This is the fourth part of a series on wedding planning on a reasonable budget. I hope you will join me on this journey of orchestrating the ideal wedding — without overspending.
It’s the part of the wedding process brides are the most attached to. The one thing we want to be absolutely perfect and the product on which we’re most likely to overspend.
I actually didn’t know if I’d buy a dress when I began — three different women had offered to lend me theirs. And this appealed to me, because I think some women become irrational over a dress they’re only going to wear for one day, and that irrationality results in a hefty price tag.
The average U.S. bride spends somewhere from $875 to $1,458 on a wedding dress, according to CostofWedding.com, while Atlanta brides spend between $916 and $1,526.
But we’ve all seen (and maybe salivated over) dresses in much higher ranges. At lunch today a woman told me about her friend’s $7,000 wedding dress — and the divorce that occurred a year and a half after the wedding.
I did some Internet research on a whim one weekend and found a dress strikingly similar to my ideal dress — a little lace, with a keyhole back — available near my house. My mother and I showed up the next day without an appointment (don’t do this), but we were able to squeeze in between time slots. I only tried on two dresses. The first was very close to perfect. But not quite.
The second I thought I’d never take off. I just kept walking around the store in it. And then came the stream of tears when I realized I was standing in my wedding dress.
In the end, I ended up paying more than the $0 I thought I was going to spend. But it was a reasonable purchase based on my income and the cost of the wedding as a whole, and inexpensive enough that I could make a couple of small sacrifices in other areas of my budget.
Plus, it was on sale.
How did you find your dream dress? Did it fall within your budget, or did you have to adjust?
Percent of budget spent so far: 49
Coming next: Decorations and entertainment
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter