Buying a bridesmaid’s dress can be stressful, especially when your options are limited and outside your control. If the bride chooses a single style and color, you won’t get much say in the matter at all. As a bridesmaid, it can be hard to feel the joy you normally get in shopping when you’re limited or restricted when it comes to choices. And then, of course, there’s the cost. In this post, we’ll share some things to keep in mind for saving money on bridesmaid dresses, whether you’re the bride or standing by her side!
Brides: be considerate of the budget of your bridesmaids
As a bride, it’s important to be thoughtful and considerate of your bridesmaids when making decisions on the style and costs associated with their wedding attire. Having a candid conversation with your bridal party members about their personal budgets and any style concerns is a great place to start.
Though some brides may opt to cover the costs of her bridesmaids’ dresses, that’s often not the case, especially when the bride herself is on a tight budget. So the best thing you can do to keep everyone happy is to be mindful of the costs you’re imposing on your bridesmaids. The last thing you should want to do is put your closest friends’ in a tough financial position for the sake of your wedding vision.
At B$B, we’re all about providing affordable solutions, alternatives, and resources to help you get the look for less, so the following tips will do just that. Thankfully, there are countless ways you can find affordable bridesmaid dresses, whether you’re the bride-to-be making the decisions or standing by her side and wearing the chosen frock. Read below to see some of the ways you can get a great deal on a bridesmaid dress.
1. Shop Online for Bridesmaids Dresses
One of the best ways to score deals these days is to shop online. Not only is it easy to price compare and weigh your options, but you might also find options that are extra affordable because they’re online only. Stores without a retail footprint have less overhead, so their prices will likely be lower when compared with national chains or local shops.
2. Sign up for the store’s e-newsletter
Most stores offer you a coupon once you give them your email address. It might be annoying to get daily emails about new sales and deals, but you can score some great coupon codes by checking those emails. (To remedy this, we recommend creating a separate email account for sales/promotional emails for wedding stuff!) Most of the time, a store will include a discount offer in the first email they send, so you can unsubscribe immediately if you want to.
3. Check out The Budget Savvy Bride’s Wedding Deals
This very website has a whole dedicated section of Wedding Deals– if you haven’t visited yet, we suggest you bookmark it ASAP. As a trusted wedding resource since 2008, B$B has partnered with various brands they know and trust to offer this audience exclusive discounts, sales, and coupon codes. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Before you buy anything for your wedding, we recommend checking out the wedding deals page to check for an offer first. You can even browse by brand or category so it’s easy to see the current bridesmaid dress deals. You’re welcome!
4. Scour the internet for coupons
I’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention sites like RetailMeNot and Rakuten — these mainstream coupon sites keep track of tons of store discount codes so you can check before you buy. Sometimes the offer will be for free shipping, other times it’ll be an extra 30% off. No matter where you check for wedding discount codes, it only costs you a little bit of time to look before you make your purchase.
With Rakuten, you can also earn back a percentage of your purchase as cash back from a variety of popular online retailers.
Sign up for Rakuten to start earning cash back!
5. Buy discounted gift cards
This tip is one of the ultimate savvy savings hacks– and not just for weddings! Did you know there are websites where you can buy gift cards from hundreds of different retail and online stores? When you purchase a discounted gift card from sites like Raise and Gift Card Granny, you can save up to 15% off the total price. If you’re buying a dress for $150, that means you could save up to $22.50!
Whether you’re a bride picking up the tab for your friends, a bridesmaid buying your own dress, or even a guest who wants to score a great deal on a snazzy new outfit, this is an easy and painless way to save some money.
SAVVY TIP: We checked Raise in February 2021 and found David’s Bridal gift cards going for 10% off. Now, imagine stacking that on top of a sale– your entire group of bridesmaids could all go in and order your bridesmaids’ dresses together to save a bundle!
6. Ask if there are any deals
Often stores or even local bridal shops will have promotions if you buy a certain number of dresses. Or they can let you know when they expect an item to be on sale. Being polite can often save you lots of money. Salespeople want to help you and can offer ideas on how you can find a great deal– even if it’s not at their store.
This is especially true and more likely if you are having a large bridal party. If you’re in need of a larger quantity of dresses, they may be more likely to cut you a deal.
7. Let Your Bridesmaids Choose their Own Dresses
One thing I’ve been happy to see growing in popularity over the last decade is the rise of mix and match bridesmaid dresses. Not only does it give your bridal party more flexibility, but it also allows them to choose something that fits their personal style and budget! Rather than forcing your best friends to assemble like an army of clones to proceed down the aisle, choose a color (or colors) and allow them the freedom of choosing their own dress style. We personally think this is the simplest and savvy solution to the bridesmaid dress dilemma.
8. Check Reseller Websites
Buying used items is a great way to save money across the board, whether it’s a used wedding dress or used wedding decor, or even bridesmaids dresses! Check out eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark, and other thrift websites to find bridesmaid dresses secondhand. You can easily save up to 50%– potentially even more. If your bride is flexible about your dresses, you can look online to see if someone is selling a used bridesmaid dress. Most of the time they’re only worn once so you shouldn’t have to worry much about quality!
9. Shop Consignment Stores
If your budget is extra tight, you could also check out your local consignment stores or thrift shops in your area. Since most ladies only wear their bridesmaids dress once, the smart and savvy thing to do is donate it or try to resell. We’ve discovered various shops around the country that are specifically tailored toward weddings and include a bevy of bridesmaid dresses! This is especially helpful for anyone working with a mismatched bridesmaids look, or at least something to keep in mind when deciding what to do with your bridesmaid dress after a wedding.
10. Rent Your Bridesmaids Dress!
In our book, the Bridal Rental Revolution is about the greatest thing since sliced bread. Since you’re likely looking at 3 figures for something great quality, you might as well wear something spectacular. We’ve shared before about how much we love Rent the Runway, and you could totally shop their selection of styles to borrow as a bridesmaid! Especially if you have your eye set on a designer frock that isn’t worth splurging on if you’ll only wear it once, why not just rent it guilt-free?
Buying a bridesmaid’s dress should be an exciting time. You’re buying a dress that will be reflected in pictures for decades to come and you’re fulfilling your friend’s vision of her wedding day. Use the tips above and you’ll feel less stressed about finding your dress, no matter your budget!
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