Wedding lesson 5: Dresses

So remember how yesterday I told you about my multiple wedding dress adventures?

Here are some things that make wedding dress shopping hard:

  • Wedding dresses are obscenely expensive and you are wearing it one time. Once. In a cost per hour analysis, you’re not doing so hot. That makes you feel like you have to find a dress that you looooooooooooooooove. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding $30 plain cotton sweaters that I even like a little bit. Shopping is hard.
  • I love the Friday night Say Yes to the Dress binge as much as the next girl, but guys, that show makes it hard to go wedding dress shopping without ridiculous expectations that you are supposed to find “the one” out of the millions of dresses that are produced and marketed to be sold to you. 
  • Wedding dresses are like your future spouses- you love him/her, you’re glad you found him/her, but there are 7 billion people in this world. Statistically speaking, there are going to be other humans out there who have similar values/personalities/physical traits/upbringings as your future spouse, and you would probably have a happy marriage to a different one (or a hundred or a thousand) of those other human beings who are similar to your spouse. (I’m not the romantic in my marriage, can you tell? Realism, guys. Realism.) Dresses are the same. There is not just one dress that will make you happy. There are multiple dresses that will make you happy.
  • A good lesson from Say Yes to the Dress, though? Don’t even try on anything that you can’t afford. And everyone has a budget, so know yours before you even think about walking into a store.
  • I LOVED my dress. Loved it. Here it is:

Isn’t it gorgeous? You can borrow it if you want, I support sharing.

But even I had mixed feelings about it before my actual wedding day. I didn’t have the “Say yes to the dress” moment. Because that’s TV. This is real life and it’s ok to not have TV feelings about clothing choices. Choose something within your price range that you are comfortable in and that you feel pretty in. That’s it. That’s the secret to finding the dress that is “the one.”

I learned a few tricks about places to get less expensive wedding dresses.

  • So many bridesmaid dresses come in white! No one will ever know.
  • There are a few charities that will take wedding dresses (note for after the wedding) and resell them at a discounted price.
  • This newfangled thing called the interwebs sometimes has good deals.
  • You need something borrowed anyway! (Actually YOU DO NOT NEED ANYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT. Except a main squeeze, someone ordained, a marriage license and clothes, just because nudity in public is a no-no). But anyway, I digress. Borrow a friend’s/family member’s dress. I have my fingers crossed that our good friend will want to borrow mine when she tries it on for her wedding.
  • Target?!?! sells wedding dresses. I am not kidding. Walmart does not. I checked.
  • Other less traditional places: ModCloth, J Crew, BHLDN (part of Anthropologie).
  • Pastel wedding dresses are coming in, and I for one love the trend. You know what else is in? Pastel prom dresses. Just flip on some K-Ci & JoJo and head back to the ole prom dress section of the department store.

Last note- try to get some free champagne when you are shopping. I went to multiple shops and not one glass was poured. Wah waaah. Guess that’s what happens when you wedding dress shop at Target!


PS: I already mentioned that I just picked a color that was easy to identify (navy, not “peachy-salmon-mauve-champagne”) and had my bridesmaids buy their own dresses. For the record, at least two of them have already worn their dresses outside of my wedding. I did not want my bridesmaids to spend money on dresses they wouldn’t wear again, or spend a lot of money on a dress period. Navy is neutral enough that I hope the other four ladies wear theirs soon!




  1. Nice tips! The dress always seemed to me like one of the least important aspects (of course everyone has diferent priorities). A good friend of mine got married a couple years ago, and I’m hopeful that her dress will fit me whenever I do.


  2. I love this! I bought my dress on eBay–saw the listing and went to the store to try on the dress there, and loved it. I still had to pay plenty for alterations, but I spent $800 (including cleaning after) instead of something like $1,500.

    I had my bridesmaids wear black dresses. I think only one of them bought a dress for the occasion, but each of them was definitely wearable again.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s