Wedding season is BACK! I want you to be honest here… How many bridesmaid dresses do you have sitting forlorn and forgotten in the bellows of your closet? We all say, “it’s so beautiful… I’ll definitely wear this again.” But who are we kidding? We won’t. And the price tag for all those dresses? It can add up fast! So, why not do your besties a favor and keep costs down? This post dives into 5 clever ways to save money on bridesmaid dresses.
Modern brides have an incredible array of options. For instance, the blush sequin tulle bridesmaid dress I’m wearing is under $50 (video of it below). Thanks to an explosion of online offerings, it is easier than ever to snag high style at an affordable price point!
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First, you’re probably wondering what I know about this topic. Let’s just say I speak from personal experience (and as this post explains, I’m certified in wedding planning though I never actually dove into the industry). What did my bridesmaids pay for their dresses? Nothing! Yup, not a penny… I found a dress so affordable, I was able to buy their dresses and call it part of their bridesmaid gift. This brings me to point number one…
When I started planning my wedding, I fell in love with a simple yet elegant dress from J.Crew (they’ve since quit the wedding game and no longer offer explicitly “bridal” collections). It was $90. That’s certainly not a huge price tag…. However, at the time, it felt like too much to ask my friends to spring for. We were all getting started in our careers. We didn’t have a ton of disposable income.
Consequently, I went on a hunt for alternatives. And I found an incredible one in the clearance section of a Nordstrom Rack (they still have an amazing array of dresses under $50). The navy dresses I found were $25 and came with a built-in pearl necklace that provided the high drama/elegance I was looking for. I scooped up a variety of sizes and had my friends try them on for fit.
If you’re looking to save money on bridesmaid dresses, you may be pleasantly surprised in what you can find off-the-rack. Do you have a clear style vision and color in mind? Take your girls shopping and see if you can come up with something everyone enjoys. Visit all kinds of stores, T.J. Maxx/Ross/Marshalls types, LOFT, Banana Republic, H&M, department stores, and bridal shops for comparison. Think broadly! A prom or homecoming dress can make a beautiful bridesmaid dress, as can something in the clearance or juniors section.
Don’t limit yourself to the realm of stores like David’s Bridal when seeking to save money on bridesmaid dresses. I’m not knocking David’s, they do have some fabulous/moderately priced options. However, you have so much variety to choose from these days. If budget is your top concern, start your search online! Stores without a brick and mortar footprint have less overhead and will generally be more affordable than national chains or local shops. For instance, the dresses I’m wearing in this post are from Ever-Pretty. Both are under $50.
When Ever-Pretty asked me to review these dresses, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The price point is so low and the variety of styles so broad, I thought there had to be a catch. Usually, things that seem to good to be true… are exactly that, right?! Ever-Pretty’s Google reviews are mixed, some shoppers rave about it while others had complaints (usually with regards to fit). In these cases, I like to give brands a chance. Glad I did. Because I was really impressed!
Whether you’re looking to save money on bridesmaid dresses or hunting for an affordable event gown, it’s tough to beat options like Ever-Pretty. The dresses I tested (the blush sequin tulle bridesmaid dress and sequin leaf mermaid bridesmaid dress) are well constructed and so stunning in person! The level of detailing with the sequins is quite impressive for this price point. And the sizing for these gowns was spot on for me. Both dresses fit like a glove.
Interested in trying Ever-Pretty? Here’s a discount code to get you started:
Use “blogger25” to save 25 percent on an order $50 and up!
The golden mermaid gown made me feel like I was ready to walk a red carpet! And wouldn’t the blush tulle dress be beautiful for an outdoor summer wedding? People always ask about shipping. Ever-Pretty offers free shipping for orders over $50. Otherwise, it is $9.99 for standard shipping. For those with a U.S. address, your order should arrive in 3-7 business days.
Pro-tip: Brands like Ever-Pretty often have an Amazon store. This means it is essentially a no-risk purchase! Ever-Pretty doesn’t offer every one of its styles on Amazon, but you can find the most popular there and snag free Prime delivery and returns. It’s an extra layer of comfort and security I love when testing a retailer for the first time! Here are 4 of my favorite Ever-Pretty options available on Amazon.
I totally get it, long dresses are super elegant. They fit that quintessential elegant vibe and might match the image you have in your head. However, long dresses will likely require your wedding party to fork out a significant amount for alterations. At 4’11, you can imagine how many dresses I’ve needed to get hemmed! A short dress is not only more affordable, it’s more versatile for your wedding party and will increase the odds they will wear it again.
One of the smartest bridal trends is the rise of the mix and match approach. By letting your wedding party choose their own, you not only save money on bridesmaid dresses, but also allow your wedding party to find something that better suits their individual style/budget. It is possible to nail a cohesive look without your friends looking like clones! To avoid any surprises, be specific about your color preferences and give them some parameters to go by. If you’re nervous about their choices, keep your lines of communication open and ask if you can shop together.
Since a bridesmaid dress is all too often a one-time wear, why not rent it? Rental services such as Rent the Runway are the perfect option for brides who want a really high end look. You can find gorgeous attire in a wide range of sizes and styles. Long, short, chiffon, silk… you name it, Rent the Runway has it!
And many of the designer options are from bridal-industry favorites like Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Jenny You and Amsale. Rental prices start around $30 for a four-day rental and you can order two sizes for no additional fee. This helps ensure you get the fit just perfect!