5 Tips To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress On A Budget

Rachel Surman

Feb 25, 2018

Spring is on its way and love is in the air! In case you were wondering, Canadians are still spending a lot of money on weddings – but think they will be spending less. A  from Ipsos found that Canadians say a realistic price tag for a wedding is $8,937. However, a  found the average cost of a wedding in Canada is around $30,717!

Buying a wedding dress for the big day is also quite expensive, with the average cost in Canada coming in just under $2,000. With wedding season just around the corner, it may be a good time to start looking for that perfect wedding dress.

Well, you’re in luck! At Borrowell, we’re all about helping you save money where it counts and helping you improve your overall financial well-being. So we talked to some brides-to-be and scoured all the wedding blogs to find the best tips for finding a wedding dress on the cheap.

1. Set a budget

If you’ve already given wedding dress shopping a go, you’ll know how easy it is to be swept up in whatever too-pricey dress the salesperson thinks will look amazing on you. This is why it’s so important to set a budget and stick to it, despite the temptation.

Look at your finances and figure out what you can realistically spend on a dress. Try not to let anyone (family members included!) talk you into a dress that’s out of budget.

2. Start early and be patient

Starting early will give you lots of time to find your ideal dress. Some experts even suggest giving yourself up to 9 months! This is because if you’re ordering a dress brand-new, it can take as much as 6 months to be shipped to you, depending on where it’s coming from.

You also may need a few months for multiple fittings and alterations. Be careful – these last-minute fixes can also tack on extra dollars to the dress. Be patient! Remember, there’s no hard and fast rule about dress shopping. Try on dresses until your heart’s content, as long as you have the time to do so.

3. Go second-hand

Finding a vintage wedding dress is like finding a hidden gem. There are so many great, often underutilized, resources to find a vintage wedding dress for way less than brand-new.

These include websites like  or  – there’s even a specific “” dedicated to thrifty brides in your geographic location! 

Many vintage clothing stores and consignment sellers often have wedding dress sections. Of course, this may require a bit more time and effort, but the money you save (and the awesome story!) will be worth it.

4. Sample sales

Sample sales are a great place to find discounted wedding dresses as well. It will take some work because you’ll need to spend time going through the racks. It also may not be a perfect dress and may require some cleaning up! There are plenty of sample sales in Canada – you just need to find one that’s near you. , in Toronto, for example, has a sample sale once a year. You can read how to survive it .

Sample sales are great for finding designer dresses at a fraction of the cost. A word of warning on sample sales: they sometimes only carry sample sizes, which isn’t inclusive for all of the different and beautiful bodies out there! However, some sales, including Kleinfeld’s, carry petite and plus-size dresses. Just be sure to do your research before you go to the sale so you know what to expect.

5. Non-wedding dresses

Who says you need to wear a traditional wedding dress? If you’re on a budget, or even if you’re not – a non-wedding dress is definitely an option! We’ve heard of evening dresses and even old bridesmaids dresses that can work well as a wedding gown. You’ll look so great that people won’t even notice it’s not white. 

A final word on budgeting for your wedding

The cost of weddings, as outlined above, is very expensive in Canada. If you know you’re going to be borrowing money from your credit card to pay for it, it may be a good idea to consider a  to help you save money on interest.

For example, a typical credit card charges an interest rate of 19.99% – meaning you could quickly rack up post-wedding debt. , alternatively, start at 5.6% APR and can save you thousands in interest over time.¹ There are also no restrictions, so you can pay off your wedding loan whenever you want to with no prepayment penalties. To check your rate (without affecting your credit score) .

We hope these tips help you find the perfect wedding dress for your big day. Be sure to  your perfect dress-finding stories and any dress budgeting ideas we may have missed!

Have you got your credit score and report from Borrowell? Get yours .

¹Please note that final approval of your application for a Borrowell loan is conditional on completion of the steps set out in your application (including identity, income, and bank account verification) as well any further underwriting review deemed necessary. Additional documents may be required. Borrowell retains the right to adjust any loan options presented to you or to decline your application at any time prior to final approval.

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