Broke-Ass Category: The Bride


Affiliate Disclaimer New

What’s a bride to do when she loses her job just before getting engaged? She writes to the BAB team for help, of course! 

Dear BAB, I’m reading your book — like it’s the bible. I’m the brokest of BABs — lost my job right before I got engaged! Our super generous parents have given us $15K to do with as we will, but after being unemployed for a bit, I’m wanting to do everything: an awesome, fun party for 150 peeps for under $10K. Unfortunately, none of our state parks (Minnesota) allow kegs and I can’t find a caterer/location combo to do my dream of having a hotdog bar for our wedding! But, on to my question: I’m a fun, awesome person and my dream is have to tea length dress, with a full skirt, a sweetheart neckline, corset style waist and in ivory or some other not white color. My budget is $500, but I was hoping to get a dress under that so I could afford alterations. My dream dress is Stephanie James Nadine, but it’s $1,800. (Not even close to my budget!) Do you have any suggestions for a non-traditional wedding dress that is reasonably priced? Emily

Emily, losing your job really stinks and it was terrible timing. But you got this! $10K-$15K is more than plenty for an amazing, memorable wedding. Your idea for kegs and a hotdog bar sounds delicious (great, now I have a taste for a hotdog :P) as well as resourceful — you’re well on your way to being a crafty, clever BAB! Have you looked into any private barns (also here) or private campgrounds in the area?

The Nadine is a flirty tea length gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline, full skirt, and an overall brocade-like texture — and it’s made in the U.S.A. Let’s get to work finding non-traditional alternatives under $500! (You might also enjoy the gowns in this post, which have a similar vibe.) 

Can't Afford It

Stephanie James Nadine

Nadine, $1,800 at Stephanie James Couture

Get Over It

Pink Swiss Dot Rockabilly Wedding Dress by MissBrache

Pink Swiss Dot Rockabilly Wedding Dress, $495 by Etsy seller MissBrache

Unique Vintage 1950s Brenda Swing Dress

1950’s Style Brenda Swing Dress, $122 at Unique Vintage

EllanaCouture Lace Tea Length Gown

Vintage Style Lace Tea Length Gown, $450 by Etsy seller EllanaCouture

Miss Brown's Daydream Dress by porshesplace

Miss Brown’s Daydream Dress, $215+ by Etsy seller porshesplace

(This dress comes in 200 colors and is made in my home state, Ohio!)

Miss Joanna Vintage Reproduction Dress by porshesplace

Miss Joanna Weds in a Vintage Reproduction Dress, $399+ by Etsy seller porshesplace

(Same seller, different dress!)

Tea Length 1950s Vintage Wedding Dress by TheVintageMistress

Tea Length 1950s Vintage Wedding Dress, $289 by Etsy seller TheVintageMistress

Tea Length Bubble Hem Grace Gown by jacklynndesigns

SAMPLE SALE / Tea Length Bubble Hem Grace Gown, $350 by Etsy seller jacklynndesigns

Unique Vintage 1950s Style White Tulle Dress

1950s Style White Tulle Dress, $118 at Unique Vintage

Vintage 1950s Tea Length Lace Pin Up Wedding Dress by DyStyle

Vintage 1950s Tea Length Lace Pin Up Wedding Dress, $295 by Etsy seller DyStyle

Vintage Bridal 1950's Tea Length Wedding Dress with Tulle Skirt by MirandasBridal

$275 by Etsy seller MirandasBridal

(Another Ohio seller – Ohio represent!)

Tulle wedding dress By TiCCi

Tulle wedding dress By TiCCi, $230 by Etsy seller TicciRockabilly

1950s Rockabilly Wedding Dress 'Lacey' with Lace Overlay by PixiePocket

1950s Rockabilly Wedding Dress ‘Lacey’ with Lace Overlay, $356 by Etsy seller PixiePocket

1950s 'Rose' Pin up Strapless Wedding Dress by PixiePocket

1950s ‘Rose’ Pin up Strapless Wedding Dress, $422 by Etsy seller PixiePocket

(Same seller, different dress!)

