Best Sources for Inexpensive Wedding Dresses

If you’re planning a wedding, you probably already know that costs add up—really quickly. But just because you’re sticking to (or stuck with) a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the dress of your dreams; all it takes is a little extra research, and some insider intel. Our three favorite, unexpected places to look if you’re looking to score a drop-dead gorgeous dress that will still leave you money for your honeymoon? Your favorite retail shops (many go-tos, like J. Crew, have lines on the side specifically designed for brides and bridesmaids), sample sales (thanks to modern technology, you don’t even have to be there in person fighting off other brides-to-be), and resale options (because why should a dress so beautiful only be worn once?). Read on for the options that top our list.

ann-taylor-jasmine-lace-gown
Photo by anntaylor.com

Wedding Lines At Retail Stores

  • BCBG: A small but special selection, all under $1000.
  • The Limited: Basic styles, but all gowns are under $500. Adding some personal touches to these would be key.
  • Anthropologie (BHLDN): Dresses with a bohemian and vintage bent that one would expect from Anthro. Most dresses are under $2000.
  • J. Crew: Classic all the way—and the largest collection. All gowns are under $3000, with plenty affordable wedding dresses under $1000. They also have a bridal boutique on Madison Avenue in New York.
  • Ann Taylor: Simple and flowy (we love the Jasmine, pictured), almost all under $500.


Sample Sale Dresses

  • TheAisleNewYork.com: The Gilt Groupe of wedding dresses, just launched in January: An online flash sale that features a high-end dresses at a discount for a limited time only
  • BridePower.com: Sample and consignment dresses at deep discounts, from Monique Lhuillier to Pronovias.


Used Dresses

  • PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com: One of the original sites to connect buyers and sellers of used dresses, with a broad selection.
  • OnceWed.com: A tasteful site and blog with a lovely selection of used designer gowns.
  • RecycledBride.com: Our pick for used bridesmaid dresses.
  • WoreItOnce.com: This website has a clunkier interface, but if you’re looking at everything, has gowns worth checking out.
  • eBay: Great selection of wedding gowns on eBay. Just don’t get caught up in the bidding, and make sure to check return policies.
  • Craigslist: The place to turn if you’re after the cheapest wedding dresses (and we mean price, not quality). A bit sketch, but the advantage here is that it’s local, so you can go try on the gowns in person, and negotiate the price to your advantage.

    Read 6 Ways to Find a Cheap Wedding Dress for more tips for finding the perfect gown at the right price.