Posts in the 'under $1000' Category

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A “The Great Gasby”-Inspired Wedding Gown For Under $1200

With previews for the new “The Great Gatsby” movie playing everywhere, it’s no surprise that chic ’20s style is catching the eye of modern brides. Sadly, that kind of glitz isn’t always nice to the pocketbook, as this week’s BAB quickly realized.

I’ve been looking for a quasi-20’s feeling dress for a while, and low and behold I’ve fallen in love with this Jenny Packham dress. Unfortunately, it looks to be way outside my price range (found a used one for $4,000!).

I’m looking for something that is $1,200 or less – with interesting beading, or lace, or sparkle, that’s a little bit unconventional. Help!

Often these kinds of dresses can be super difficult to replicate. There is one over budget option, but it was too good not to include. Plus, I’m a big believer in watching for possible sales or online discounts that would drop something fab that’s been just out of your reach to comfortably within your budget.


Eden Gown by Jenny Packham


White Sheer Strap Sweetheart Dress ($918 at Unique Vintage)

Aiguille Gown ($1,200 at BHLDN)

 Delphina Art Deco Mermaid Romantic Gown ($998 at Dahlnyc via Etsy)

Grace 1930s-Inspired Bridal Gown ($1,402.60 at Rowan Joy via Etsy)

Ivory Lace Capped Sleeve Wedding Dress ($1,065.60 at Grace Loves Lace via Etsy)


Silk Lace Satin and Chiffon Romantic Wedding ($940.29 at Katherine L. Kerrison via Etsy)

If you’re looking for even more options, check out our October post about the BHLDN “Lita” gown, it’s a super similar, 1920’s-inspired style.

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Gown Inspired By BHLDN’s “Ortensia” For Under $600

It’s rare that one dress embodies everything a bride wants in her wedding gown. Often we’re split between many options because of small details. Jane, on the other hand, knows exactly what she wants, but it’s twice her budget.

I would be SO grateful if you would use your amazing dress-finding skills to help me out with a sudden and major case of CAI/GOI:

I just fell in love with BHLDN‘s new Ortensia gown  It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for – a flowing, floor length skirt that starts from the natural waist, a beautiful deep V neckline, pretty (but not blingy) details – but it’s double what I can afford ($1500 is my absolute maximum).

Thank you!

Jane, you did the hard part: Describing your perfect dress and including the budget. Now we’ve found some options that are less than half the budget. This way, you can add extra bling – if needed – through pretty shoes, a belt or maybe a pair of statement earrings.


Ortensia Gown ($3,000 at BHLDN)


Evelyn ($544.99 at Ruche)

Aidan Mattox Sheer-Back Ruched Gown ($475 at Neiman Marcus)

Badgley Mischka Antigua Bay Gown ($150 rental through Rent The Runway)

Sequin Bodice Chiffon Gown ($375 at Badgley Mischka)


Goddess V-Neck Wedding Dress ($550 at Ann Taylor)

V Neck Chiffon A Line Wedding Gown ($369.99 at For Her and For Him)

Be sure to check out the back of these options, Jane. Some have fantastic detail that you wouldn’t guess from the front — something I’m assuming you’d like given the inspiration. Finding the perfect dress is a tricky thing to do online – do read the return policies before ordering!

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Claire Pettibone “Versailles”-esque Gown For $1500 Or Less

Krista definitely deserves an amazing dress for her big day, but her budget is keeping her from living the couture dream.


I’m a mom. I put my wedding on hold for almost three years because our son is a regular at sick kids’ hospital and my fiancé and I wanted to focus on him and his health and put everything else on the backburner. Now that he is doing much better, the wedding plans are back on, and I’ve found a dress. I think about it in my sleep. I scour the internet in hopes of finding either a decent replica or pre-owned… It is stunning and I am irrevocably in love with it. 

I present to you the Claire Pettibone “Versailles”. I swear Claire Pettibone is the devil trying to make all poor brides cry… Help me get over it. I cannot throw $7,000 at this. That’s nearly half the budget.  


