Broke-Ass Tag: Affordable Wedding Dress


Affiliate Disclaimer NewI am so happy to report that I have finally made a concrete decision on something … THE DRESS! About a week and a half ago I hauled my mom, my bridesmaid Shay and my two girls to David’s Bridal in the hopes that I could finally get this ball rolling and make a decision on something. Chris has recently taken on a paramedic certification class on top of his full time job and National Guard duties, so a lot of planning is going to fall on me (and my wonderful, Type-A mother), so I’m starting to buckle down and try and get things done.

I actually really enjoyed this experience, even though I typically am not a huge fan of extended shopping experiences or having all eyes on me for a long period of time. My consultant, Iman, was amazing. She knew what she was doing, and even though I think she had 2-3 other brides and bridesmaids appointments, she was very attentive without being overbearing. When we walked in, she pulled some of the dresses that I had indicated I liked on their website, and then a couple other ones that were within my budget, which was $500. I’ve known the kind of dress I want to wear on my wedding day for a long time: off-white or champagne (I’m very pale and I feel like pure white would wash me out. Plus, I have two kids, so I’m not trying to look virginal), definitely lace, straps, and form-fitting. So Iman pulled some dresses for me that met my criteria and then one big, poofy ball gown to try on just for fun and so my girls could see me in a princess dress, which my 4-year-old really wanted.

Poofy ball gown

Me and my “princess dress”

So the ball gown was definitely not my style.

However, I did fall in love with a dress that had a faux button up back and lace that went all over my back. It was gorgeous … but very itchy. I hadn’t had it on for two minutes before I wanted it off. Luckily, Iman really was amazing and told me to wait a minute and she’d be right back. She then came back with THE dress. It was everything I wanted, and only $100 over my budget. I had already had a mental discussion with myself on whether or not I was willing to compromise on my budget, so this didn’t worry me too much. Iman had been very good about my budget concerns as well, so I wasn’t worried about hurting her feelings or being made to feel bad if I didn’t pick the dress because of money issues. My mother loved it, Shay cried and Y was in love. The only person I had to convince was L, my 7-year-old, who had fallen in love with the second dress I tried on. I promised her that she could wear it to her wedding, which smoothed over the hurt feelings and she jumped on board. I told Chris I found the dress and told him 500 times that no, he couldn’t see it before I walked down the aisle. I got to ring the bell and make a wish, order my dress, and voila! One piece of my wedding is done. Only 1000 more pieces to go!

Hair pic

What kind of bra do you wear with a keyhole back dress?!

I would definitely recommend David’s Bridal to a bride on a budget. The consultants seemed to be very good at sticking to your budget, and I receive emails constantly about sales and coupons that they offer. I said no to quite a few dresses, and quite a few accessories, and no one made me feel bullied or pressured, which I really appreciated. Definitely Broke-Ass Bride friendly!

How was your dress-shopping experience? Did you have luck on the first go, or did you have to make multiple trips to find The One?




  • 3/23

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    Hi BABs!  This week’s request comes from reader Randi, who is in love with a Carol Hannah gown:

    “I love your Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! posts… And your book. If I could climb a mountain (Hard to find in New Jersey…) and sing its praises, I would, but for now I’ve been recommending it to all my newly engaged broke-ass friends.
    I recently fell in love with Carol Hannah’s Coralia dress. Like…true, deep, everlasting love. But her prices are way, way out of budget. I’m hoping to spend $500 or less – not $5,000!
    If you could please consider doing one of your Can’t Afford It? posts on that, I would be enternally grateful.

    This gorgeous gown has horizontal bands going under the bust of this empire waist gown and around the back, open sides and back, deep V front, and a full ballgown skirt. The skirt almost has a crochet texture, but still maintains a soft flowing look when moving, not weighed down. I’ll focus my search on the V front, empire waist and open backs with strappy details. Let’s see the roundup!

