Clearance, Off Season and Closeout SalesOne of the first places to look for a bargain on a wedding dress is the same vendors who get top dollar. Make finding your wedding gown one of your first priorities in your wedding plans. By starting to shop early, you can capitalize on end-of-season sales from this year to wear at your wedding next year. Make sure to carefully inspect any dress for tears, stains or other problems as most will not be returnable. Also be sure any fitting problems can be addressed by a seamstress without completely reworking the gown. The costs associated with major alterations will come close to the price of the gown at full retail.
Vintage Wedding DressesAnother great money saver is the popularity of vintage clothing. More and more vintage stores are opening every day and many carry wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses as a specialty. Styles from the seventies will look remarkably similar to those of today. Go even farther back to highlight the glamour of an age gone by with flapper gowns or the highly tailored gowns of the fifties. Silver Moon Chicago specializes in vintage dresses from the 1890's through the 1960's as well as new dresses. Some vintage stores carry quantities of antique lace and embroidery which will make alterations much easier. Again, watch for tears or stains which cannot be repaired.
Non Traditional Wedding DressesIf the wedding gowns are beyond your budget, take a look at other options. The traditional white gown, complete with acres of ruffles and bows, is not required for a wedding. Many bridesmaid gowns are designed with all the classic bridal elements and can be ordered in ivory or white. While you are looking for gowns for your attendants, look for options for yourself. You can check out the style and cut by trying on the colored gown in the store as most retailers don't carry bridesmaid gowns in white. Pant suits, prom dresses, and cocktail dresses can all be the perfect gown depending on the tone and style of your wedding.
Other PossibilitiesThere are some other places to help you find the dress of your dreams. Upscale secondhand stores, thrift stores and consignment shops all carry wedding dresses from time to time. The trick is to make regular visits to scope out the new inventory. Some resale shops specialize in wedding gowns and formal wear. Cynthia's Consignments, in Chicago, carries more than 100 gently used wedding gowns at deeply discounted prices. Also, don't overlook the classifieds and auction sites. Amazing dresses can be had for pennies on the dollar if you have enough time and patience to wait for the right deal.
There is no getting around the fact that weddings in Illinois and around the rest of the country are becoming very expensive. It is the wise bride and groom who budget carefully to be sure to start their new life on solid financial footing. If you allow for plenty of time and avoid having to make a hasty decision regarding your Illinois wedding bridal fashions, you can find the perfect dresses at a price which will make good sense and put a smile on your face.