Here's How to Make an Affordable Wedding Dress Look Expensive

Get the luxe look for less with these tricks

Updated 11/28/16

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Brides on a budget, have no fear — you can still get the look of a couture gown without the cost. All it takes to achieve this luxe for less look is a few tricks, which we've got right here thanks to the tips from some of the best in the industry themselves.

1. Choose the Right Color
When selecting the color of your gown, make sure the shade flatters the undertone of your skin, says Lori Conley, divisional merchandise manager for bridal, lingerie, and flower girl at David's Bridal. "Whether you wear solid white, soft white, ivory, champagne, blush — if the color nicely complements your natural skin tone, it will look beautiful regardless of how much it costs," she adds.

2. Tailor the Dress
Never skimp on tailoring, advises Lanie List of bridal shop Lovely. "You can buy the most simple, off-the-rack dress by having it hug every curve and fit you just where you want it to; it will look like a completely custom gown," she says. "It's also a great chance for you to change something subtle about the dress, like adding novelty straps or giving it a high-low hemline so you can make your dress one-of-a-kind." Conley suggests minimizing alteration costs by ordering the size of the gown that accommodates your largest measurement, as it's usually cheaper and easier to take things in than it is to try and take things out.

3. Buy Foundation Garments and Slips
Corresponding foundation garments and slips can go a long way in flattering your bridal look. Conley suggests asking your stylist which ones should be paired with your wedding dress. "These garments will ensure you are showing the best silhouette of the dress as the designer intended it, and showing off the best features of your figure," she says.

4. Play with Accessories
If diamonds are a girl's best friend, accessories are a close second. "Select a dress with no embellishments and purchase a beaded belt or shrug," suggests Jennette Kruszka of Kleinfeld. "This can elevate the look and create two looks in one. Your guests will think you bought two dresses!

5. Shop the Sales
As Conley points out, you don't have to compromise quality or style if you shop at the right time of the year. "Score a deal on end of season styles when retailers are looking to make room for their next collections," she says. "June and November are usually the best times to score deals as previous seasons' dresses are often drastically discounted, so you may be able to purchase a designer dress for a fraction of the price."

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