I am doing a series of posts on saving money while planning a wedding. Today I will talk about the bridal gown. My total amount spent in this area was $824.86, including alterations.
I planned my entire wedding in 2 months. Yes, you read that right! I can tell you for a fact that you don't need to order your wedding gown eleven months before the wedding. Six months is plenty of time to get a wedding gown and have it altered and pressed. Take your time and find the right dress.
Some other money-saving tips:
-Ask to have your shoes (or veil, headpiece, etc.) thrown in for free with the purchase of your dress. These items have a really high mark-up, so the dress shop can afford to part with them if you're making a big purchase (like a wedding gown!). I got my shoes for free!
-Look at the sales and discontinued racks. I tried on two $100 clearance dresses at David's Bridal. Either would have worked well if I hadn't come across my "dream dress".
-Call around. Once you find the perfect dress, go on the dress company's website and find out all the bridal shops in the area that carry that brand. Make a few phone calls; one of them might offer you a better deal to get your business (that's how I got my free shoes).
Feel free to add additional ideas or stories in the comments!