I don’t want to shock you but my commitment to my marriage, my husband and making our wedding day memorable for all (but mostly us) wasn’t really affected by the fact that I wore a $300 dress.
I bloody loved my dress, a Wayne Cooper off the rack number.
Although I never endeavoured to look like ‘a princess, or Hollywood starlet’…I was aiming for ‘upmarket me’ I felt amazing and it had nothing to do with the price tag on my wedding dress and to be honest if ASOS and their online counterparts were selling wedding dresses three years ago, I would have been in like Flynn with that stuff.
Buying a ‘cheaper gown’ for me didn’t mean that I was less committed to the day because I didn’t spend an amount comparable to purchasing a small car on a dress that I was only going to wear for 7 ½ hours. When we got engaged and started planning our wedding, we decided that getting into debt for a party, for us, simply wasn’t an option.
I like holidays, and eating, and being able to pay rent.
A big factor for me when dress shopping was avoiding the cookie cutter gown. I actual bought a gown on a whim on a work trip to the US at David’s Bridal, it was pretty, it was off the shoulder, it had pockets, but I spent four months trying to find a way to feel comfortable in it. I tried to imagine myself dancing and being me without hitching it up and having a small bosom explosion. I purchased fancy and terribly uncomfortable bras, boleros and snazzy cardigans and belts until I came to the conclusion that quite frankly I think strapless gowns can look pretty mediocre on most people. I ditched the gown and called my bestie one Sunday morning three weeks before our wedding and we hit the shops. As soon as I zipped up my future dress, I was lunging in the shop, testing out my dance moves and feeling amaze.
Seeing the amazing array of affordable wedding dresses online blows my mind. We have so many options. It’s mental. No one…and let me say that again NO ONE is going to know or care about how much you spend and where you purchased your wedding dress (nor do they care about chair covers but that is for another article).
NO ONE CARES.
Watch: How much should a wedding dress cost? Post continues below.
My personal theory is that many pricey bridal gowns, like our cosmetics, are probably manufactured in the same place by the same people but are given snazzier labels.
The price of something like a wedding dress is relative.
And you know what, I LOVE the freedom of buying 10 dresses on ASOS and trying them on in the comfort of your own home without a bridal shop person potentially making you feel inadequate about your body/dress/budget choices.If you don’t like them, then post them back. Buy a simple gown and add some kick arse accessories to it, spend more on shoes that you’ll wear over and over again.
Or how about renting your wedding dress?
The cost per wear ratio of a wedding dress is pretty low, with the average bride wearing her gown for 6-8 hours, it doesn’t give you a bunch of time to enjoy your big purchase in the long term.
Here are some advantages of renting a wedding dress:
- You can hire multiple gowns- costume change anyone!
- You are spoilt for choice, wearing something that has just come off the runway for ¼ of the price
- You can afford a designer gown that may be out of your price range
- Dry cleaning costs are included in the rental price (just don’t trash the gown).
- You can take advantage of a hire package and also rent your attire for other key moments of your wedding celebrations, like your bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner.
Companies like glamcorner.com.au and thevolte.com offers a selection of dresses and attire choices that can easily be 'converted' to wedding dresses. I say converted as a way not physically converting the dress (don't do that, or you'll get to keep it and pay for it!), I mean more of a mind shift, to not needing your dress to be purchased in a wedding dress boutique or be handmade to actually make it a wedding dress.
Stillwhite.com is an Aussie pre-loved wedding site that has gone global. If you have your eye on an expensive designer gown that is perhaps out of your budget, consider searching for a pre-loved wedding gown on the many websites that list them for sale. As in any transaction, ask a lot of questions, particularly about alterations and sizing. Also, if the pictures aren’t clear, ask to see more. If you can meet the seller to try on the dress, even better.
Wedding dress shopping is an emotive and fun process (for most) but because of this pressure that we’ve collectively created as a society, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. We talk about it ‘being the best day of our lives’….let’s stop that! I had an amazing wedding day but I do hope that sometime within the next 100 years (cryogenics anyone?) that there’s a few more of equal awesomeness coming up.
Buy the dress you want. Bugger the big price tags or what stylists or ‘fashion experts’ say… find a dress, or suit or pant suit or tutu that makes you feel fucking fabulous and go with it.
Listen: The venue is sorted, the guest list is done and now it’s time to work out what you’re wearing!