Bridesmaid
Says Leslie, “Some bridesmaid dresses, in cream or ivory can look fantastic as a wedding gown and you can save a lot of money. No one will know that it’s a bridesmaid dress, but you.”
Leslie and Rick point to another TLC wedding show, Something Borrowed, Something New where brides choose between a new dress and one that has been borrowed fro ma loved one and reworked. “If you have a friend or relative who has a dress that you like parts of,” says Rick, “there are seamstresses who can remake that dress to better suit your personality.”
Be Open Minded
Says Leslie, “You may pull a dress that you don’t like on the hanger, but it’s a great deal. Once you try it on, and add a belt, you may love it. If you keep an open mind and don’t get too locked down, you can score a great deal.”
Whatever your budget, there are ways to find the perfect gown for your big day.