How to Not Break the Bank on a Wedding Dress |Wedding Dresses for Under $500| //phoenix wedding photographer

How to Not Break the Bank on a Wedding Dress |Wedding Dresses for Under $500 -A Guide From Local Arizona Photographer

Caitlyn Jennings Photo // Phoenix Wedding Photographer

One of the most exciting moments of planning your wedding is finally getting to get a wedding dress. I know I wasn’t the only little girl who dreamed of trying on extravagant white dresses and choosing the perfect one for my wedding day. Well, NEWS FLASH. Wedding dresses are freaking expensive. Like thousands of dollars. This absolutely blew my mind and seriously broke my heart! I found myself trying on dresses that were out of my budget, falling in love with them, and leaving so sad. Weddings are expensive and I was the kind of bride who would have rather spent more on things like a photographer (wink wink), a beautiful venue, and florals. I went in with the mindset of wanting to spend less than $500 on a wedding dress and hey, I did it! Here’s a little guide on how you can too, but for even LESS. I’ll be discussing tips and tricks, websites I love, and other ways you can save on a dress. Let’s do this!

Tip #1: Figure out what kind of dress you want, and then find it for less.

Just because you don’t have a huge budget for your wedding dress doesn’t mean you should miss out on the experience of trying on dresses with all of your best gals! Find a bridal store near you that has a RANGE in prices. Don’t let yourself get heartbroken because you fall in love with a $5000 dress at a fancy boutique! Take it as a learning experience to find dresses that you like for your body type and the overall style that you want to go for. After that you’ll be able to check out all of the websites that I am going to link later on in this blog post to find a cheaper version of what you tried on. Win win!!

Tip #2: Two words: Online Shopping.

You can find pretty much anything on the internet nowadays, including cheap wedding dresses. Here is how I hack my way into finding wedding dresses from pretty much any online store:

  1. Pull up your favorite online store

  2. Go onto the Dress section

  3. Put in these filters: Maxi, the color White, your budget

  4. Bam, you find yourself tons of cheap wedding dresses

When you do this of course you are going to get some outliers, but don’t let that stop you from the hunt! Some stores are better than others when it comes to selection, so I always suggest to check them out frequently to see new stock. I’ve been able to find a huge amount of beautiful wedding dresses below the $500 range. Most of the time these websites have free shipping and returns so don’t worry if you don’t love the dress when you see it! Give yourself enough time before your wedding day to be able to return it and allot some time for alterations as well.

Tip #3: Make it your dream dress with accessories and add on’s!

Some dresses online may be a bit simpler than you want, but have no fear! Some of my own brides have simply added on a beaded belt or even tulle netting to make your dress appear fuller. It amazing how much of a difference these things make! Here is an example of one of my brides who added tulle netting to her affordable dress from Lulus to give it more of a fuller mermaid style. Can we all just agree that this was GENIUS?

affordable wedding dress

Where the heck should I look?

Here are some of my favorite websites to browse for wedding dresses below $500 and some of my favorite dresses that they feature. Don’t be afraid to order a few dresses that you have your eye on and see how you feel in them! I’ve included lots of different styles, some more unique than others, in this list. Some trends that I am loving right now include cape style dresses, lots of tulle, and 20’s inspired vintage dresses! Which ones are your favorite?

#1: Etsy

The beautiful thing about Etsy is that you are directly support small business owners just like ME! You can directly message the seller about each dress and have a real human connection while on the search for your perfect dress. Another wonderful thing about Etsy is that you can seriously find just about any dress that you could dream of! Whether that be a big princess dress, a simple and sleek dress, or your ultimate bohemian dream dress all for under $500! If you are willing to push your budget you can also have so many more options since there is a huge range. All I did to find affordable wedding dresses on Etsy was search “Wedding Dress” and once the results popped up I toggled the price point. I highly recommend finding a shop with lots of great reviews and photos of the dress. Another GREAT thing about Etsy is that a lot of the time the dress is custom made for your sizes so alterations (if needed) should be pretty affordable!! That is an amazing way to save some coin!

Get ready to have your minds BLOWN when you see the gorgeous dresses for under $500!! Here are some of my favorites!

