Between choosing the perfect wedding flowers, hunting down the ideal venue, picking bridesmaids dresses, creating all those DIY centerpieces and everything in between, weddings can get REALLY expensive, but that doesn’t mean your dress has to be! Weddings have become such a beastly financial burden for couples that it’s tempting to throw in the hand-embroidered handkerchief and run off to city hall. So, in an effort to help alleviate some of the elaborate costs, we turned to wedding gown experts Nicole Schwalge and Adrienna McDermott, co-owners at Ivory & Beau, for some fab advice on how to save major on a wedding dress.


Nicole and Adrienna offered up expert advice on how to make your wedding dress look more expensive without dropping the big bucks. Follow their tips to stick to your budget while still looking oh-so gorgeous on your big day.

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1. Getting the Right Fit. “A bridal gown is one that you want to fit perfectly. That’s why spending a little on alterations can make a huge difference! All too many times we see a bride in an ill-fitting gown, and all that gown would have needed was a little taken in here, a little hem there, and it would have looked completely different! No gown will fit you perfectly, so alterations are the key to the best wedding day look.”

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2. Playing With Accessories. “Sashes and belts are a great way to add some sparkle without breaking the bank. Most shops have a ton of options, with so many colors and shapes to choose from! Or if you are not into sparkle, add a veil! Veils are such a great way to make your look pop.”

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3. Avoid Bright White. “There is nothing wrong with a white gown, but a gown that is paper-white can wash you out, and look cheaper. Pick a gown with warm tones, that won’t look blue in photographs. We always suggest ivory and cream colors to our brides!”

4. Pick Good Materials. “Polyester can look good, or it can look really, really awful. Make sure to stick with quality fabrics that don’t crinkle easily, or are too shiny. A gown with a smaller amount of nice lace will look much better than a gown completely covered in a low-quality fabric.”

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5. Add Buttons. “Many gowns these days have buttons over the zipper, but if you are in love with a gown, and it doesn’t have buttons, don’t fret! A seamstress can easily add buttons. This is a simple and inexpensive way to add detail to your look, and make it look much more expensive.”


6. Hair + Makeup. “Hiring a hair and makeup artist can completely change your look. We don’t mean go overboard with the contouring or hairspray, but having a professional who can enhance your beauty is well worth it. You want makeup and hair that will last all day, without fading and looking sticky. Professionals are the key to a great wedding look!”

7. Check Out Local Boutiques. “Sure, there are corporate discount bridal shops, but you would be surprised at what deals you can find in a shop. Most bridal boutiques will have a variety of pricing, and be sure to check out their social media for sales! Also, avoid buying online. You never know what you are going to get, and we get brides in all the time who buy a knock off dress, and when it comes in they are so disappointed. Trying the dress on in person allows you to really see, and gives you the real bridal experience!”

Ready for more bridal inspiration? Check out all things Brit + Co Weddings, and follow us on Pinterest for more beautiful + creative wedding inspo.

(Photos via Ivory & Beau)