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Tips for Saving Money on Bridesmaids Dresses

2011 April 26

As all brides claim to do, I spent a lot of time trying to pick out affordable bridesmaids dresses that my bridesmaids could wear again… I know, I know… there will always be people who think that every bridesmaids dress on the planet is hideous, but I am still a wedding romantic, and I think it can be done!  Here are the tips I picked up on the hunt for the perfect, affordable bridesmaids dresses:

Bill Levkoff bridesmaids dress style 528

The Bill Levkoff bridesmaid dress I chose, style 528

  • When you first begin planning your wedding decorations, check out department stores (especially if that coincides with prom season). My mom and I did a 4 hour department store marathon that led us from Dillards to Macys to Belk to DEB.  We were dress hunting during prom season, peak days for cute cocktail dresses at any mall.  We found a number of cute options.
  • If you have already picked out your colors, don’t waste much time in the mall. We wished that we’d done the bridesmaid dress mall hunt before we’d gotten our hearts set on a color scheme.  My recommendation to those of you who already know what colors you want is to slap on those power walking shoes and breeze through the mall on the off chance you find what you’re looking for, but not to waste a whole day on this mission – we’ve got better dress saving ideas!
  • Go try dresses on at a bridal shop with a good amount of variety, pick out what you want, then shop around for the best pricing. You and/ or your bridesmaids need to try on dresses in real life.  Don’t just order dresses online without seeing them on a real person first.  They’re going to be one of the focal points of all of your wedding photography, and you’ll kick yourself big time if they come in not looking as good as they did online.  A woman in the dressing room at Savvi Formal Wear in Raleigh told us she’d experienced this mistake first hand!
  • In bridal shops, ask about discounts for ordering entire bridal parties at one place. They won’t always offer up this tid-bit, but many bridal shops will give you a discount for ordering dresses and tuxes all from their store.  Some will also give you discounts if you have a large number of people in your wedding party.  I am planning to have 7 bridesmaids, and Savvi said they would give me a discount for the large number of bridesmaids and an additional discount if we ordered the tuxes there. 
  • Some bridal shops will negotiate if you can prove that another has their pricing beat. I recommend calling around to different shops in your area before buying your dresses.  If you are able to say that one or another has offered you a better deal, you may be able to work your price down.
  • Try on in person, buy online. I found the exact same dresses that cost more than $200 in the bridal shops for $117 online!  The same dress!  Victoria’s Bridal Couture had the best deals I found anywhere, and they also have some great advice on sizing and measurements.
Bill Levkoff bridesmaids dress style 528

The Bill Levkoff bridesmaids dress I chose, from the back. Style 528.

Hope this advice helps!  If you’ve picked up any additional tips along the way, please share them in the comments!

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5 Responses
  1. Monde permalink
    February 8, 2012

    How did your service with Victoria’s bridal couture go? I am looking to buy a dress from there online…the exact same brides maids dress you have on, but not sure about their credibility….Please help!!!

  2. May 15, 2012

    Thanks for sharing!

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