Side note: All images below are directly from the shop itself and is not my own photography unless otherwise stated.

  • Bohemian Wedding Dress from Bibiluxe $389

    Direct link :https://www.etsy.com/listing/706622449/boho-wedding-dress-wedding-dress-boho?ref=shop_home_active_7&crt=1

affordable wedding dress
  • Gorgeous Tulle Wedding Dress from GuCiDesigns $250 (holy cow I LOVE this one!!)

    Direct link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/693127102/ripple-tulle-wedding-dress-bridal?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=wedding+dress&ref=sr_gallery-1-4&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&col=1

affordable wedding dress
  • Long Sleeve Delicate Lace Wedding Dress from YaMuughni ~$190

    Direct Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/664152818/boho-wedding-dress-bridal-gown-boho-one?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=wedding+dress&ref=sr_gallery-1-16&organic_search_click=1&frs=1

affordable wedding dress
  • Short Sleeve Lace with Illusion Back Wedding Dress by RenzBridal $369

    Direct link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/592149229/wedding-dress-boho-lace-bridal-dress-off?ref=shop_home_active_5&frs=1

affordable wedding dress

#2- ASOS

ASOS is one of those websites with cute, trendy clothes that you may not expect to have wedding dresses, bu I was pleasantly surprised to see their stock of them!! They have a great range of dresses at the lower end of the budget. I love that they feature gowns that are a big more unique for more modern and eclectic brides! I’m in love with so many of their gowns and I highly recommend you guys check out their website!!

  • Long Sleeved Lace Wedding Dress $190

    Direct link: https://us.asos.com/asos-edition/asos-edition-long-sleeve-lace-bodice-maxi-wedding-dress-with-pleated-skirt/prd/10492371?CTAref=We+Recommend+Carousel_3&featureref1=we+recommend+pers

affordable wedding dress
  • Embroidered Flutter Sleeve with Open Back Wedding Dress $151

    Direct link: https://us.asos.com/asos-edition/asos-edition-embroidered-flutter-sleeve-wedding-dress/prd/11788842?clr=white&colourWayId=16355584&SearchQuery=&cid=9979

affordable wedding dress
affordable wedding dress
affordable wedding dress

#3- BHLDN

BHLDN has quickly become one of my favorite dress brands, but it isn’t always known as the most affordable! Have no fear though, because you can still find gorgeous gowns that won’t break the bank! Their user friendly website makes it easy to only see dresses for below $500. Another great way to find affordable dresses on their site it to look on the sale section. Lot’s of these are final sale so just be weary of that! I’ve heard of so many brides getting absolute steals on their dress from buying a final sale dress from BHLDN so don’t be afraid to check it out!

**So sorry about the awful quality of these images!! Some websites make it very hard to get a clear image to share!

**So sorry about the awful quality of these images!! Some websites make it very hard to get a clear image to share!

Photo by Caitlyn Jennings Photo

Photo by Caitlyn Jennings Photo

  • Vintage Inspired Beaded Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress $380

    Direct link: https://www.bhldn.com/bride-wedding-dresses-under-500/ruby-dress/productoptionids/b8df1319-232a-4c6f-a05d-cdf74da57ed1

affordable wedding dress
affordable wedding dress

#4- Lulus

Lulus is a fantastic website if you are looking for any sort of dress (bachelorette party, engagement photos, etc) but they have a small selection that can definitely work as wedding gowns! Their selection changes often, so keep your eye on it because you’ll see styles come and go! I am absolutely in LOVE with tons of their dresses so head on over to see if you can find your dream dress!!

affordable wedding dress
affordable wedding dress
Photo by Caitlyn Jennings Photo

Photo by Caitlyn Jennings Photo

affordable wedding dress

Ready to find your dream dress without breaking the bank?

You got this girl! I hope that this guide will help you out during your search for your dream dress! Feel free to share it will all of your newly engaged best friends to help them save some $$ too!! Good luck!!!

Want some more inspiration for your wedding? Check out more of my blog posts here

XOXO,

Caitlyn Jennings

Caitlyn Jennings