The ultimate guide to saving money on wedding attire – From bride and groom to guests

When you look back at your wedding in years to come, the last thing you want to do is sob uncontrollably over your poor fashion choices – because it will suck. Trust us. Instead, you need to be able to look back at your wedding day and fall in love with your dress even more everytime you look at it, swoon over the groomsmen’s suits, and marvel at the fact that your wedding guests scrubbed up quite nicely for once. However, planning a wedding can be pretty expensive, and finding the money in the bank to shell out for designer suits, expensive dresses and one-off guest dresses just isn’t possible. Or is it? This is the ultimate guide on saving money on wedding attire – from bride and groom to guests. You can thank us later…

The Bride

Let’s be honest, the bridal gown is the piece de resistance of any wedding – and you can guarantee that your aunts and cousins will all huddle up after you’ve said your ‘I dos’ to whisper in the corner to discuss the style, the colour, the fit and their judgement on your dress. So, you just HAVE to give them and yourself something truly magical to discuss… but how the heck do you do that on a budget?! Well, it turns out it’s pretty easy to buy a bridal dress on a budget:

Buy a floor sample. When you go to a bridal boutique, you try on a sample dress in the shop, before they order in a brand new dress just for you once you’ve chosen ‘the one.’ However, if you’re really lucky, you might find that the sample dress is absolutely perfect for you. The fit is amazing, the style is just how you wanted it to be, and it looks incredible on you. By choosing to buy the sample size, you can sometimes knock a couple of zeros off the price tag!

Rock the sales. I mean, who doesn’t love a sale? Searching through bridal shops during the late summer and winter months will give you a perfect chance to save money on your wedding dress, as this is when they get rid of their old season’s dresses before filling their shop with the next season. To sell them quicker, these shops will often reduce their prices, which means you may be able to find a bargain.

Shop online. Buying a bridal gown online is risky business, but it could just pay off. It may be that you can find the same dress you saw in a UK shop online and ready to be shipped from China for half the price, or it might be that you can find a pre-loved vintage dress that from a former bride who only wore their dress once before. Buying online will normally cut the total price dramatically.

The Bridesmaids

While it’s taboo for bridesmaids to upstage the brides, they still need to look as fabulous as ever – which means that you need to to find the perfect dresses that will compliment their figures and fit in with the whole theme of the wedding. Here’s how you can save money on bridesmaids dresses:

Split the cost. In today’s day and age, there is much debate as to whether the bride or the bridesmaids should pay for their bridesmaid dresses. Yet, there is one way to figure out this wedding etiquette debate… you split the cost! If the bride and the bridesmaids both pay half each for their dress, both parties will be saving money. Bonus!

Go short or go home. If you’re a bridesmaid who wants to show off her legs, or if you’re a bride who’s planning a summer wedding, choosing short dresses can help you save money on the bridesmaid’s dresses. Yep, the rule of thumb is that dresses are normally priced on how much fabric they use – so if they are shorter, they should also be cheaper.

Visit the high street. Bridesmaid dresses don’t have to be bought from specific bridal boutiques. In fact, most high street stores such as Debenhams and Next offer gorgeous bridesmaid dresses that are half the cost of those in specific bridal shops. Most of the time, these dresses are also nice enough to be worn again – so it won’t be a one-off cost.

The Groom

It’s fair to say that men want to look fly as heck on their wedding day. Yuh-huh, this is the one day that they will be able to dress to the nines and wear a flashy suit that will showcase their style and their substance. However, it doesn’t take a genius to know that suits aren’t cheap, especially when you add the word ‘wedding’ onto the front of it. Luckily, there are numerous ways to save money on the groom’s wedding suit:

Buy instead of rent. Most people think that buying a wedding suit is super expensive and that to save money it’s better to rent it – but that’s just not true. Suit rentals are extremely pricey, and can often rack up a bill that is on par with buying a new suit outright. So, why not choose a lovely suit that you will wear again and claim it as yours? As long as you wear it again, the price will be justified.

Shop around. Although we don’t like to give in to stereotypes, we don’t know many men who actually enjoy shopping, let alone shopping around to find a better price elsewhere. However, when it comes to your budget wedding suit, shopping around will be your saviour. Don’t just buy a suit from the first shop you enter. Try on a few, work out which style you like, make a note of the prices, and venture into different shops to compare. In the end, choose the lowest price!

Use your own accessories.
If you’re the kind of person that wears suits a lot, there’s a high chance that you already have cufflinks, ties, and shoes to complete your budget wedding attire. So, instead of breaking the bank and buying new accessories, just use your own. Your wallet will thank you.

The Groomsmen

Just like the groom himself, the groomsmen and ushers also need to look super cool and smart in their suits – and we know that suits aren’t the cheapest. Thankfully, there are ways to keep costs down for groomsmen attire:

Compare renting vs. buying. If you’re looking to kit out your groomsmen, you might be torn between renting and buying. Sometimes, renting can prove to be just as expensive as buying these suits outright, so it’s down to you to get the prices and compare them with each other. If your groomsmen will wear the suit again, it may be an idea to buy them rather than rent.

Ask for a discount. There is absolutely no shame in asking for a discount – because the worst thing they can do is say no, right? If you are buying numerous suits from one single store, see whether you can wangle a reduction in the final price. After all, you’re doing them a favour by buying their stock.

Wear your own suits.
If you really don’t have money in the bank to buy groomsmen outfits, why not wear your own? Just as mismatched bridesmaid dresses are a trend, mismatched groomsmen suits are also a new hot topic. Simply ask your groomsmen to recycle an old suit, and you won’t have to pay a penny!

The Guests

If you’re super social, you might have to attend numerous wedding every single year, and this means that you have to find different outfits for each one. It’s a nightmare… but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how you can save money on wedding guest attire:

Raid the sales. Every year, shops sell off all of their out of season stock and reduce the price dramatically – and this is where you should be stocking up. Rather than taking yourself to the shop every time you get a wedding invite, buy various different dresses during these sales that will last you the year or more. Because the prices are reduced, you’ll probably be able to get various reduced dresses for the price of one full price dress!

Recycle what you have. Yet, you don’t HAVE to wear a different outfit for each wedding. If you have smart suits that you keep in your wardrobe or even dresses that you wear to work, you can recycle what you already have and add a little something’ somethin’ extra on the day. Buying a new necklace or a new tie is much cheaper than buying a whole new outfit.

Buy online.
Although it’s easy to walk to the shops and try on a wedding guest outfit, it’s equally as easy to log onto your computer and buy an outfit online. Most of the time, online retailers such as Boohoo and ASOS offer cheaper alternatives to clothing on the high street or in department stores. It’s worth a browse, at least?

Buying wedding attire doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you can buy wedding attire for the bride, the groom, the guests, the bridesmaids and more on a budget if you know how!

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