I love long letters from our readers. It gives me a better idea of what to look for. Val definitely delivered – here’s what she said:
Hi there ladies!
I recently got engaged and I’m on the hunt for a cheap-ass BUT BEAUTIFUL gown. There are two styles I am strongly gravitating towards and so far I have not found any cheap options similar to these. If you girls could help me out, it’d be so great! My wedding is going to be at a campsite, it has a rustic, wooden dining hall, and we’re opting for a lot of DIY RUSTIC decor. That being said I want a dress that is “flowy”, not one of those static, hard corsets or A-gowns that look super stiff. The styles I think define me best in regards to wedding gowns are “boho”, “gypsy” and “greek goddess”. I’d prefer straps and sleeves over strapless but I’m willing to see strapless options if they fit the style. Please let me know if you can help a girl out, I can’t afford these but I would love to get over them with some fabulous cheap options!
Val is looking to spend no more than $600 and has two obsessions – a designer whose dresses go for between $4,000 to $14,000 or a dress a bride custom designed for herself. (That’s a crazy DIY project, right!?) Unfortunately the last one isn’t an option because Val found out that she doesn’t do custom designs. Below, I’ve included a couple dresses our BAB likes. There are a variety of details in which she’s interested.
CAN’T AFFORD IT
Samuelle’s Amelie Gown
Samuelle’s Sophia Gown
GET OVER IT
White Tara Wedding Gown ($180 at GratefulThreads via Etsy)
Cast Away Gown ($450 at Free People)
Temptress Cold Shoulder Maxi ($608 at Free People)
Ivory Chiffon Beaded Sequin Informal ($425 at RetroVintageWeddings via Etsy)
Alexander Wang Sheer Silk-Blend Maxi Dress ($250 at The Outnet)
Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Dress, Sleeveless Beaded Racerback ($104.99 at Macy’s)
As we suggested last week, you could also consider renting the gown for your big day. For $100, you could grab either the Yumi Kim Snow Mountain Maxi or the Mark & James by Badgley Mischka Rhodes Harbor Gown. Any other BABs out there have suggestions?
Photography Credit: Flutter Glass Photography
Last week, I introduced 5 new ways to accessorize your bridal look. A couple readers commented on the suggestions, expressing their distaste for equating “broke” with “hippie.” Admittedly, a few of the looks I picked out could be seen as being a tad granola. Sure. I’ll concede that. But regardless of taste, these comments got me thinking:
The point of this blog, to me at least, is that you can be broke as a joke and still manage to have the wedding you want and the life you want… you just have to be resourceful and creative about it. Being a Broke-Ass Bride doesn’t mean you need to wear your “grandma’s hand-me-downs,” have a camping wedding, or make your guests shit in the woods. Hell no. I’ve seen hippie-style weddings that actually cost more than modern white weddings… they showcase the hippie-chic Claire Pettibone gown, the halo hair-wear, the simple outdoor venue that costs a lot more than it should because you have to bring in a generator and porta-potties, the gourmet catering served in a relaxed setting, the professional shabby chic floral arrangements, etc. These weddings employ the look of “hippie” but the actual cost to achieve said look is nowhere near Broke-Ass status. So let’s be clear here: cheap doesn’t automatically mean “hippie,” and expensive doesn’t automatically mean “modern.” Can we all agree on that?
Broke-Ass Brides own their broke-ass-ness. We accept it and embrace it. And instead of whining about how little money we have, we find ways to make the most of what we do have. Broke-Ass Brides can stretch a dollar Suze Orman-style. We constantly employ our creativity and approach every situation with a Tim Gunn “Make-it-work” mentality. Can’t afford the couture bridal gown of our dreams? We find the way cheaper version and get over it. For example, our beloved Mrs. Broke-Ass herself got the dress of her dreams for half price by working for the designer as a partial trade. She saw the gown she wanted, knew she couldn’t afford it, but found a way to get it. Furthermore, if there is a decor item we’re lusting after, but can’t afford, we try our best to go half-sies on it with another couple getting married through Brideshare. For instance, you know those big-bulbed, heavy duty outdoor light strings you see at weddings? Surprisingly, those things cost a lot. Like, $150 for a string of 50 bulbs. Prices like that would cause most budget brides to say, “forget it.” But not Broke-Ass Brides. Instead, we see that price and say, “Let’s find a way to afford them, but if we ultimately can’t, then we’ll find an alternative.” Don’t settle until you’ve exhausted all of your broke-ass tactics.
This is the part where I want to hear from you… Is there a wedding-related purchase that was way out of your budget, but you found a way to make it work regardless? Share your broke-ass craftiness in the comments below!
Or… are there any “Broke-Ass Alternatives” you’d like to see discussed more? Our main goal here to help each other plan the weddings we want for the prices we want, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.