Lisa’s Bonus Pro Tip: You’ll notice that many of the above gowns were found on Etsy, one of my favorite sources for Rockabilly-style vintage or handmade vintage-inspired gowns. With such a timeless silhouette, though, you may be able to find a local seamstress who can do proper measuring and create a custom gown to your specifications — without much need for alteration. This Etsy seller designs period costumes and takes custom requests — in Minnesota! 

Emily you’re doing a great job working within your budget! I’d love to hear what you think of these gowns, and whether you’re able to find a hotdogs-n-kegs-friendly venue. Pop back into the comments below to let me know! 

Got a gown that you just can’t get off your mind? We’re happy to help you get over it! Just tell us in the comments below! Please remember to include the budget you’re working with so we can find you the best alternative for you.

*As always, please do your own research before buying a gown online. Team Broke-Ass is here to provide you with inspiration and resources, but it is up to the consumer to know what they’re purchasing.
  • 7/21

    Sponsored Post Disclaimer

    It’s Christmas in July! No, not really, but pretty damn close, y’all.

    David’s Bridal is having their hugest sale of the season. And by huge, we mean RIDICULOUS. For serious. From wedding dresses to styles for your entourage to all those pretty little sparkly adornments, prices are slashed across the board:

    * Wedding dresses that were originally $300-$600 are now as low as $99, with discounts of $50-$200 off David’s Bridal’s largest selection of frocks.

    * All bridesmaids dresses (except Special Value dresses, which are marked as such) are $20 off.

    * Regular priced jewelry and shoes are Buy One, Get One 50% off (heeeyyyy bridesmaid gifts)!

    * And for the extra cherry on top, all clearance accessories, shoes and gifts are an extra 40% off.

    OK, that’s a lot of info, right? And what are you supposed to do, just amble on into the store and try to figure out what’s what amid the chaos? Nah, we wouldn’t do that to you. To start, if you dug any of the dresses in this post then you’re in luck — those beauties are all game for some dollar-saving action! But I’mma go ahead an do you an even bigger solid.

    I pulled together a few favorite looks and worked with the team at David’s to pair them with accessories that (shock! gasp!) are also on sale so you can attack this awesomeness with a game plan and come out on top. Cool? I thought so.

    Gown YP3344, Necklace MNJ2905, Earring CZ108

    Gown: $774 Necklace: $50 Earrings: $10

    Style Tip: strapless gowns are perf for a statement-making necklace. Keep your other bedazzlers sweet ‘n’ simple — a pair of simple studs pull the look together without being too much.

    Gown WG3672, Blusher WPD17121

    Gown: $649 Headpiece: $79

    Style Tip: Want vintage? Get a blusher. Bonus: They’re versatile, so if you decide to slip into something shorter for the dance floor, this little baby will easily work for both outfits.

    Gown WG3532, Headpiece 35986C001, Bracelet 9721

    Headpiece: $19.95 Bracelet: $12 Gown: $499.99

    Style Tip: Though small, a little clip with a dash of sparkle is a good way to add some pizazz to your hair without rocking a veil. The flower clip complements the beaded floral applicque bodice. Throw on some arm candy and you’re all set!Gown V9409, Veil 850, Veil WPD17939

    Veil, Top: $299.95 Veil, Bottom: $49.95 Gown: $449
    Style Tip: Want to ooze that bridal feeling on your big day? Grab a veil.  mid-length tulle style with a pencil edge (bottom) is soft and subtle while a longer cathedral-length amps up the drama. Try on various styles to see what works best for you.
    Gown KP3696, Veil V390, Necklace 80018Necklace: $10 Veil: $129.95 Gown: $649

    Style Tip: Traditional and timeless, pearls are a gorgeous option without the bling overload. They add a little shimmer without blinding anyone and are a very classic bridal accessory.Bridesmaid in Sangria F15530, Headband H22490, Shoe Feliz