    Can't Afford It

    Carol Hannah's coralia gown

    Coralia; Siren Call, fall 2016 collection; by Carol Hannah

    Get Over It

    Lulus - Carte Blanche White Maxi Dress 112

    Carte Blanche White Maxi Dress; $112 at LuLus’s

    Etsy seller RenzRags - 2017 off white chiffon dress 299

    2017 Off white chiffon dress; $299 by Etsy seller RenzRags (back of dress pictured)

    Etsy seller LaceBridal - Sexy style wedding dress with chiffon skirt v neck and simple straps back 249

    Sexy style wedding dress with chiffon skirt, V neck, and simple straps back; $249 by Etsy seller LaceBridal

    Amazon OLadyDress - Pleated V-neck Backless Chapel Train Beach Wedding Dress 130

    Pleated V-neck Backless Chapel Train Beach Wedding Dress; $130 by OLadyDress on Amazon

    Etsy seller RenzRags - 2017 Champagne Bridesmaid dress, Long Wedding dress 279

    2017 Champagne Bridesmaid dress, Long Wedding dress; $279 by Etsy seller RenzRags

    Davids Bridal - WG3819 - 449

    Lace halter wedding dress; $449 at David’s Bridal

    Nordstrom - Alyce Illusion VNeck Pleat Tulle Gown 310

    ‘Alyce’ Illusion V-Neck Pleat Tulle Gown; $310 at Nordstrom

    Lord and Taylor - BCBGMAXAZRIA Andi Lace Dress 398

    Andi Lace Dress; $398 by BCBGMAXAZRIA at Lord & Taylor

    I hope we found something to satisfy your craving for a lovely deep V neck empire waist gown. What do you think, Randi?

    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. Please be aware, though, that because you guys love this column so much, we can often build up quite the queue and it may be a while before we can get to your dream dress. Rest assured, though, Team Broke-Ass is on the case!

    *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.


  • 2/15

    We're all about finding fab frocks for less, and we're always super thrilled to get an amazing deal. Whether it's your priority to not spend a ton of dollars on your dress because you think you'll only wear it once and you'd rather allocate the cash to something that lasts longer (hello, photography!) or you're boot-scootin' it to the courthouse -- big party be damned!…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Reader Armarni was checking out this previous post, when she fell in love with a Get Over It gown we featured. Unfortunately, the Sabine Dress by Jenny Yoo was sold out and over budget, so Armani asked us for help: "Any suggestions for a similar vintage inspired dress for under $250? Was also thinking of adding a detachable train for the drama!" First off, if…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Today's CAI/GOI request is for a fun and casual dress from BHLDN. Reader Kate commented on this post with: "Y'all are incredible. So glad to have stumbled on these posts--have loved looking at some of the Etsy sellers you've mentioned! After a painful divorce a few years ago, I'm blessed to be a second-time-around bride, looking for something a tad more casual than the frothy…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 12/22

    Y'all have some major love for Berta gowns! Today's CAI/GOI request is from Amber, who commented on this previous Berta post. She writes: "HELP! I also fell in love with a Berta gown, Berta 15-18 to be exact. My budget is around $3,000. Any recommendations?? Thanks!" The Berta gown in question is an embellished lace sheath number, complete with detachable train, from the 2015 Spring/Summer…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Hey BABs! This week, we have a request from reader Katelynn who commented on this post saying: Nice Work! I love BAB!! I've got my own CAI/GOI conundrum: I've fallen in love with the Ashley bridal gown by Nicole Miller ( but it's more than I wanted to spend at $1800. Ideally, I'd love a dress between $500-$800. I love the lace, low back, and halter…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Today's request comes from reader Jane, who is looking to help her daughter get over a charming crepe gown from San Francisco designer Amy Kuschel. Jane writes: "My daughter is in love with the Amy Kuschel 'Luna' gown, but it is wayyyyyy out of our budget. Can you do one of your great cheaper-versions of this dress??  Looking to spend about $800. Thank you!!" The…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 9/29

    Man, oh man, today's CAI/GOI post may be the most challenging request we've had yet! Reader Teneasha commented on this post with: "I need help. I've never seen a bridal gown that felt like the gown for me. I'm starting to lower my expectations to a gown that is slimming because there's no way that I can afford my dream gown that's rumored to be…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!