Don’t worry Krista, lots of BABs fall victim to the Claire Pettibone lust trap! Consider checking out this post or  this post for more dresses inspired by the same designer. Those picks were inspired by a different designs, of course, but you never know if one of those options might be your next dream dress. Then we have the following dresses, of course, chosen to match your inspiration.


Claire Pettibone Versailles ($7,000+ through Claire Pettibone)


Divine Downpour Gown ($1,300 at BHLDN)

Alexandria Gown ($749.99 at Ruche)

Rose Petal Spaghetti Strap Wedding Dress ($750 at Ann Taylor)


Carolina Lace Wedding Dress (£550 at Phase Eight)


Tulle Gown with Lace Applique and 3D Flowers ($1,100 at David’s Bridal)

Straps Sweeatheart A-Line Tulle With Flowers ($255 at Lemandy Wedding Dress via Etsy)

Cap Sleeve Fit-and-Flare Lace Gown ($950 at David’s Bridal)

Falling in love with couture often means zeroing in on a detail you love best then trying to match that. You could always add a gold sash, for example, to a dress that has the appliqués in the amazing inspiration gown. Also, often times Etsy shops have wonderful sample sales. If you shop for your size on Etsy, you could find beautiful gowns like the Lauren from Natural Bridals.

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} An Ersa Atelier-Inspired One Shoulder Wedding Dress for Under $600

This week’s request is particularly special – well, for me. It comes from an adopted little sister of mine. Leann is my high school boyfriend’s little sister. I still picture her as a girl in middle school, despite the fact that she’s a beautiful, independent woman now. She knows she can ask me for help anytime. This week, I got a request from her via Pinterest. Her note was brief:

I want this but can’t have it! Help? :)

The dress is a preview for the Ersa Atelier 2013 collection. I failed to find a price for it (but we can assume it’s in the 4-5 digit range). Leann has a budget of about $600. She’s having a bit of a non-traditional wedding but loves this look.


Ersa Atelier Gown


David Meister One-Shoulder Metallic Gown ($570 at Saks Fifth Avenue)

Angeline ($639.99 at Ruche)

Silk Georgette Pleated One Shoulder  ($550 at Ann Taylor)

Beaded One-Shoulder Soft Charmeuse Gown ($349.99 at David’s Bridal)

One-Shoulder Gown with Asymmetrically Draped Skirt ($528 at David’s Bridal)

Allure Bridal Diamond White & Silver Ruched One Shoulder Wedding Gown ($508 at Unique Vintage)


Xscape Beaded One Shoulder Sheer Mesh Gown ($165 at Nordstrom)

Don’t kill me for throwing in a couple more traditional options. It’s always best to consider all options. And, with that in mind, I had a crazy additional thought. What about renting an amazing sequin dress and making a tulle overlay? Rent the Runway has some amazing options for a base to such a dress, like this Badgley Mischka gown for $125. With that price, you could rent it one weekend just to get the measurements then again for the wedding and still be under budget. Since this look is more gown-like, perhaps another BAB out there has a lead on a dress they’d like to share?

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} A Luxury Lace Maggie Sottero Look For A Slightly More Everyday Price

Caitlin has a dress she can’t stop thinking about.

I have a dress I can’t get over…it’s the Maggie Sottero “Bernadette.”
I found one on, but it was $1,500, and not in my size :(

I’ve been there; literally. My dress was a sample — so there was only one made. Despite its beauty, it was a dress that would never be reproduced. Even if it was, I couldn’t afford the retail price. Thankfully, with only the man power of the smallest of my bridesmaids, we left with dress during a going out of business sale. It’s hard to get over it once you have found “the one.” But even so, we’ve got a few fab options for you to consider.


Maggie Sottero Bernadette (Retails for about $1,650)


Romantic Lace Wedding Dress, Ivory Lace Open Back Wedding Dress ($799 at RuffleNBustle via Etsy)


Lace Wedding Dress Backless ($559 at Leontina Couture via Etsy)

Scalloped Lace Cut Out Mermaid Wedding Dress ($499.99 at For Her and Him)

Backless Mermaid Wedding Dress with Lace Cap Sleeves ($529.99 at For Her and Him)


Lace Over Satin Gown with Illusion Back ($749 at David’s Bridal)

Cap Sleeve Lace Over Satin Gown with Illusion Back ($724 at David’s Bridal)

There you have it. Most of these options clock in at about half the price tag of that Maggie Sottero. You CAN create a luxe lace look for less, without creating too much debt.

