How to Pay Less for a Wedding Dress

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

wedding dresses hanging at a store

You can completely blow your wedding budget if you find the perfect dress for the wrong price. But there are ways to stay within your budget and still look flawless.

If you aren’t sure where to find a wedding dress for less, here are some ways to save.

1. Shop on National Bridal Sale Day

Yes, there’s a day dedicated to discounts for brides. The third Saturday in July is National Bridal Sale Day, when bridal shops across the country offer sales on dresses. Many shops extend the sale throughout the following week so more brides-to-be can partake.

2. Don’t buy a ‘wedding’ dress

Anything with the word “wedding” attached to it is more expensive. Try shopping for white dresses instead. You’ll have more options regardless of where you shop, but check out department stores and other places that sell formalwear. You also could hit up thrift stores and consignment shops near you.

3. Ask a relative

Does your mom or another family member have a wedding dress stashed away somewhere? Give it a second life by wearing it again. You might have to pay to alter and clean it, but that typically will be cheaper than buying a brand-new dress.

Companies like the Wedding Gown Preservation Company will mail you a kit to package up your dress and send it in for cleaning. Restoration might cost only a couple hundred dollars. That’s a lot less than the average cost of $1,050 for a wedding dress, according to WeddingWire.

4. Buy online

Purchasing a dress at a brick-and-mortar store might be more expensive than buying a dress online, even if you opt for a pre-owned option.

Sally Lorensen Conant, executive director of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, suggested a few of her favorites. “Look online for PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, SmartBride Boutique, and Stillwhite,” she said.

Since many brides don’t plan to use their dresses again, some sell theirs online for much less than they originally paid. You can even check out sites like Etsy.

5. Pick a color

My favorite thing about my wedding dress was the fact that it wasn’t white. I took a chance and bought a royal blue dress and loved it. I’ve also been able to wear it again over the years. The dress cost $65, and I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth.

If you’re planning a less traditional wedding, you might want to opt for a less traditional dress. Picking a different color — whether it’s a wedding dress or not — can save you hundreds of dollars.

6. Hit a bridal show

You might be surprised to hear that you can save money by going to a bridal show, but many exhibitors offer deals for attendees. Even if you find an exhibitor you like without a deal, you can ask for a show discount. Companies are looking for your business as much as you’re looking for a dress.

7. Choose alterations wisely

Clothes aren’t made for one person; they’re made for the masses. So whether you find your perfect dress online, at a thrift shop, or at a department store, alterations are almost always necessary.

For a big day like your wedding, alterations aren’t something you should skimp on. Find a seamstress near you who comes highly recommended and give them plenty of time to make changes. Try not to get a total dress overhaul, though. Instead, make changes to help your dress suit you and fit your body.

If you know you’ll need some cash to put toward alterations, try earning extra money with a side hustle before your wedding or consider taking out a small personal loan to help you cover other costs.

Wedding dresses don’t have to be expensive

As you look for a dress for your big day, there are plenty of ways to save. Don’t go into major debt for your wedding. Make a budget, do your research, and don’t give up on things that are important to you.

With that said, be willing to compromise if better deals or opportunities arise. Your dress is just one aspect of your wedding day. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s only a small part of the rest of your life with your partner.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply:SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
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5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.