5 Ways to Save Money on Your Bridesmaid Dress

It is possible to look your best without breaking the bank.

floral printed dresses

Photo by John & Joseph

Getting asked to be a bridesmaid is one of the most cherished honors any wedding guest can receive. The title designates you as a VIP member of the couple's squad, which in turn gives you intimate access to the wedding planning journey and moments leading up to the big day. But with such an honor comes much responsibility, and, let's face it, a lot of financial strain.

Between the bachelorette party, bridal shower, wedding gifts, and so much more, the expenses can easily add up, especially as it pertains to your day-of attire. "From experience, I know shopping for bridesmaid dresses can easily become a daunting task. The time-frames, sizing, and cost can all make what should be a fun experience turn into something tiresome," shares Jane Lu, founder and CEO at Showpo.

However, given the vast amount of options available for bridal parties today, shopping for a dress doesn't have to be a difficult and expensive task. And with the help of Lu, we break down the top five ways all bridesmaids can save money on their wedding day outfits. Read on to learn more.

Meet the Expert

Jane Lu is the founder and CEO of Showpo, a global online fashion retailer offering an assortment of on-trend fashion apparel, footwear, accessories, and beauty.

Shop at affordable retailers.

For bridesmaids who have the ability to choose their own day-of attire, don't feel obligated to buy a dress that's outside of your budget. Formalwear doesn't equate to expensive gowns, and you can easily find a gorgeous look at an affordable price. Don't believe us? Just check out retailers like Lulus, Birdy Grey, ASOS, Showpo, Azazie, and David's Bridal, which all sell bridal party dresses for under $100. It's important to note, though, that finding the best deals may take a bit of time, so don't give up if you aren't able to immediately land the ensemble of your dreams.

For brides who'd like their bridal party members to match, choose a style from an affordable retailer in order to help your best friends stay within their desired budgets. "It’s a big ask for bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses (on top of the costs of a bachelorette party, and any accommodations [needed for destination weddings] which are more common these days), so choosing something affordable that can be worn again makes a lot of sense," adds Lu.

Opt for ready-to-wear looks.

"I’ve always been a strong advocate for embracing the affordability and practicality of ready-to-wear dresses, which is one of the reasons why I wanted Showpo to be a one-stop destination for brides and their bridesmaids," shares Lu. That's because, with ready-to-wear, bridesmaids have the ability to shop for a wide variety of looks within a vast range of prices. What's more, you'll be more inclined to wear your ready-to-wear ensembles again, long after the wedding day is over.

Buy pre-loved dresses.

If you're someone who'd like to find a glamorous or one-of-a-kind look for your bridesmaid role, buying a second-hand ensemble may be your best choice. Not only can it drastically save you money on designer pieces, but it's also a sustainable option for those looking to minimize single-use fashion waste. Look to online brands and retailers such as thredUP, Poshmark, and even eBay for designer looks at a steal of a price.

Consider renting.

While on the topic of sustainability, renting is another eco-friendly choice that has the ability to save you tons of money while feeling good about your shopping habits. The best part? There has been a surge in retailers that offer formalwear rental options. Rent the Runway, Nuuly, and Poshshare are only but a few sites that cater to bridal parties for wedding day attire.

Speak with the bride.

Depending on what the bride desires for the big day, the above tips may not apply to your situation as a bridesmaid. If that's the case, it may be beneficial to speak with the bride and honestly discuss your finances. Most, if not all, brides will be more than willing to work with you in order to ensure your experience is a happy one. During your conversation, you can offer a few affordable suggestions (respectfully), or ask if she's willing to help pay for your dress upfront, with the option for you to pay her back at a later date or via a payment plan.

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