A recent poll of brides found that the national average spent on a wedding dress was approximately $1,281, In fact, after the venue, photography and flowers, the wedding gown is the next most expensive item in a wedding.

The cost of the dress can take a bite out of the most carefully planned wedding budget. Here are some tips from wedding planning pros on how to find the right dress at the best price.

Go Vintage

2016 is the year of classic, vintage themed weddings. Think 1920s –style crystals and lace for dresses and accessories. A search of local antique shops and thrift stores may yield a vintage treasure that may be altered and accessorized to fit your look. Sites like Ebay will also be a great place to look for these types of dresses.

Check out the Mainstream

Many popular clothing retailers have created wedding-specific lines of clothing, including wedding gowns. The prices on these collections will already be lower than boutique dresses and due to the production scale of these retailers – there are usually wedding clearance sections and sales that will further increase the deals to be had.

Sample Sales

Wedding boutiques and other fine women’s clothing retailers hold these sales to sell off remaining merchandise to make room for new items. This often includes floor samples, and items that only have a few sizes remaining. This is an excellent way to get new items at drastically reduced prices. These sales are not always open to the public – so contact the retailers and boutiques that you like and inquire about these event and if you may be added to a preferred shopper contact list for notifications of upcoming sales.

Trunk Shows

As with the sample sale, retailers and boutiques will often hold trunk shows for select customers only. Invites to these sales are highly prized by fashion-forward, smart-shoppers. In the case of a trunk show, the merchandise is new – a sample of a collection about to be released to the public – and the items are offered at a trunk show will be smaller in quantity and lower in price. The idea behind a trunk show is to attract influential shoppers and entice them to preview – and help create buzz – about a new collection or line of clothing to bring in more shoppers when it debuts.

Buy Used

At the end of the day, the best way to get a gorgeous gown for pennies on the dollar is to shop resale gowns. Savvy brides are increasingly looking to recoup part of the cost of their wedding dress by reselling it. This means that where a bride might have spent upwards of $1,000-$2,000 for a dress, they may now shop designer labels and fabulous finds for a fraction of that cost. Bridal Veil Dreams one of the best collections of barely used gowns, ranging from the eye-catching to the classically romantic.

Whatever you do, remember that this is your day and ultimately you get to choose the gown that fits your figure and your tastes. Trends will come and go and the odds are this is a dress you will wear for one day. For more tips on thrifty wedding planning visit Bridal Veil Dreams to find a vendor, peruse our sales or find inspiration from our real life bride stories.

Photo credit : Jackie Davis

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