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30 Ways to Thrift Your Dream Wedding

August 27, 2019

From dollar store decorations to saving big bucks at the bridal salon with a little known hack, you really can create a beautiful wedding on a small budget. Here are 30 savvy ways to save money on your big day.

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Photo: Cassi Claire Photography

Shop Bridal Outlets

Just like regular apparel stores, some bridal salons have outlets, too. This is a great way to score a new, never-worn dress for a fraction of the original cost. Typically there’s nothing wrong with the dresses, but the style may have been discontinued or the line is last season. Also, look for nonprofits in your area such as Brides for a Cause. This organization takes used wedding dresses from brides and brand-new dresses donated by local stores and sells them at a deep, deep discount.

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Photo: Jennie Andrews

Buy a Sample Dress

My wedding was Art Deco-themed and I had my heart set on a beaded gown. But beading is $$$$ and I was on a strict budget. I scored a designer dress with head-to-toe beading using this little hack the bridal salons don’t tell you about: I bought a sample dress. A sample dress is the dress you try on to find your size. And if you like it, the bridal salon orders a new gown. But after so many seasons, or if a style is discontinued, salons will sell the samples. After a trip to the dry cleaners and alterations on minor snags in the tulle, my dress was as good as new for a fourth of the cost of a brand new gown.

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Photo: Shutterstock/WildStrawberry

Rent Your Wedding Dress

If your style is less heirloom and more trendy, consider renting your dress instead. Rent the Runway is a great way to wear top designer clothes for a fraction of the full retail cost. The site’s had a cult following for years for renting wedding guest outfits, but now the brand has a bridal shop with outfits for every occasion, from white rompers for the bachelorette party to little white dresses for the dress rehearsal to full-length gowns for the big day.

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Photo: Jennie Andrews

Score Deals on Poshmark

I stressed and stressed about my wedding shoes for a long time until my second bridal fitting appointment where I learned that the traditional hemline for a floor-length wedding dress is actually even longer than floor length. Translation: No one will see your shoes anyway so don’t spend too much on them. I scored these gorgeous (and designer!) vintage silk T-straps on Poshmark for just $25.

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