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Looking Fine While Saving Dimes

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 - 01:00 PM | Wedding Planning | Comments (1)

By Katherine Schober


Here comes the bride, all dressed in white …


I’ve watched enough episodes of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress to know that each bride has different expectations for her gown. Some women want a more simplistic look and some want a gown that makes a statement with beading, ruffles, or a trendy cut. Some women live by the motto, “The poofier the better,” while others crave a sexy silhouette, sheer fabric, or daring neckline.


Each bride is unique not only in taste, but also in budget. Many brides want to stand out on their wedding day in a one-of-a-kind dress. Unfortunately, not everyone has a budget that allows for a custom-made gown. Whether the dress cost $400 or $11,000, most brides end up walking down the aisle in something white. So how can a bride stand out and still stay within her budget?


In some episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, they decide to “jack up” a bride and give her the full experience with a veil, perhaps some jewelry, and even a bouquet. They use this tactic to make the sale on a dress and most of the time, it works. What I’ve taken from the “jack up” is that the dress alone isn’t what makes a woman feel like a bride. There are other essential pieces that contribute to making a gown “wedding ready.”


For the bride on a budget, I suggest focusing on the accessories. Buying a dress on a budget might seem like an impossible task, but there are several affordable dresses at stores like David’s Bridal that can keep you from breaking the bank and give you the opportunity to get creative with accessories.


If the majority of brides walk down the aisle in white, why not stand out by adding some pops of color? There are several ways brides on a budget can make their dress look unique. Personally, I’m crazy about the idea of matching colored jewelry with your wedding gown.


There is nothing wrong with the pearls, diamonds, or other gems worn by brides on their wedding day. If you consider yourself a traditionalist, the all-white and sparkly look is definitely a classic. For the trendier yet budget-conscious bride, bright jewelry is a fantastic way to draw attention to your chic fashion sense, especially if you follow my advice and buy a low-budget gown. No one will ask if your dress is Monique Lhuillier when they can’t stop staring at the unexpected and gorgeous splash of color hanging around your neck. This kind of accessory guarantees a few head tilts in the crowd and a whole lot of whispers from your impressed guests.



Another way to take your dress from simple to stylish and from all-white to some added color is with ribbon sashes. This accessory appears to be more common with bridesmaid dresses but should still be considered to add some pizazz to a white gown. If you’re a traditionalist and adding color to your white wedding is out of the question, take an afternoon to go to a craft store, buy a neutral colored ribbon and some crystal embellishments and create your own one-of-a-kind sash. Even the simplest (and possibly cheapest) wedding dresses can ooze elegance with a smooth ribbon tied fashionably around the waist.



Looking fabulous from head to toe is a must on your wedding day. In the same way you can make your own sash, creating your own head piece can be just as fun, easy, and economical. If a veil seems like an archaic idea to you, try bedazzling your own headband or a flower to clip into your hair. These are low-budget and trendy alternatives. Finish out your look with some colorful shoes, like my friend Katie, and you’re ready to walk into your future looking fabulous.



For some brides, the dress is the most important element of their wedding, besides the groom of course. Whatever your personal style may be, finding a dress you can afford is key. Buying a simple gown and using some of these accessories will allow you to create your own look that reflects your personality. You can be reassured that while other brides may have purchased the same gown, none will have your look. The right accessories can make a $200 dress look like a $2,000 dress. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks.


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Comments (1)

1. Umm hello perfect timing! My fiance and I are planning a wedding on an extremely tight budget. He lost his job a few months ago and I am at my wits end trying to make my dream wedding fit my budget. I really appreciate your suggestion to buy a simple dress and let the accessories make the look. THANKYOU!
    Comment By Elsie - Jan 17, 2012 2:28 PM

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