#1 Less frills
All the more reason to be a minimalist bride! Beading, lace and floral appliques may look stunning, but also require more moolah. Amp up your look with accessories instead - a headpiece, a statement necklace or an embellished belt that can be bought off the rack to dress up your gown.
#2 Keep it casual
If you're having your wedding in a pretty cafe, at the beach or at a restaurant, there's really no need for a ballgown or grand A-line. Opt for a simpler or more casual silhouettes like columns or sheaths - less fabric equals to more money in your bank. Plus, you can wear it again after your big day.
A fuss-free sheath with a pretty cropped top looks stunning for laidback weddings. Image: Georges Hobeika
#3 Lace it up
Say you lost (or gained) some weight as the wedding date's looming. Instead of sending your gown to be altered, a corset-style lace-up back can be tightened or loosened to accommodate your figure.
#4 Go to trunk shows and watch out for sales
Subscribe to or simply like your favourite bridal salon's website or Facebook pages for the latest updates on trunk shows or sales. You can also usually score deals at trunk shows, which do offer discounts even for new collections.
(By the way, check out the Her World Brides Fabulous Weddings show for fantastic perks and prizes!)
#6 Online sites like Asos and Taobao
The cons: They aren't tailored to your measurements, and can arrive looking different from the pictures on the site. The pros: They're a fraction of what you'll be paying for a conventional wedding gown.
This pink number makes for a pretty wedding dress for your day time celebrations, or a romantic evening gown. Image: Her World Brides Dec 16
#6 Double up
Remember when stylist-turned-designer Brandon Maxwell cut off Karlie Kloss' floor-grazing gown into a sexy mini at the Met Gala in 2016? We're not suggesting something as drastic, but you can definitely make your wedding gown work for the evening too. A pastel gown is great for taking you from day to night. Other alternatives to explore: add a shimmery belt, go for more dramatic makeup, glittering accessories or a dress with a detachable overskirt.
#7 Something borrowed
Is your mom's wedding dress still lying at the back of her closet but in good condition? It might seem a little dated to you, but you'll be surprised at how alterations can give it a whole new look. Plus, there's nothing quite as meaningful for both you and your mom to have you walking down the aisle in her wedding dress.
Cover image credit: : Ilya Karnaukhov/123rf.com