Got a CAI/GOI request for the gang? Email it to, and she’ll pass it on to Tori and Heather, our CAI/GOI mavens! 

{Can’t Afford It/ Get Over It} Can We Find A Pnina Tornai Look-a-like That Isn’t 10K?!

Welcome back to The Broke-Ass Bride!

Boy, Oh Boy, do I have a looker for Y’all this week!  I’m just gonna come out and say it.  This one is CAI/GOI fate, kismet, destiny! It can’t be coincidence!  Amber’s in love with a wedding gown that just happens to have my name on it!  Okay, so you have to cut out some letters.  Picky, Picky!

Here’s what Amber has to say…

“I was wondering if you could help me. I fell in love with a 10k dress and CANNOT get over it! Could you do a Can’t Afford it, Get Over It for me? PLEASE? It’s a Pnina Tornai dress; style No: 32173106 at Kleinfeld. It’s the most gorgeous dress in the world on me and my fiance said we could get it but I would feel like the biggest, most selfish girl ever because we would have to sacrifice (majorly) in other areas plus the time/cost ratio is obviously ridiculous! Please please please HELP!

Amber H.”

Madame Tori will guide you through the vast world of taffeta, organza, and tulle!

The Fates are calling to me.  They are saying something.  Something important.  But it’s so faint!  Wait!  Wait, it’s getting louder!  I’ve got it!  The Fates say, “CAN’T AFFORD IT?! Well, then, GET OVER IT!

Can’t Afford It

Pnina Tornai No: 32173106

cost = RIDUNKULOUS or $10,ooo.00

Amber, I don’t do this for everyone.  But I’m going to dust off my Broke-Ass Tarot cards and see what the Fates have in store for you.  (Shuffling/Dealing) Oh…Oh My!  You are one very fortunate girl!  First up is the Queen of Casablanca.  She is stylish, sultry, and samolian savvy!

Get Over It

Casablanca Bridal Gown Style # 1927  Fall 2008

ebay $599.99

This particular model is also @ Jays Bridal  for $875.95, PS ( BBB sanctioned/ authentic/non-replica merchandiser) for $875.25, and an additional ebay seller enchanted bridal  for $700.00!

Casablanca Bridal style # 2033

Fall 2011 (MSRP $1,125.00)

PS Bridal $1,122.75

Also can be found at Dress for Less Bridal for $1,125.00 (BBB sanctioned)

Casablanca Bridal style #2014  Fall 2010

PS Bridal $852.75

Also at Jay’s Bridal for $904.95

Casablanca Bridal style # 2000  Fall 2010

PS Bridal $ 987.75

Also at Jay’s Bridal for $ 1,039.95

And your next card depicts the Couture of Kirstie Kelly. You certainly do have the Fates in your favor!

Kirstie Kelly Couture style # C1204 $699.99

Kirstie Kelly Couture style # c2201 $699.99

This is Mistress Maggie Sottero.  She is beautuful, unique, and priced to please.  Shhh…..Quiet! Quiet for a moment.  The cards, They speak to me.  They say you are going to find an amaizing dress for way under 10K!

Maggie Sottero style Felisha

Coral’s Bridal style # WD11232 $433.00

(This is a replica gown! And I cannot vouch for the website.  Has any Broke-Ass Bride ever ordered from Coral’s?)

Luckily, my crystal ball is glowing with a dress from Best Bridal at center stage! I see the exact same dress for $1,219.00!  And what’s this?!  I see a symbol that means that they are BBB sanctioned!  Que Wayne’s World sound effects…(Doodley-do, doodley-do, doodley-do).  I see they are located in Illinois!  Right here in the good old U S of A!  Best Bridal Price (BBP) also has these stunners for a stunning price!