    Headband: $8.99 Shoe: $49.95 Dress: $139.95
    Style Tip: Gold + jewel tones = holy regal, Batman! However, the metallic hue also works well with neutrals and pastels. So, of course, gold wins.Bridesmaid F16004 in Petal, Shoe Andrea, Shoe Savannah in BegoniaShoe, Top: $59.50 Shoe, Bottom: $59.95 Dress: $79.99

    Style Tip: Blush is an ever-popular color for your brigade. Go with the sweet and feminine look by pairing a light pink frock with gold, or make a statement and go bold.Bridesmaid F15749 in Marine, Bracelet 10034318BR, Earring 10034316Er

    Dress: $149.95 Earrings: $19.95 Bracelet: $25.95

    Style Tip: Pull together a coordinating look by adding baubles in a color palette that matches their dresses. The two tone accessories here only help enhance the dark blue dress.Bridesmaid F15711 in Apple, Bracelet J8007B, Earring 70503124

    Dress: $129.95 Bracelet: $30 Earrings: $15.95

    Style Tip: A short ‘n’ flirty dress gets a glamorous makeover with some serious #sparklez. Skip the necklace with an illusion neckline, and opt instead for earrings and a bracelet.Bridesmaid F15701 in Begonia, Handbag Dazzle, Shoe Jazz

    Bag: $49.95 Shoes: $79.95 Dress: $99.95

    Style Tip: If your crew is donning something bright, metallic shoes and accessories are probz the way to go. In styles of their choosing but in one shimmery hue, they’ll look coordinated without being too matchy-matchy. Plus, um, can we talk about that knuckleduster clutch?
    Bridesmaid F1555 in Horizon, Bag Mayan

    Dress: $69.99-$79.99 Clutch: $29.95

    Style Tip: Let your crew customize their look — you pick the frock, they get the say over how they accessorize. Perhaps gift them with a gorgeous clutch that will complement their styles.

    Well, Broke-Asses, what are you waiting for? Get thee to David’s Bridal and save some skrilla on your wedding day goodies!

    Which of the above looks is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!

    The Broke-Ass Bride
  • 7/20

    Amy trying on V-neck styles

    I've been dreading dress shopping for months, but after much prodding from friends, I caved, suited up in some Spanx and headed to David's Bridal. I know David's is a great budget friendly option, but based on some previous experience with their dress quality and hearing lots of customer service horror stories, it wouldn't be the first place I would want to buy a dress.…

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    Hey, BABs! Today's post is for bride Julia, who is looking for a floral gown like the "Valerie Lynn" by Heidi Elnora for under $1000. The inspiration gown is a lovely A-line dress, with a natural waist, full skirt, pockets, and most strikingly, a hand-screened floral print at the bottom. The "Valerie Lynn" is the perfect gown for a garden or other outdoor wedding venue.…

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  • 4/27

    A few years ago, I was in a lot of weddings.  It seemed like all of my friends got married within a short period of time. Although I was honored to be a part of their special days, I would be lying if I said that the 'maid duties didn't put a strain on my enjoyment of the event. There I am in the bridal…

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    Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly Lace Gown

    Before we get down to the business of Gown Hunting, let’s take a moment to welcome our new BAB team member, Caitlyn, who did a bang-up job on her post last week! Kudos, Caitlyn! And now back to the fashion frenzy, reader fanfanstella had the most eloquent way of phrasing her dress dilemma. In her comment to another CAI/GOI post, she said the Monique Lhuillier Sienna Chantilly…

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  • 3/23

    You guys. I officially have my dress, and I am so. excited. I actually bought my dress in August of last year. I’d finally found a day that two of my besties were available, and had scheduled a few appointments at L.A.-area salons. My BAB strategy was to find a really gorgeous floor-length bridesmaids dress, and order it in ivory or Champagne. I had picked…

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