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Fashion & Beauty

Designer Style, Smart Savings

  |  By Leah Andrew

Photography courtesy Christina Gapic Photography.

At SmartBride Boutique, we’re all about helping you find designer names and fabulous style for your wedding, without paying those designer prices.  This week we are sharing five Save Tips to help you get the look you want (high style!) at the price you want.

1. Loose the Extras

Sometimes you try on the dress of your dreams, only to find out the deco belt around your waist, or the beautiful shoulder sash are extra!  A friend of mine, who is getting married next year, found her dream dress and was ready to purchase, and then discovered the price increased by another $1,200 because of extra trimmings. Be aware and avoid the extra costs.


Designer Style, Smart Savings

2. Avoid custom alterations

It’s no question that unless you’re lucky enough to buy off the rack there will be alterations involved.  However, there are regular alterations and then there are custom.  If you want to add/alter a sleeve or change a neckline, you could be looking at significant cost additions. Perhaps you can find another dress that has the elements you want already included.

3. Look for simple silhouettes

Unless you’ve got your heart set on a princess gown, remember that the more fabric used in a dress, the more it will cost. Gowns with layers of tulle and organza will cost significantly more than a simple sheath in the same material.  Remain open to options and you just might surprise yourself!  I thought I wanted a flowing Grecian gown, but ended up in a curve hugging silhouette.

4. Shop Sample Sales, Trunk Shows and Evening Gowns

Sample sales at bridal shops generally happen in summer and winter as retailers look to clear out old inventory at reduced prices.  Remember to factor in the cost of alterations and/or dry cleaning because these dresses have often been tried on numerous times.  Bridal boutiques also hold Trunk Shows for specific designers throughout the year. During these events, savings abound.  If you live in Ontario and love Sophia Tolli, Amanda-Lina’s Sposa Boutique is having a Sophia Tolli Trunk Show from November 5 to 15, 2009.  Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to look at evening gowns!  I ended up going to Holt Renfrew and found a white evening gown (pictured) for less than the cost of any of the wedding dresses I was trying on.

5. Go online!

This one certainly isn’t rocket science for all of you smart brides out there, but after you’ve found some favourites at the boutiques, it might be worthwhile to search online to find the dress at a reduced price.  As a note of caution, if you do find your dress online, it’s best to deal locally if at all possible.  This allows you to meet the seller to inspect and try on your dress before purchase and protects you from fraud.  We’ve put together some handy tips to help keep you protected while shopping online for your wedding.

Happy hunting!  Find more tips and resources to plan a smart and savvy wedding, plus local wedding classifieds, including gowns, bridesmaid dresses, shoes and accessories at SmartBride Boutique.

This article was originally published on Nov 09, 2009

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