Mori Lee Wedding Dress – Style 1819

Best Bridal $938.00

Angelina Faccenda Wedding Dress – Style 1227

BBP $1,199.00

Impression Wedding Dresses – Style 10007

BBP $945.00

Your reading is going very well!  Your future looks brighter than the sun! Very fortuitous in deed!  Last, but not least, we have DaVinci.  Quite possibly the wisest and most intelligent of all BAB Tarot Cards.

Style No: 8424  Designer: Davinci

PS Bridal Online  $514.05

Alright, you got me.  It was all smoke and mirrors. Dry Ice & stratigicly placed lighting. And my tarot cards? They’re just a set of old playing cards.  The reading was a farce.  I’m not an All Seeing Swami of Wedding Wear.  But the truth is that these dresses are real.  They exist!  Do they compare to your vision?

I gave you a line up of dropped waist ball gowns galore!  What makes this ” Tornai” dress so unique is the BLING!  Not the cut, style, or fabric.  Nope, it’s the sparklies.  But, as long as you are willing to improvise with some added bling of your own, either on the dress or on your person, I believe that any of these gorgeous gowns will suit your needs.  I hope I’ve helped!

In the off chance that I haven’t hit the mark, please don’t stop your search!

Look for local bridal consignment shops in your area.  I found my designer dress in a consignment shop for a quarter of the retail price!  Scour sites like the Recycled Bride, Once Wed, or Bride Share * Hint*Hint*.  Check your local listings for Bridal Alterations stores who also design & create their own original dresses based on the imagery that you bring them!  If that fails, hit up  There are tons of  experienced tailors and dress makers there who have the chops to cut your frock from scratch for a pre-negotiated price.  Good luck, Amber!  And may the Fates be with you!

Sleek, Modern Bridal Gowns On A Budget

Reader Request:

Hi there. I find myself looking for a modern wedding – clean lines, bauhaus-inspired – but everything that I can find at reasonable price has a more vintage/romantic or blingy/overwrought vibe.  I’ve included photos of two dresses that I like because they’re 1. modern, 2. not strapless, and 3. kind of space agey.  Can you suggest budget options that would be similar?

The inspiration:

Source: Pronovias

Source: Angel Sanchez

Here are some modern, unfussy bridal gowns that come in at a reasonable price. Good luck in your search!

Shop Now:

L-R: White House Black Market $120 // BCBG $348 // Badgley Mischka $348 //
Saja ~$1100 // Aria ~$600 // Derek Lam $695


{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Lace Overload

Claire Pettibone gowns are things of beauty.  But they’re also ass-expensive. Today’s bride is having this very dilemma. So I’m about to throw her a (petti)bone and help her out.  Let’s see what bride Nora had to say:

I have fallen hard for this Claire Pettibone wedding dress. I love the lace and the sleeves and the back.  It’s perfect.  It is also outside of the budget of $1,000 or less.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Can’t Afford It:

Get Over It:

1. Nightcap Clothing. $640.

2. JS Collections. $200.

3. Alice by Temperley. $761.

You would need to hem the sleeves on this one.

4. Tadashi Shoji. $548.

5. Allure Bridals. About $1000.

You would need to hem the sleeves on this one.

6. White by Vera Wang. $600.

7. David’s Bridal. $599.99.

8. Justin Alexander. About $1000.

9. Destinations by Mon Cheri. Under $600.

10. Moonlight. Between $500 & $1000.

11. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

12. Allure Bridals. Between $500 & $1000.

13. Destinations by Mon Cheri. Under $500.

14. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

15. Mia Solano. Between $500 & $1000.

Miss any CAI/GOI magic?  Catch up here:


Mod 60’s Wedding Dresses for Under $1000

The ’60s have always been my favorite fashion era, and I especially love mod fashion. If you’re a bride-to-be who wants to channel Twiggy or Edie Sedgwick on your wedding day, check out some of these mod-inspired wedding dresses for under $1000. Ready, steady, go!

Tibi $495

BHLDN $600

J. Crew $795

Kate Spade $425

Alice + Olivia $597

Warehouse $110

The Row $750

River Island $60

Eva Franco $175

Max & Cleo $168

ModCloth $70

Ladakh $104

Vintage $84