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Wedding Dress Sales to Save Money on Your Dream Gown

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Say ‘I do’ without breaking the bank: we’re unveiling the secrets to finding your dream wedding dress on a budget!


You’re engaged– congrats! Once the excitement subsides just a little bit, you realize how much weddings cost. But don’t fret– budget weddings can be just as gorgeous, special, and memorable as those you’ve seen plastered all over Pinterest and Instagram. With a little research and planning, you’ll be saying “I do” in no time, with peace of mind that you stayed within your budget.

Let’s talk about the gown. Maybe it’s something you’ve dreamed about your entire life. And here you are– finally shopping for the one! It can be discouraging to fall in love with high-end designer wedding dresses online and to realize the cost of one dress might be your entire wedding budget. Put your worries aside and keep reading. There are a multitude of resources at your disposal, and we’re here to say you can find the dress of your dreams without paying a penny over your budget. 

Trunk Shows

If you’ve got your heart set on a specific designer or bridal shop, start with a trunk show. Typically, a boutique will carry a small selection of a designer’s collection at any given time. But during a trunk show, the stylist’s entire portfolio will be displayed, usually representing the newest styles and sometimes even additional ones like second looks, bridesmaids‘ dresses, or gowns for the mother of the bride.

Shopping during a trunk show will be identical to your normal bridal shop routine– try on a sample and be fitted for a custom dress. The difference is the price. You can often land a percentage off your purchase during one of these designer-sponsored events, a discount hard to come by when you’re shopping for high-end designers!

Sample Sales

If you’re more flexible about the name on the tag and looking for a deep discount, consider shopping some sample sales. When a shop needs to make room for new gowns, they’ll hold an event offering up to 70 percent off original prices. Be prepared. This will be a different shopping experience than a typical bridal appointment or even a trunk show. The boutique is making room for new collections, so they’re selling last season’s styles. Expect to shop off-the-rack and to battle some crowds. But should you find your perfect dress, you could walk out with a gown in hand and extra money in your pocket! 

Check with your local bridal salons and make sure to sign up for their newsletters to stay in the loop about events in your area. Follow any local bridal boutiques on social media or give them a call to inquire about their sample sales. Some shops will have semi-annual or annual events every year.

Bridal Fashion Week

This event is not necessarily designed for discount shopping but can be an excellent way to keep tabs on your favorite designers and discover upcoming trends. Though most of the events are reserved for members of the press or bridal salon owners and employees, it can be super fun to follow online. It’s truly a sea of tulle, chiffon, and lace with glamorous gown after gown to admire. Follow your favorite designers on social media to witness all the newest collection drops of their latest bridal gowns.

Bridal Expos

Shopping bridal expo shows could be another avenue to land discounts – both for your wedding dress and pretty much anything else wedding related. National companies or local professionals typically organize these events and are good places to start if you’re newly engaged or in the beginning phases of your planning experience. You’ll meet several different vendors and local wedding shops all in the same place. You can find discounts here and often prizes too! They’re easy to find with a simple Google search for ‘bridal expos in my area’. 

Black Friday/Cyber Monday

If the timing of your wedding dress shopping gives you the opportunity to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – score! Do a little research beforehand to see if any of your local shops are offering a special discount. If you’re considering buying a dress online, there’s a good chance you’re going to land a deal on these discount days.

Bridal Consignment Events

For some exceptional savings, consider buying a used dress. There are several online consignment shops to choose from but search for local events in cities near you as well. Pro tip: try visiting Google and searching for ‘bridal consignment near me’. If you get the dress for a heavily discounted price, you can always invest more in your accessories or things you’ll be likely to wear again such as belts, shoes, or jewelry.

Wedding Dress Charity Shops

A more unique route to finding your perfect wedding dress, charity shops might fit your situation. Consider one of the options below.

Brides Across America is a nonprofit gifting wedding gowns to members of the military and first responders. They host two annual events called Operation Wedding Dress in multiple bridal shops throughout the country, usually around the 4th of July and Veteran’s Day.

The Brides Project and Brides for a Cause both sell new and pre-owned gowns while donating all proceeds to charity. The Brides Project focuses on giving financial support to those dealing with cancer. Brides for a Cause supports a variety of charities focused on helping women.

In-Person Wedding Dress Sales You Need to Know About

Dress shopping can be intimidating, especially if you’re a budget bride. Don’t worry! There are a variety of events and shops, both online and locally, to find the right wedding dress on a budget you can afford. You can have your cake and eat it too! Search for events like the ones listed above in your local area, and get ready to save big on your dream wedding gown!

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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!