New York, NY (PressExposure) September 07, 2009 -- It happens too often that brides go shopping for a wedding dress, fall in love with one, and then find that it's way out of their budget. Then they are either heartbroken because they can't afford the dress or spend money they don't have to get it anyway.
Stick to your budget
Most brides have a general budget in mind when they're wedding dress shopping, but they usually spend more than what they originally though. Don't go shopping until you have some idea what dresses cost so that you can set a reasonable limit for yourself.
Once you have this limit in mind, you should alert the bridal boutique assistant that you only want to see dresses within that price range. You can also look through online auctions and dress exchanges if you budget it really tight, but be sure you don't spend more than you can afford here either. Even a cheaper dress can be beautiful with the right accessories.
Steer clear of intricate embroidery and bead work
Hand-sewn embroidery and embellishments take hours to complete, so they cost a lot. Instead of that overly-embellished expensive dress, go for one in the same style that is plain. You can always add a few embellishments yourself or glam it up with accessories.
Do it yourself
There are so many great dresses out there that it doesn't take a lot of effort to design your own dream dress. Simply mix and match styles from magazines and online pictures, and take your finished amalgamation into a dressmaker for help in creating the finished dress.
You can also make your own dress if you are an excellent dressmaker. You can find all kinds of patterns and fabrics online and in specialty shops, but you shouldn't try to make your own dress unless you definitely know what you're doing.
Use a bridesmaid's dress
There are so many elegant bridesmaids' dresses out there that you can double up as a wedding dress as many of the styles come in shades of white or cream. Choose a full length or tea length dress, and use bridal accessories to disguise the fact that it's not actually a wedding dress.
Consider a secondhand dress
There are plenty of websites and specialist shops right now that sell used wedding dresses, so they aren't hard to find. Use eBay and local secondhand shops to see what's out there, but be sure you check the dress thoroughly for wear and stains before you buy it, and buy a size or two larger than you normally wear so you know the dress can be altered to fit you.