My Top 4 Best Places To Shop For A Wedding Dress On A Tight Budget

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

I love weddings! I guess as a "wedding photographer" that's a give in. However there can be some downsides to throwing such an extravagant day. One of the biggest being cost.

It is certainly not easy sticking to a budget. And it's definitely not easy deciding what components you can stand to cut cost a little and which ones you can't afford to live without. Unlike Cinderella we don't all have a Fairy God Mother to make our days magical. So here's a list of my top 4 places to find an affordable dress that will make you feel like a princess and keep you from walking down the aisle in your garter.

1. David's Bridal

Just because David's Bridal offers many expensive designer dresses doesn't mean they don't have some great options for under $1,000.


- Brick & Mortar Store (Options to try on in store)

- Wide selection of sizes

- Always offering great deals

- Widely Trusted

- Dress & Accessories all in one place


- Harder to find unique dresses

- Easy to go over budget due to large selection of dresses and accessories. (TIP: Send you bridal party hunting)

With many options and locations this is by far the easiest place to find an affordable dress. Here's a link to their online dress finder quiz.

2. Etsy

One thing I learned from photographing weddings is that Etsy can truly be your one stop shop for everything wedding. I simply searched bridal and everything from invites to cute robes popped up.


- Many unique options

- Direct Purchase from designers

- Custom options available

- Trendy Styles

- One stop wedding shop


- Sizing can be tough

- Alterations may be needed

- Quality depends on individual vendor

- Design and delivery time can vary

A budget dress does not have to be a boring dress. This is what many of these Etsy designers have set out to prove. There are many unique styles of dress like this minimalist boho dress from Yamuughni Boho & Modern Bridal Separates. Here's a link to many other great options.

3. Reformation

Reformation with its edgier bridal looks is a store that stands for more. Many of the dresses are made in a sustainable and economical way. If you are a high fashion bride with a low impact on the environment these guys might be for you.


- Trendy

- Sustainable

- Many Stores across the U.S. (Some in Canada and the U.K.)


- Not very many classic dress options

- Sizes only range from 0-12

Here's a link to there wedding collection

4. The Simple White Dress

One of the simplest ways to buy a wedding dress on a budget is to simply not buy a wedding dress!

Ok... I know that might sound crazy, but hear me out. One of the best ways to avoid that ivory markup is to well, simply just avoid it.


- Unlimited Styles

- Reusability

- Uniqueness


- Alterations & customizations may be needed

- It may not feel like a wedding dress to you

There are so many great options and styles when it comes to wedding dresses. You could spend months searching the Internet and still not exhaust all the options. Hopefully this helps you in your journey to finding that perfect dress.