Ahh, the wedding dress. What other dress would millions of women shell out thousands of dollars for? It's more than just delicate lace, florals, and alluring sweetheart necklines that we adore. White wedding dresses symbolize so much more. The white symbolizes purity of the soul, while the beading, lace, and long chapel trains exude luxury and wealth.
Picking the perfect dress is also important because you want to feel beautiful and comfortable in it, and love every last detail. After all, the dress you choose will probably have hundreds, if not thousands of photos taken with you in it, and may even be passed on to your daughter or granddaughter.
The problem is wedding dresses don’t come cheap. According to WeddingStats.org, the average cost of a wedding dress reached an all-time high in 2015, between $1,089-$1,429. And with rising wedding costs, a possible down payment or future family to save for, it's simply not practical to splurge a mortgage payment on a single dress you'll wear for one day.
With wedding season upon us, we figured it's the perfect time to show you the best tips to help you save on your wedding dress, as well as the best wedding gowns we could find online for under $500 (some well under $200!) so you look and feel your best - without breaking the bank.
Be sure to read the full post for 7 Ways to Save on Your Wedding Dress to help you find even more styles you love!
What makes it a wedding dress anyway, besides the expensive price tag? Plenty of prom, bridesmaid and formal dresses come in white, and are made with satin or lace, some even embellished with beads and jewels. Check out 10 dresses below that easily double as beautiful wedding dresses below.
This floor-length gown comes in diamond white, with sparkling beaded lace and a slim fit. It comes in sizes 00 to 18. Add a diamond white veil and you’re ready to go for your wedding day!
This elegant long one shoulder dress by Crush featuring a single asymmetrical strap adorned with dazzling beadwork. The sparkling accents cascade down the slim fitting bodice and accentuate the flattering empire waist.
I found this dress at both a prom dress site and Madame Bridal, both for this same price except Madame Bridal throws in a free pair of earrings valued at $45. Whether it was designed for prom or a wedding, it makes a glamorous wedding gown! It comes in silver and pink, or ivory and nude.
Illusion wedding dresses are trending for expensive designers such as Liancarlo and Vera Wang. Why not go for this piece, on sale for 50% off at Prom Girl? The lacy, sheer sweetheart top and flowy chiffon bottom offer a similar look for only $199.
If you love traditional ball gowns wedding dresses, this will probably be the cheapest you can find online simply because it's meant for prom. Tulle and jewels typically add to a wedding dress's final price tag too, so at $269 this is an absolute steal.
Mori Lee is a fairly well-known wedding dress designer. With soft fabric, an illusion neckline and intricate detailing up top, this prom dress isn’t far off from her wedding gown collection in design, but very far off in price. Most of her new wedding gowns retail for well over $1,000.
This elegant prom dress by La Femme has a jeweled sweetheart neckline and slim silhouette with an embroidered lace overlay. In all honestly, if I saw someone wear this to prom I'd ask why they wore a wedding gown to a school dance!
If you like elegance and simplicity, this dress with allover lace, beaded waist, and one-shoulder asymmetrical neckline would be an absolute steal at $59.99. It would be great for an outdoor garden wedding or any hot summer wedding where you really don’t want to wear layers on layers of thick lace.
In case you’re not a fan of lace, this white satin, crisp taffeta and sparkling beaded dress would make a glamorous choice as well. The dress comes with a matching bolero - perfect in case you’re opting for an off-season fall or winter wedding.
Sophisticated and elegant, this ivory satin dress might be a bridesmaid dress, but it could easily work as a wedding gown. Alfred Sung is a well-known dress designer too, so you can count on having quality materials you'd expect in a wedding gown.
Like all other types of fashion, wedding dress designers and bridal salons are constantly rolling out new seasons styles, so they have to clear past season styles to make room for new inventory. While sample gowns may have been tried on in-store, they have never been worn outside the shop so they are usually in great condition. When you buy sample gowns, always check the description to make sure it's in mint condition, or that any marks or scuffs are only on the inside of the dress. Check out 12 gorgeous sample/new wedding dresses for under $500 below.
Mermaid silhouettes with organza fabric and delicate ruffles tend to add to the final price tag. However, as mentioned above, sample sales are the best time to find these styles for up to 75% off. Originally $1,750, no one would ever guess you snagged this dress for $350! Note that this dress comes in a size 12.
This elegant strapless organza wedding gown with ruching is flattering on all body types! It has a long, chapel train which usually costs more on a wedding dress.
Pronovias is known for their luxurious, high-end line of wedding dresses with new styles often debuting for well over $2,500 per dress. This 2015 style is a size 12, never been worn, with original labels and tags attached. At $499, this dress is bound to sell out quickly and it won't be easy to find a similar Pronovias dress at this price.
Flowy, textured, and layered organza fabric with a split-front overlay makes this a unique designer wedding gown. It has that traditional ball gown silhouette we love, but with a modern twist. This particular dress is a size 18 and comes in sterling (silvery white). This same dress costs $928 at David's Bridal, however there you'd get three color choices and choose from size 0 - 26.
This is a unique wedding gown made of taffeta, lace, crystal beading and metallic accents on a long chapel train. I love that it has a corset top, making it easy to fit a wide array of bust sizes. This particular dress comes in size 8.
Fit and flare dresses are always flattering, and we love this style's sweetheart neckline with soft lace overlay up top, and layered tulle on bottom. This dress comes with a matching bolero jacket as an added bonus. This particular dress comes in size 14.
Allure Bridals is known for their beautiful, romantic lace gowns with trumpet and mermaid silhouettes. The only way to get them for under $500 is to buy sample or used gowns. This one is a sample dress and comes in size 14, however the seller noted that there are small signs of wear and tear. In any case, a dress like this will sell out very quickly, so check here for more Allure Bridals sample gowns for under $500.
This is a brand new dress with original tag and even comes with its certificate of origin and authenticity from Maggie Sottero. While it's a size 8, this is just one example of how much money you can save on a new dress at PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com!
This strapless satin trumpet gown features a ribbon waist and center front embellishment and sweep train for an elegant, timeless look. It's offered in every size, from 0-26W and comes in white or ivory.
Ruffles and lace appliques never go out of style! This dress hugs your body in all the right places, and despite being a sample gown, the dress comes in all sizes between 2-14.
Can't let go of that Vera Wang label? White by Vera Wang is their more affordable line of wedding dresses. This crinkle chiffon column gown with asymmetrical drape and jeweled vine embroidery is absolutely stunning. However, the most stunning part is the price tag!
This is a soft satin gown with asymmetrical ruching throughout the entire gown. As part of the Allure Romance collection, it displays all the romantic, sophisticated details Allure's wedding designs carry, but without the hefty retail price.
I hope this post helped out a few fellow brides. Know of more places to find beautiful, cheap wedding dresses? Comment and share below to help your fellow brides-to-be.