One of the most important aspects for most brides is her wedding dress. Many women have dreamed of what their wedding dress would look like for many years. Perhaps she dreamt of a full ball gown with a cathedral length train. Maybe she dreamt of a simpler empire waist dress with just a sweep. Whatever you like, there is a wedding dress out there for you.
Wedding dresses usually come at a premium price. There are also alterations that nearly always have to be done, and that adds to the cost. Once you find a style you like, start looking at many bridal shops. Most shops will carry the big name designers, and can probably get you that same dress you saw at another shop. Comparison shop, not just for the dress price, but also for package pricing. Many shops will offer free items with dresses of a certain price range, and might even have discounts arranged with other wedding service providers. Some will offer a free tuxedo rental for the groom, and/or discounts for bridesmaid and groomsmen’s attire. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to ask a shop if they can do better than what another shop offered you! It’s important to like the people at the shop though, especially if they are going to be doing the alterations as well.
If you are on a tight budget, you can always consider buying on consignment, sample sales, warehouse stores, or even online auction sites. If your wedding is less formal, try looking in local department stores, and even discount retailers that sell last season’s items, or less than perfect (usually this means some issue with stitching or the tag, or something equally silly, that you would never ever notice!). There are brides who wore beautiful dresses; some bought them for as little as thirty dollars that were never meant to be wedding dresses. Look for white prom, homecoming, or other formal dresses. A great time to shop, for any type of dress, is before the new designs come out. Ask when the ‘in’ season for your area usually ends. Ask when new styles generally come out and previous season’s designs are discontinued.