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Despite having a low-key wedding, I bought my dress at BHLDN. I absolutely love my dress and really enjoyed wearing it on my wedding day but I wish I knew before buying it that a wedding dress is NOT a one-time cost. Let me explain.

The dress cost about $850 total. I realize this is cheaper than some places but it was a lot for me! Especially when I was first looking on sites like Lulus.

Then you have alterations. I saw this coming but it’s still added stress when you’re already dishing money out for the wedding. Mine was about $300

Now here’s the cost I didn’t think about: Cleaning!!!

After your day is said and done you want to just move on from all of the costs but you can’t hold on to a dirty dress OR sell a dirty dress. Many cleaners quoted me $300-$400 for cleaning. INSANE!

Luckily I came across David’s Bridal service which is about $150 so I’ll be doing that but it’s STILL money I didn’t think I’d be spending when I initially bought my dress.

So, when buying an expensive dress take into consideration the cost of things like alterations before the wedding & cleaning/preservation after the wedding!

I personally rented some things used at the wedding at Only buy those that you think will be valuable and memorable for the years to come.

What are your wedding tips to save money?

Last edited by LaineLou
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Freinds of mine came to me after the father of the bride offered to buy the couple a new car instead of paying for a wedding. So, doing a wedding on the cheap became my "Special" project. First, the bride found numerous used wedding gowns at Good Will. Alterations were done by her aunt. The groom bought is tuxedo in parts from a tuxedo rental store. Many of them sell prior rentals very cheap. His cost about fifty bucks compared to a hundred and fifty dollar rental. Good to know if you have a prom or  cruise in the near future! We shopped around for a church for the service. Easy enough to find one that took a donation. The reception was done in a large tent borrowed from a local cemetary. (I know, but it was cheap.) The cake we had two choices, the vo-tech or the supermarket. The vo-tech was cheaper and nicer (10% over the cost of materials). Food was bought from a local Italian restaraunt. Trays of meatballs, Baked ziti, lasagna, and salad. They tossed in rolls, paper plates, plasticware, and napkins as a gift to the bride and groom. (Very nice!) The mothers of the brides brought a turkey and a ham. Several guest brought sides like potatoe salad and baked beans. The fathers of the bride bought a couple of kegs of beer and some cheap champagne for the toast. Music came from a freind who set up a stereo system and played D.J. for the night. Most guest brought along tapes and records (Yes, it was a long time ago) to play. Dress for the reception was more casual, but a good time was had by all. The couple, for the honeymoon, went camping. They picked out their new car when they got back.  All and all, weddings are about coming together. Most of the guest didn't mind pitching in to help set up or bring something. All understood why.

   Twenty years later, my own daughter got married. She took my suggestion to have her bachlorette party at a local bowling alley. Her future husband thought it was a good idea and had his bachelor party on the other side of the bowling alley. My son and wife provided safe transportation for both groups. My wife and I sprung for the honeymoon as a wedding gift. I spoke with the hotel and explained about the rental. Not only did they give me a good price but the also decorated the room as well (Again, very nice!)

My son is getting married a year from tomorrow and I am in the throes of thinking about the mother of the groom dress. I tease my soon-to-be daughter-in-law with photos of outrageous dresses that I am "considering." Thankfully she gets my jokes! Here's one I found on The Drinks Business but, of course, not in white. Canary yellow maybe? I got married on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge wearing lace tennis shoes, so other than watching a million episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress," I am clearly no wedding dress expert. Still, the cost of the dresses on that show skew things. Seems like the lowest price ever mentioned is $1,500. Mother of the Groom Dress?

Last edited by Janet Keeler

My wedding was economical. We kept the guest list under 100. We got married in my parents yard. I made decorations. My dress was 500. We didn't have a honeymoon. The one thing I didn't find the cheapest of options was ... the photographer. If I was getting married today - I'd save money using digital invites.

The divorce cost more than the wedding - so the best advice I give my kids is - CHOOSE wisely so you never end up divorced.

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