Planning your outfit and overall look for your wedding day is typically one of the most exciting parts of getting organized for the big event. However, it’s easy for your enthusiasm to bubble over too quickly and lead to overspending, particularly when you see all the gorgeous dresses, accessories, and other elements which are available.
With a little care and consideration, it is possible to achieve your ideal wedding look on a budget. Read on for some key tips you can follow today to make it happen.
Set a Budget
The first step is to set a budget for your outfit. After all, it’s so tempting to go wild with purchases when shopping for your wedding, that you need something to help keep you in check. A budget is perfect for this. You might want to either determine an overall amount you feel comfortable spending for your whole look, or else break your budget down into allocations for each element.
If you’re not really sure how much you should put aside for your outfit, consider the fact that, in general, most brides’ wedding ensembles (including not just their dress but also a veil, shoes, handbag, lingerie, jewelry and other accessories) come to around ten to 15 percent of the total cost of their big day. When you’re putting your budget in place, make sure you think about all the different types of costs involved for your look, including not just your actual clothing but also things like alterations and professional pressing or steaming, plus possible shipping costs if you order things on line. There are also expenses associated with getting your hair, nails, waxing, and makeup professionally done.
Put a Plan in Place and Allow Plenty of Time
Next, a good way to keep costs low is putting together a detailed plan for how you’ll go about creating your wedding style. For example, plan out what you want your dress and accessories to look like, and what kind of hair and makeup style will match this, as well as the location, theme, and likely weather on the day. This will help you to target suitable outlets and stylists/makeup artists, and stop you from going over the top.
Your plan should include a timeline, too, because you will certainly save money if you allow plenty of time to get your look organized. While you might be laid-back, wanting to “wing it” and wait until the last minute to shop and book appointments, this can result in huge amounts having to be paid for items to be created, shipped and arranged in a rush.
Instead, give yourself at least six to nine months to find your perfect dress off-the-rack or made and/or altered. Most bridal dresses are actually manufactured to order, plus anything custom designed is particularly time consuming, so you need to factor this time in. As well, if you don’t book your hair and makeup appointments until right before the date of your wedding, you could find that your initial choices are already busy, and that you have to opt for more expensive consultants, thereby pushing out your budget.
Spend Less on Your Dress and Accessories
When it comes to buying items for an affordable price, don’t just shop at the first store you see. Conduct plenty of research to find lower-priced shops and, in particular, remember that you can often find beautiful discount wedding dresses online for a fraction of the price of bricks and mortar bridal boutiques. If you do shop in local stores, it is a good idea to give salespeople your budget before they start bringing out gowns, so that you don’t end up in love with something you can’t afford.
It is also a good idea to source shoes, lingerie, jewelry, handbags, and other accessories from general department stores and other shops, rather than bridal boutiques, as just calling an item a wedding purchase can lead to an inflated price straight away.
If you love the idea of having a gown made just for you, you might want to avoid choosing a custom bridal couture designer, because they tend to charge a lot for their specialized service. Instead, it can be more cost effective to come up with the exact design yourself that you’d like (you can either draw something if you have the skills or present some magazine and online pictures to indicate your preferences), and then present this to a local dressmaker. Make sure, though, that you choose someone reputable with lots of positive testimonials, and that you try them out with another dress or piece of clothing first to ensure they have the kind of skills required.
Written By: Jackie Roberson