Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wedding dress for less

Our one year anniversary was this past Sunday, March 16. In celebration of that I'll spend the next couple of weeks showing you how we saved money on our wedding.

The average cost of a wedding these days is just insane (in my opinion). I would rather save that money to pay off debt or for a down payment on a house. We were very frugal with our wedding. However, I don't think you'd ever know that we spent much less than most. Today I'll talk about how I saved thousands on my dress and accessories.

I wore two new designer dresses... one for the ceremony and another for the reception. They were originally priced $1,500 and $2,000. I paid $100 for each. Seriously.

The dresses were originally from Ellynne Bridal. I bought them at the Mother of All Garage Sales in Lincoln, NE. That sounds weird and kind of gross, but bear with me. Ellynne Bridal sells their rack and last year's dresses to a lady who buys them for cheap and then sells them at the Mother of All Garage Sales. She had racks and racks of beautiful new designer dresses all marked down to $100! They all had their original tags. The year I found my two dresses was 2012. I heard she was there in 2013. I went this year, but she wasn't there :( I was hoping to get her contact information for all of you.

Here is my ceremony dress:

I really loved that dress! I can't remember the designers for either of the dresses. I'll look when I get home.

Below is the second dress. It was so comfortable! It originally had a long train, but I had it cut off so that I could dance all night in it. You can't tell in the pictures, but it flowed beautifully.

I saved on accessories as well. The same lady with the dresses had new veils, jewelry, bridal shoes, etc. all marked down to $10 each. My veil was originally $150 so I saved $140. It was fun to look at the original tags and see how much one could save. It did not have the jeweled clip that you see in the picture. I found that at Kohl's. It was on a headband so I cut it off and then hot glued it to the veil.

I used my mom's garter. It had blue so it covered the "something old" and "something blue" tradition.
The earrings were free from JCPenney. I love their $10 off a $10 purchase coupons! The bracelet was a bit more from Dillard's.
The shoes aren't fancy, but my husband is short so I needed to wear flats. Plus, I already had these so I didn't have to buy new! They matched my colors well.

I saved on alterations by using a local small town lady. She altered both dresses for $30. Can you believe that?! I'd be happy to send you her contact information.

If you're not from the Lincoln, NE area and can't go to the Mother of All Garage Sales, I recommend regularly checking the sale and outlet sections of David's Bridal

Now check out my other wedding saving posts:

DIY pocket squares for wedding
Wedding dress for less
DIY burlap wrapped koozies for wedding favors
Painted tuna cans as candle holders
Milk cans + branches + white lights for wedding reception lighting
Ball jars as candle holders
Learn to do updos for events
Flowers from Sam's Club for wedding 
Wedding wrap-up


  1. Any idea how to find out if she will be there this year?!

    1. Hi Morgan! I called the organizers of the Mother of All Garage Sales and they weren't sure if she had registered this year. Here is their contact info if you want to give it a try: alapointe@broadcasthouse.com or 402-475-4567. My other thought was to try Ellynne's to see if they remember selling them and might have her contact info.

  2. Love this! I found the dress I wanted at Ellynne but it was $1200, so I searched online and found a used one (worn only once, of course) and purchased it for $250. Maria at Azurite Bridal in Lincoln altered it for $40, if I remember correctly, and she had to take it down 4 sizes!

    1. That's awesome, Carrie! You saved a ton of money too! It's amazing what they can do with alterations.