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Scoring the Perfect Bridesmaids Dresses on a Budget

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Looking for ways to score the perfect bridesmaids dresses on the cheap? Don’t miss this advice for making the most of your bridesmaids’ budgets!


Most brides have their bridesmaids lined up for far longer than they have had a ring on their fingers. You love them all dearly – so it’s possible that you’ll actually have quite a bit of fun planning the details of the wedding together!

Since these gals are your besties, it might be better to take more of a democratic approach to all things bridesmaid rather than perhaps… a dictatorship? No bridezillas here at The Budget Savvy Bride!

Many of our readers feel like they could never pick out a dress for the entire gaggle of gals to wear without at least a little bit of inner-party consultation. Between managing your work schedules and the potential cross-country locations of your bridesmaids, the best (read: most convenient) way for all of you to shop would be online.

Before diving into the world of online bridesmaid dress shopping, it’s important to establish the style, colors, and feel you are going for with your upcoming wedding. Once your wedding vision is defined, you’ll have some parameters to work with. For many budget brides, one of the most important factors is going to be the price.

Tips to make shopping for bridesmaids dresses simple and efficient

Believe it or not, it is possible to snag stylish bridesmaids dresses for under $100. But how? And where?

Through lots of dedicated research of course! Online shopping, while convenient and often thrifty, can also be tricky and time-consuming.

If you’re preparing to shop for bridesmaid dresses, check out these tips to find the perfect bridesmaids dress on a budget:

#1. Buy Retail.

It is often more cost-effective to purchase dresses that aren’t meant to be bridesmaid dresses. Some traditional bridesmaid dresses from popular designers run upwards of $350! That’s not exactly budget savvy. Not only do major retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom have a large variety of styles to choose from, they also have a bigger inventory! Their stock is made up of items spread all across the states, so you’re more likely to find enough of each size you need, even when an item goes on sale!

#2. Communicate.

Never hesitate to email/chat with a company and ask how many dresses of a certain design they have left in stock. The dress you love may be at risk of selling out! One bride took this route when she and her bridesmaids fell in love with a ModCloth dress. Upon chatting with their customer service, she learned that there were only 5 mediums left! Needless to say, she added the lot to her shopping cart and checked out faster than you can say, “budget savvy!”

#3. Give your girls some freedom. 

A very chilled-out bride option for bridesmaids dresses: let them choose their own dress! The best way to pull this off is to give them guidelines or parameters to stick to. Whether you’re just looking to have a range of dress styles in the same exact color and fabric, or if you’re into the laid-back mismatched colors and patterns look, this is a great way to achieve it. I’d recommend asking to review each gal’s choice prior to her making a purchase to ensure it achieves the look you’re going for.

#4. Shop Your Favorites.

Do you have a few favorite stores? Sign up for their newsletters to receive the word on sales. Also, don’t forget about holiday sales, as they can be a major deal hub. Think New Years, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, etc — mark your calendars and try to shop during times you’re more likely to get a discount or sale! Don’t forget to check Ebates for discount codes or coupons!

#5. Think Ahead.

If you’re dead set on having each of your gals in the same exact dress, it’s important to think ahead for the best results. If there are enough of your chosen item in stock, consider ordering one dress ahead of the others. This will allow you to check for color, quality and sizing before having the rest of your girls order their dresses. Checking out the items in person before committing to the whole lot will help you to determine if it’s really what you want!

Where to order affordable bridesmaids dresses online

Ordering dresses online is actually very convenient if you have bridesmaids spread across the country. Simply shoot an email to all your ladies with the link and color information, and they can order the dresses themselves!

Check out this post with our favorite online bridesmaids dress retailers!

One final tip for bridesmaids dress shopping online: 

If you have one of those flaky or forgetful friends you’re worried won’t take action when it’s important, take care. Ask her to forward you the email confirmation or receipt to confirm she actually followed through! Or order the dresses yourself and send the gals a Venmo request. Easy peasy!

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The Budget Savvy Bride is the #1 Online Wedding Planning Resource for couples who want to plan a beautiful wedding on a budget they can actually afford. Check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer!