My favorite part of wedding planning is looking at dresses. But I didn’t much like to look at them in person – I guess I just got used to shopping online in the comfort and privacy of my home. Plus, I knew my budget didn’t allow me to go to any bridal salons, and often times the selection (and sizing!) are more ample on the internet. With all the great options that have sprung up in the past few years, there is no reason to let money stand in the way of a bride and a beautiful dress.
You can spend thousands or even tens of thousands on your wedding gown. Even ladies with budget-friendly weddings often put four-figures into their dress. But if you, like me, has a budget that is a bit slimmer than that figure, don’t despair. There are plenty of stores, bridal and otherwise, that offers inexpensive and stylish dresses for $500 or less. In fact, you can even veer into seriously-inexpensive territory with dresses that fall under $300 or $200.
Here are ten of my favorite websites where I found inexpensive wedding dresses. Lots of them.
1. BCBG. BCBG won me over when I found this elegant, structured dress (#6 in collage). It’s not strapless! and just $598.00. For brides who are looking for a blush / pink colored dress, the Torey (#3 in collage) is under $400 and looks absolutely stunning (check out that back!).
2. TheLimited. When I was middle schoool, I considered TheLimitedToo the height of fashion. Now that I am a little more grown up, I find their wedding dresses to be some of the most affordable gowns out there. The Final Sale items are an especially good value (of course, there is always the element of risk in ordering a nonreturnable gown online). These two dresses are only $79! I love the rosette detailing on this gown (#1 in collage), and it’s only $159.
3. Ann Taylor. Ann Taylor’s price point is a little bit higher than some of the other retailers, but the dresses look lovely. Very understated gowns. The Olivia gown with a backless design, at $550, is one of my favorites. Plus the store has great return policies.
4. ShopBop (sales section!). Go to ShopBop’s bridal section, and sort for price. That way you’ll see all the dresses under the $500 mark first.This ACL dress is only $150 on sale. This Halston Heritage is under $500.
5. White House Black Market. Look at the Alexandra (#4 in collage)! The elegant choice if you are lucky to have a tall, statuesque build. (If I suddenly grew 11 inches taller? This would be MY dress).
6. Sample Sale Sites such as RueLaLa and HauteLook. I’ve seen several bridal sample sales (Nicole Miller, Sue Wong) on RueLala and HauteLook. The offerings include dresses, of course, but also veils, bridal jewelry, shoes, and clutches. Sign up for their emails to keep abreast of when the bridal sales will happen. Unfortunately, I was always too late to the sale to scoop up a dress in my size.
7. Ruby Lane. If you are looking for vintage dresses, I believe there is no better place than on Ruby Lane. I have noticed that the prices here also tend to be somewhat lower than on Etsy. This empire-waist silk shantung gown is under $200. Try getting a brand-new gown at that price with real silk. Or, if you are looking for something more romantic, how about the 1960s lace and chiffon number?
8. Nordstrom. When people talk about excellent customer service, I think of Nordstrom. So I would feel very safe buying my gown online from this store. This JS gown is inspired by Pippa Middletown‘s dress. But for $200, it’s probably, oh, 800% percent cheaper than the royal bridemaid dress!
9. Lord & Taylor. Lord & Taylor has a small but well-curated selection of gowns online. An embellished Sue Wong dress (#5 in collage) is discounted for $285.99. Another beautiful Pippa Middletown copy by ABS is at under $400.
10. David’s Bridal: David’s Bridal’s Buy Online selection of dresses starts at just $99, like this strapless pleated gown. Want a ball gown (#2 in collage) without the ball gown price? This beauty is also $99.. I love this dress with the bold rose detail at the waist.